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Disabled Children - Abortion?

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Poll
If you knew you'd have a disabled child, would you consider abortion?
Yes.
Never!
Depends on the disability.
Maybe.
I'd consider the opinion of my partner.
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lynira
Post #592361
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11:01 pm, Mar 25 2013
Posts: 433


Quote from jelzin89
1. living means being able to sustain yourself. zygotes and embryos can't do that. they need the mother's body to do that
That's an interesting idea, but it can't be correct, because there are many cases in which a human being cannot survive without outside support, yet we still say they are living human beings:
a. People with renal failure cannot sustain themselves without being hooked up to a dialysis machine, which is outside support. But it would be ridiculous to say that they are not living human beings. (There are countless similar cases. Many diabetics can't sustain themselves without the outside support of regular injections/being hooked up to an insulin pump, yet no one would agree that diabetics aren't living human beings. There are people who can't sustain themselves without being hooked up to oxygen systems (due to being in a serious accident, having poor lung function, etc.), yet we still say they are living human beings. etc.)
b. People with serious mental disabilities can't sustain themselves without the outside support of others feeding them, clothing them, providing shelter for them. They've got no capacity do do those things for themselves. Yet mentally disabled people are still living human beings.
c. People who are paralyzed from the neck down can't sustain themselves without another person providing for them (food, clothes, moving them around, bathing them, etc.). But those people are still living human beings.
d. Even after being born, babies cannot sustain themselves without the outside support of another person (food, clothes, shelter, etc.). Yet we still say that babies after they are born are living human beings.

Also, think very carefully about what you told me: You said that embryos aren't living because they can't sustain themselves without the mother's body. This means you recognize the fact that an embryo will die without the mother's support--in other words, you admit that an embryo is capable of dying. But in order to be capable of dying, a creature must necessarily first be living!

Quote from jelzin89
a zygote is not automatically a full being. and especially not a human since "we" need more criteria than other beings.
But you just agreed with me in #2 that what is necessary for an organism to be human is to have a set of human DNA... You changed your mind?

Quote from jelzin89
in the definition the gift of reason the the ability of speech are included to divide us from other animals.
Advanced reasoning skills and speech cannot be necessary requirements for humanity, because there are living human beings without those qualities.
a. Severely mentally disabled people may have reasoning skills which are only on the level of a lower animal like, for example, a mouse or bird, yet we still say they are living human beings. So advanced reasoning skills can't be necessary.
b. There are people who are deaf, mute, cannot read, and don't know sign language, so they do not understand any language. But I can't possibly imagine anyone would say that a deaf-mute and illiterate person wasn't a living human being. So speech (nor language) can't be necessary.

Quote from jelzin89
to be called a person you have to be aware of your own existence independend from others.
There are some mentally disabled people who cannot even recognize that. Yet all mentally disabled people are living human beings too, so what you say can't be correct. Also, what is your justification for why that is necessary for humanity? It seems a bit random.

I think that I've addressed all of your points... if I've missed one, please remind me. Or if you have any other objections/questions, please ask. This issue is too important... Lives of innocent people are at stake, so I want to make sure I explain thoroughly so that you can understand the truth of things. Even if only one person's life is saved, it's worth the effort.

Quote from jelzin89
no sane person would think he can just g and kill a baby because it's not a person.
But every day, many people do exactly that by having an abortion. And the main justification is that "no one is really dying, because an embryo/fetus isn't a person anyway."


Last edited by lynira at 11:15 pm, Mar 25

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-shiratori-
Post #592369
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11:47 pm, Mar 25 2013
Posts: 469


It's a very hard decision and for me it would entirely depend on the type of disability.

@lynira

A person is a being with conciousness. Anything without conciousness cannot be considered a person because it isn't even aware that it exists. Even 5 months old embryos are not persons yet. And a disabled human without conciousness (which I believe doesn't exist) would be no more than an animal.

The usual argument you hear from pro-life advocates is that an embryo, no matter how small it is will eventually grow up into a human being and thus aborting it is immoral. However, this line of thought doesn't need to stop at the fertilization. Potentially every egg and every sperm has the ability to create en embryo. Using this argument is like saying that a woman who is not pregnant every single hour of her life is killing the countless unborn babies that she could have had with her eggs. Thinking like this is madness! You need to draw the line somewhere, and this is usually done when the embryo starts to feel pain.

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Saons
Post #592372
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12:15 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 442


It really depends. My sister's got down's syndrome and autism. My mother only knew about the down's syndrome when she was in the womb, as her autism was regressive, and obviously kept her because down's can be very high functioning (though the autism proved her very much in need of care).
I know what goes into the care of a disabled child. There are many different areas of the spectrum, from children unable to live past a couple of hours after birth (take, for example, Edward's Syndrome), from those who are consciously able but physically paralyzed, to ones like my sister with some compromises of the brain.
That being said I don't know a lot about abortion laws -- Can you abort a child with down's syndrome just because you don't want to deal with it? How late are disabilities detected in pregnancy?

It's a tough decision; near impossible to make without actually being in that situation. However, if you knowingly carry a child with Edward's Syndrome into the world, well, I think you're just plain cruel.

Either way, I wouldn't carry the child to term if I didn't want to. Thankfully my country allows abortion.

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Vudoodude
Post #592376 - Reply to (#592216) by lynira
Member

12:28 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 315


Quote from lynira
...It's true that it's easy to say what's right and much harder to do it. But there's no reason good enough to justify killing a helpless and innocent person.

This is the view taken by the law, and rightly so. (If you kill my 19-year-old mentally disabled cousin because you don't think his life is worth living, or because his existence makes your life harder (financially, socially, and/or psychologically), you will be charged and convicted of first-degree murder (even if you were his mother). Because you've killed someone innocent.) But currently an exception is made that it is okay to kill people before they have come out of the womb, because many people do not understand that preborn babies are people too....


I think it's legal to kill an innocent person if you are threatened or forced to do so, i.e. your life is directly in danger (not a comment on abortion but just a note that even murder can be justified, just linking it back to the fact that nothing is cold cut and straightforward).

The comment on judgmental principles isn't based on anyone in particular but just a general statement. Often what I find is that anyone any everyone who sits on any extreme of an argument are there because of their stubbornness rather than their intelligence. It's these kind of people that will refute all logic and all evidence out of blind faith, the exact sort of people who shouldn't be in any form of debate or discussion.

No one on this planet is omniscient and no one on this planet is always right. Right and wrong varies depending on the era. While slavery was once widely accepted, it is now illegal. The only reason why these changes happen though is because people argue, debate, and discuss, and while many people are reasonable people that will change views or submit to facts and logic, there are those that are extremely stubborn and will not change their views. What this stubbornness leads to is war.

As for the terrible killing of innocent people who deserve a chance to live, I once again go back to the cold truth of the wild, the weak die and the strong survive. While society is an invention of man designed to counter nature's will (it seems mankind always seeks to oppose nature in any and every way possible), it allows the weak to survive by coming together and working together. If the disability in the child is one so serious that it would permanently impair the child's growth and ability to one day function in society, than abortion may be a viable option.

I myself do not fully support abortions because like most things, people tend to abuse the hell out of anything and everything, but I will not vote to ban it completely either because there will always be situations that may justify it no matter how rare it may be. I think instead, abortions should be heavily screened and scrutinized under strict conditions, but disability would be one of the justifiable factors as long as it permanently impedes the child's ability to one day join society.

And lastly, the one "truth" in the world is that anything that lives can die. This is not a statement on abortion, but just death in general. From an ethical or morale standpoint, the death/murder may seem unjustified, cruel, and wrong, but remember that ethics and morality is a human construct. Animals do not have it, nature does not follow it, and murphy's law denies it.

Vudoodude
Post #592381
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1:03 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 315


Double post but because I talk in walls of text it might make it easier to read than an edit.

The one mistake people make is one the definition of living and the definition of human. Living from a scientific definition has strict parameters that include metabolism, self-sustainability and reproduction, While the zygote may not be a human, it is indeed living. Face it, all cells are living. Viruses cannot reproduce (on their own or without a host) and are not considered living. Prions are protein structures but they are not considered living. A zygote will split and reproduce into many units so it is indeed living. It is as alive as the brain cells in our head or the muscle cells in our body.

A zygote is not a human though. It does not have the organs that constitute a human nor does it exist on the same scale as humans, humans are generally 1-2m tall, zygotes are measured in micrometers. An egg is not a chicken, a caterpillar is not a butterfly, and a dollar is not ten dollars, although in all of these cases the former can become the latter through growth and or time. Nevertheless they are not the same.

With that said, a zygote inside a woman's body can be considered akin to a parasitic organism, a creature that is in fact feasting off of the nutrients of its host. As such, a woman should technically have the right to eliminate it, just like eliminating any parasite, cyst, or growth inside their body. It is BECAUSE this zygote can become a human that people immediately apply morality and ethics to it and started considering it as a human. When they look at the zygote, they look not at its existence, but it's potential to become and they take a heavily optimistic approach to it.

The truth is, even when the embryo becomes fertilized there are many factors that may cause a miscarriage. There are countless couples that fail to conceive due to these various factors (ironically those that cannot conceive want a child, and those that can conceive want to abort). Despite these odds, people take an optimistic approach and assume the zygote will indeed survive to birth and become a full human, but this is under normal circumstances. In circumstances in which disability and genetic abnormalities are involved, a negative approach should be taken, not to be a douche bag but to prepare for the worse, i.e. will the zygote fully grow, will the child exist beyond a few years, will the child be able to grow up and join society.


To address some of the points you brought up though (these are not here to outright refute them but to bring up points that weaken the argument)

People with with renal failure are dependent on machines to survive, but they were living before they had the renal failure. By depending on machines to survive, TECHNICALLY they are a type of cyborg, a sort of synthetic life that does not normally exist in nature but is alive thanks to humanity and mankind's inventions (another way humans defy nature).

People who have mental disabilities or are paralyzed are once again alive due to a human invention, society. They exist due to the support of their family, and of society, but in nature they would be abandoned (or if you're a hamster, eaten by your mother).

There are also animals in the wild that have babies that are independent from birth, such as the sea turtles. They are buried on beaches and survive on their own from the start, crawling to the ocean and surviving in the ocean alone.

From the scientific point, once again, living and self-sustaining does not relate to a baby's dependency on the parent to protect them. Babies are weak and need protection. It relates to the baby's ability to natural metabolize food and to ingest food. Are you putting the bottle in its mouth and the baby is sucking, or are you shoving food down its throat and or stomach via a tube? Is the body metabolizing the food itself, or are you metabolizing it through a machine?

You note on human and DNA, we share 90%+ DNA with all living beings in the world. Does that make us a monkey, fly, or wombat? I made a spoon out of wood, does that make it a tree? I have tumor that was removed from my body, does that make it human? It certainly has my DNA.

Once again, just points to weaken the argument. Like everything, nothing is in black and white but are in varying shades of grey.

-shiratori-
Post #592382 - Reply to (#592376) by Vudoodude
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1:11 am, Mar 26 2013
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Quote from Vudoodude
Right and wrong varies depending on the era.


Nonononononononono

Don't make yourself a slave to the zeitgeist. If I lived 500 years ago my views on slavery wouldn't suddenly change just because it's now socially acceptable. Have the courage to think for yourself and create your own system of ethics. Most humans utterly failing at this is the reason why things like the Holocaust could even happen.

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Post #592384 - Reply to (#592382) by -shiratori-
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Quote from -shiratori-
Nonononononononono

Don't make yourself a slave to the zeitgeist. If I lived 500 years ago my views on slavery wouldn't suddenly change just because it's now socially acceptable. Have the courage to think for yourself and create your own system of ethics. Most humans utterly failing at this is the ...


So true, the only thing that changes from era to era is technology, not people. That is why history is such an important factor, if we don't learn from it, it's doomed to repeat itself.

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AliceinAmestris
Post #592385
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1:35 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 343


It really depends on the point in life I'm at as well as the type of deformity. Personally I am not willing to look after someone 24/7 for the rest of my life then still have to worry about there whole well being after I am unable to do so. I don't want that kind of responsibility. If it is what I deem a small deformity then chances are I won't. But if I am not currently ready to have any type of child more or less a disabled one then yes I will abort, like if I we're not emotionally/physically/financially stable.

For me I am prochoice. I have no right to tell someone else what to do with their body and neither should anyone else. Of course there are exceptions such as if it were a severe health risk to them and those around them.

Vudoodude
Post #592389 - Reply to (#592382) by -shiratori-
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2:26 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 315


Quote from -shiratori-
Nonononononononono

Don't make yourself a slave to the zeitgeist. If I lived 500 years ago my views on slavery wouldn't suddenly change just because it's now socially acceptable. Have the courage to think for yourself and create your own system of ethics. Most humans utterly failing at this is the ...


Your views on slavery WOULD change because morality and ethics is not something we are born with, it is something we are taught. It is something that society develops THROUGH history and through reviewing past actions. No one is born knowing right and wrong, and you're absolutely conceited if you think you're any different. Your views on slavery come from what you learned through history, your experiences with various ethnic groups and what your parents teach you. the foundation of right and wrong is instilled into us through our parents. The remaining is developed through what we learn.

How you think, and what you believe is "thinking for yourself" is nothing but self-delusion. How you think, and why you think that way is based off of genetics, environment, and luck. Genetics determine the foundation of your intelligence and your ability to think, environment is the education and upbringing that allows you to think the way you do, and luck is the combination of decisions and experiences that shape your current thoughts. These factors are why no two people think exactly the same about everything, but many people share one common view.

What you are implying by saying "Have the courage to think for yourself and create your own system of ethics" is asking to pull bullshit out of thin air. What are you basing the ethics from, where do your thoughts come from, what experiences bring about such thoughts? DO NOT mistaken the order of things. We experience things therefore we can reflect on them, learn from them, and build upon them, not the other way around.

If you lived in an era where slavery was socially accepted, then you would in turn grow up seeing and believing that slavery is socially accepted. In the roman era, in the early civilizations of mankind, slavery was a socially and morally accepted fact. You cannot refute it because it is written in history. In that era, slavery was not based solely on ethnicity (i.e. skin color, or slavery from war), but on financial reasons as well (the inability to pay debt, own land, or being sold off by your family).

During these times, there was no need for any cultural revolution to end slavery because the morality and the ability did not exist. In an era where gladiator fights were permitted and where dying was common, people didn't even name their children until they grew up to a certain age! They simply numbered them! When they're worried about starving and when they are oppressed by an emperor, they have neither the free voice, nor the convenience to think about others.

The social revolution that freed black slaves came about, not because everyone MAGICALLY knew that slavery was wrong, but because slowly through interactions with these slaves, they realized that they weren't very different from one another. Living in an era of democracy where free speech and other basic rights were made, they finally had an opportunity to think of more than just life and death, to think of more than just themselves and to start considering the feelings of other people.

There is no universal right and wrong, and if there was it would be something humans could not possibly conceive. In our limited wisdom and experiences, we cannot hope to create a morality so powerful that it encompasses anything and everything, and will survive the test of time. That is why even today, we cannot bring society together to solidly believe in one universal right and wrong. Killing is wrong, but permitted in war? In self defense?

America can't even agree on right and wrong within their own country. They have different values depending on what state you go to! You're honestly trying to tell me that morality is not based on the location and era when AMERICA itself is a prime example of it? Are you honestly telling people to create their own system of ethics based on nothing? That kind of thought would only lead to complete anarchy and the collapse of society. It is society that dictates the ethics and morality, and it is the ethics and morality that bind us together. Those that break these ethics, criminals, become punished according to the collective will of the people that shaped this thought of ethics and morality.

The holocaust did not occur because people failed to think for themselves and create their own ethics. Creating your own ethics from nothing is impossible. The holocaust occurred because as group in power manipulated the concept of right and wrong within people to allow them to do what they wanted. In an era where globalization was still in its infancy, information was not so readily available as it is now, so those under the dictatorship could only learn and experience what the dictatorship allowed them to think. Those that learned of greener greens on the next pasture over were quickly silenced.

Compare it today, most of the middle east was in a similar situation until the internet provided a fountain of information which allowed them to shape and change their morals. In North Korea, information is highly restricted solely to control ethics and morality and in turn, the minds of the people. You talk about creating you own ethics, but what you don't realize is that YOUR ethics are also a creation of the media, of your experiences, and of what your parents teach you. It is because you have access to a vast amount of information that you can make these decisions, but if you were living in Korea, if you were living 500 years ago, if you were living in the Roman era, your ethics would coincide with theirs because ultimately,your knowledge and information would restrict you to that level.


Monkey_Fist
Post #592391
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2:54 am, Mar 26 2013
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Oi, that's a tough one...

Well...going off on what my mother once told me, blood is symbolic for life. Summing up what she said, if you kill someone, it affects you mentally and you lose your innocence as a human being because you can never un-see or un-do the damage that has been done.

Now, relating that to abortion, you can look at it two ways:
1) It's an ill-fated fertilized egg cell that will inevitably suffer much mental and physical pain, and in an honest sense, abortion would simply put the poor thing out of any misery it would face.
or 2) Life, no matter what form, shape, size or circumstance is life. Aborting the baby would affect both potential parents, skarring them emotionally for life.

Plus, there is also the personal decision whether or not you would consider poor thing a human life or not, which would abide or disregard all the previous life philosophy i just typed above this.

--
Thus, my answer is that I would probably talk to my partner about the matter before deciding on anything because I have high doubts I could make that kind of a decision on my own without hesitation.

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strixflash
Post #592395 - Reply to (#592205) by Mamsmilk
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3:46 am, Mar 26 2013
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Quote from Mamsmilk
If it will be too much of a hassle and constant suffering for everyone, sure thing.


This. Philosophy of not killing child due to his/her disability is just good in fiction not in real life. Why to make someone's life a living hell?

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Post #592396 - Reply to (#592389) by Vudoodude
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4:25 am, Mar 26 2013
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Quote from Vudoodude
Your views on slavery WOULD change because morality and ethics is not something we are born with, it is something we are taught. It is something that society develops THROUGH history and through reviewing past actions. No one is born knowing right and wrong, and you're absolutely conceited if you think you're any different. Your views on slavery come from what you learned through history, your experiences with various ethnic groups and what your parents teach you. the foundation of right and wrong is instilled into us through our parents. The remaining is developed through what we learn.


My views on slavery don't primarily come from experiences or learning history, but from my ability to empathize with the slaves. Something which wouldn't change for my alter ego born 500 years ago (hello genetics). Also it's not society that develops ethics, it's individuals. The ethics of a society are just a reflection of what the majority of the ruling class thinks.

Quote from Vudoodude
How you think, and what you believe is "thinking for yourself" is nothing but self-delusion. How you think, and why you think that way is based off of genetics, environment, and luck. Genetics determine the foundation of your intelligence and your ability to think, environment is the education and upbringing that allows you to think the way you do, and luck is the combination of decisions and experiences that shape your current thoughts. These factors are why no two people think exactly the same about everything, but many people share one common view.


I believe in free will thank you. Everyone is responsible for his own actions and thus is my credit if I think for myself.

Quote from Vudoodude
What you are implying by saying "Have the courage to think for yourself and create your own system of ethics" is asking to pull bullshit out of thin air. What are you basing the ethics from, where do your thoughts come from, what experiences bring about such thoughts? DO NOT mistaken the order of things. We experience things therefore we can reflect on them, learn from them, and build upon them, not the other way around.


So what? Maybe I was harassed one time too much in my life and that's why I can't stand seeing people get bullied anymore. That's an experience you can make in any era. You are just making up excuses for yourself by asserting that everything is influenced by genetics and the environment so you hold no responsibility. In every era there have been people who set themselves free of the zeitgeist and developed a revolutionary set of ethics or beliefs. That can be persons like Jesus or Buddha who exported their beliefs in the entire world or just the common nameless noble living in 14th century England that thought slavery was wrong. If these people were not there then the ethics of a society would be stale and unable to change over time. Just like technological progress would be almost impossible without genius scientists and inventors.


Quote from Vudoodude
If you lived in an era where slavery was socially accepted, then you would in turn grow up seeing and believing that slavery is socially accepted. In the roman era, in the early civilizations of mankind, slavery was a socially and morally accepted fact. You cannot refute it because it is written in history. In that era, slavery was not based solely on ethnicity (i.e. skin color, or slavery from war), but on financial reasons as well (the inability to pay debt, own land, or being sold off by your family).

During these times, there was no need for any cultural revolution to end slavery because the morality and the ability did not exist. In an era where gladiator fights were permitted and where dying was common, people didn't even name their children until they grew up to a certain age! They simply numbered them! When they're worried about starving and when they are oppressed by an emperor, they have neither the free voice, nor the convenience to think about others.


Of course it was socially accepted. My whole point is that it is bad to make the standpoint of society your own standpoint without thinking about it.

Quote from Vudoodude
The social revolution that freed black slaves came about, not because everyone MAGICALLY knew that slavery was wrong, but because slowly through interactions with these slaves, they realized that they weren't very different from one another. Living in an era of democracy where free speech and other basic rights were made, they finally had an opportunity to think of more than just life and death, to think of more than just themselves and to start considering the feelings of other people.

There is no universal right and wrong, and if there was it would be something humans could not possibly conceive. In our limited wisdom and experiences, we cannot hope to create a morality so powerful that it encompasses anything and everything, and will survive the test of time. That is why even today, we cannot bring society together to solidly believe in one universal right and wrong. Killing is wrong, but permitted in war? In self defense?

America can't even agree on right and wrong within their own country. They have different values depending on what state you go to! You're honestly trying to tell me that morality is not based on the location and era when AMERICA itself is a prime example of it? Are you honestly telling people to create their own system of ethics based on nothing? That kind of thought would only lead to complete anarchy and the collapse of society. It is society that dictates the ethics and morality, and it is the ethics and morality that bind us together. Those that break these ethics, criminals, become punished according to the collective will of the people that shaped this thought of ethics and morality.


There is and can be no universal right or wrong. Everyone needs to find their own ethics. You call that anarchy? I call it your duty as a human being.

Quote from Vudoodude
The holocaust did not occur because people failed to think for themselves and create their own ethics. Creating your own ethics from nothing is impossible. The holocaust occurred because as group in power manipulated the concept of right and wrong within people to allow them to do what they wanted. In an era where globalization was still in its infancy, information was not so readily available as it is now, so those under the dictatorship could only learn and experience what the dictatorship allowed them to think. Those that learned of greener greens on the next pasture over were quickly silenced.


And why did the manipulation of right and wrong work so nicely? Cause the populace readily accepted the new ethical standards of society without thinking too much about it. You are again excusing the sheer stupidity of ordinary people.

Quote from Vudoodude
Compare it today, most of the middle east was in a similar situation until the internet provided a fountain of information which allowed them to shape and change their morals. In North Korea, information is highly restricted solely to control ethics and morality and in turn, the minds of the people. You talk about creating you own ethics, but what you don't realize is that YOUR ethics are also a creation of the media, of your experiences, and of what your parents teach you. It is because you have access to a vast amount of information that you can make these decisions, but if you were living in Korea, if you were living 500 years ago, if you were living in the Roman era, your ethics would coincide with theirs because ultimately,your knowledge and information would restrict you to that level.


My experiences were different, my views were a bit different possibly, but that does not mean my views would coincide with society. Again you are forgetting the many people who defied the zeitgeist in each era.

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lynira
Post #592397
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4:50 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 433


Quote from -shiratori-
A person is a being with conciousness. Anything without conciousness cannot be considered a person because it isn't even aware that it exists.
That is an interesting idea, but it can't be correct, because there are cases where living human beings do not have consciousness, yet we still say they are people. For example, a person who is unconscious, by definition, does not have consciousness, but it's be ridiculous to say that I'm not a person anymore because I passed out. Also, a person in a coma is not conscious, but we still say he/she is a living human being and therefore a person.

Quote from -shiratori-
The usual argument you hear from pro-life advocates is that an embryo, no matter how small it is will eventually grow up into a human being and thus aborting it is immoral. However, this line of thought doesn't need to stop at the fertilization. Potentially every egg and every sperm has the ability to create en embryo. Using this argument is like saying that a woman who is not pregnant every single hour of her life is killing the countless unborn babies that she could have had with her eggs. Thinking like this is madness!
I agree with you 100% on this. Saying that something is a living human being simply because it has the potential to become one is ridiculous. It is not logical, and the proof (well, one way to prove it) is exactly in the examples you gave.

The reason that embryos and fetuses are human beings has absolutely nothing to do with their potential to grow into a larger human being. They are human beings because they have a full set of unique human DNA, they are living rather than inanimate or dead, and they are separate, whole beings rather than a part of another being. (And of course, eggs and sperm are not living human beings, because they do not meet the criteria necessary to be defined as living human beings.)

Quote from Voodoodude
Right and wrong varies depending on the era.
I think that's called relativism (no truth is absolute; all values, ideas, and statements are purely relative (to time, culture, etc.)), a philosophy that was disproved as early as the days of ancient Greece. I'd love to chat about relativism if you want, but I think it's getting beyond the scope of this thread... this thread isn't really supposed to be about which philosophy correctly describes the universe, so please try to stay on topic. (I don't mean to single you out--those who replied about this should please stay on topic as well.) If you're passionate about it though, feel free to make a separate thread about that. (And please let me know if you do, I'd like to join in.)

Quote from Voodoodude
It does not have the organs that constitute a human nor does it exist on the same scale as humans.
The various organs can not be necessary for humanity because they can be replaced either by ones from somebody else or by machinery.

Quote from Voodoodude
nor does it exist on the same scale as humans, humans are generally 1-2m tall, zygotes are measured in micrometers.
I'm shocked that you'd insist on something as trivial as size to be necessary for humanity. "A person's a person, no matter how small," dude.

Quote from Voodoodude
An egg is not a chicken, a caterpillar is not a butterfly, and a dollar is not ten dollars, although in all of these cases the former can become the latter through growth and or time.
I'm glad you brought this up, as it's a common misconception. People will say "an acorn is not a tree," but actually they are misapplying terms regarding stages of development, rather than making a statement about the actual organism, which is their desire. (because "acorn" and "tree" are developmental stages, not different organisms.) Essentially by saying "an acorn is not a tree," you are saying something parallel to "a child is not an adult" (an acorn is a beginning stage of development for certain plants, just as "child" is a beginning stage of development for humans. "tree" is the adult stage for certain plants, just as "adult" is for humans), which of course is true, but it doesn't prove want the speaker intended. For example, a human child is as much a human being as a human adult. So in saying that a human child is not a human adult, the speaker said something true, but hasn't proven that a human child is not a human being, which is what the speaker intended to prove.

For a more thorough explanation of the examples, see below:
a. "an egg is not a chicken." A fertilized egg is the first stage of the chicken' life span, and by "chicken" in the second part, I assume you mean adult chicken. These are stages of development, not different organisms. So you're saying that "a baby chicken is not an adult chicken." Yes, that's true, but a baby chicken (which is inside the fertilized egg) is as much a chicken as an adult chicken.
b. "a caterpillar is not a butterfly." Let's assume we're talking about, say, the swallowtail. The caterpillar is the larval stage for the swallowtail, and the butterfly is the adult stage. SO you're saying that "a swallowtail caterpillar is not a swallowtail butterfly" or "a swallowtail larva is not a swallowtail adult. Yes, that's true, but both the swallowtail caterpillar and the swallowtail butterfly are both swallowtails. You haven't proven that a swallowtail caterpillar isn't a swallowtail, at all.
c. "1 dollar is not 10 dollars." Here's something different altogether. You're not referring to living creatures at all, and also, 1 dollar doesn't physically "grow" into 10 dollars, like living creatures grow. You just get more dollars. So this analogy isn't applicable to any living creatures, let alone humans.
d. "an acorn is not a tree." So we're talking about an oak. An acorn is the baby stage for an oak, and the tree is it's adult stage. So you're saying "a baby oak is not an adult oak." Yes, that's true, but you haven't proven that an acorn is not an oak.

Quote from Voodoodude
With that said, a zygote inside a woman's body can be considered akin to a parasitic organism, a creature that is in fact feasting off of the nutrients of its host.
It's true that a preborn baby has a parasitic relationship with his/her mother, but it not's just any parasite like a mushroom or something. The preborn baby is a living human being also, with as much right to be alive as the mother. So it'll be killing an innocent human being to kill the preborn baby (embryo, fetus, etc.).

Quote from Voodoodude
It is BECAUSE this zygote can become a human that people immediately apply morality and ethics to it and started considering it as a human. When they look at the zygote, they look not at its existence, but it's potential to become and they take a heavily optimistic approach to it.
The argument that something is human because it has the potential to become human is ridiculous, as shiratori correctly says. The reason a zygote is a living human being is because it satisfies the definition of a living human being, as I described earlier.

Quote from Voodoodude
People with with renal failure are dependent on machines to survive, but they were living before they had the renal failure.
So? They can't sustain themselves anymore. Their status in the past is irrelevant, we're talking about their status now. If "living" is defined as being able to sustain oneself, then someone hooked up to a dialysis machine isn't living anymore. How can you say they're living now and still keep with your definition?

Quote from Voodoodude
People who have mental disabilities or are paralyzed are once again alive due to a human invention, society.
But living means being able to sustain oneself. Isn't that what you said you believe? If so, anyone who can't sustain themselves is not living. Why are you making all these new exceptions to your definition?

Quote from Voodoodude
There are also animals in the wild that have babies that are independent from birth, such as the sea turtles.
Okay, so baby turtles are living, then. But baby humans can't survive independently like that, and it's humans we are talking about here.

Quote from Voodoodude
It relates to the baby's ability to natural metabolize food and to ingest food. Are you putting the bottle in its mouth and the baby is sucking, or are you shoving food down its throat and or stomach via a tube? Is the body metabolizing the food itself, or are you metabolizing it through a machine?
You've clarified what you meant by "sustain oneself"--that's totally acceptable. So a baby who can suck & swallow milk by itself, metabolize its own food is living. But again, you forget there are babies (and adults) who can't. There are people who can't control their jaw/throat in order to ingest food (due to paralysis, serious injury, or unconsciousness). They do indeed need a tube to their stomach. There are even people who have serious metabolic problems, or serious gastrointestinal injury and can't metabolize food properly, who need nutrients through IV. Yet we still say those people are living human beings, so your definition, even with the clarification, still can't be correct.

Quote from Voodoodude
You note on human and DNA, we share 90%+ DNA with all living beings in the world. Does that make us a monkey, fly, or wombat?
Certainly not. In order to be human, I specified that the organism must have completely human DNA. The notion of having DNA which is 90% similar being enough to be considered human was in no way included in the definition, as it would indeed be ridiculous.

Quote from Voodoodude
I have tumor that was removed from my body, does that make it human? It certainly has my DNA.
Please look again at point #3 in the definition. A tumor, or any other part of your body is "human" (its made of human cells that have human DNA), but it's certainly not a living human being, because it's just a part of a larger being, "you". Only a part. The proof that it has to be part of you, is that its DNA is not different from yours.



Last edited by lynira at 5:00 am, Mar 26

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khaledias
Post #592401
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5:17 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 37


This matter as always been interesting for me. I roughly remeber this family that made his son (or daughter) get surgery so (s)he wouldn't grow, making it much more easier to take care of him/her. And I'm fine with "their decision". Taking care of a disabled person is not joking matter, the sacrifices are big, and it's painful in a lot of ways. Again, I understand people's decision of aborting, any normal person would be scared, sometimes it seems parents of disabled chldren blame themselves for their kids sickness. But there is people that will make any sacrifice for this kids, for me this people are true heroes. I'm pretty sure I'm not in that camp though. Anyway this is usually a two person decision, and I would never blame people who give up to the challenge. I'm pretty sure my stand would be pro abortion , and I think you are killing a potencial kid when you abort. But I wouldn't call people who abort, for any reason, murderers. Just people facing a "problem", that doesn't seem to have a right solution. In other note, I "believe" that some disbilities, specially authism and DS, can be overcome at some degree, and even if not overcome, it feels to me that society has yet to grow and find a place in society that fits these people (for example, SD have some kind of emotional inteligence we lack, authists have a different percetion in some subjects that greatly surpass us "normal" people. So I have hope in society, in that we will be able with time to find a way to overcome this problem, that is, our society is too young and inexperienced in this matter, and not a genetic or pathological issue.

-shiratori-
Post #592402 - Reply to (#592397) by lynira
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5:20 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 469


Quote from lynira
That is an interesting idea, but it can't be correct, because there are cases where living human beings do not have consciousness, yet we still say they are people. For example, a person who is unconscious, by definition, does not have consciousness, but it's be ridiculous to say that I'm not a person anymore because I passed out. Also, a person in a coma is not conscious, but we still say he/she is a living human being and therefore a person.


Well for persons that are unconscious/in coma, their human rights are partially suspended. Because they cannot think/care for themselves anymore they can get a legal guardian and it is even possible for them to get killed because their legal guardian decides so. Not that I support this, but it's just to demonstrate how important conciousness is for your status as a person.

Quote from lynira
The reason that embryos and fetuses are human beings has absolutely nothing to do with their potential to grow into a larger human being. They are human beings because they have a full set of unique human DNA, they are living rather than inanimate or dead, and they are separate, whole beings rather than a part of another being. (And of course, eggs and sperm are not living human beings, because they do not meet the criteria necessary to be defined as living human beings.)


Well you can come up with wacky definitions of what a human being is, but why exactly do you think is it wrong to kill them? For me, it is because they can feel higher emotions like love, hate, friendship, affection, happiness etc. This sets them apart from animals who are OK to kill in my opinion. Now an adult human can obviously feel these emotions, but a fetus cannot. It has not yet gained its humanity. Now is it OK to kill the fetus? This is the big question. As I said somewhere you have to draw the line and it's commonly done when the embryo is able to experience pain.


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