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.
You can kill things that are not sentient. Living things can die. You can kill a tree, you can kill a coral, you can kill a bacterium, you can kill a cell, and you can kill a virus (I consider viruses as life-forms). Our skin and hair are nothing but "dead" cells. So you can very-well kill a fetus.
Humans that lack the ability to be "sentient" (as super-young fetuses are) in their natural state (when almost all humans are in that state) must be protected. I feel like that is the same as saying "teen-agers do not have a stable self-identity, so if they do not know who they are them-selves, then it is okay to kill them as you wish". I believe people should not kill other people just because they are in their natural state. Fetuses are supposed to be un-sentient. Why kill them on those grounds?
Also, (if you have not done so already) my "drawing of the line" is described above (a response to your post right before this post). I hope it was clear.
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.
You could sort-of say the same thing about Siamese twins, except it is a much more harsh and extreme example. You would not kill one of the twins just because the other twin wanted it dead, would you? Just because they are connected, that does not make them the same biological entity; they just share a portion of their systems. There are some parasites that permanently attach themselves to their host (sort-of fusing with them) to better get nutrients, but I do not consider them the same thing.
And cutting off the bud of a tree is not killing the tree, but it is killing the bud. Well, a bud is not really an actual example (they don't have to be fertilized; I think they are compacted leaves). I think a fruit is a better example. You can kill a fruit and leave the tree fine, but what I am doing is defending the fruit. I do not want the fruit to die unjustly.
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".
No, that was the definition I was using. There is no confusion on that. You simply stated that "You cannot kill something that is not a sentient being yet" and I gave examples of how you can kill things that are not sentient. I was showing you that non-sentient things can be killed (as you already know) and that means that a fetus can be "killed" even if it has not reached the stage of being sentient, because (as we both know) non-sentient things can (like a tree) be "killed". "Killed" as in an abrupt end of life processes by another entity (that entity being another person using chemicals, or physical harm, or what-ave-you). 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?
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."
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 - 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.
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.
It forms human tissue. A zygote is not a human. It is not an individual. It is not a person.
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.