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 A Clump of Condor Cells 
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Totalimmortal wrote:
hmm, we're thinking differently about potential here. If a guy and girl get together, they have the "potential" to make a baby, right?

What I'm trying to say here, is if we start looking at "potential" the actual fetilization is only another step on the way of potential things that could happen resulting in a baby being born.

Saying aborting an embryo is killing a person is like saying "there could have been a person in existance, if these 2 people had had sex, but they chose not to, ending that person's potential life", technical differences aside.

So it all comes down to wether we classify embryos as human life or just potential human life. If we only classify them as potential life, then there is no difference between aborting them at that stage and the sexual encounter never happening, if we classify them as life, then abortion is morally wrong.

Edit - missed an entire sentence out :oops:


No. I think you misunderstand what I mean by potential. And I think you are confused by the distinction between "life" and "person".

Human life begins at conception. The thing that makes each individual unique is its DNA (environment will of course eventually have an influence as well, but the DNA is initially the sole factor). It is also what distinguishes human from non-human. It is only when the sperm unites with the egg that a full complement of DNA capable of creating a person exists. However, if one defines a "person" as a human being who is self aware, then the zygote is a living human life, but only a potential person. Unless steps are taken to prevent it (i.e. abortion), the zygote will in fact become a person. And not just any person, but a specific person determined by the genes in the DNA. A unique individual has been created at conception. Prior to conception, any two people having sex could create a near infinite number of different offspring, depending upon which particular sperm happened to fertilize a particular egg. Conception is therefore the morally significant event in the timeline.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:16 am
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TheSurgeon wrote:
No. I think you misunderstand what I mean by potential

I understand it, just view it differently.
TheSurgeon wrote:
And I think you are confused by the distinction between "life" and "person"

TBH, I was just using definitions loosely hoping that you'd get what I meant. :oops:

TheSurgeon wrote:
Prior to conception any two people having sex could create a near infinite number of different offspring, depending upon which particular sperm happened to fertilize a particular egg. Conception is therefore the morally significant event in the timeline.

But the potential for that person was always there, so it hasn't suddenly begun at the moment of conception.
You view the potential "person" as only being in existence when concieved. I think that the potential for the person is always there, so I think that the actual conception is only another step. We seem to agree that the main issue here is how we define a person.


Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:43 am
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Totalimmortal wrote:
so abortion is legal purely because it would be far worse if it was illegal? Or does the government actually believe embryos are not life?


They believe enough to pass a bill that illegalizes the unlawful killing of an unborn in utero (H.R. 1997 - Unborn Victims of Violence Act).

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:41 am
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Godzilla
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TheSurgeon wrote:
For those who have difficulty with the concept of potential being a factor in the moral significance of an organism, consider the following. Two people are about to be killed in a fire and you can save only one ... one is a five year old child, the other is a 105 year old. Both are thinking, self aware human beings. Are their lives equal? Can you honestly say that you would flip a coin to decide which one to save? I can't.

Something I've thought about is, really, murder is more of a crime when committed against the young. Because you're robbing them (and their friends and loved ones) of a greater portion of their natural lifespan.

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Last edited by Sandman on Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:11 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:45 am
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I always find it interesting that the pro lifers also believe in the death penalty. Maybe the person they are executing is truly evil, but a life is a life, right? So, at least I am consistent. I believe in the death penalty and I believe in the right to choose for WOMEN. Sorry, but I really think that if men could get pregnant, abortion would not only be legal, it would be publicly funded. Also if men were the ones to get pregnant, I think it would be the end of civilization as we know it.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:51 am
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Speed_DemonX wrote:
For me, if the foetus can survive outside of the mother's womb (after around 24 weeks, I think (with the aid of machinery, of course)) then it should not be aborted, however, so long as it cannot survive on its own, and is still totally dependant on the mother, then abortion is okay.


One of the favorite rationales abortion advocates have for stripping embryos and fetuses their rights of personhood is this issue of dependency. "Since a fetus can't survive on it's own," they argue, "it has no inherent right to life". What's the problem with this argument? It could just as easily be extended to cover the whole of humanity. There isn't a person alive anywhere who is radically independent from this biosphere in which we live. We are all dependent beings. Some of us are less dependent than others, but we are all dependent. The differences in dependencies that separate fetuses from the rest of us are differences of degree, not of kind.

We must never forget that newborn babies, too, are utterly dependent upon their parents for survival. They are helpless and will die if left to themselves. Such dependency doesn't make them non-persons, and it shouldn't make unborn children non-persons either. Human beings outside the womb who must rely on kidney machines or pace-makers or insulin shots for their survival do not lose their rights of personhood for such dependency. Neither should human beings inside the womb lose their rights of personhood for being dependent upon an umbilical cord for their survival.

What is most absurd about this whole line of thinking is the fact that dependency should merit more protection under the law, not less! This kind of reasoning is an utter perversion of the natural parental instinct. The younger and more dependent a child is, the more care and compassion we have for them. The U.S. Office of Juvenille Justice and Delinquency Prevention expresses it well when they say, "Homicides are always tragic, but our sympathies are heightened when the victim is a young child or adolescent. Thus, the deaths of juveniles raise understandable public concerns." The nation is far more outraged at violence directed towards children than at violence directed towards other adults. The reason is simple. Children are more helpless, and less capable of defending themselves. And the younger the child is the truer this becomes. How we ever got to the place of using dependency against children rather than for children is a tragedy of staggering proportions.

http://www.abort73.com/HTML/I-C-4-dependecy.html

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:52 am
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Speed_DemonX wrote:
Condoms can break... and adoption? Well, aside from the mental anguish of having to give up a baby after it's been born, it still means that she'd have to go through with the pregnancy, which for a 15 year old or whatever, is no doubt going to be more painful/stressful than for a 30 year old, for example. It also means at least, what, a month or two off school. And besides, what if no foster parents can be found, it means that the child will have to spend his/her childhood in a home, which I'm sure a lot of people will tell you is not particularly pleasant, especially not if the child has to spent their childhood in limbo between several families. And of course there's the matter of the child/parent trying to get in touch with their parent/child years later, which may or may not be welcomed by either party. For these reasons I truly believe that abortion can be better for both the parent(s) and the child(ren).


One of the favorite mantras of abortion advocates around the country is "Every Child a Wanted Child". It sounds noble enough, until you realize what their solution to unwantedness is. If a child isn't wanted, they argue, then it shouldn't be born. The problem, of course, is that the child is already conceived, and the only way to keep said child from being born is to kill it. How do they justify such violence? Often by arguing that it is better for the child to be dead than for the child to be unwanted.

This is a bogus argument. It doesn't work for the simple fact that no one makes such an argument about children after birth. Whoever heard Planned Parenthood or the National Organization for Women (NOW) argue that it would be better to kill children waiting for adoption rather than let them suffer through an "unwanted" life? If someone's right to life truly were established or removed based simply on their "wantedness", that would be the deathnell of homeless men and women around the nation.

Something as subjective as "wantedness" can never be the basis for granting someone the right to life, and abortion advocates know this. They don't argue that mothers should be free to kill their "unwanted" children after birth because they know these children are living, human beings with full rights of personhood. The only reason they argue that mothers should be free to kill their unwanted children before birth is because they're ignoring the scientific reality that these children, too, are living, human beings. The question is humanity, not wantedness.

Finally, it must never be forgotten, that the very discussion of "wantedness" in the first place ignores a substantial reality. There are no "unwanted" children in the broadest sense. Even if the biological parents want nothing to do with their offspring, there are families all over the nation waiting desperately to adopt a baby, families who are willing to adopt diseased babies of any race or ethnicity. This oft-cited notion of "unwantedness" is misleading and is utterly insufficient to justify even a single abortion.

http://www.abort73.com/HTML/I-D-1-unwantedness.html

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:54 am
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Totalimmortal wrote:
This issue is so clouded. A fetus is a potential adult. The sperm and egg are a potential adult


There are four basic ways that the embryo or fetus (who is not protected under the law) is different from a newborn baby (who is protected under the law). The first difference is size. Embryos are smaller than fetuses who are smaller (usually) than newborns. The question, then, is this. What does size have to do with rights of personhood? The answer: nothing.

Smaller people are no more or less human than those who are bigger. Embryos and fetuses are smaller than newborns just as newborns are smaller than infants and infants are smaller than toddlers and toddlers are smaller than adolescents and adolescents are smaller than teenagers and teenagers are smaller than adults. Size doesn't matter. It is lawful to kill a fly and not lawful to kill a person, not because the person is bigger, but because the person is human. Humanity is what matters. Trees are generally bigger than people, but it is lawful to cut the branches off trees, but unlawful to cut arms off people. Why? Because humanity, not size, is what determines rights of personhood. This might seem laughably obvious but there are all number of people out there who actually justify abortion based simply on the tiny size of the embryo or fetus.

Think about this, it is often true that newborn babies, born prematurely, are smaller than other fetuses who are still inside the womb. All those fetuses still in the womb, may be legally aborted in all fifty states despite the fact that they are bigger than many premature newborns. To argue that abortion is justified because early embryos and fetuses are so small is a rationale with no logical basis. Size doesn't determine personhood after birth and it shouldn't determine personhood before birth.

http://www.abort73.com/HTML/I-C-1-size.html

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:57 am
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Bitchen wrote:
I have a solution for you GUYS. If you don't want an abortion, then don't have one.

Believe it or not, before the Civil War, the slogan was, "If you don't like slavery, don't have have a slave." What this argument fails to take into account is that abortion is an act of violence: movie

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Last edited by Sandman on Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:01 am
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TheSurgeon wrote:
However, if one defines a "person" as a human being who is self aware, then the zygote is a living human life, but only a potential person.

Surgeon, good posts! I think the thing people need to keep in mind is that the lack of self-awareness is only temporary. Given time, nutrition, and protection from homicide, they will become self-aware just as all of us have. If you had killed me in my mother's womb, you would have killed me, the father of my children. I would not be here to type.

Hell, I lose self-awareness every night when I sleep -- even some afternoons on the couch. But it's not a permanent state, just as it isn't for the very young.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:09 am
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Bitchen wrote:
I always find it interesting that the pro lifers also believe in the death penalty.

There is ethical significance between the execution of individuals guilty of capital offenses and those not.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:13 am
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Bitchen wrote:
I always find it interesting that the pro lifers also believe in the death penalty. Maybe the person they are executing is truly evil, but a life is a life, right?


The simple answer is that there is a big difference between murdering a human being that has done nothing and killing a person that has committed an act so heinous that a jury of their peers has found that they should be punished in the utmost manner available.

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Sorry, but I really think that if men could get pregnant, abortion would not only be legal, it would be publicly funded. Also if men were the ones to get pregnant, I think it would be the end of civilization as we know it.


OMNI magazine years ago did an article on then (late 80s/early 90s) attempts to put a fertalized egg into a male and see if it could be brouhgt to term. They were going to place the embryo in the bowels of a man. The problem they were running into was how to get nutrients to the egg. It was a fascinating article -- I have to believe this many years later since I have heard nothing else that they were not successful.

I don't know if there would be more abortions if men could get pregnant but I can assure you after the first one delivered birth control would be takne a whole lot more seriously.

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Last edited by Joe on Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:20 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:14 am
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Bitchen wrote:
I always find it interesting that the pro lifers also believe in the death penalty. Maybe the person they are executing is truly evil, but a life is a life, right? So, at least I am consistent. I believe in the death penalty and I believe in the right to choose for WOMEN.

Hey, why not throw in murder, rape and torture?

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:15 am
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I always find it interesting that the pro lifers also believe in the death penalty. Maybe the person they are executing is truly evil, but a life is a life, right? So, at least I am consistent. I believe in the death penalty and I believe in the right to choose for WOMEN. Sorry, but I really think that if men could get pregnant, abortion would not only be legal, it would be publicly funded. Also if men were the ones to get pregnant, I think it would be the end of civilization as we know it.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:16 am
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Bitchen wrote:
Sorry, but I really think that if men could get pregnant, abortion would not only be legal, it would be publicly funded.

Actually, surveys show a higher percentage of men to be pro-choice than women. I wonder why? Could it possibly be a lack of willingness to take responsibility for their actions?? :roll:

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:18 am
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Interesting arguments to the say the least, however, it depends obviously at how you look at it. I see an embryo not as even a fetus, therefore, it would not bother me to have an embryo removed. Once it is larger, then the ethics are in question.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:20 am
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Bitchen wrote:
Interesting arguments to the say the least, however, it depends obviously at how you look at it. I see an embryo not as even a fetus

But this is your own subjective opinion, and you've not provided any rationale for it. What if you're wrong? If you see something moving in the bushes, do you shoot at it, or first find out what it is? In matters like these, where some among us aren't so sure, shouldn't we err on the side of caution? On what basis can we be sure it's okay to kill these beings?

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:29 am
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We will never know, so since your proof isn't there and my proof isn't there, we have to err on the side of what the live human being wants to do with the embryo. I am saying embryo here.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:37 am
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it's hard to not be offended by this but.......Bitchen, while i understand the freedom to express your beliefs and opinions on this board. I have to say, your posts on this thread suck and last substance. It seems like you haven't done your homework or know enough about abortion and it seems like you suppot pro choice blindly and just for the sake of it. How can you say you believe in something when you can't defend it? Sorry to sound like an asshole and i have nothing against you but this is how you look to me..... :?

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:13 am
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Fatigue, there is no point in putting in the medical reasons when I believe life starts. I can spend hours on the computer debating this subject, with my points. I have been a pro choice advocate since the 80's. I went to rallys. I remember a priest, a rabbi and a minister getting up at the podium and pointing out that there is nowhere in the bible where it states in words that abortion is against God. So, forgetting the religious aspect, then even the doctors mostly don't see it as a human being until it reaches a certain amount of days of gestation. I could go on and on, but from my experience thus far in the Racer X room, whenever I try to point out my facts, there are people on the right that just insult. I hate wasting my time. So, I just agreed to disagree and we move on because even out in the real world, everyone is split on the subject based on where they are coming from. There is no absolute, except if you are prolife, then they believe there is an absolute. I am prochoice, so I don't see it that way. I see it as an individual belief up until the point where the fetus can sustain on it's own. But, I just don't want to argue about it anymore. It is offensive what you said, because you have no idea why I haven't stated points. Next time send me a private message and ask first.

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Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:13 am
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