Part Two: Let’s Examine the “Reason” Behind Those Murdered (Aborted) Babies

Rosie's picture
Submitted by Rosie on Sat, 2010-08-07 10:32

Part Two

Let’s Examine the “Reason” Behind Those Murdered (Aborted) Babies

Rosie: "So where does Objectivism stand on abortion?"

Leonid: "An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn). Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?" (“Of Living Death,” The Voice of Reason, 58–59)

"Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly." ( “A Last Survey,” The Ayn Rand Letter, IV, 2, 3.)

1. “An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being”

This argument, begun and reinforced by Ernst Haeckel’s hoax drawings of animal and human embryos, persuaded people that the fetus was just a clump of cells and not human yet. The invention of the ultrasound has demolished that argument however as we now see tiny humans with hands, faces, feet and personalities playing round in the womb.

Experiments are being done today using tissue obtained from elective abortions in the United States and transported about the world (including New Zealand) for experiments. Six years ago an insider, Dean Alberty, a former abortion clinic technician, spilled the beans on massive malpractice occurring in the Abortion Industry, exposing the harvesting of organs from aborted babies, in an interview on ABC;s 20/20 programme that shocked America. Abortion clinics were harvesting eyes, brains, hearts, limbs, livers, thymuses, torsos and other body parts and blood from the limbs we could get from the veins for sale to the scientific market: laboratories wanting to test new drugs or procedures or researchers trying to find the causes of genetic disorders or discover new ways of treating disorders like Parkinsons.

Alberty told of seeing babies wounded but alive after abortion procedures, and in one case “a set of twins still moving on the table” when clinicians began dissecting the children to harvest their organs. The children, he said, “were cuddling each other” and “gasping for breath” when medics moved in for the kill.

In America, late term abortions are permitted up to 30 weeks gestation. It’s a three day procedure where the mother goes in to labour and the the baby is killed with a spike to the base of the skull before it leaves the birth canal. According to Alberty, it wasn’t unusual out of the 30 or 40 late term abortions each week to see several babies born alive on the operating table before the clinicians could perform the procedure. “The doctor would in this case either break the neck or take a pair of tongs and basically beat the fetus until it was dead.” Alberty, the whistleblower, wasn’t alone. Eric Harrah also gave a secret interview disclosing live births as the abortion industry’s “dirty secret.” He said in one case of a live baby the doctor killed the baby by a puncture wound to the chest. Harvesting fetal tisssue is not illegal in the US. Trafficking of baby parts for profit is. So the labs and researchers get around this law by paying a fee not for the parts themselves but for the “costs of extraction”. In NZ we can import body parts to our heart’s content so long as we do it in a biosafe manner. Our ethics committee says the consent of the mother must be obtained. No one has ever seen a consent form. I have a price list for fetal body parts if you are interested.

But putting all this sordid and disgusting aspect aside for a minute, if some aborted babies are alive when aborted and if all “quality” aborted babies’ tissue and body parts are sufficiently “human” for experiments there is no valid argument in declaring that this is a potential and not an actual being. It is certainly an “actual being” for the purposes of the labs and researchers who pay good money for it (in parts) for their scientific experiments. And if you want to learn more about the details of some of these experiments, let me know. I can devote Part Three to making you sick over your keyboard with accounts. Anyone want "glowing" sex parts? is one of the more "tasteful" examples.

2. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born.
Says who?

3. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).
This is a common argument much like the arguments above, although this argument is usually phrased in terms of the unborn child being unable to live independently of the mother. It is an artificial distinction to say that life begins only at the time of the child’s first breath outside the mother’s body. If the child is only “alive” when it becomes independent of the mother, arguably you could include children up to about age six or seven. A fetus of 20 weeks is just as dependent for survival on its mother as a child of two years. Neither can survive without adult intervention at every moment. Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University argues that newborn babies should not be considered human until 30 days after birth and should be able to be euthenased at any time until then. He doesn’t offer any logical argument other than “functionalism” which is that humanity is defined by what you can and cannot do. As a fully functioning adult, he regards babies as lesser beings because they are not as yet fully functional. This is a reincarnation of the Nazi philosophers’ views.

There is also the hypocrite, Professor Jeffrey Reiman who, on the one hand says that babies and toddlers “do not possess in their own right a property that makes it wrong to kill them”, that they have no “right to life” and yet, on the other hand, argues that executions of murderers are unjust, sometimes painful and discriminatory on the grounds of race and economic status. So here is an ethics professor happily executing children yet has a problem executing murderers. In NZ our logical incoherence is similar. We legislate against smacking but legalise murder of the unborn. It is more psychologically traumatic for a child to receive a smack than to rip a child from its mother’s womb and crush it, prick it or rip it to death.

4. Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?"

Says who? Where do we get the “right” to “choose” an innocent person’s death? If she doesn’t like her boyfriend or her two year old and their demands on her food, shelter, time and money does she get to kill them too? “It’s my body” is a puerile argument. Being a mother means breastfeeding or having to hold a baby and give it a bottle at insane hours of the night, being tired changing nappies at irregular hours; you can’t allow murder for an entirely natural and normal function (pregnancy) on the grounds of the inconvenience to, or impact it has on, your body!!

We know that from the moment of conception, an embryo has its own DNA. It is entirely its own person. Yes, it is within the mother’s body. It is designed to be there as a consequence of the mother having sex.

If arguments do exist for abortion, “a woman’s choice” is not one of them. It is fatuously shallow, reducing the life of a child to a mere “inconvenience” that can be killed at whim. If the test were “inconvenience” I can think of a few better candidates. As US President Reagan said in 1980, ”I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”

5.The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly.

This is usually called the “only a wanted child should be brought into this world” argument. Sounds all warm and fuzzy but is as bereft of sense as all the rest of the arguments.
First of all it presupposes that the mother will not fall in love with the child - as most mothers do regardless of whether it was a surprise or not - and it also frames the argument in terms of the mother’s wants. What about the child’s aspirations? Even in the third world, children are born who adapt to harsh living conditions and can find happiness. And even if you can find one terminally depressed child who wasn’t wanted and has had no happiness as a result of that, there are thousands who have and that very small “risk” does not justify knocking off thousands “just in case”. Leonardo da Vinci was the son of a solo mother. Orphans like Ingrid Bergman, James Michener, CoCo Chanel, Louis Armstrong, Kiri te Kanawa, James Dean, Richard Burton, Charlie Chaplin, Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton all managed to find happiness. Oprah Winfrey, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe - the list could go on - were all brought up in abject poverty. I know of friends who had babies out of wedlock due to their religion and that child is “the best thing that ever happened to them”.

Then there are the childless couples who can not have children but who wish to adopt. Nowadays, adopted children have relationships with not only their adopted parents but also their biological parents and all their relatives. I have a friend whose children have more uncles, aunts, grandparents and fairy godmothers than Sleeping Beauty! And it works amazingly well for all concerned! It is a joy to behold.

6. Now one thing that the pro-abortionists have not looked in to is the future health of the woman who has had her child terminated. Studies in NZ have been done to show that the incidence of depression, mental ill health and suicidal thoughts is much higher (up to double the rate) in pregnant women who choose abortion as against women who don’t (from the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, January 2006). The study was performed by Professor David Fergusson - a pro-abortion researcher. He said that he went to four journals before his study was published because, he supposed, many did not like its conclusions. He said that was very unusual - all his other studies have been accepted the first time.

So where NZ’s abortions are carried out on the basis of the “woman’s health”, it is interesting also that the NZ Abortion Advisory Committee did not want to know about the study and its findings that abortion actually causes mental health problems.

7. The flow on of all these deaths to our children of the future is that in the Western World average IQ rates have dropped whereas in Africa there is a steady increase to the average IQ as would be expected in a country not using birth control. Scientists say that this is because of the unequal breeding going on. The consequence, other studies indicate, is that as the average IQ lowers by 3% the social problems escalate: welfare dependency increased by 15%, illegitimacy increased by 8%, men who were incarcerated increased by 13% and the number of high school drop outs increased by 15% - these statistics represent the unhappy lives of millions of real people plus a major tax burden for millions more. Then there is the top end to consider, the geniuses who were never born and whose positive contributions were never made. (The Bell Curve by Marian van Court - a Eugenicist).

So the Science Experiment Award for Shooting Yourself in the Foot goes to Galton, Sanger, Stopes and Family Planning with the assistance of the now-chastened eugenics movement for best supporting role in the major drama.

The Objectivist rationale on abortion relies on 1920s “fashionable ideas” about abortion and lack of science in terms of whether a fetus is a living being or not. Back then they didn't have a goddamn clue about what it means to be a fetus and what effect abortion has on the mental health of the mother, the health of the nation and, indeed, the effect on our Western civilisation. No Objectivist will challenge it for the simple reason that so long as it is written in one of Ayn Rand’s novels or other books it isn’t challengeable. She is just a product of her time in this respect and has made a bigger error here than with her view on homosexuality. But just as Lindsay has challenged her on a person’s right to homosexuality, I challenge her on the unborn child’s rights and abortion. And I do so using science and logic/reason. The fact that it is a Christian ethic is not the basis of my reasoning or the purpose of my post. It is more of an afterthought that the Christian ethic, yet again, has it right.


RG

Kasper's picture

"Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.
In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
"

It is precisely the intellectual's self-doubt which gives raise to their moral and intellectual paralysis, allowing evil scum to commit atrocities. It ain't the certainty of the evil-doers, it's the silence of those who know otherwise but don't stand up against evil.

To rationalize self-doubt into some sort of virtue excusing one's self from standing up for what's right is beyond contemptible.

It's the Barry Goldwater's of our world that remind us: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the persuit of justice no virtue."

Doug

Leonid's picture

"As I've explained, "human" means "possessed of the rational faculty," (whether it's exercised or not). That would render abortion murder from the third trimester on.

This is a minority opinion as far as Objectivists go; a very minority opinion."

If it so, then Rand herself was part of this minority. She apparently hadn't had an opinion on the late abortions. She wrote:

"One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months.”

(“A Last Survey,” The Ayn Rand Letter, IV, 2, 3.)

For all practical needs, 12 weeks is the limit of non-medical abortion, and I think we should discuss fetus's condition in this stage of development, 24 weeks argument notwithstanding. At this stage fetus is definitely not human being.

Rosie

ding_an_sich's picture

"Mind and free will is arguably nothing more than a collection of chemicals. Or perhaps you agree that consciousness is from God?"

Well conciousness does not necessarily have to come from God. That seems fallacious. Are we equating the mind with the brain? Are they both essentailly the same thing? I remember reading Schopenhauer's "On the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason" and good ol' Arthur's proof that the mind and the brain are, well, the same. Just wondering where youre coming from on this.

I actually do not care for abortion. To me it simply hinders the will to power. The feeling of strength, of becoming, denied: this is what abortion expresses to me. It's not so much the fetus/ child/baby/ whatever-the-hell-you-call-it that I am concerned about. Nay, it's the mother's feeling of strength that concerns me.

*Oh yes and I did use "feeling" my dear O-ists. I'm sure you despise that quite a bit. "The man does not use reason or rights!", they might say. "The man did not address metaphysical problems!". Blasphemy!

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"So what do you think "mind" is biologically and chemically speaking,"

I discussed this in great details in my post " Life and Free Will"

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"What are these "obvious reasons" from your point of view?"

I think, for a person who knows so much about abortions it should be self-evident. It is painful. messy, degrading and expensive.

That bad?

Doug Bandler's picture

When he proposed reconciling "welfare rights" with Objectivism, that was the last straw.

Uggh. Did he go that far? I didn't know that. I read his blog occasionally and he does have some good insights but he is hysterically anti-Right and foolishly thinks that the Left has good things to offer.

Its a shame. Academia got to him. I guess being surrounded by all those pomowankers day in and day out takes its toll.

Linz

Rosie's picture

Fact is there isn't much said about abortion in the Bible.

Thou shalt not murder.

And a passage about hurting a child in the womb being a no no - but from memory this was more about not beating up a pregnant woman.

It is a case of logic, science, conscience or right-mindedness at the end of the day.

Trust that "deep seated revulsion" - unimpeded by the adenoidal whinging of Airheads complaining about their (unthought through, unacted upon and long lost) women's rights and withdrawing sexual favours or crying until the silly old men agree - only let the revulsion extend to the first trimester by taking a look at the photos of the poor babies' dismembered bodies as a result of this hideous, barbaric practice of abortion. And if you need to, muster up the same revilement at the recent Muslim's stoning a man for being homosexual and the boy if he was thought to enjoy any part of it. They are all practices of cruelty and unjustified initiation of force. And then remember that the little baby has done absolutely nothing to deserve such a mashing of his body and his life - he is simply the result of his parents' actions.

Doug

Rosie's picture

Ah so!

Confucious say light shed from many different sources. Hat

And light only recognised by those who not wear dark Randian glasses. Davie

Or going by name of Chris Cathcart who block light in every conceivable way! (Plato would say he way at bottom of cave struggling with shadow there!)

Doug

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I think it bespeaks hope for Rosie that in spite of her Goblianity she's attempting to repair to nature to ground her argument. Strictly speaking she should just echo Baade and say, "It is so because Gobby says it is." But the better part of her knows better.

And you'll forgive me I'm sure if I don't click on the Cathcart link. It's not that he can be an annoying academic pomowanker; he is an annoying academic pomowanker. He showed signs of growing out of it for a while, but then reverted to form. When he proposed reconciling "welfare rights" with Objectivism, that was the last straw. You might as well ask me to click on a link to O-Lying. Moral hygiene forbids it.

Lindsay

Doug Bandler's picture

I admit that abortion is another one of those issues that is not a self-evident one. It poses, like immigration and Islam, a difficult philosophical challenge. I'm a "separation and individuation" person but I'd like to know what the full 24 week argument is. I intend on raising this argument elsewhere to see what type of responses it gets from Objectivists. Its been a while since I debated the abortion issue with Objectivists.

One other thing. I find Rosie's responses interesting. She's a Christian but she is presenting a reductionist view of being human. She is using the scientism arguments; i.e. trying to answer moral/legal questions using the hard sciences (in this case biology).

Here is a Chris Cathcart blog post on some epistemological questions raised by the abortion issue. Cathcart can be an annoying academic pomowanker but I like that he always goes to the "epistemic" level (his favorite term).

http://chriscathcart.blogspot....

Leonid

Rosie's picture

You make a comment that I would like you to explain please:

The concept of morality is not applicable to fetus, although abortion is not and cannot be birth control technique of choice for obvious reasons.

What are these "obvious reasons" from your point of view?

Doug

Rosie's picture

Lindsay's view is NOT the majority view (not by a long shot)...Most Objectivists will argue that separation and individuation are essential to the start of political life and legal personhood. So long as the baby occupies real estate inside the mother, it is her will and ONLY her will that rules.

Well, aren't you lucky that you have a thinker in your Objectivist midst who isn't neglecting what is happening outside of the Randian wall of the 1930s in this area, is prepared to examine issues independently and may help to establish the truth about legal personhood, the beginning of human life and the right to it? This is no doubt due to his being a recluse and not subject to the mindless throng who catch hold of half a thought, don't bother looking any more deeply in to it but instead waste no time bleating it and repeating it until the rest of the world ceases to disagree simply in order to have them be quiet. And on an issue such as abortion, all the namby pamby males are much too frightened to raise a voice against that misty cloud called "women's rights" for fear of all sexual favours being withheld - for the type I describe is also the sort of woman who uses her body as her most effective tool in argument. As a homosexual, Lindsay is spared these emotional wranglings in his thinking! Hence he feels what any rational person thinks: "deep-seated revulsion" and yet wonders whether Doug might think him "way too emotional". I say that if he only feels the revulsion at the third trimester it probably means that his visual imagination only registers life with size! (Which is probably why he likes the idea of a large sense of life - and which probably means it is all Freudian anyway!!! And here walk the rational Objectivists. LOL.)

All your Objectivist "arguments" are imprecise and merely trying to justify eugenics which are nowadays thinly disguised as (very much belated) "women's rights". Although I have the greatest sympathy for a woman who gets pregnant and does nothing about it until too late, you have simply fallen prey to one of the biggest pr spins of all time. And imo if there had been no shame attached to unmarried women falling pregnant and more family support in addition to a far greater societal respect for motherhood, this pr spin would never have got off the ground. How could it have? And it would have made much more sense for those goals to have been the "women's rights" more properly sought in the age of contraception. The other right (for the woman to take control over her body) is a given in the age of contraception. She is free to take control of her body and keep it free of babies if this is her desire; through properly used contraception and morning after pills. And the truth is that she has done so to the point that the Western world is a dying civilisation.

Basic Logic
If human life does not begin at conception, please explain this little person and why, if it was not a human life before the abortion, an abortion was obtained for the purposes of it ceasing to be a human life?

And if the unalienable right to life does not begin when that human life begins at conception, where is the logic in your position and the idea of an unalienable right to life?

The lack of logic and the pandying to a so called right which she already had but abused/violated astounds me. And the complete disrespect and disregard to the unalienable right of the child (which everyone stands up for only the minute the baby leaves the womb - its necessary biological home until its lungs are sufficiently developed to take its first breath even though it is still completely dependent on the mother and moreso) is bewildering to me insofar as you all think it perfectly logical!! It isn't. It is all just a pr spin that you have taken as a given because you have grown up with this idea. Remember the successful Nazi pr spin against the Jews and then take a cold hard look at yourselves.

Cripes!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Doug, I'm curious to know from whom you got that response. Binswanger or Bernstein, perhaps? In any event, I think "that is not all that man is" plays right into Rosie's hands. I can't wait to see her pounce. You intend it to include "able to begin political life," etc.; she'll take it to mean "has two thumbs and eight fingers." The "separation" and "individuation" arguments were not advanced by Rand herself, at least not publicly as far as I'm aware. And she did allow for the possibility of the later stages of pregnancy being open to debate.

I am not claiming to represent the "official" Objectivist position, btw, and I hope that's clear. I freely admit I'm in the minority. I do think my position is more Objectivist than the official one.

I have a deep-seated revulsion at the thought of killing that which the fetus has become by the third term. A fully formed human being with its distinctive human trait all ready to rock and roll. The spectacle of adult human beings calmly discussing killing it I find obscene. Now, it will be countered that "deep-seated revulsion" is not an argument. I would claim that it's an automotised argument that can be retraced in discussions like this, and that I have done exactly that, especially in what I think was my very first post on this thread (I suppose the goblinites would argue that Gobby implanted the revulsion in me. Evidently he forgot to do so with many others. You no doubt will put it down to my being "way too emotional." Eye )

Lindsay's view is NOT the majority view (not by a long shot)

Doug Bandler's picture

As I've explained, "human" means "possessed of the rational faculty," (whether it's exercised or not). That would render abortion murder from the third trimester on.

This is a minority opinion as far as Objectivists go; a very minority opinion. I raised this objection once and the answer I received was that it was the error of reducing a thing to its definition. Yes, man is the rational animal. But that is not all that man is. Most Objectivists will argue that separation and individuation are essential to the start of political life and legal personhood. So long as the baby occupies real estate inside the mother, it is her will and ONLY her will that rules.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

Objectivists regard mind and free will as human

So what do you think "mind" is biologically and chemically speaking, and not forgetting Darwin who says that we are only animals like all the other beasts of the field, if not a series of chemical reactions?

"Mind and free will is

Leonid's picture

"Mind and free will is arguably nothing more than a collection of chemicals."
Arguably by reductionists, not by Objectivists. Objectivists regard mind and free will as human, not goblin faculty.

"The most common first

Leonid's picture

"The most common first trimester abortion is the d & a.- scraping of the uterus wall which kills the baby."

No. Today acceptable technique is chemical abortion, as I described. Scraping performed only in case of incomplete abortion, that is-retention of placenta, usually a week after abortion, and this is seldom required. Later abortions are only medical abortions and they are rare. However, maybe in NZ it's different. In any case, I don't consider abortion as morally wrong. The concept of morality is not applicable to fetus, although abortion is not and cannot be birth control technique of choice for obvious reasons.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

Mind and free will is arguably nothing more than a collection of chemicals. Or perhaps you agree that consciousness is from God?

Leonid

Rosie's picture

The first technique is for first trimester abortions. The second technique is for later abortions. You did not refer to any techniques. You simply made a statement about fetuses not being killed during abortion which is false. The most common abortion methods are contained here. Which of these do you believe does not kill the baby during the abortion? In NZ the most common abortion is the d & c which kills the baby during the abortion. Suction is the second most common which also kills and dismembers the baby during the abortion procedure.

If you found that comparison of my position with that of Nazi's is appropriate, then I'd like to remind you that Nazis as Soviet Communists prohibited abortion. They considered women as breeding animals, exactly as you and any goblinists do.

Your attitude of clinical detachment in the face of a moral wrong is the analogy I make.

I do not consider women as breeding animals. That is absurd. About as absurd as for me to lay a claim at your door that women are mindless, rutting animals. I consider the act of abortion prima facie morally wrong. And I consider the person who does not take responsibility for her actions but waits until it is too late so that wrongs are committed against another about the moral equivalent of someone who knows that a bomb has been planted to go off at a certain time but makes no effort to warn or have it dismantled to prevent the consequential loss of life.

Lindsay "I do not like that

Leonid's picture

Lindsay "I do not like that man, as you may have noticed from other threads, and would hate for him to be seen as a champion of Objectivism. "

I would love for you to be seen as a champion of Objectivism, but I probably won't live long enough to see it.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"The other technique also kills and dismembers during the process of abortion."

I don't refer to these techniques. They are rather exceptions and performed only in the late stages of pregnancy, usually as emergency procedures in order to save mother's life. The latest legal gestational age for non-medical abortion is 16 weeks. The abortion is usually performed by pharmaceutical induction of contractions and expulsion of the fetus. Such a procedure doesn't cause to the fetus any physical harm.
If you found that comparison of my position with that of Nazi's is appropriate, then I'd like to remind you that Nazis as Soviet Communists prohibited abortion. They considered women as breeding animals, exactly as you and any goblinists do. And that is really sick.

"The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence."

And what is human nature? For the reductionist which you quoted, this nature is defined by collection of chemicals. For Objectivist-by essential human properties which is mind and Free Will.

Blind faith in regard to Objectivism is simply stolen concept. It seems that this became yours speciality.

Member of Species

Rosie's picture

Already said below:

French geneticist Jermoe L. LeJeune, while testifying before a Senate Subcommittee, asserted:

"To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence." (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, report to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981, as quoted in Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), p. 149. )

Leonid

Rosie's picture

Removing of fetus is not cause of death and fetus doesn't die in the process of abortion.

Who are you trying to fool? The other technique also kills and dismembers during the process of abortion - see drawings to accompany description. Photo links of all sorts - not for the faint hearted.

You are beginning to make me feel sick with your clinical detachment and avoidance of the reality of abortion when you are a medical man, Leonid. I guess, like the SS Nazi in the interview, you are not able to focus on the inhumanity of this disgusting procedure in your professional quest for supporting your patients. Help is available for mothers who become unexpectedly pregnant and are almost ambivalent but choose to terminate because they think it is easier or they are fearful. The problem is that most women are poorly advised and educated about this. (I am not including the extreme cases here like incest victims and so forth.)

I know many. For example mothers who try to kill their newborn babies, cause to them irreversible brain damage, get arrested, spend years in prison,

Many like this? I rather think this is rare, Leonid. The NZ prisons are certainly not filled with mother baby killers.

Blind faith vs criticism for non-conformity with Rand?
Sounds pretty much the same thing to me.

Richard

Leonid's picture

From the biological descriptive classification point of view member of species is fully formed organism, not fertilized egg.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

Removing of fetus is not cause of death and fetus doesn't die in the process of abortion. If you remove 36 week old fetus, it will not die. Even 24 week old may survive with life support. However if you remove 12 week old fetus-and this is when the most of abortions are legally done-such a fetus inevitable will die since it not equipped to survive as separate organism.

"in fact I know of NO case where an unwanted pregnancy that has not been terminated has been described thus "

I know many. For example mothers who try to kill their newborn babies, cause to them irreversible brain damage, get arrested, spend years in prison, and their children spend their short and miserable lives in hospitals or mental institutions.

"Lindsay shows independent and critical thinking"

Independent of what?

"Leonid - blind faith to Ayn Rand is nothing to be proud of when she gets things wrong."

Blind faith is possible only in goblin. I'm an atheist.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

I'm not suprised that you relate more to goblinism, this is very well explained by your own loose gait of non-conformity with Rand, as you explicitly confirmed.

Lindsay shows independent and critical thinking - there is no philosopher whose ideas have not been expanded upon and/or developed, and that is how philosophy should be. We are constantly revising and improving philosophy by the use of questions or situations not considered by the originating philosopher and the employment of logic, sometimes also accompanied by greater knowledge, in refining and/or disputing the original claim.

Leonid - blind faith to Ayn Rand is nothing to be proud of when she gets things wrong. And it is no insult to her to acknowledge that she has not considered those things which she ought to have considered.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

Removing the fetus aka abortion is not a natural cause. So the fetus does not die of a natural cause. I think you may be employing that Jesuit logic here again. Aka "clutching at straws".

As I have said, with regard to the other reasons for abortion, pro-lifers are not absolutist. Other moral issues will always be considered.

You can not say that an unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy which can ruin the life of the mother and child; in fact I know of NO case where an unwanted pregnancy that has not been terminated has been described thus - quite the opposite. I would not go so far as to say this would be the case for everyone; so at best you could only say "may" be a tragedy which can ruin the life of a mother and child. And for these people, the adoptive parent waiting list is very long.

Lindsay

Leonid's picture

"I can relate much more to the idealism of your argument than to the chillingly goose-stepping Randroid conformity of Leonid's."

I'm not suprised that you relate more to goblinism, this is very well explained by your own loose gait of non-conformity with Rand, as you explicitly confirmed.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"It dies from a natural cause if it dies from a cause other than abortion. Abortion is not a natural cause. "

Abortion is a process which separates fetus from the woman's organism. It doesn't kill fetus. Fetus dies naturally because it cannot exist as separated entity. If it can, even with life support, then it not a fetus, but newborn child. To be precise: human life begins when fetus is able to exist outside of its mother. "It dies from a natural cause if it dies from a cause other than abortion. Abortion is not a natural cause. "

Abortion is a process which separates fetus from the woman's organism. It doesn't kill fetus. Fetus dies naturally because it cannot exist as separated entity. If it can, even with life support, then it not a fetus, but newborn child. To be precise: human life begins when fetus is able to exist outside of its mother.

"She had sex. She did not use contraception or the day after pill. She may not want the baby but inconvenience is no justifiable reason for killing a human."

This is not only possible scenario. There are many others. For example: she has been raped. Her partner used faulty used condom. She underwent incomplete tubal legation and thought that she is safe. She used contraceptives with antibiotics etc...

Unwanted pregnancy and child rearing is not just " inconvenience" . It is a tragedy which can ruin not only life of the mother, but also life of her child.

Linz

Rosie's picture

You say "human" means "possessed of the rational faculty". To me, your definition is merely a description of what a human is or can be, nothing more than his abilities for tool-making, language, abstract thought etc. I have a more scientific definition of human: to be a member of the species, homo sapiens. This includes the offspring of a male and female - from conception. From that point - conception - the human being has life. (The fact that the location of that life is inside the mother's womb is irrelevant to the fact that the life of the human has begun.) Because the human has life and the right to life is unalienable - can not be taken away - I say that abortion is a violation of that right.

As such I do not think it is stupid, vicious or evil to oppose abortion at any stage from conception.

I appreciate that the morning after pill could be seen as an exception to my views but the reason why I do not think it so is that it takes up to 48 hours for conception to occur after sex, the mother has no idea whether she is actually pregnant or not (so there is no mens rea) and it is the last chance for the responsible woman who really does not want a baby, but who had sex without contraception for whatever reason, to do so without actually killing a live human since it will not have been created yet.

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Funny thing here—I can relate much more to the idealism of your argument than to the chillingly goose-stepping Randroid conformity of Leonid's. I do not like that man, as you may have noticed from other threads, and would hate for him to be seen as a champion of Objectivism.

But I still cannot see how you can ascribe rights to zygotes and embryos, and you have made no attempt to do so, other than to say they are human. Well, they are not. They are precursors of "human." You have to define "human." As I've explained, "human" means "possessed of the rational faculty," (whether it's exercised or not). That would render abortion murder from the third trimester on. No one has answered this. We have this phony dichotomy between those who could without scruple ("without a second thought") bash to death a fully-developed baby complete with fully wired-up brainworks, and those like you Rosie who think the zygote has rights implanted by Gobby. Both sides are as stupid, vicious and evil as the other.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

1. Fetus/Embryo - no difference at all.

2. The law is known to reflect the current philosophy/thinking of a country/culture. It is usually rather slow and the last thing to reflect this. I did not write about the law so much as an argument from authority so much as a reflection of the advanced state of modern thinking/philosophy - of "how things are". Slavery is a good example of how the law was the last thing to reflect the change in thinking/philosophy about a moral issue.

3. The point of my raising genetics is simply to illustrate more how the human is a human from conception. Its DNA is human and does not change and is the material/code that governs the person in all its developing stages.

4. I am not talking about limited rights or any other right other than the right to life. Children and intellectually handicapped people have this right to the same full degree as anyone else.

5. Abortion is not a murder; it's simply a procedure of removal of the fetus from the womb.
This is the point, Leonid. If you do not see the fetus as a human being, but an appendix or cancer or disease then I can appreciate your thinking that way. I on the other hand see the fetus as a human being with a right to life. I do not see abortion as contraception. It is too late. There are exceptions of course - if the mother's life is at risk for example but that is the moral issue that I mentioned at the end of my post with regard to pro lifers not being absolutist.

6. If it dies because it cannot exist outside of woman's body, it dies from the natural cause.
It dies from a natural cause if it dies from a cause other than abortion. Abortion is not a natural cause.

7. No woman could be forced to be a living container for the fetus if she doesn't want to. That would be terrible violation of her rights of autonomy on her own body.
I understand the sentiment behind this and have sympathy for it. I am talking about the morality of it however. She had sex. She did not use contraception or the day after pill. She may not want the baby but inconvenience is no justifiable reason for killing a human. As I see it she has violated her rights to avoid pregnancy and now she wants to violate the rights of the human being inside her.

This evening my son and I watched a BBC production about Auschwitz. There was an interview of an SS man who was responsible for shooting Jews as they fell in to the pit. The interviewer asked him what he thought as he did this. He replied, "to get my aim right." She asked him whether he ever thought that what he was doing was wrong. He replied, "No. I never thought that." There was a pause and then he said, "If I allowed myself to think about what I was doing in that way I would never be able to live with myself." I thought about Olivia's comment about abortion, "Most women don't give it a second thought." It is the same. And if you can excuse a woman not giving the killing of her baby a second thought, then you must allow the SS the same excuse with regard to the Jews. In other words, they are both saying, "It is too traumatic to think about and I would rather not do the right thing than do the right thing because in doing the right thing there are personal consequences to me that I would rather not deal with." In short, neither chooses to face the reality of their decisions head on and act in accordance with their consciences. Because that means taking the consequences which they do not want to do. "Too difficult."

I know the analogy is not exactly the same - and you will raise the point that it is her body - but in raising the point that it is her body as the only excuse I think is just a distraction from facing the truth of her actions. The fact that the baby is in her body is nothing more than a location and a biological fact of reproduction - a fact that she knew about when she had sex. "My body" is an issue that is emotional only - and you are valuing the woman's right to her body being childless, despite the fact that she forewent that right when she had sex and failed to take contraception, over the right to life of a human being already in existence. Leonid, I believe you have been persuaded by the "women's rights" issue over the more real issue of voluntarily killing a child in utero and seeing this child as nothing more than the way the Nazis saw the Jews: not human beings with a right to life.

Body parts

Richard Goode's picture

Fetus or embryo... can exist only as part of woman's organism.

[Fetus] isn't separated entity, it is part of organism.

Fetus is part of its mother's organism

[Fetus] isn't separated entity, it is part of organism.

a fetus can exist only as a part of its mother's organism.

Which is why, at one time, your mother had two heads, four arms and a penis.

If the fetus is part of the woman carrying it, then its parts are the woman's parts.

Leonid

Richard Goode's picture

No biologist in his right mind would define chicken fertilized egg as member of chicken's species.

No biologist in his right mind wouldn't.

Zygote, embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, adult... all are stages in the life cycle (defined below) of the human organism.

A life cycle describes the series of stages that an individual organism passes through between the time it is conceived until the time it produces offspring of its own. (Biology Reference)

The whole life history of an organism, usually depicted through a series of developmental stages (e.g. from zygote into a mature form where another zygote can be produced) in which an organism goes through. (Biology-Online.org)

The course of developmental changes through which an organism passes from its inception as a fertilized zygote to the mature state in which another zygote may be produced. (Answers.com)

Rosie

Leonid's picture

If you think that "fetus" is inappropriate term I'll use "embryo" Does it make any difference?

Your reliance on American law as a proof of your position is a logical fallacy of argument from authority. Since when arbitrary, man made laws define metaphysical facts of biology or philosophy? Member of species is fully formed separated organism, not fertilized egg. No biologist in his right mind would define chicken fertilized egg as member of chicken's species.

I already mention that the concept of rights doesn't have anything to do with genetics. It is metaphysical and social concept. Your definition of this concept in terms of molecular biology is pure reductionism, that is-an attempt to describe man as "collection of conditioned chemicals" (AS). Even from the religious point of view it's wrong.

Child is separated fully formed organism. Fetus or embryo is not. It can exist only as part of woman's organism. Indeed children and intellectually handicapped people have limited rights. Nevertheless, they are fully formed members of Homo sapiens' species and therefore have right to live by the virtue of the simple fact that they are already living as separated entities. Fetus or embryo cannot do that. Abortion is not a murder; it's simply a procedure of removal of the fetus from the womb. If such a fetus survived the separation and lives separately and then killed, that would be a murder. If it dies because it cannot exist outside of woman's body, it dies from the natural cause. No woman could be forced to be a living container for the fetus if she doesn't want to. That would be terrible violation of her rights of autonomy on her own body.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

So your argument for a fetus not being a human being and not having the right to life is:
(a) that it is not separate from the mother and
(b) that because you think the definition of human is "a rational being" , the fetus does not come within this definition because you assert it is not a rational being.
I believe you also assert that the right to life can only occur when a human being has the rational faculty or potential rational faculty to recognise this right to life.

What I dispute is whether your rationale to your conclusion (that a fetus is not a human being) is correct and whether rationality is a necessary pre-condition for the right to life.

1. The word fetus comes directly from the Latin fetus meaning "offspring" or "young one". (I.e., not potential offspring, potential young one, potential human being, etc.) Thus a human fetus is a human young one or human offspring in actuality (not potentiality) by definition.

2.1 According to US law:
"An unborn child is a child in utero: "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb," according to legislation which passed the US Senate in March 2004."

OK. So the law states that a child in utero is a member of the species homo sapiens AT ANY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. I have provided other instances of case law recognising the unborn child as a human being and separate from the mother. You chose to disregard the law recognising this and sweep it aside in your reply as it did not fit with your argument - "US case law notwithstanding". Leonid, although I appreciate that the law can sometimes get things wrong, in these instances much thought went behind these decisions - so much so that the keen minds of the appellate court were called upon. This means the decision was examined twice and held as I have indicated above.

2.2 This is a slightly more philosophical examination, accepting that a child in utero is a member of the species homo sapiens, but considers whether there is a difference between being a human versus being a person for the purposes of the right to life of the unborn child.

3. From conception to birth - the life of an individual human being begins from conception.
There is no doubt that the zygote is biologically alive. It fulfills the four criteria needed to establish biological life: (1) metabolism, (2) growth, (3) reaction to stimuli, and (4) reproduction. (There is cell reproduction and twinning, a form of asexual reproduction, which can occur after conception.)

First, the human conceptus -- that which results from conception and begins as a zygote—is the sexual product of human parents. Hence, insofar as having human causes, the conceptus is human.

Second, not only is the conceptus human insofar as being caused by humans, it is a unique human individual, just as each of us is. Resulting from the union of the female ovum (which contains 23 chromosomes) and the male sperm (which contains 23 chromosomes), the conceptus is a new—although tiny—individual.

It has its own unique genetic code (with forty-six chromosomes), which is neither the mother's nor the father's. From this point until death, no new genetic information is needed to make the unborn entity a unique individual human.

Her (or his) genetic make-up is established at conception, determining her unique individual physical characteristics—gender, eye color, bone structure, hair color, skin color, susceptibility to certain diseases, etc. That is to say, at conception, the “genotype”—the inherited characteristics of a unique human being—is established and will remain in force for the entire life of this individual.

Although sharing the same nature with all human beings, the unborn individual, like each one of us, is unlike any that has been conceived before and unlike any that will ever be conceived again.

The only thing necessary for the growth and development of this human organism (as with the rest of us) is oxygen, food, and water, since this organism—like the newborn, the infant, and the adolescent—needs only to develop in accordance with her already-designed nature that is present at conception. Which brings us to the location of the unborn child- inside the mother.

4. Dependency on mother
Your notion that we do not become "human" until our birth may well be tied up with the fact that in Western culture we measure our age from our date of birth. I am sure this has a psychological impact on many people when they consider when their human lives began. But really all that is, is just a measure of time from our birth day - our date of birth. This, however, should not stop the thinking person from seeing that our human lives must logically begin when the human life begins. And the moment our human life begins is at conception. In Chinese culture, the lifetime of a human is measured from conception. I wonder whether our Western culture has influenced your thinking about humans becoming human only after birth when the child becomes physically separate from the mother.
The connection between personhood and the right to life is, however, regardless of culture, not a matter of location. It should be what you are, not where you are that determines whether you have a right to life.

Even abortion-rights philosophers Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse write,

"The pro-life groups are right about one thing: the location of the baby inside or outside the womb cannot make such a crucial moral difference. We cannot coherently hold that it is all right to kill a fetus a week before birth, but as soon as the baby is born everything must be done to keep it alive." (Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse, "On Letting Handicapped Infants Die," in The Right Thing to Do, James Rachels, editor (New York: Random House, 1989), p. 146. )

5. Stages of Development - the brain
5.1 Pregnancy begins at conception, the time at which the male sperm and the female ovum unite. What results is called a zygote, a one-celled biological entity, and what I say is simply a stage in human development through which each of us has passed (just as we have passed through infancy, childhood, and adolescence).

5.2 From the eighteenth day after conception, substantial development of the brain and nervous system occurs.

This is necessary because the nervous system integrates the action of all the other systems. By the end of the twentieth day the foundation of the child's brain, spinal cord, and entire nervous system will have been established. By the sixth week, this system will have developed so well that it is controlling movements of the baby's muscles, even though the woman may not be aware she is pregnant. At thirty days the primary brain is seen. By the thirty-third day the cerebral cortex, the part of the central nervous system which governs motor activity as well as intellect, may be seen.

5.3 French geneticist Jermoe L. LeJeune, while testifying before a Senate Subcommittee, asserted:

"To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence." (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, report to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981, as quoted in Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), p. 149. )

5.4 There is hence no doubt that the development of a unique individual human life begins at conception.

You did not come from a zygote.

You once were a zygote.

You did not come from an embryo.

You once were an embryo.

You did not come from a fetus.

You once were a fetus.

You did not come from an adolescent.

You once were an adolescent.

Consequently, each one of us has experienced these various developmental stages of life. None of these stages, however, imparted to us our humanity. That occurred at conception.

6. Further articles for your interest:
6.1 Arguments for/against brain function and the relationship to the humanness of the fetus.

6.2 Arguments for/against sentience and the relationship to the humanness of the fetus.

7. In summary, I believe that full humanness begins at conception for at least four reasons:

1. At the moment of conception a separate unique human individual, with its own genetic code, comes into existence—needing only food, water, shelter, and oxygen in order to grow and develop.
2. Like the infant, the child, and the adolescent, the conceptus is a being who is in the process of becoming. She is not a becoming who is striving toward being. She is not a potential human life but a human life with great potential.
3. The conceptus is the sexual product of human parents, and whatever is the sexual product of members of a particular mammalian species, is itself a unique individual member of that species.
4. The same being that begins as a zygote continues to birth and adulthood. There is no decisive break in the continuous development of the human entity from conception until death that would make this entity a different individual before birth. This is why it makes perfect sense for any one of us to say, "When I was conceived..."

8. I also believe that he right to life begins from conception also:
1. The "right to life" must begin, logically speaking, with the beginning of the life.
2. The location of the human is irrelevant to the morality of the right to life.
3. The brain develops and brain activity is measurable within the first month. Sentience occurs in the second trimester. From conception each stage of our human development is designed to occur by virtue of each person's DNA and each stage of development is dependent on the preceding stage. It is impossible to separate any stage of development since each and every stage is interdependent and one cannot occur without the preceding stage.
4. The Objectivist's requirement for the precondition of the rational faculty to be formed (its purpose being that for a right to exist the person must be aware of this right) is irrelevant to the unalienable right to life. This argument for the need for rationality fails in practical terms on the basis that even for some years after birth the child will not understand the right to life. It is insufficient to argue that potentially they will as they reach the required stage of development, since they have been in this state since conception. Furthermore, intellectually handicapped people never will understand the right to life and have less potential to understand than fetuses and young children yet they have the right to life. So the rational faculty argument is not only irrelevant to defining homo sapiens but also irrelevant to determining the human's right to life.

Finally, let me say that the pro-life advocate does not absolutize biological human life and is willing to apply his principles critically and to think reflectively in morally challenging situations.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"Are you trying to tell me that a fetus doesn't possess human DNA?"
No, I'm trying to tell that it isn't separated entity, it is part of organism. It doesn't matter that its genetic making is different from its mother. Malignant tumor also has distinct DNA. Child depends on his parents, but he exists as separate entity.

"A fetus is already a human being, Leonid. There is no argument in any field on that fact. "

Who says?

I gave a definition of man-rational being. Rationality distinguishes man from all other living entities. According to this definition fetus is not man. DNA structure is simply irrelevant to the definition of man. Definition which you use is invalid, it not based on any essential feature which distinguishes man from all other living beings. Fetus is part of its mother's organism and part cannot have more rights than whole. Rights are corollaries of man's properties of rationality and Free Will. The application of this concept to any part of organism is a fallacy of stolen concept.

"To act rationally!! Be responsible for your own actions: to abstain or take contraception if you do not wish to conceive a child or take the day after pill if necessary. "

This is good advice, only it doesn't have anything to do with the question whether or not concept of rights is applicable to fetus. The question of adoption is not mother's choice, but adoptive parents. And what if nobody wants to adopt this particular child? That would be utmost irresponsibility and ugly second-handiness to bring child to world in hope that SOMEBODY ELSE SOMEHOW will take care on him.

"She can keep her wealth..."

Marcus's picture

Don't give me that bull.

Carrying the baby for nine months and time taken for child-birth and recovering afterwards is NOT keeping her wealth.

So what happens if the contraception fails or she is raped? Is she also cuplable for the life of the unborn, then?

Must she give birth to satisfy your lust for more babies?

Rosie's Christian ethics is to spread the misery around here on earth in her "vale of tears" while anticipating the glories of the hereafter.

Sick!

Marcus

Rosie's picture

In Rosie's world view, the mother is just a baby machine for her own convenience and conscience.

What?! In Rosie's world view if a woman does not wish to become pregnant she either abstains or takes contraception.

Somehow in Rosie's world, if the mother had a quick abortion early on in the pregnancy this would be more traumatic and more of an emotional burden to bear than going through the entire pregnancy only to give up the child.

It may be so for some but that is not where I am coming from entirely. It is a factor - and the woman may well change her mind and keep her child when the time came and be grateful she did. It is mainly a question of morality for me - one has the opportunity to prevent pregnancy prior to its happening. If one fails to do this, then one is taking the life from a human being if one has an abortion. I do not think that any sensitive person could do this without some feeling of revulsion at what they had done. One would have to truly "blank out" the reality of it to avoid the inescapable truth that one had killed one's own child. That "blanking out" is the inevitable consequence of the way the mind deals with trauma. The women who "don't give it another thought" are probably in this state. I would say it was more healthy to experience some grief and remorse. At least it indicates some engagement with reality.

Who cares about the Mother’s health and wealth as long as more children are brought into this overpopulated world needlessly for Rosie's benefit!

No, if the mother's health were to be risked I have already said that I think that is a case for an abortion if the mother chooses. As for wealth, children exceed the joys that any material wealth can provide imo. But, as I have said, if the mother prefers her wealth over her child (yet failed to take contraception or indeed the day after pill) then she is able to give it up for adoption but may take part in its upbringing as she desires. This latter aspect alleviates the possible pain of her decision since it means she can keep her wealth which she values more than her child whilst not having to entirely "give up" her child. I am a witness to this arrangement and it works amazingly well (although the parents did not keep the baby because they valued their wealth - other reasons).

Yeah right...

Marcus's picture

"If the mother considers that she is unable to look after the child, then there are plenty of willing foster families and adoptive parents to take care of it and the biological parents are able to take a part in the child's upbringing these days."

Rosie would rather bind the mother to nine months of high emotions and painful childbirth than a relatively simple procedure at the beginning. In Rosie's world view, the mother is just a baby machine for her own convenience and conscience.

Somehow in Rosie's world, if the mother had a quick abortion early on in the pregnancy this would be more traumatic and more of an emotional burden to bear than going through the entire pregnancy only to give up the child.

Who cares about the Mother’s health and wealth as long as more children are brought into this overpopulated world needlessly for Rosie's benefit!

Leonid

Rosie's picture

Even if you define man as every living entity which possesses human DNA, fetus would be excluded by this definition.

This does not make sense. If man were defined so, then fetus would be included since it is a living entity which possesses human DNA. Are you trying to tell me that a fetus doesn't possess human DNA?

It is not a separated entity; it is a part of woman's organism.
It has separate and distinct DNA from the woman. It is dependent on her for its survival to be sure. But so is a child for some years following birth. This point does not affect its humanity.

According to your understanding, appendix is also man, since its cells possess human DNA.
Not at all. The appendix is simply a part of man. I think you may misunderstand my point, Leonid. My point, with regard to DNA, is simply that a fetus possesses the same human DNA throughout its life - from zygote/embryo/fetus/birth until death. So it does have properties of man. (You will recall that you said "the fetus does not have any properties of man".)

The only thing which distinguishes man from beast is his rational faculty.
No, that is one of several things that distinguish man from the beast. Another distinguishing feature is his human dna.

Fetus has a potential to become human being
A fetus is already a human being, Leonid. There is no argument in any field on that fact.

But, I repeat, one doesn't treat potential as actual, Rights belong only to man, that is-fully formed rational being,
Since you have not proved that a fetus is a potential human being as opposed to an actual human being - and you will find no science or definition that says that a fetus is not a human being - this argument is invalid. Leonid, there is no such thing as a potential human being. One is either human or not. There is no mid-point! The potential is in the sperm or the egg - the actuality is in the zygote/embryo/fetus.

You declare that because a fetus can't reason it therefore does not know it has rights and so does not have any. But these rights are unalienable. One doesn't have to know one has them to have them. Which is why two year olds have them, the mentally handicapped have them but don't know it. The Indians had them. All mankind has them. They are unalienable.

Now, if I were to employ a little bit of your own Jesuit logic, you will recall that you said a while back that man has the potential to make a rational decision but may choose to abandon that rationality. Thus, according to your own wording, rights could only apply to the human beings that were actual rational beings as opposed to potentially rational human beings i.e., those of whom had abandoned that rationality, because according to you "potential is not actual" and you say "Rights belong only to man, that is-fully formed rational being". According to your reasoning, these unalienable rights would come and go depending upon the actuality or potentiality of the rational faculty! Eye

And so, for the reasons set out above, I do not consider that your argument is true or valid and I repeat two of my points that you did not address:
To accept we have unalienable rights but to say that they only come into being at point a - after the beginning of life but before its end - has no rationale to it. If there is a right to life then that right MUST begin when that life begins - to say otherwise has no logic to it.

For a philosophy (Objectivism) which I understand acknowledges its basis in the biology of man, his life, it is rather mystifying (and inconsistent) to see it conveniently ignore the very beginnings and essence of that same biology of man, his life, when talking about the unalienable right to life. For there is no midpoint between life and death; and if the baby is not dead in utero it is alive and vice versa.

Rationality is metaphysical basis of human rights, not the alleged creator.
Rationality is simply the means by which we ascertain the rights endowed on us by our creator.

The only possible outcome of your position is a morality of suffering and human sacrifice.
Well, Leonid, in fact it is your morality that causes human sacrifice - the baby - and suffering - for both the baby, depending on the time in which it is aborted, and the mother, according to the medical studies of the likely mental health of mothers who abort their children.

My morality is this: To act rationally!! Be responsible for your own actions: to abstain or take contraception if you do not wish to conceive a child or take the day after pill if necessary. If both these acts of rationality/responsibility are ignored/abandoned then, unless the mother's life is endangered e.g., an ectopic pregnancy, the child has a right to life. If the mother considers that she is unable to look after the child, then there are plenty of willing foster families and adoptive parents to take care of it and the biological parents are able to take a part in the child's upbringing these days.

There is also a type of tumor...

Marcus's picture

...called a teratoma.

It develops various human tissues.

"The tissues of a teratoma, although normal in themselves, may be quite different from surrounding tissues, and may be highly disparate; teratomas have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and very rarely more complex organs such as eye,[1][2] torso,[3][4] and hands, feet, or other limbs."

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

According to Rosie, when this is cut out of the body and disposed of, it must be murder because it is human.

Rosie-actual and potential

Leonid's picture

"1. A fetus has the exact properties of man by virtue of the fact that the exact same dna of the fetus matches the exact same dna as the man"

Even if you define man as every living entity which possesses human DNA, fetus would be excluded by this definition. It is not a separated entity; it is a part of woman's organism. According to your understanding, appendix is also man, since its cells possess human DNA. You are free to define man even as featherless biped, if you wish, but by using such a definition you won't be able to distinguish man from the plucked chicken.
The only thing which distinguishes man from beast is his rational faculty. Man is rational being. Fetus has a potential to become human being as an acorn has a potential to become an oak. But, I repeat, one doesn't treat potential as actual, Rights belong only to man, that is-fully formed rational being, American legislature notwithstanding. Bush also prohibited stem cell research, bringing back the Middle Ages and sacrificing millions of actual victims of various diseases to the "rights" of fertilized eggs. Rationality is metaphysical basis of human rights, not the alleged creator. The only possible outcome of your position is a morality of suffering and human sacrifice.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

It is not dismantled. All you have done is to assert a different position.

This is your argument for dismantlement, as I understand it:

"Foetus doesn't have any properties of man, including rights. "

1. A fetus has the exact properties of man by virtue of the fact that the exact same dna of the fetus matches the exact same dna as the man. Not only this "the roots of human behavior, researchers now know, begin to develop early - just weeks after conception, in fact. Well before a woman typically knows she is pregnant, her embryo's brain has already begun to bulge. By five weeks, the organ that looks like a lumpy inchworm has already embarked on the most spectacular feat of human development: the creation of the deeply creased and convoluted cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that will eventually allow the growing person to move, think, speak, plan, and create in a human way." (Source: Psychology Today, Sep/Oct98, Vol. 31 Issue 5, p44, 6p, 4c.)
I don't need to remind you that living organisms do not just fall out of the sky fully formed and unchanging - life is a process. Our environment and the entire universe is a process and in a state of flux.
To accept we have unalienable rights but to say that they only come into being at point a - after the beginning of life but before its end - has no rationale to it. If there is a right to life then that right MUST begin when that life begins - to say otherwise has no logic to it.

2. For a philosophy (Objectivism) which I understand acknowledges its basis in the biology of man, his life, it is rather mystifying (and inconsistent) to see it conveniently ignore the very beginnings and essence of that same biology of man, his life, when talking about the unalienable right to life.

3. You say that a fetus does not have any rights. I say it does.

I say it has the unalienable right to life, liberty nd the pursuit of happiness as conferred upon man by his Creator as described in the Declaration of Independence.

And you say it has no rights because why? It can't reason as an embryo and therefore does not know it has rights? But these rights are unalienable. One doesn't have to know one has them to have them. Which is why two year olds have them, the mentally handicapped have them but don't know it. The Indians had them. All mankind has them. They are unalienable.

4. Incidentally, The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is a United States law which defines violent assault committed against pregnant women as being a crime against two persons: the woman and the fetus she carries. This law was passed in 2004 after the murder of Laci Peterson and the fetus she was carrying.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush announced a plan to ensure health care coverage for fetuses under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

The 1978 American Convention on Human Rights states, in Article 4.1, "Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception." The Convention is considered binding only for the 24 of 35 member nations of the Organization of American States who ratified it.
It is argued that person hood has been forwarded by special interests in order to subvert an equal requirement of birth with a citizen, as a criteria for equal protection with a citizen, in order to establish protection of the foetus under language of the US 14th Amendment.

Some states in the USA have held women criminally liable for any use of illegal drugs that harms their fetus. Prosecutors in many states have sought to deter such behavior by charging women with a number of crimes against their fetus, including delivery of drugs, criminal Child Abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and Manslaughter. Johnson v. State, 578 So. 2d 419 (Fla. 1991), demonstrates the controversial aspects of such prosecutions. In this case, a Florida district court of appeal upheld a lower court's conviction of a woman for the delivery of a controlled substance by umbilical cord to two of her four children. The decision was the first appellate ruling to uphold such a conviction.

In 1983, the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, also known as the "Pro-Life Amendment," was added to the Constitution of The Republic of Ireland by popular referendum. It recognizes "the right to life of the unborn".

In 1993, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany held that the constitution guaranteed the right to life from conception, but that it is within the discretion of parliament not to punish abortion in the first trimester, providing that women agreed to undergo special counselling designed to discourage termination and "protect unborn life".

It seems that the law is creeping forward and finally moving on this issue.

So you will have to do better than to simply assert that a fetus does not have rights, or argue that because it has no knowledge of its having such rights it does not have rights, to convince me of this. And thus you have not dismantled the argument on any count.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"In a very good riddle. And you have not dismantled it."

"Wrong. That was Leonid - you - in his - your - first developing stage. Without this stage, Leonid the child would not be: and without the stage of Leonid the child, Leonid the adult would not be"

I already lost the count how many times I dismantled this argument.

One cannot treat potential as actual . Acorn doesn't have any properties of oak. Foetus doesn't have any properties of man, including rights. One with Ph.D in philosophy should know at least that.

.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

His riddle wasn't stupid. It had all the requisites of an excellent riddle.

I did not say Richard is Aristotle. But if Aristotle were alive now I shouldn't wonder if he were to have just the same sorts of original ideas as Richard has regarding AI and other modern philosophical issues. You don't know him and just as I hear people spouting forth on matters of law and legal judgements thinking they have it all sussed - when it is very clear to me that they do not understand the "way of thinking" for law or see it in its wider perspective - so it must be for one who has a Ph.D in philosophy and listening to people thinking they have debateable issues of philosophy sussed! The very fact that these issues are relegated to the field of "philosophy" means in itself that the answer is arguable.

But I do not wish to discuss Richard. My post was simply to point out that riddles can be a very clever way of instructing. His point was made and made well. In a very good riddle. And you have not dismantled it.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

"Aristotle was a keen systematic collector of riddles,

Note, I said " stupid riidles". And Richard Goode is not Aristotle. Far from it.

Natural Rights

Rosie's picture

From Wikipedia on Natural Rights:

Natural rights theories

The existence of natural rights has been asserted by different individuals on different premises, such as a priori philosophical reasoning or religious principles. For example, Immanuel Kant claimed to derive natural rights through "reason" alone. The Declaration of Independence, meanwhile, is based upon the "self-evident" truth that "all men are ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".

Do I take it that Objectivism takes its views on natural rights from Kant?

No Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The rational faculty is real and demonstrable. Your gobby is not.

And did this ever occur to you?

Rosie's picture

If you can have a concept of an unalienable right without being able to see it or show where it comes from, then you can have a concept of God without having to see it or show where it comes from.

Btw I think it is unalienable not inalienable - I have been guilty of this error also.

Did this ever occur to you?

Rosie's picture

If someone were to kill or have their own child murdered, complicity on the part of the mother or father would not make it legal. But this is the exact exception made in the law in regard to the fetus. Somehow, the fetus only has value as human life if it is wanted by the mother. If someone kills a fetus that the mother wants to keep, it suddenly becomes a living human being who can be murdered.

Is a human fetus only a human on the basis of whether or not he is wanted?

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That does not mean that rights are based on rational faculty.

I'm afraid it does, dear. As I say, without it the issue wouldn't even arise. Does it arise among animals?

It's the rational faculty that both necessitates rights and makes the concept possible.

And I'm afraid it won't do to fabricate a goblin as the basis of rights. America is now paying for the Founding Fathers' mistake in that regard.

Again, Rosie: zygotes' rights? Embryos' rights?

Lindsay

Rosie's picture

If we didn't have reason, operating volitionally, we'd have no need of "rights."

That does not mean that rights are based on rational faculty. Rational faculty is employed to measure the facts against the right.

Your "reasoning" (saying that babies only could have rights at week 26 when their rational faculties begin) is absurd. Not only could a 26 week old fetus not be expected to understand what a right is nor could a child of 6 years old! Nor could an intellectually handicapped person ever. For those that do not have the "rational faculty" to enforce their unalienable rights to life and liberty, they have guardians to represent them.

So you need to analyse your basis for these unalienable rights first and proceed from there. It is not the simple task you seem to think - certainly not without accepting they come from God as Jefferson declared.

Dear Gobby, Rosie!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

There've been entire threads, quite recently, devoted to just this, the derivation of rights. It was my impression you'd participated in them. Is Baade plying you with that weed, that you've forgotten so soon?

If we didn't have reason, operating volitionally, we'd have no need of "rights." We'd just be automatons, doing what we're programmed to do.

Now, why don't you address my post? This part in particular:

Rosie and Baade think rights are implanted by their goblin at conception— though Rosie thinks circumventing her goblin with a morning-after pill is OK since the woman doesn't know if she's conceived or not (!!)—and not only the fetus has inalienable rights but the zygote and embryo as well. This view has the advantage over any other that it bypasses the need for intellectual effort; it's something one just believes, on faith. It has the disadvantage of having no demonstrable basis in facts, and being downright silly, not to mention vicious.

Lindsay

Rosie's picture

In any event, it's only at about week 26 that the organic wherewithal for sentience and reasoning is hooked up. If rights are based on the rational faculty, that's when they kick in.

Who said rights are based on the rational faculty? That is certainly not the basis for legal rights. Therefore you must be claiming that rights arising from natural law are based on the rational faculty? Please provide the "intellectual effort" that supports this contention.

Week 26

Marcus's picture

Linz, you think that will piss off objectivists? I'm not.

UK law used to stand at 28 weeks, but was recently lowered to 24 weeks. An amendment to lower this to 22 or 20 weeks was defeated in parliament.

The reason for lowering the limit to 24 weeks was the improved technology in keeping premature births alive.

The amendment for 20-22 weeks was defeated because the health minister at that time argued that although premature babies may survive at this time, they are often prone to brain damage and other fatal health problems later in life. (Therefore the argument for abortion limits comes down to "normal" survivability outside the womb.)

For my part, I think the UK law and justification for it is completely reasonable.

In practice, most woman get an abortion before three months and it is reasonable to expect that they would know if they were pregnant by that time.

Abortions after three months are mostly done for medical reasons, when the fetus is dying or the pregnancy might kill the mother.

Edit: Note that cretins such as Rosie and Goode would rather that mother and baby die than allow any abortion.

I understand ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... the "human" fetus has a tail for the first five weeks and is indistinguishable from a pig. That would explain a few things. In any event, it's only at about week 26 that the organic wherewithal for sentience and reasoning is hooked up. If rights are based on the rational faculty, that's when they kick in. So now I piss off both sides of the debate. This has all been canvassed before of course. But I can't see a resolution. Rosie and Baade think rights are implanted by their goblin at conception— though Rosie thinks circumventing her goblin with a morning-after pill is OK since the woman doesn't know if she's conceived or not (!!)—and not only the fetus has inalienable rights but the zygote and embryo as well. This view has the advantage over any other that it bypasses the need for intellectual effort; it's something one just believes, on faith. It has the disadvantage of having no demonstrable basis in facts, and being downright silly, not to mention vicious. The Objectivist view—and what it should be—will always be hotly debated, not least among Objectivists, because we strive to ground it in reality, which I would contend is far from cut-and-dried, at present at least, in this instance.

Identity

gregster's picture

They weren't radishes. They were radish sprouts which were far from becoming radishes.

Leonid

Rosie's picture

BTW, some people, who substitute thinking by stupid riddles , spend all their life in such a state, from the cradle to the grave

You will appreciate that riddles and thinking are not mutually exclusive. Particularly in the greatest thinkers.

"Aristotle was a keen systematic collector of riddles, folklore, and proverbs; he and his school had a special interest in the riddles of the Delphic Oracle and studied the fables of Aesop." (see under Rhetoric and poetics in the Wikipedia article) He considered riddles important enough to include discussion of their use in his Rhetoric. He describes the close relationship between riddles and metaphors: “Good riddles do, in general, provide us with satisfactory metaphors; for metaphors imply riddles, and therefore a good riddle can furnish a good metaphor” (1405b4-6).

And from Aristotle's Poetics:

"Part XXII

The perfection of style is to be clear without being mean. The clearest style is that which uses only current or proper words; at the same time it is mean- witness the poetry of Cleophon and of Sthenelus. That diction, on the other hand, is lofty and raised above the commonplace which employs unusual words. By unusual, I mean strange (or rare) words, metaphorical, lengthened- anything, in short, that differs from the normal idiom. Yet a style wholly composed of such words is either a riddle or a jargon; a riddle, if it consists of metaphors; a jargon, if it consists of strange (or rare) words. For the essence of a riddle is to express true facts under impossible combinations. Now this cannot be done by any arrangement of ordinary words, but by the use of metaphor it can. Such is the riddle: 'A man I saw who on another man had glued the bronze by aid of fire,' and others of the same kind. A diction that is made up of strange (or rare) terms is a jargon. A certain infusion, therefore, of these elements is necessary to style; for the strange (or rare) word, the metaphorical, the ornamental, and the other kinds above mentioned, will raise it above the commonplace and mean, while the use of proper words will make it perspicuous. But nothing contributes more to produce a cleanness of diction that is remote from commonness than the lengthening, contraction, and alteration of words. For by deviating in exceptional cases from the normal idiom, the language will gain distinction; while, at the same time, the partial conformity with usage will give perspicuity. The critics, therefore, are in error who censure these licenses of speech, and hold the author up to ridicule.

I wasn't Leonid that time. I wasn't “I” that time. I wasn’t human being. I was "it".

Wrong. That was Leonid - you - in his - your - first developing stage. Without this stage, Leonid the child would not be: and without the stage of Leonid the child, Leonid the adult would not be.

Leonid, the living organism, develops and grows as a plant or any living thing develops and grows.

When you see the radish seedlings you plant rise up from the ground, you become excited. You say, "Oooh look! My radishes!"
If your children or the birds were to destroy that crop of seedlings in your vegetable garden, planted by you from their seeds, would you say, "Never mind, they were not radishes yet anyway"?

Excellent Leonid...

Marcus's picture

"BTW, some people, who substitute thinking by stupid riddles , spend all their life in such a state, from the cradle to the grave."

You've described Goode to a tee.

Rosie has obviously called in 'the Riddler' as an act of desperation because she refuses to answer any further rational questions on the matter.

Really, this evil pair don't deserve the time of day anymore.

"Leonid's mum (when she was

Leonid's picture

"Leonid's mum (when she was pregnant with Leonid the non-human, non-separate Leonid-to-be fetus-thing)."

Again you're wrong. I wasn't Leonid that time. I wasn't “I” that time. I wasn’t human being. I was "it". BTW, some people, who substitute thinking by stupid riddles , spend all their life in such a state, from the cradle to the grave

An answer

Richard Goode's picture

What has two heads, four arms and a penis?

Leonid's mum (when she was pregnant with Leonid the non-human, non-separate Leonid-to-be fetus-thing).

I know.

Rosie's picture

This.

A riddle

Richard Goode's picture

What has two heads, four arms and a penis?

Richard

Leonid's picture

The member of species is not a fertilized egg but fully formed separate organism. An embryo in its early stages of development even doesn't have morphological features of any particular species. According to your definition any organ or cell of the organism could be qualified as a member of species and this is obvious nonsense. You may say that human spleen belongs to the organism which is Homo sapiens, but it would be an absurd to claim that this organ IS Homo sapiens. The fallacy is in the wrong application of the concept of species.

The origin of 'species'

Richard Goode's picture

The concept of species belongs only to the fully developed organisms, not to fertilized eggs. You commit the fallacy of stolen concept.

The concept of species belongs to biology. According to (the philosophy of) biology, species membership depends on either ancestry, or genetics, not on an organism's stage of development.

You commit the fallacy of stolen concept.

How?

Absurd

Leonid's picture

Richard:"If a "fetus is not a human being," then what species is it? A human being begins at conception."

If so, then fertilized human egg, a microscopic creature is also human being and has right to live. Every women, therefore, who underwent spontaneous miscarriage (and this is about 20% of all pregnancies) should be charged with manslaughter. Every pregnant women who is smoking or drinking as much alcohol as glass of wine should be charged with child abuse. Moreover, every man who is, using condom or practicing interrupted coitus should be charged for denial of right to live of potential human beings-that-is, fertilized eggs.

Richard: “Of course, there is. If a "fetus is not a human being," then what species is it?”

The concept of species belongs only to the fully developed organisms, not to fertilized eggs. You commit the fallacy of stolen concept.

"A human being begins at conception."

Marcus's picture

Then Rosie with her advocacy of the "Morning-after-Pill" is guilty of promoting abortion, nay, even murder!

Alive and kicking

Richard Goode's picture

"A human being is a member of the species Homo sapiens."-and his life starts at birth.

A human being is alive and kicking before birth.

A human being begins at conception.

There is no contradiction.

Of course, there is. If a "fetus is not a human being," then what species is it?

Are you sure?

Leonid's picture

Richard: "In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt."

Are you sure about this?

"A human being is a member of

Leonid's picture

"A human being is a member of the species Homo sapiens."-and his life starts at birth. There is no contradiction.

Bertrand Russell

Richard Goode's picture

[A] fetus is not a human being and therefore the concept of rights is not applicable to it. And this knowledge is beyond reasonable doubt.

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.

In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

This discussion was had in depth....

Olivia's picture

here... http://test.solopassion.com/no...

Objectivists by no means agree on abortion issues.

I wonder what became of our intelligent, sparkly Ted Keer?

Leonid

Richard Goode's picture

A human being is a member of the species Homo sapiens.

"You know that at some point

Leonid's picture

"You know that at some point between (and including) conception and birth, a human being with an unalienable right to life comes into existence. You know that a pre-natal human being is in existence during this period of time."

I know that human being is separate entity and his life qua human being starts at birth, from the moment he is capable to exist as separate being. This doesn't mean that fetus is not alive or doesn't have sensations. It simply means that fetus is not a human being and therefore the concept of rights is not applicable to it. And this knowledge is beyond reasonable doubt.

The Argument from Caution

Richard Goode's picture

The following is closely based on this article by Matt Flannagan.

Suppose one morning you are in the bush hunting deer. You have been informed that at some point that morning a party of school children is going to be hiking along the deer trail where you are hunting. Mid-morning you hear rustling and see movement in the bushes. Despite careful examination you are unable to ascertain whether the movement you see is a human being, a deer, or another animal. Are you justified in shooting at the target?

The answer is clearly no... This is because

(i) You know that at some point in the morning, in that place, a human being will be present;
(ii) It is morning and you are perceiving a living object in that place; and
(iii) You are unable to identify whether what you perceive is a human being or not.

It would be an act of gross recklessness or negligence to destroy the target because these three facts are in play. A similar argument applies in the case of killing a pre-natal human being.

You know that at some point between (and including) conception and birth, a human being with an unalienable right to life comes into existence. You know that a pre-natal human being is in existence during this period of time. Hence, unless it is beyond reasonable doubt that a pre-natal human being does not have an unalienable right to life, it is seriously immoral to destroy it.

The Objectivist account of rights is not beyond reasonable doubt.

Note that a similar argument from caution is, or should be, used to justify strict restrictions on Muslim immigration and a moratorium on new mosque-building. We do not know for sure whether Islam is merely a religion, or a Trojan horse whose payload is a political ideology inimical to Western civilisation. Caution mandates that we assume the worst.

Central question in abortion debate

Doug Bandler's picture

The Objectivist rationale on abortion relies on 1920s “fashionable ideas” about abortion and lack of science in terms of whether a fetus is a living being or not.

No it doesn't. The Objectivist rationale relies on its epistemological approach to the concept of rights. Science has nothing to do with the Objectivist position on abortion. Objectivism is not a reductionist or a materialist philosophy.

The central question in the abortion issue is when do individual rights apply in the development of a baby? Do they apply inside the womb? Do they apply outside the womb? The fact of biological life does not equate to legal personhood. The Objectivist answer to the abortion issue is that the life of the fetus (not child - definitions are important) is irrelevant in the determination of when its political rights apply (for most Objectivists - some Objectivists agree with banning 3rd term abortions - I think they are wrong). Until birth, only the mother has person status, and it is her will that rules.

Rosie's entire argument is a non-sequitur. Its based on the false premise that because the fetus is alive it is entitled to political rights. But as I said elsewhere, for most Christians what drives their hatred of abortion (and homosexuality as well) is the chastity ethic. Christianity orients around denial and surrender. The joys of this earth are to be surrendered in the name of "morality". The fact that man can control the reproductive process and restrict child-bearing to where the mother is truly motivated to have the child is a phenomenon that Christians hate.* The more I read Rosie's expressions of her worldview the more I realize how much I despise Christianity.

______________

* There are a number of secular arguments against abortion as well and some of them are sophisticated. But in the end the abortion issue is a case of applied epistemology. Objectivism's epistemology is what separates our defense of abortion from other secularists. Although all of that is wasted on a Goblin worshiper like Rosie.

Ceding sovereignty to a "non entity"

Sandi's picture

Both anti abortion slave masters and religion demand it.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

As response I can only remind to you the well known, easily observable fact that every body can confirm even without the usage of ultrasound, DNA tests, EEG and MRI: contrary to babies and toddlers, a fetus can exist only as a part of its mother's organism. Therefore it has no more rights than your appendix ( which also has human DNA).

"A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context...the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life.” (Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 93).

A fetus does exactly nothing in order to sustain its life; it even doesn't breathe or digest. Biologically it is an ultimate parasite. Moreover, the concept of rights also presupposes volition, the ability to choose. A fetus doesn't have such ability. Therefore the concept of rights is not applicable to it.

" The flow on of all these deaths to our children of the future is that in the Western World average IQ rates have dropped whereas in Africa there is a steady increase to the average IQ as would be expected in a country not using birth control."

I'm a medical doctor who is living in Africa for the last 20 years and I can testify that African women are widely using birth control.

Rosie

Kasper's picture

unborn child being unable to live independently of the mother. It is an artificial distinction to say that life begins only at the time of the child’s first breath outside the mother’s body. If the child is only “alive” when it becomes independent of the mother, arguably you could include children up to about age six or seven.

The degree of sophistry you extend yourself too never ceases to amaze me.

It is a case of individuation. The child once it has exited the mother and no longer requires her bodily functions for survival is an individual. As long as you are faced with the choice between an actual inidividual being in control of a being that lives parasitically off her flesh then the control buttons must remain with her.

This is a case of individual rights which can only be ascribed to an individual. The fact that a fetus is a human being, or is alive or is viewed to be precious by some is immaterial.

This argument is basic and the only thing that complicates it are emotionally fuelled arguments such as the fetus having a face or hands on an ultra sound.. Of course it does.. What did you expect it to have a tail and two horns?

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