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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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.

If you're typing in a different text editor, you should use the insert plain text feature in the WYSIWYG editor.  Just click the icon with white rectangle witha 'T' in it and paste your text into the dialogue box, then hit the 'OK' button.  That way it will remove the colour formatting and won't show up black on dark grey for us.

Wait, why are my text white here, but black every-where else?

It has to do with the coded formatting of your text.  These days, if you copy and paste text, you often grab the formatting of the copied text as well. When you paste, you just see the words that you copied, but the website also sees associated formatting code such as: 

<span style="color: black; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt;">

Just for reference, "WYSIWYG" (what you see is what you get) is a generic term, not a specific editor.  The default text mode on think atheist is WYSIWYG

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WYSIWYG

 

 

@ 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.

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


I still haven't quite grasped this either. I'm trying to imagine how it would even be possible to give a zygote all human rights. Does it get a name? A birth certificate? Can it you claim it on your taxes? Should women using birth control be subject to the same penalties as women who murder their infants?

Zach is definitely the first non-theist I've ever heard of who equated birth control with murder. I'm still shocked by this opinion. It makes no logical sense and try as I may, I can't seem to wrap my brain around it.

The zygote is genetically human, and humans get rights that protect them from murder.

It's a bad argument.  My finger is genetically human.  My finger alone does not have human rights. It's not murder if I cut it off and it dies.  I, as an individual human being, have rights.  A zygote cannot exist as an independent human being.  Rights are broken up this way in reality.  It's grossly impractical to do otherwise.

The only point 'sentience' is relevant to is reduction in pain. Whether death happens to a sentient being or a non-sentient one is not relevant and is a point that is simply used by pro-lifers to diminish the point that as long as that living entity is not independent from its progenitor, it is not an independent life form and is therefore not addressed by any law.

The zygote is genetically human, and humans get rights that protect them from murder.

So, if the genetic make up is the strongest part of your argument (presuming), what then do we do with the fact that most of the DNA within the human body is not actually human? After-all, you have 10 times more bacteria cells in your body than you do human cells. 

And the idea that "potential" life is on par with life or personhood is bizarre to me. The logical conclusion to that is that each time we refrain from a chance at procreation, we are destroying a person's life.  This is a very Catholic way of thinking and lends itself to no barrier that I can see from pushing the decree back beyond conception to condemn other contraceptive aids such as condoms. It relegates women to becoming baby factories and deprives them of their reproductive rights. Also, won't somebody think of all the poor baby-daddies? 

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.


And if I would have sexed up the wife instead of wanking to midget porn, then maybe some alternate reality would exist.  It is as immaterial as it is ass backwards.  Trying to conjure "what-ifs" to life is counter productive.  Trust me, I've wasted a lot of time wondering "what if I had dated out that beautiful brunette that used to have a huge crush on me back in high school" to no avail.  Damn, if only...

We are animals that have evolved over billions of years.  Our lineage persists because, among many things, of our ability to procreate.  Our existence is owed to that remarkable potential for replication.  It is not a sacred gift from a god but a natural fact about biology.  The idea that a zygote is endowed with all the qualities of a fully formed human being and deserves rights that either compete or supersede actually formed human beings is absurd. A person must become a person before they get those rights.  And the kicker is that there is no person until there is a person.  There is no "on deck" circle where people souls are waiting their turn to bat and abortion robs them of their turn by ending the inning. If that were the case, I'd probably weep for millions every time I pumped off into a sock.

 There is no "on deck" circle where people souls are waiting their turn to bat and abortion robs them of their turn by ending the inning. If that were the case, I'd probably weep for millions every time I pumped off into a sock.

@ Reggie - LOL!  But ewwwww!

It is fine to not allow unconcieved zygotes from coming into existence.

@ Zach - There is no such thing as an unconceived zygote, as far as I know. Did you mean it is fine to not allow a zygote to come into existence?

You can stop future babies from forming (like using protection) because they do not exist and do not get the rights that already existing ones get. I find this argument completely outrageous

I'd like you to expound on this point some more.  What about the idea of not granting rights to non-existent people do you find outrageous?  If I've misunderstood, then please forgive me.  If you've already explained it, help me find it or sum it up for me.  There are a lot of pages to this discussion now.

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