In this discussion I would like to talk about abortion. It is always something I have felt very strong about and would argue to the ends of the earth on. I have always been Pro-Life, always. Ever since I became an Atheist, this topic keeps popping up in my head. Since it is something I have not wanted to confront, I have been pushing it to the back burner. Now that I have given it some thought I would like to tell you where I used to stand and where I stand now. When I was a Christian my thought process was "Abortion is Never the right choice unless the mother and child will both die." So even if the child were to survive and the mother dies, abortion is still not the right choice. Some might even consider that murder, I guess. To answer this question I'm sure someone will ask, Yes I would have and still would give up my life for my child. Well, now I'm sort of seeing things a bit different. If a female gets raped and gets pregnant from it, abortion is ok, (sad all the way around - for everyone).  If a woman chooses to abort a baby due to the risk to the mothers life, Ok. If the baby will have a very very very difficult life and in turn make the parents have an equally difficult life, ok. To me abortion is a horrible thing, if someone wants to have an abortion just because oops I got preggo. That is horrible. If you don't want kids do everything in your power to NOT get pregnant. Simple as that. Life is a beautiful an precious thing, and yes I do believe it is special.  Any and All comments are welcome :)

Tags: abortion, pro-choice, pro-life

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Exactly!
In the game of civilisation, politics is way more important than truth. It's ability to convince, diversifying the argument, reframing, which eventually leads to victory.

Abortion is such a complicated topic, which is why it's not easy for anyone. But you just cannot legislate personal morality, and this is one of those personal morality issues, like homosexuality, using drugs or alcohol while pregnant, even just using drugs (that legislation has been such a disaster). In some countries it is illegal to have premarital sex, and they prevent abortions by killing women who do so. That works. It's not right obviously, but it prevents abortions. Preemptive capital punishment. The concept of life before birth is a real one, but maybe life begins at erection. (I think bill maher said that). Making it illegal will do more harm to people than good. We need to provide sound sex education, and yes, include abstinence as a choice, but free birth control for sure will go a long way to preventing abortion and unwanted children or maybe not unwanted but children who are poorly cared for. This is something that should really be provided worldwide as improving education and preventing unwanted pregnancies may improve the worlds economy, which could help us all in this globalized world.wow, I have some big aspirations, maybe Melinda gates can do it for me.

You draw the line between personal and government at homosexuality, drugs, pregnant drinking, etc, others draw the line at different topics.

The point here is that as a society, we seem to agree that murder and theft are things we agree to legislate, whereas other topics are not legislatible. It is perfectly reasonable and rational, if someone thinks an action is wrong, that it is wrong for all of the society we are living in.

For example, I think dog fights and coq fights are disgusting and need to be illegal, however plenty of people think those are "personal moralities". Personal morality is BS. If I don't think dog fights are ok, they're not just not ok for me but for all of society.

For example child pornography, I don't want it and I don't think anyone in society should be allowed to profit from it either. so, we legislate.

Think of states which still have the death penalty, if the death penalty is "immoral" as some people like to say, why is it still on the books, who gets to write the books????

Legislatively speaking, we either agree with our societie's rules or we don't. Morality is a concept which I think should be dumped.

We agree with some actions

We disagree with other actions

We COMPROMISE on what is personal and what must be legislated/mandated on all of society.

IF I was a pro-lifer I would absolutely want a ban on abortion. But I am a pro-woman and pro-abortion, and I am against any legislation on any period of abortion, because any legislation in this regard hinders the fundamental right of a woman to manage my own body. IT'S NOT PERSONAL, IT'S SOCIETAL.

I don't disagree with your position, as far as it goes.  But what I want to know is how you feel about the death penalty and killing people in a war of choice.  If you oppose those as well as abortion, you are conscientiously and honorably pro-life.  If, on the other hand, you believe that some killings (adultery, apostasy, heresy, smiting people residing on real estate you covet, etc.), which God approves throughout the Bible are okay, then you are NOT pro-life, you are anti-choice ONLY .  

This link is representative of the backward nature of many around the world:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/16378770-418/story.html

The oath of Hippocrates is a load of shit in my book.

Okay, personal morality doesn't mean anything to you, but to me it's pretty simple. If it affects only you and doesn't hurt anyone else, it's a personal choice. My rights end when yours begin, even if you're an animal. When it comes to a fetus, there is a concept of life there, but it's a potential life, and it's one that could harm me, either emotionally, physically, financially,and I have to be responsible for that one way or another and it cannot live without my body. This is a bit tricky with the late term abortions, if the baby can survive without the mother, then that's a bit of a different scenario. I bet those are few and far between, and usually done because the fetuses are non viable. I am pro choice, not pro abortion, how could you be pro abortion? That's a strange stance to take. Do you not agree that women should have the choice to not have an abortion? Anyway, I think we are on the same side and maybe I didn't express myself clearly. I don't believe in the death penalty but because innocent people are killed by mistake, not because its "immoral". And child porn, come on, who could argue that's a personal choice when you're harming innocent children? We live in a world with many different views, and the way to get along is to have strict rules around things that are harmful to others, and leave people some power to make their own decisions in areas that don't affect them. My main values are autonomy, safety and justice. Yours might be something very different, but we will agree that murder, theft, rape, exploitation and any molestation or abuse of children, slavery, assault, drinking and driving, selling dangerous drugs to kids.... On and on you'll see that all the things that we feel are wrong are those things that hurt someone else, or am I completely bonkers? The reason abortion is slightly harder for some people to get is the fact that there is life before birth... No one denies that. It's just that it's rights end where someone else's begin. And religion throws a whole wrench into the works, which is why we must have separation of church and state. ...and above, where I talked about animal rights, I guess that's a bit of a debate if you thought eating animals was wrong and I didn't, but torturing them is clearly nasty... Maybe this isn't so simple when it comes to animals, because some people view animal testing as wrong.. Anyway, you've certainly got me thinking, I'll keep on thinking about it for sure! Maybe one of us could start a thread on throwing out the concept of morals, I think there's lots to explore there...maybe you've already done that, if so point me in that direction as I'm new to the group!

The point is if someone unknown to you murdered someone unknown to you it wouldn't affect you either. That is SOOOO NOT a strong argument you make when you say it's "personal".

In the end, anything and everything CAN be personal, and anything and everything CAN be legislated for all society. In the end, as a heterogeneous society, we compromise on where we draw the line, nothing is "inherently" "personal",

And I am most certainly PRO abortion. Hell, we're headed for 8 billion humans, there are too many of us, more humans means less tigers, less lions, less bears, less rhinos. Humanity has long (for the past 2-3000 years) seen itself as the centre of the universe (even under the illusion of a Gawd made in the image of humans). Anyone procreating is personally responsible for the demise of other large mammals.

We have come to a point in human history when we should be encouraging mass sterilisation and abortion. Our numbers, rat-like, are simply outrageous.

As for separation of church and state, I think it's a delusion, as long as there are religious people, they will elect people who will put into place their "personal" values... religious. To ask someone to separate themselves from their religion is logically ludicrous and reflects a deep misunderstanding of the very meaning of religion in these people's lives.

All religions need to be deleted from society, and teaching religion to children is child abuse.

Regarding your thoughts on morality in general, it's real trendy these days in atheist circles to talk about "absolute morals" or let science decide of what is moral. This tends to be the Humanist way of proselytising, in order to pacify religious society's fear of atheists and state such defensive nonsense as "atheists are good too". The Humanist agenda is human centred, godless Christianity centred. As a biologist myself I fundamentally disagree that science can play any role whatsoever in setting "morals". The abortion debate has nothing to do with viability, it's all about women's rights.

You mention we're "on the same side", yes, but the problem is your (as well as many others here) argument is it leaves the legal door wide open for religious fools to constantly mess with the principles and rewrite the law, we need to get as far away from the "viability" issue as possible, it is irrelevant, and even detrimental to the debate.

You're pro-life? Wonderful. I'm pro-death. I think population is a major contributor to poverty as well as climate change. We need fewer people, not more. We could have WWIII, a global pandemic, mass suicides, or...we could stem the tide while it's still in the uterus.

If you want to see the result of bringing every baby to term, look at India and its problems. China is so desperate to lower its birth rate that it gives couples a quota.

How pro-life are you? Should everyone have as much sex as possible so that women would be obliged to just churn out one baby after another during their childbearing years?

Spontaneous abortions are estimated to terminate at least 50% of all pregnancies. Would you be for finding a way to bring most of those conceptions to term?

I like you.

And, I think you might like this guy.

oooh, I especially liked the first one :)


Fucking classic, this from the Wikipedia page about him:

On September 11, 2008, Stanhope re-entered the election scene with the creation of www.savingbristol.com, a web site dedicated to raising money to pay for an abortion for Bristol Palin, daughter of staunchly pro-life, then-current Alaskan governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (Bold mine).  Stanhope said, "Rather than sit back and impotently bemoan Bristol's tragic, lonely circumstance, it is time for us—the silent majority—to unite behind this poor, imprisoned woman and save her from both a tyrannical household as well as the horrible nightmare of a forced childbirth."

Though the $50,000 offered by Stanhope himself would more than cover the cost of an abortion under normal situations, Stanhope encouraged others to donate money towards helping Bristol begin a new life. On the site, Stanhope pledged, "Even if you cannot take my offer, I will still use my money or money donated through this page to pay for at least one abortion for a disadvantaged teenage girl each year for the rest of my life in the name of your mother. And in my will, I shall have a good portion of my estate turned into the Sarah J. Palin Abortion Fund that will help girls from all walks of life from destroying their lives and our natural resources by having children."

Yeah for him, he's hardcore and has had a vasectomy, which means he'll never even need an abortion. Most excellent.

If your idea of fixing overpopulation is widespread education and contraception in the underdeveloped world, forget it. There are cultural differences unlikely to be overcome. In many African countries women are expected to submit to sex largely on demand, and the likelihood that their male partner is going to strap on a condom in that sort of setting is, well, almost laughably low. There is a social inertia among all populations, and especially poorly educated ones, that inhibits rapid change in values and practices.

The population in many parts of the world is growing apace and will continue to do so most likely for centuries. It appears up to the educated and prosperous quarters of the world to do their part, at least, by not bringing SOME pregnancies to term, and doesn't it make sense to start with the unwanted ones?

Morality by definition is right action based upon ethics.  Ethics by definition is the good.

In our society today, ethics are very much individually relative, what you define as good and what i define as good may be differing, however when it comes to the topic of human life, i would say that every living human being in the world has the same ethical position and that is that human life is good.  The morality pertaining to human life would be to protect it and to preserve it.

At this point, that is when the debate of when human life begins comes into play.  If human life begins at the moment of conception, then it is by ethical definition immoral to commit an abortion because it is the destruction of human life.  If human life does not begin at the moment of conception i would challenge you to determine when it does, is it at birth, at self awareness?

To me human life begins at the moment of conception.

If we were to say that it begins at the moment of birth, how is it then that premature infants survive even when almost a month premature?  If we classify human life as an individual who is self aware then i guess we would allow for the lawful killing of mentally handicapped people or those in a vegitative state, heck we could even throw in the odd moron.  I don't believe this is moral nor does it allign with our common ethic.  Science is not yet at this point, but i would bet any money that someday it will be possible to conceive and nurture a foetus outside of a woman's body, should an infant created in this way be considered inhuman even in the earliest stages of human development?

As far as individual circumstances go, an individual's ethics do not change, subsequently neither does their morality.  Therefore regardless of the situation, for every individual who believes life is good, it is immoral to destroy human life.  The degree of morality can change depending on the circumstance making it difficult to determine what is a just cause for abortion and what is not, but the ethics remain constant. If an individual values human life, it is inethical to destroy it under any circumstance.

If pregnancy is a result of rape, i believe it would be in all respects immoral to abort the foetus because it would involve the willful destruction of human life.  It is possible that the individual due to trauma from the rape may have opted for an abortion, therefor the degree of morality is lessened, but it is immoral and inethical nonetheless.  I will not go into detail regarding other situations because there are so many, but the reasoning is similar and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

This response is not at all a pointing of the finger in the direction of anyone who has an abortion because each person has individual freedom, free will, and because of this all individuals are entitled to their own ethical positions. It is a matter of being honest with one's self.  If an individual deems human life to be good (ethical), then it should consequently be considered immoral to destroy human life.  If an individual sees the beginning of human life to be the moment of conception, then they should also consider abortion to be immoral according to their own individual definition of ethics, the good.  It all really boils down to how honest an individual is with themselves and whether or not they care to be moral.

Legistlation on the issue of abortion should not be necessary if individuals did not contradict their own ethics.  However legislation should not be necessary for the issue of murder either but people are not perfect and occassionally stray from their own ethics. Legislation should simply reflect the common ethics.

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