• ToothyMaw
    410
    At what point does a fetus become a person in the philosophical sense? I've always thought it was when they became conscious and sentient. But I recently came across the argument that one might be justified in killing someone who is braindead in a coma and who has a chance of waking up if its okay to kill fetuses that are not aware and cannot feel. It seems to me that there is a solution to this. If we adopt the idea of a moral ledger in which unsatisfied preferences are entered then one can tie those to the braindead person in the coma. They shouldn't be killed because they have not yet satisfied all of their existing preferences, which still exist despite one's mental condition. And btw Peter Singer came up with the moral ledger bit. I'm not that smart.
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    Seems pretty convoluted to me, and I think this type of argument glosses over a pretty important thing:

    Pregnancies don't magically happen.

    The vast majority of abortions is performed on people who voluntarily engaged in intercourse and were fully aware of the risks. They accepted the risk and subsequently chose to kill a living being rather than carry responsibility for their actions. I don't see how one would justify that.

    An attempt at justifying abortions that do not belong to that category would be interesting.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    people who voluntarily engaged in intercourse and were fully aware of the risks.Tzeentch

    Abortion is a horrible thing. It is almost equally horrible to consider pregnancy or birth a "risk". In fact they go together. As if having children is a punishment strangely visited only on women for having intercourse.

    Abortion is the desperate measure of a woman in a hostile society that gives her or her children no value or a negative value. Start there, and moralise the society that so disrespects life as to put its women in such a position.
  • tim wood
    6.7k
    They accepted the risk and subsequently chose to kill a living being rather than carry responsibility for their actions.Tzeentch
    Let's generalize this to see if there's an inner logic, apart from the moral front-loading.

    "They" did X, Y resulted, and they did Z to undo Y. And this is the way the world works. The list of things we are condemned a priori to endure is relatively short. Existential freedom, life, death - and taxes. Maybe not taxes; there is always revolution.

    So make your case without the baggage. We can simplify it, even. Proposition: It is always wrong to terminate any human pregnancy at any point. This, or edit to something that you can argue.

    .... And what unenlightened said....
  • ToothyMaw
    410

    Would you argue that a justification for abortion arises out of the existence of an autonomous person's rights? Because ending a human's life might be argued to be an act that prevents an intrinsically valuable being capable of having preferences and feeling pleasure from entering the world. At the very least conservatives seem to put this kind of value on the fetus's life. How would you argue against this?
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    Abortion is a horrible thing. It is almost equally horrible to consider pregnancy or birth a "risk". In fact they go together. As if having children is a punishment strangely visited only on women for having intercourse.

    Abortion is the desperate measure of a woman in a hostile society that gives her or her children no value or a negative value. Start there, and moralise the society that so disrespects life as to put its women in such a position.
    unenlightened

    I'm on board with the first part.

    As for the second, I don't think societal norms can serve as justification for people's behavior. At most they can give us insight into their motivation or reasoning.
  • ToothyMaw
    410


    I don't think the unenlightened is arguing that abortion is okay because its fashionable or because its socially acceptable; I believe they're saying that women are treated terribly often times and that they face hard choices. But correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Tzeentch
    1k


    In the case of voluntary intercourse by individuals aware of the possible consequences:

    Killing a living being is a tragic matter.

    So,

    Needlessly putting oneself in a situation where one may have to kill a living being is immoral.
  • ToothyMaw
    410


    Is it wrong to rip a carrot out of the ground and eat it? You might have to swear off vegetables.
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    It is tragic, at least.
  • ToothyMaw
    410


    But its a vegetable. It cannot feel; it is not sentient or conscious. If you think its wrong to kill fetuses that are non-persons then you must have a problem with killing vegetables, or all life. You must also abstain from eating meat. I don't see any tragedy in eating a head of broccoli.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    In the case of voluntary intercourse by individuals aware of the possible consequences:Tzeentch

    Yes, you rightly change the wording, from 'risk' to the more neutral 'consequence'. But it is very little improvement. Are you the consequence of a fuck? Is that what a person is? Please, stop thinking like this in the first place, because the death of consequences will follow automatically from seeing people as consequences.
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    Yes, I believe it is tragic to kill something that's alive. I would consider it tragic to have to cut down a tree, so it stands to reason I would feel the same way about a carrot.
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    Argue semantics with someone else.
  • ToothyMaw
    410

    Well I respect you then. Many are very inconsistent on that point.

    I don't think Tzeentch is depreciating the value of fetuses, but rather the autonomy of women. He just doesn't want anything killed.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    I don't think Tzeentch is depreciating the value of fetuses, but rather the autonomy of women. He just doesn't want anything killed.Aleph Numbers

    I think he is a typical anti-abortionist that wants to lay down the law without taking an iota of responsibility. And that's another abortion debate aborted.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    Why arent you advocating for all the tragic loss of plant life? Bugs? Bacteria? Many magnitudes more bacteria die that all other life combined, so you are ignoring the greatest tragic loss of life in favour of focusing on the many magnitudes less tragic loss of life that are the abortion numbers. Why is that?
  • ToothyMaw
    410
    He just admitted that he cares about all life.
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    I don't think Tzeentch is depreciating the value of fetuses, but rather the autonomy of women.Aleph Numbers

    Nowhere did I state that people shouldn't be allowed to make immoral decisions, so I don't think I am doing any harm to anyone's autonomy.
  • ToothyMaw
    410

    You didn't answer my earlier question. What's your argument against human life being intrinsically valuable because that life can eventually feel pleasure and have preferences?
    Most argue that a woman's autonomy outweighs the fetus's life. You claimed that women should "bear the consequences", which I can only assume means carry the child to term. That, whether or not its correct, remains to be an erosion of autonomy. You did use the word should after all.
  • ToothyMaw
    410

    lol I feel stupid. Yes he should be focusing on those other things.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    He is casting a moral judgement, not a prescription for what a women should be allowed or not allowed to do.

    Lol, missed that comment. You aren’t stupid, as evidence I submit that you recognised your...oversight there, and further Id suggest this makes you a good, rational, critical thinker.
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    Why arent you advocating the all the tragic loss of plant life? Bugs? Bacteria? Many magnitudes more bacteria die that all other life combined, so you are ignoring the greatest tragic loss of life in favour of focusing on the many magnitudes less tragic loss of life that are the abortion numbers. Why is that?DingoJones

    Tragedy is a fact of life.

    However, humans have the unique ability to act in ways that cause it, or avoid it as much as possible. That is why my own actions, and human action in general, interest me.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    Ah, I see. So would it be fair to say the answer to my question is that you are focusing on abortion because it is there that moral judgements can be made and that this isnt the case with bacteria?
  • ToothyMaw
    410
    I see that he did that. Fair enough. But if its immoral it ought not to be done right? Or am I missing something?
  • Tzeentch
    1k
    I am focusing on abortion because it is the topic of this thread.
  • ToothyMaw
    410
    Yes but you should be writing copious essay about the cruelties visited upon ants.
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    What's your argument against human life being intrinsically valuable because that life can eventually feel pleasure and have preferences?Aleph Numbers

    I don't argue it. My argument is more simple; if you do not want abortions (and no one thinks they are a good thing worth getting pregnant for), if you value the unborn highly as most pregnant women do and most men do, then you should value the women who carry them and the children that they become. You cannot reasonably make them other peoples risk, consequence, fault, responsibility, problem, and also complain about how they deal with their problems. A society that does not care for the child and the mother has no standing from which to moralise about them, any more than a society that drives women into prostitution has any standing from which to moralise about prostitutes.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    Well he expressly stated that he isnt doing harm to anyones autonomy, and that people are free to be immoral. I think that covers him, but of course I could be missing something too. Its a fine line maybe, but it seems valid to me.
  • ToothyMaw
    410

    Well I'm a white man so maybe I'm moralizing here, but I don't think that no one cares about the child; in fact I would argue that people care too much about fetuses, being they're non-persons for much of their existence. No one has these kinds of attitudes about factory farming. More to the point, I agree that it should be a personal decision on the part of the woman and that a better foster care system should be set up. But I think its okay to have these kinds of debates. But even if women are driven to get abortions by society, that doesn't make abortion moral. So I guess that's where we disagree. Nevertheless it might make condemning women extremely distasteful.
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