• RogueAI
    2.7k
    There are problems of jurisprudence with the notion of good samaritan duties though because it is difficult to establish what behaviour is required exactly.Tobias

    Therein lies the rub. Should I be compelled to rescue a child being attacked by a small dog that doesn't really pose a threat to me but still might bite me? Save a person dangling from a cliff where I might break a leg if I fall too? Pull someone out of a burning car that might explode? Give some of my extra food to starving people? Give some of my money to uninsured people who need a life-saving expensive operation? By being a member of society we kind of do that with our taxes, but that's a step removed from out-and-out punishing someone for not being a good Samaritan.

    This is interesting:

    "But, when a person is in peril as a result of their own conscious decision to expose themselves to the risk of harm, witnesses have a reduced duty to rescue and, under certain circumstances,
    may be completely absolved of liability. Liability for failure to rescue is
    also unlikely if a person would risk personal injury to execute the rescue."
    https://www.swlaw.edu/sites/default/files/2022-06/10.%20Okumori%20%2828%20Sw.%20J.%20Int%27l%20L.%20258-273%29.pdf
  • Tobias
    1k
    Therein lies the rub. Should I be compelled to rescue a child being attacked by a small dog that doesn't really pose a threat to me but still might bite me? Save a person dangling from a cliff where I might break a leg if I fall too? Pull someone out of a burning car that might explode? Give some of my extra food to starving people? Give some of my money to uninsured people who need a life-saving expensive operation? By being a member of society we kind of do that with our taxes, but that's a step removed from out-and-out punishing someone for not being a good Samaritan.RogueAI

    The legal technical issue should be separated from the normative one I think. The Dutch article (Art. 450 DCC) stipulates that only if there is no danger for yourself or others one should do so, only in case of an immediate danger and one can only be prosecuted if the situation led to the actual death of the person to be rescued so it is a very conditional duty. Circumscribed like this, It will not be prosecuted very often.

    The legal normative issue is whether a person should be punished by the state if he does not help. I think the issue can be tackled in two ways. One way is to state that the potential helper bears no guilt in the situation. Her actions have not brought about the dangerous situation and since punishment requires guilt there is no ground for punishment.
    One could however also see it as an extension of the rules of care and negligence. Firstly, we are required to aid people entrusted to our care, even when the dangerous situation arises without us having brought it about in any way. This article extends the circle of people to care for to those in the immediate vicinity and in immediate danger. One has to witness and be aware of the danger to which the other is exposed.
    Secondly, negligence also involves a very small level of guilt. This situation could be considered as a case similar to negligence. You are not helping even though it comes at no fundamental cost to you while an important legal good (Rechtsgut in German) is being endangered, the life of your fellow man, then and there. Not helping in such a situation manifestly displays a callous attitude towards the well being of those around you that the legal order is upset with such a negligent attitude towards the other. In such situations we may have a legitimate expectation that we will receive aid.

    I can see reasons for both ways to deal with the issue, but narrowly formulated I do not consider such a duty to be manifestly unreasonable. Most of your examples would not lead to prosecution but not rescuing a child from a shallow pond might, and yes perhaps not rescuing a small child from a dog that you might easily handle, aiding someone who had an accident etc. But then, how much on an onerous duty is that compared to the endangered life at stake?
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    The simplicities of abortion.

    If anyone claimed abortion was a good thing worth getting pregnant for, I would think them insane.

    However, society is so constituted that children brought up by the state or by charitable institutions are likely traumatised. Children commonly go hungry in poor families, and women are stigmatised and penalised for having children out of wedlock, thereby penalising the children. Education is so underfunded that many adults are functionally illiterate.

    Since society does not value the life of a child enough to support it properly, it is the purest hypocrisy to place that burden on women. If society wants to take responsibility for children, then it should actually put its money where its self-righteous, hypocritical, moralising mouth is. Until society can properly protect the born, it has no business legislating for the unborn.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.3k


    I'm pro-choice and find that in the inviolability of our physical integrity. I choose what goes in and comes out of my body. Having others tell a woman she must carry to term just sounds like a violation in itself.

    I'm pro-choice but I will play devil's advocate here.

    1. Bodily autonomy isn't something we can uphold as an absolute if we want to have a functioning justice system. If Hannibal is a serial killer cannibal who has eaten all his neighbors, then most people would agree that we have a right to decide that Hannibal can't leave his prison cell, or that we even have the right to execute Hannibal. We have also told Hannibal what he can't put into his body, namely his neighbors. So, obviously bodily autonomy has its limits. Putting people in prison at the very least determines what can go into their bodies, and executing them determines what goes into and out of their bodies.

    Most people agree with some limits on free speech, e.g., not being able to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. But this is also a limit on what is allowed to come out of one's body. The idea that the limits on state intervention on what goes into or out of people's body stops at said items being solid forms of matter seems pretty arbitrary. We can restrict sound waves in the form of "fire" from leaving one's body in some contexts to promote the safety of others but we can restrict a solid piece of matter from leaving because... it's solid? Not to mention that this would seem to preclude laws against public defecation, which no one wants.

    This being the case, it's clear the state can say things about what is allowed to come out of your body. You can't take a dump on the subway because it is a health and safety risk for other people and ruins their experience of the subway. But this means that we indeed DO make rules about what can go in and out of people's bodies based on the safety of others, which is exactly the sort of argument made against abortion.

    2. Conscription is a necessary evil for modern countries. Most people don't want to fight on modern battlefields and yet if no one fights you get stuff like the Nazis or Soviets despoiling your country and enslaving/starving the population. Because of this threat, we have conscription. That is, for the greater good, we allow the state to greatly constrict young men's autonomy.

    Conscription forces constraints on what goes into one's body (only the rations you get), and moreover often results in getting things put into your body that you don't want (shrapnel) and things coming out that you don't want (your blood). But if the state can justify conscription for the greater good, which it seems it can in some contexts, then the preclusion on these sorts of restrictions doesn't seem absolute.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.3k


    Since society does not value the life of a child enough to support it properly, it is the purest hypocrisy to place that burden on women. If society wants to take responsibility for children, then it should actually put its money where its self-righteous, hypocritical, moralising mouth is. Until society can properly protect the born, it has no business legislating for the unborn.

    Right, and children are most labor intensive in the first three years and in the US at least the general provision of services is such that families are on their own, finding their own services, with no access to public schools until their kids are four or five years old. And of course, no paid leave for giving birth.

    And yet we'll hear complaints about falling birth rates to no end...
  • Benkei
    7.4k
    Bodily autonomy isn't something we can uphold as an absolute if we want to have a functioning justice system. If Hannibal is a serial killer cannibal who has eaten all his neighbors, then most people would agree that we have a right to decide that Hannibal can't leave his prison cell, or that we even have the right to execute Hannibal. We have also told Hannibal what he can't put into his body, namely his neighbors. So, obviously bodily autonomy has its limits. Putting people in prison at the very least determines what can go into their bodies, and executing them determines what goes into and out of their bodies.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Where did I talk about bodily autonomy?
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello RogueAI,

    1), I'm not sure you should be forced to save a drowning kid. It would be nice if you did, but do we want government compelling charitable acts?

    I think that duty to rescue should exist insofar as one should be legally obligated to save someone, when they are in the vicinity of an incident, if it would not produce any significant unwanted bodily harm to them to do so.

    If there was a baby that got dropped off at your porch and there was no service you could call to get this child help (and thusly it will die if you do nothing), then I don’t think you have the right to not consent and let that child starve to death. You have a de facto obligation to save them. What do you think?

    2) Forcing a woman to give birth is not even close to risking an ear infection. It entails months of pregnancy and birth has all sorts of complications and a non-trivial mortality rate.

    I was never intending to make that comparison. In fact, I am pro-choice in the case of rape exactly for this reason (and because there is no culpability).
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello 180 Proof,

    A seed is not a tree. A sapling is a potential tree. A pre-26th week old unviable fetus is not a person. A viable fetus aka "baby" is a potential person.

    A person is a qualitatively experiencing being (or if one would like, a being with a mind), which, as an idealist, I would say is always true of anyone alive. Life does not begin at 24 weeks, the brains formulation does (for the most part). This is our disagreement, as I would assume you believe that one is not qualitatively experiencing whatsoever until they have the proper brain parts. Correct?
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello T Clark,

    Do you think your moral judgments should be used as the basis for laws restricting access to abortion?

    Yes, I do.

    Anyone who wants to restrict abortion and birth control should be sent to live in Alabama.

    (: I agree.
  • 180 Proof
    14.8k
    Yes, it seems you believe that minds are dis-embodied (i.e. dis-encephalized), Bob, whereas we know that minds are embodied (i.e. encephalized). Also, as a dual-aspect monist (i.e. Spinozist) who therefore discounts panpsychism, I do not 'equate life with mind' (e.g. bacteria, etc are mindless).
  • NotAristotle
    281
    Abortion is always wrong. It's not complicated.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.3k


    I'm pro-choice and find that in the inviolability of our physical integrity. I choose what goes in and comes out of my body.

    ?
  • 180 Proof
    14.8k
    Abortion is always wrong. It's not complicated.NotAristotle
    For you it's "always wrong", so don't do it. For others, it's not "always wrong". Live and let live, because "it's not complicated" except for a*holes. :victory: :mask:
  • NotAristotle
    281
    Live and let live180 Proof

    That's what I'm sayin!
  • LuckyR
    451
    Abortion is always wrong. It's not complicated


    A commonish, yet minority opinion.

    Though in cases, such as this one which features competing interests it is expected that some folks will find one argument more to their liking than the other. Therefore why it is pure bravado to use terminology such as "always" in such cases.
  • Agree-to-Disagree
    423
    I think abortion is really terrible method of birth control and should be avoided if possible. It's a bad thing. Good access to sex education, birth control, and support for pregnant mothers and families should be the first line of action.T Clark

    I agree with this. There are a number of other issues which also complicate abortion:
    - other locations whose restrictions on abortion are less strict (different state or country). Women who are wealthy enough can go to one of these locations. Woman who are not wealthy enough can't use this method of getting an abortion
    - the existence of the abortion pill
    - the possibility of backstreet abortions with more risk to women
    - the effect on the mental health of a woman if abortions are prevented
    - the effect on the women's other children (e.g. money, food, etc being spread over more children)
    - the fact that the man can "walk away", but the woman can't if she is prevented from getting an abortion. The woman can end up carrying the burden alone
    - if abortion is illegal then what punishment is given to a woman who gets an abortion. Will there be "abortion police", which takes away resources from fighting other crimes? How many extra prisons will need to be built to hold women who have had abortions?
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    2.6k
    Abortion is always wrong. It's not complicated.NotAristotle

    I agree, it is discriminatory against men. Medical science has discriminated against men in multiple ways including its failure to offer any options for abortion procedures on the reproductive capacity of men. Also, look at the disparity in contraceptive options. It's ludicrous.
  • Agree-to-Disagree
    423
    I agree, it is discriminatory against men. Medical science has discriminated against men in multiple ways including its failure to offer any options for abortion procedures on the reproductive capacity of men.Merkwurdichliebe

    Don't worry, medical science is trying to reduce discrimination against men by allowing them to have a womb transplant. This further complicates the issue of abortion. Will a man with a womb transplant be allowed to have an abortion?

    Biological men set to carry children for first time after womb transplant breakthroughwww.dailymail.co.uk
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    There are a number of other issues which also complicate abortion:Agree-to-Disagree

    Sure, but I think those can be boiled down to two major issues 1) People should be allowed to have control over their own bodies 2) Based on @Bob Ross's judgment, which I don't share, the life and well-being of the fetus are more important than the pregnant woman's.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    2.6k
    Don't worry, medical science is trying to reduce discrimination against men by allowing them to have a womb transplant. This further complicates the issue of abortion.Agree-to-Disagree

    Interesting. I see no reason why men with transplanted wombs would be exempt from abortion procedures. I wonder, would there be a natural way to impregnate men without any external medical assistance
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    medical science is trying to reduce discrimination against men by allowing them to have a womb transplant.Agree-to-Disagree

    There's a technical term for men who can give birth. They call them "women."
  • Agree-to-Disagree
    423
    Sure, but I think those can be boiled down to two major issues 1) People should be allowed to have control over their own bodies ...T Clark

    Some of the points that I have listed go beyond the issue of whether people should be allowed to have control over their own bodies. They show what the possible consequences are of preventing women from getting abortions. Does "society" want to pay that price?

    When abortion is debated in our current political context, one of the primary arguments adopted by its advocates is that it is an essential means by which women retain autonomy over their bodies.

    Putting aside discussion of the relative merits of this claim, it’s notable that the idea of bodily autonomy was not a common line of argument adopted when abortion was first legalised in Britain in 1967. Instead, abortion campaigners were primarily successful because they tapped into public fears (and therefore politicians’ concerns) that women were dying from backstreet abortions. This article seeks to interrogate the argument that backstreet abortions are a justification for legalised abortion.

    This is a far more powerful defence of abortion than the concept of bodily autonomy, which is easier to dispute scientifically and philosophically. It sits neatly in the middle of the abortion debate, providing even those who possess moral discomfort with the termination of foetal life an adequate reason to believe legal abortion continues to be necessary. Indeed, such a perspective, with its appeal to compassion and practicality, is undoubtedly appealing to many Christians.
    care.org.uk
  • Benkei
    7.4k
    Yes, that's something else than bodily autonomy. Physical integrity doesn't preclude detainment for instance.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    2.6k
    woman...that is some advanced scientific lexicon
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.3k


    Are those special terms? I just meant that we can't have a principal by which "what goes in and comes out of our bodies is inviolably our right," and still have laws most of us like.

    Just on a basic level, laws against public defecation or laws against exhibitionist public sexual acts are, by definition, restrictions on that sort of thing. But I think they're plenty supportable.

    More clear cut are statutes against consensual sexual relations between adults and minors up to some "age of consent," that is generally set to early adulthood or at least late adolescence in much of the world. The codification of statutory rape is itself a government restriction on what goes into people's bodies. While such statutes are sometimes abused, like when they are used to prosecute relations between two people of close age, I think we can generally support these sorts of laws for instances when one party is well into adulthood, a teacher, etc.

    But they are cases where society is making these sorts of restrictions and saying one cannot consent to x or y, regardless of what one says.

    Laws against the use of illegal drugs work on similar grounds. And while we might not agree that prohibition in its current format works, I think most people would support some state restrictions on who is allowed to put these substances in their body. E.g., we shouldn't sell heroin to 12 year olds, or maybe we shouldn't even sell cigarettes to those under 21.

    Conscription is just a defacto violation these sorts of principles because in many contexts a great deal of all people conscripted for some task are going to end up with things in their body that they don't want there. Like naval aviators and submarine crews in World War Two generally had fatality rates of 70-90%, water and shells ending up where they didn't want them.
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello 180 Proof,

    Yes, it seems you believe that minds are dis-embodied (i.e. dis-encephalized), Bob, whereas we know that minds are embodied (i.e. encephalized).

    They are “dis-embodied”, for me, insofar as the body is an extrinsic representation, a product of the thing-in-itself conforming to my representative faculties which produce it synthetically as tangible, of a mixture of reality + myself (i.e., my mind).

    Also, “we know that minds are embodied” just begs the question, as that is the whole debate in philosophy of mind and you are thereby presupposing physicalism as true.

    Also, as a dual-aspect monist (i.e. Spinozist) who therefore discounts panpsychism, I do not 'equate life with mind' (e.g. bacteria, etc are mindless).

    By ‘panpsychism’, are you referring to idealism? If so, then I think Spinoza can very easily be interpreted as an idealist.

    Secondly, I would like to hear more about your irreductivist approach to explanation; for, to me, it seems like you are wanting the cake and wanting to eat it too. I genuinly don’t understand how an entity can be derived or composed of a set of entities and its relations but there are somehow properities it has which are irreducible to those set of entities and relations between those entities. Of course, I may be just completely misunderstanding: could you elaborate on your theory of explanation here?
  • Bob Ross
    1.5k


    Hello T Clark,

    Sure, but I think those can be boiled down to two major issues 1) People should be allowed to have control over their own bodies 2) Based on @Bob Ross's judgment, which I don't share, the life and well-being of the fetus are more important than the pregnant woman's.

    #1 is false as an absolute moral principle, and true if relative to various factors in the circumstance.

    #2 is an incorrect formulation of my position: I never said that the well-being of the fetus is more important than the pregnant woman’s. In fact, I sided with pro-choice in the matter of rape (for reasons already expounded in the OP).
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Some of the points that I have listed go beyond the issue of whether people should be allowed to have control over their own bodies. They show what the possible consequences are of preventing women from getting abortions. Does "society" want to pay that price?Agree-to-Disagree

    You're right, I oversimplified.

    abortion campaigners were primarily successful because they tapped into public fears (and therefore politicians’ concerns) that women were dying from backstreet abortions.care.org.uk

    I don't find this a particularly compelling argument. If we agree that it's morally correct to prevent women from having abortions, which of course I don't, then the fact that they're putting themselves at risk is their responsibility, not ours.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    woman...that is some advanced scientific lexiconMerkwurdichliebe

    You're lucky to have me here to keep you up to date on all the most advanced medical findings.
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