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 :)

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I would require people to have intercourse all the time, and that make no sense.

@ Zach - I think that is exactly the point that many of us are trying to get across to you. It is a matter of potential. Whether it be a lone sperm cell or an egg, five seconds after it has fertilized; they can both be considered ingredients for a potential sentient being. You just draw the line in a different place than many on this thread would.

What I want to specifically know, is what makes you choose to draw the line there.

Imagine a sperm next to an egg in a petri dish. By your logic, I could destroy these at will and we would call that birth control. But what if I destroyed them when the sperm was touching the outside of the egg? 1/8th of the way in? Halfway in? How can it be murder at one moment when it was not just a second before? What exactly do you think happens at the moment of fertilization that makes an egg "more human" than any other cell which possesses human DNA? Do you believe in souls? Do you think a human soul enters the body at conception?

Why did you move the conversation over here? I almost missed it.

@ Zach - I am sorry that I placed my post where it was difficult for you to find. I was assuming you check the new posts to this thread through your e-mail but apparently you do not. I will keep this in mind in the future.

You are correct. I believe it is her responsibility to deal with the risk that she took and not put it on the child via killing it.

@ Zach - You cannot kill something that is not a sentient being yet. You can stop cells from dividing, but those are not a sentient being yet, therefore if is not murder.

I am sort of undecided on rape though. I do not want her to have to live with the knowledge that her child is in an orphanage, or have that child live with her as a constant reminder of the rape, but the baby can not control who or how it was conceived and it is unfair to kill it on those grounds. So yes, I am very torn on that.
Well I am sort-of confused on that too. I want to say yes, you can kill a baby if it's life will be destroyed by disease, but with that logic I should allow full adults to be killed just because of their diseases and that is wrong. No, you should not kill babies because they suffer from a severe deformity or disease.

@ Zach - The difference is adults are sentient beings. A young embryo or fetus is not a sentient being.

Sorry for my instability, but I have all the right to change my opinion (as many of you are trying to do), but I also know that this can be difficult while in a discussion. So again, I apologize. So what is your point in these questions? I will wait for your response.

@ Zach - My point is I am trying to find out where you draw your lines, and why.

But a foetus has no autonomous life, it is simply an extension of the female's life. To use your analogy... cutting a bud off a tree is not killing, it is pruning.

Well, siamese twins have been separated with sacrifice throughout history. Nowadays, it's rarer, for those who can afford to see expensive doctors...

You can kill things that are not sentient.

@ Zach - I think we have a misunderstanding about what I meant when I used the word sentient. The word sentient means to have the ability to feel, perceive, or be conscious.

I already know that trees are not sentient and can be killed. That has nothing to do with the point I was making to you. My point is there is an amount of time that passes before a fertilized egg becomes sentient, therefore if the fetus is aborted before it reaches the stage of being sentient, you simply cannot say "the child was killed".

I do not understand how a tree (non-sentient) can be killed, but a fetus (non-sentient) can not be killed based on the fact that it is not sentient, like the tree? Can you better explain your reasoning behind this?

@ Zach. I will try.

Imainge the reaction of a police officer if a woman were to tell him "I killed my child."

Now imagine the reaction of the same police officer if the woman were instead, to tell the police officer "I killed a tree."

@ Zach - My reply to your post should be underneath this reply, as I am putting it at the bottom of the thread, so there will be more room.

For me, sentience has no bearing on the matter. The foetus is part of the mother's body. Discussing sentience is strictly a smoke screen.

Okay, I understand your point, but I find it.... outlandish? I think that is the word.

Here is what I am getting from your argument. When defining the entity's worth based on ability to "feel" things (or being sentient), then you are correct. The fetus is like a plant, you killed it, but that death does not matter because it isn't like the fetus felt anything or had the thought "oh, I wish to not die".

The point I am trying to make is that even thought that fetus shares the same sentient status as a plant, it does not make it a plant (or worth the same). That fetus is still the mother's child (and thus her responsibility) and is a human-being. In the most technical definition, once the sperm and egg combine their genetic material it forms a human. That fact (by it-self) should guarantee it protection from being killed (with the exceptions previously discussed). What-ever it can or can not feel is pointless. It is not a tree; it is like a tree, but not a tree. It is a human and gets human rights.

Is any of that clear, or have I again missed your point?

@ Zach - I underlined the part in your post where you said something that lost me. I don't consider a plant to have any sentient status at all, ever. Maybe the problem we are having is our understanding of the word "sentient". I know I said earlier that to me, the word sentient means something that can feel, perceive, or have consciousness. I do not consider a plant to have any of those qualities.

@ Zach - I will tell you how I did it and maybe it will work for you too. Type your post as you normally do. When you are finished, copy it. Then click on the "T" in the box on the top bar of the post, then a white box will appear. Paste your post into that white box. Then click on "OK" on the bottom of that that white box.

I'm sure there is an easier way but that is the only way I know how to do it.

@ Zach - As Kris said in his post "A zygote is not a human. It is not an individual. It is not a person."

I re-read your post and now I am assuming you disagree with that statement. In other words, I am assuming you think the a zygote is a human.

Let us examine a hypothetical scenario. Imagine there is a woman who is planning to only have one child in her life time. This woman accidentally becomes pregnant before she is ready to have her one planned child. She decides to terminate the zygote since it is an unplanned pregnancy.

If you feel it is wrong for this mother to decide to terminate the zygote, have you considered that if the mother changed her mind and decided not to terminate this zygote, this would shut the door for the opportunity for the other future planned, as of yet unconceived baby, to come into existence in the future?

In other words, if she does not terminate the unplanned zygote, her decision then causes the window of opportunity for the future planned child to come into existence, to be closed.

So in a way, if she decides to allow the unplanned zygote to develop and be born, she is deciding not to allow a future planned baby to come into existence. So she still ends up making a decision that will stop a future potential baby from coming into existence.

Do you agree she has the right to make the decision to not allow a future potential planned baby to not come into existence, by using birth control pills, for example?

As I said before, I am just trying to get a feel for where you draw you lines and what your definitions of certain terms are.



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