Notice that if you ask "When does life begin?" you get a definition, not a fact. What does this mean for the debate between pro-choicers and pro-lifers, one side defining life to begin at birth, the other at conception? Doesn't it mean that it's a problem without a solution?

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I don't understand then, Mikey, why we've been going in these circles if you concede the interests of the mother trumps those of the fetus. Surely you don't think we should consider the interests of mother vs fetus in every instance of pregnancy. This is the exact argument the pro choicers have been making for practically hundreds of years: it's a woman's body! I can't help but think the underlying assumption is that her interests are more weighty because she has a greater capacity for suffering than the fetus.

According to your definition, this argument should've been wrapped up long ago, with the woman the clear "winner" in our considerations. Why could we not have reached this conclusion pages and pages ago?

Suppose a hypothetical you, a guy from a good family who would support him no matter what, including financially, were in line for a promotion along with a young single mother from an impoverished background who was actively suffering from low income and debt which would be greatly relieved if she got the promotion. And suppose you were sure you were the better person for the job...would you hold back in some way in order to let her get the promotion in consideration of her pain and suffering? Note that since you are the better person for the job, you are actively undermining your employer if you do that.

Thank you! And could we not classify her suffering in this instance as "unnecessary"? At this point in human history, we're actually overpopulated; what is necessary is to cut back on procreation. Would it not even be better for animals if there were one less omnivore to consume them?

I've argued in my own discussion that a woman has a right to bodily autonomy & her rights come first. She's not a walking incubator... not if she doesn't want to be. The sacrifice of pregnancy is far greater, with longer lasting or even permanent consequences, than giving blood or organs... but the outcry would be deafening if the govt insisted we MUST give parts of our bodies to those who cannot live without them. Necessity does not dictate the need of more children in this world. Their brief, if noticeable, suffering pales in comparison to the pain & suffering of pregnancy & labor, permanent damage to the body, the emotional trauma of being forced into parenthood.

We can argue all day about when life begins, but there's no question the mother is alive, conscious, and a fully developed person. We know she can suffer far more profoundly than her fetus. If necessity dictates whether pain is ethical, then there is no necessity for her to carry to term. By your definition Mikey, inflicting unnecessary pain on the mother is unethical.
As I said earlier, it is not practical... nor even necessary... to take into account every pregnancy. It becomes absurdly redundant to be constantly considering the negligible experience of every fetus, in every instance. It is already established that the mother has an infinitely more profound experience than the fetus, so why belabor the point? Why continue arguing for our mere consideration of its experience when we already realize the interests of the mother come first? We've already established a hierarchy based on these considerations.
Mikey, I'm not talking about one woman having multiple abortions; I'm talking about every woman who is seeking an abortion overall.

You're beginning to contradict yourself just when I thought we'd found common ground. We've established (I thought) that inflicting unnecessary pain in unethical, and that the woman's interests come first because she clearly has a greater capacity to suffer. There is no doubt she will suffer in pregnancy. If she wants a child of her own, that suffering is necessary to bring it into the world. It is unnecessary suffering if she does not want a child. All we (or she) needs to consider is whether she is willing to suffer for nine months+. Period... given what we've already established.

You got more than enough of an answer Unseen.

Notice that if you ask "When does life begin?" you get a definition, not a fact. What does this mean for the debate between pro-choicers and pro-lifers, one side defining life to begin at birth, the other at conception?

This discussion is the prime example that there can't be a meaningful debate, because both sides just assert their opinions as true - that proves it's a matter of opinion and there is no solution for that.

I wasn't looking for an answer, I was trying to make a point. The opinions you refer to are actually proposed definitions. Once people realize that they should realize that arguing about something outside the realm of facts, they should realize that the argument is totally pointless and not subject to any sort of resolution through argument.

Many (most?) Christians, when faced with irrefutable evidence or an iron-clad argument, will almost never admit they are wrong. Instead, like the Catholic Church, they back-pedal: modify their arguments to minimize the damage of evidence and logic. Muslims are often even more obstinate.

Such religions claim to have a superior and objective moral system because it is handed down by God via divinely inspired scripture. Without a supernatural entity to dictate morality, there is no human way to achieve any kind of objective morality. God is the only possible source of objective morality. But because we (atheists) believe God does not exist, we also believe morality can only be subjective.

I've seen members tout various ethical systems as objective moral standards -- Utilitarianism, survival-based cooperation, the avoidance of unnecessary pain or suffering, etc. But, of course, they are not objective moral systems at all. Who decides what serves the greater good? In what context are we to make survival-based decisions? Why do you claim something is unnecessary? Value judgements are subjective. Whether or not they are good at disguising it, anybody who claims otherwise is being a didactic pedagogue attempting to force their pedantic dogma down your throat.

Morality is subjective. Majority views form socio-cultural norms that vary from place to place and over time. Morality isn't exactly dynamic but it does evolve as the human condition evolves.

Oh . . . and about the so-called "superior and objective" morality of religion? Even if there is a God, EVERYBODY overrides his moral dictates (as contained in scripture). We reject slavery and the subjugation of women no matter what God tells us. WE decide what is morally worthy: we decide what is religious. So even if there is a God of Abraham, we don't need him for moral guidance. And if we don't need him for moral guidance . . . why do we need him at all?

It's easy to understand the desire for an objective moral system. It provides a simple answer to apply to problems. And it makes it easy to judge others with comfortable certainty. But it results in the tendency to relinquish critical thinking and to indulge in judgmentalism. It makes people simple-minded.

That's what religious thinking does and the biggest reason for that is the false belief in an objective morality.

I am SO SO staying away from this Tar Baby.

Come on, Rocky . . . everybody's taking their turn as Br'er Rabbit.

How do you wash this crap off?

@MikeyMike1 @Unseen. Nowhere is not a particularly satisfying explanation.

Satisfying you isn't an obligation I have. I'll simply repeat what I've said before, that there is no such thing as an objective ethic. It's all subjective. People simply do what is in their nature. They cannot do otherwise. How could they?

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