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SPF

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #150 on: July 14, 2017, 08:33:47 am »
igr:
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You seem to have the idea that the argument I present reflects my personal views....Whilst I might make the statement that "This idea that abortion is wrong is a human construct", in that statement I am saying nothing about my view... You have assumed too much and arrived at an incorrect conclusion.

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btw, regardless of my morals, you can still present an argument.  If you have a good/strong argument, maybe you will convert me.
Convert who, exactly?  The person you're pretending to be in your argument? Or you?  I'm sorry, but I was under the impression that I was engaging with you about what you believe about the morality of abortion.  Apparently though, I'm engaging with a pretend igr that you created who is talking about something that the real igr doesn't believe.  No thanks champ, I don't roll like that.

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When I say that "Abortion is a physical action with no inherent rightness/wrongness" I am talking in the natural sense.  Nature does not care.  To say that something is right/wrong is to impose meaning.  We impose a meaning either that we figure out for ourselves or that we have been taught.  If we are all taught that murder is wrong (as we (hopefully) have been taught), then we will see murder as wrong.  But possibly not, if we have not been taught that and have not figured it out for ourselves.  Our sense of right/wrong exists in the brain/mind, not in the person being murdered and not in the act itself.
Now, I'm not sure if you believe this, or if faux-igr believes this, but whichever one of you said this, this actually captures the issue.  You believe that morality is subjective.  Therefore, you don't have a problem with abortion.

It's really that simple. If morality actually is as you [wrongly]think it is - a human fabrication, then there is in reality no objective way to demonstrate that abortion is wrong. It can't be done. 

The pro-life position is predicated on the belief that human life possesses inherent moral worth and value. Therefore, killing an innocent human life for convenience sake (which is why 99% of abortions are conducted) is morally wrong.

The anti-life position claims that humans do not possess inherent moral worth and value. They create a subjective, arbitrary, and non-agreed upon line and create the term personhood and say that being a human being is different than being a human person, and then they go on to say that within this distinction, only the human person has moral worth.  Thus, any action that we want to commit against the human non-person that we would otherwise consider immoral, is permissible.  This is why the distinction is fabricated. 

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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Thresh

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #151 on: July 14, 2017, 01:53:53 pm »
Hi Thresh #146,  Your non-zygote references/analogies are irrelevant as I have previously said.  If you define personhood as a Lowest Common Denominator exercise and include all stages from zygote to death, then the zygote is included.  But this is circular.

IGR, I didn't merely define this; (1) I argued that being a human being is the only known morally significant difference that is self evident in a being attaining personhood, human rights, right to life, etc. Otherwise, animals would be worthy of human rights, like the right to life. Otherwise animals would be persons, but they are clearly not. Therefore, unless you've got a coherent reason to disagree, we should treat human beings as valuable, as persons, and as having rights. (2) I also, listed a reason, as you requested, why we should include the zygote, just out of safety, due to the absence of strong reasons for putting the line somewhere else. But you continue to be highly reckless with human life in your moral reasoning. (3) Also, I noted that my definition is more inclusive and coherent than others because it provides personhood status to all the beings we obviously know are persons.

So, it is up to you show to why certain humans are not persons and certain humans are persons. You have merely asserted an arbitrary, 25 week line of gestation of when a human becomes a person. But you haven't argued for why this is important. And you have ignored the logical inconsistencies that spring from your ageism.

Yet further, you argue something about sentience being important, but won't actually commit to it. You say, "wrt sentience, I did not say that sentience is necessary for personhood" -- then why are we even talking about it? Why would the lack of inclusion of sentience hurt the pro-life movement if it is not necessary for a human to avoid being killed arbitrarily?

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And it means that the most powerful arguments (that relate to sentience) cannot be included.  No matter how much you object that this is the reason or deny it, it is obvious.  So I ask this hypothetical - if the zygote was sentient, do you really think that you would omit reference to sentience in the anti-abortion argument?

Now, you're back on sentience. What the heck man?  I've already answered your question, IGR. I said, "The omission of sentience being a factor in personhood does not weaken the anti-abortion lobby because it is incoherent and unnecessary, just as the omission's of one's race being a factor in personhood didn't weaken the anti-slavery lobby." Yes, it is obvious that sentience is not included, but that isn't some kind of flaw in the pro-life movement.

And, just to ask, what powerful arguments for sentience? Keep in mind, you don't include sentience as being necessary for personhood.

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You argue "right to life".  But as with rightness/wrongness, that is another human construct.  There is no natural consequence of an abortion, other than that the aborted does not have life byeond that point.  From the perspective of nature, there is no right/wrong and no right to life.

So, from that reasoning, it follows that there is no right or wrong to murder, or rape, or anything, because because nature neither knows, nor cares. This is consistent with moral Nihilsim. But Nihilism is wrong. Also, it boils the issue down to the fact that you merely don't like the anti-abortion stance, but you cannot object to it in any objective way because it is merely your preference to be against the pro-lifers.

Ok, so you don't like abortion and I say it's wrong. In political discussions, the moral side wins, because morality is clearly a real thing and most people will choose the moral side. Nobody cares what your preference on a matter is.

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Your building demolition is about sentient people with awareness and expectations and so on.  The analogy is about uncertainty, but the consequences in your analogy are substantially greater than for a zygote - it has no sentience, no awareness, no expectations.  So the significance of the uncertainty is greatly different in your analogy, so it is a poor analogy.  Rather than "the unborn are not humans with rights", you are an advocate of anti-abortion so you have to show that "the unborn are humans with rights".  You might assert this, but you have not established it.  The natural/default position is that there are no rights, because rights exist in a person's brain/mind.

The whole reason for the analogy, is because if there is uncertainty on the importance of your stated requirements for personhood-- sentience, awareness, expectations -- then you should, of course, err on the side of caution. But you continue to be highly reckless with human life in your moral reasoning.

You say that rights only exist in a person's brain ??? So, if a person doesn't "think" they have rights, as in babies, toddlers, comatose, people under anesthesia, sleeping people, etc., then they don't? This is clearly not a consistent notion.
 
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You state " The abortion lobby has failed to provide strong evidence that the unborn do not have a right to life".  But "The anti-abortion lobby has failed to provide any evidence that the unborn do have a right to life".  This is because there is no such evidence - because this "right" is a human construct. This so-called "right" is not a part of nature - unless you call human ideas/constructs part of nature, that is. 

Again with the moral nihilism. This is not a plus as most people disagree with you. If human rights don’t exist, who cares about freedom, life, liberty, the imposition on mothers, or anything moral? Here are some reasons why moral nihilism is not a good choice:

"Head start: Most realists write as if there is a presumption in favor of realism. Realist views get a head start, and the burden of proof is on the anti-realist to challenge realism. From the way they write, this is so whether the anti-realist is an error theorist, non-cognitivist, or subjectivist. David Enoch has a paper defending this way of thinking in Oxford Studies of Metaethics, Vol. 1. Related stuff can be found in his book, Taking Morality Seriously. So if you accept that, nihilism has a count against it right from the start.

Moorean fact: Here's something that we know: Killing babies just for fun is wrong. So we know any view incompatible with that claim is false. Therefore, nihilism is false. This argument won't work against subjectivists or noncognitivists, since they can accept that killing babies just for fun is wrong. This argument looks question-begging, but it is surprisingly hard to say what's wrong with it.

Bad consequences: The moral nihilist claims that there are no moral truths. The global nihilist claims that there are nonormative truths whatsoever. This means that there are no truths about practical rationality or epistemology. This last claim is unattractive, but how can you stop the slide from moral nihilism to global nihilism?

No reason to believe: This strategy consists in pointing out that the arguments for nihilism don't support it, or at least not very strongly. For example, Mackie's Ethics presents two arguments for nihilism: The argument from disagreement and the queerness argument.
"

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So I ask this hypothetical - if nobody at all believed that there were human rights, would human rights exist?  If yes, why?  rgds, igr.

Yes. Because, just like logical truths, moral truths are obviously real. Killing babies just for fun is wrong and if your axioms prevent you from seeing that self evident truth, you need to rethink your axioms.

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btw, what you call "the abortion lobby" is a gross mis-representation - it is "the non-anti-abortion lobby".  (if it was "the abortion lobby", it would call itself "pro-abortion" rather than "pro-choice")

A minor semantic difference. We all know what I mean. The pro-choice side dehumanizes the unborn to a point where you give mothers the choice on whether to arbitrarily end their children's life at some point after they are alive. I can be much more incisive than "the abortion lobby" if you wish. After all, what problem do you have with calling them "the abortion lobby"? Is there something wrong with that?

Oh, I forgot, you don't believe in right and wrong. What don't you like about that, IGR?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 02:12:57 pm by Thresh »

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Bill McEnaney

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #152 on: July 14, 2017, 03:48:37 pm »
Thresh, I'm confused.  On the one hand, igr seems to believe that to be a person, a human being needs to live outside the womb.  That's why I wonder whether I was was only half a person when only my top half had left it.  On the other hand, igr seems to think that it's not morally right for anyone to impose beliefs about morality on anyone else.  But it seems inconsistent for a moral nihilist to say that there's anything that anyone morally should not do.

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Thresh

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #153 on: July 14, 2017, 04:59:03 pm »
Thresh, I'm confused.  On the one hand, igr seems to believe that to be a person, a human being needs to live outside the womb.  That's why I wonder whether I was was only half a person when only my top half had left it.  On the other hand, igr seems to think that it's not morally right for anyone to impose beliefs about morality on anyone else.  But it seems inconsistent for a moral nihilist to say that there's anything that anyone morally should not do.

Apparently morality/personhood/right to live/right to not be raped is just a figment of one's imagination... I honestly believe, that deep down, people will latch on to a philosophy of anything in order to justify their agenda/dogma. I get so upset when I see people rationalizing away the existence of human rights and OBVIOUS objective morals like "human equality" and "don't rape people for fun" in order that their foundational axiom ("God doesn't exist"/"nature is all there is") can be satisfied.

Some of these people should take a hard look at their mind. Did you or did you not rationalize God away because you just wanted to have non-marital sex or watch porn? Did you or did you not rationalize God away because you didn't want to put in the time to mature morally or you don't like all the rules that come with religion? Was it a lust for power or in order to be able to treat people as inferior beings in good conscience?

At what cost have you reasoned away the rights of muslims, black people, jews, christians, women who are raped and then "honor" killed, etc.? I'm sure some ethics informed atheist can come in here and start telling me why I'm wrong, but I truly believe in the Moral Argument for God's existence. I believed it before I even heard it presented academically. It is intuitive. And I truly believe that those who choose anti-realist positions, do so because of previous axioms, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness of some form. It's not anything I can prove, but I've witnessed it more often than I would like.

But yes Bill, he's like Dawkins. He's says there is not morality, but talks like a stubborn moralist. Completely incoherent.

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igr

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #154 on: July 15, 2017, 02:40:13 am »
Hi SPF #150,  If you argue exactly your views with every word you post, then I think that you are remarkable and an exception.  If you deviate from your exact views then we differ by degrees.  So I will assume that you express exactly your views, which means that there can never be any variation/difference in what you say on multiple occasions for the same item.

But in any case, I guess that I had been under the misapprehension that this forum was for discussion of ideas, not necessarily about expressing one's exact views.  So that would mean that anybody who expresses a belief as actuality but who does not prefix that with "this is what I believe" is maybe breaking this rule of yours.

As for "convert who", I suggest that you can reasonably assume that I am a non-anti-abortionist who has no issue with early-term abortion.  So you could assume that it is the real me.  Have you never argued a hypothetical or a view that differs from your own?

You state "If morality actually is as you [wrongly]think it is - a human fabrication" from which I infer that you know to be actually true (rather than being just your personal opinion) that what I said about morality is "wrong".  This would suggest that you know the actual source of morality (and that it is other than a human fabrication).  But unfortunately you are unable to prove this or provide anything other than untested assumptions.

So if you want to continue to insist that you alone are right about this that is ypur prerogative, but if you are not prepared to present a proper argument and instead just argue with the attitude that you alone are right, I expect that you will not have much success, probably to add to your frustration about why others cannot see your apparently reasonable and correct view.  I am not saying that I am right - I acknowledge that my views are for me and that I have no right to impose these on anybody else.  And you may be aware that not all anti-abortionists share your exact view - some of these are those who would not have an abortion but who would not impose prohibition on others.

thanks for your views.  rgds, igr.

btw, I like how you ignored my question. ==>>  So I ask a hypothetical - if nobody at all believed that abortion was wrong, would abortion still be wrong?  If yes, why?

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igr

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #155 on: July 15, 2017, 02:52:34 am »
Hi Bill #152,  Just to clarify/repeat, "my view - which is that late-term abortions are wrong".  So maybe this would mean that I am not a moral nihilist?  And in any case, there are many other matters/issues that involve morals on which I have not expressed my views, so any conclusion about my morals based solely on my comments in this abortion discussion may be incorrect.  As for when one is called a person, it is just a name/label which in and of itself has zero significance.  If we deleted the word "person" (and personhood), that would make precisely no difference to this discussion.

So do you think it is "morally right for anyone to impose beliefs about morality on anyone else"?  If so, whose moral beliefs?  And why that person's morals?  rgds, igr.

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igr

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #156 on: July 15, 2017, 04:46:26 am »
Hi THresh #151,  You seem to have entirely missed my point about sentience.  This does not relate to a definition of personhood.  If a zygote was sentient, I would expect the anti-abortion lobby to use that as its most powerful argument against abortion.  I would certainly do that if I was in the anti-abortion lobby and the zygote was sentient.  And relative to that argument, all other arguments used by the anti-abortion lobby are significantly less important.  So on that basis, the arguments currently used by the anti-abortion lobby are significantly weaker than they would be if the zygote was sentient.  For the purposes of this hypothetical, assume the zygote is sentient ==>> Compare "you can't abort a zygote for the reason that I say it is a person" with "you can't abort a zygote for the reason that it is a sentient human".  Which do you think is the stronger statement?  Does this make it more clear?

As for moral nihilism, call me whatever you like - it makes no difference to me.  When I say that (in my view) our morals (and rightness/wrongness) are a human construct, I am saying that they were developped a very long time ago by humans.  There are evolutionary advantages to have these, and from these flows some stability and safety for the community.  As for whether or not I have any morals, I would say that I do, but that my morals might not correspond exactly with yours, but overall are probably close.  So please answer this question ==>> in your view, where do our morals come from?  thanks again, rgds, igr.

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Thresh

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #157 on: July 15, 2017, 11:13:22 pm »
Hi THresh #151,  You seem to have entirely missed my point about sentience.  This does not relate to a definition of personhood.  If a zygote was sentient, I would expect the anti-abortion lobby to use that as its most powerful argument against abortion.  I would certainly do that if I was in the anti-abortion lobby and the zygote was sentient.

Why? Please define sentience.

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And relative to that argument, all other arguments used by the anti-abortion lobby are significantly less important.  So on that basis, the arguments currently used by the anti-abortion lobby are significantly weaker than they would be if the zygote was sentient.

If by sentient you mean, a being who can feel pain and suffer, then yes it is more effective when added to an argument against abortion. What is going on here is that the abortion of a human, like a late term fetus, is horrible, not only because they have their right to life taken away from them arbitrarily, but they also suffer the pain of having their neck cut open and their brains ripped out by a vacuum. These are two distinct atrocities and therefore are a greater tragedy.

But putting a child to death with a painless solution that they will never realize, is still not a moral thing to do either. So, not being sentient doesn't minimize the immorality of someone being killed unjustly.

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  For the purposes of this hypothetical, assume the zygote is sentient ==>> Compare "you can't abort a zygote for the reason that I say it is a person" with "you can't abort a zygote for the reason that it is a sentient human".  Which do you think is the stronger statement?  Does this make it more clear?

One being a stronger statement, doesn't mean the other is untrue. Besides, I would think that right to not suffer arbitrarily comes second to your right to life. But these are not in some kind of competition or conflict, as you suggest.

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So please answer this question ==>> in your view, where do our morals come from?  thanks again, rgds, igr.

Morals are objectively grounded in something other than the whim of the mob, obviously. Otherwise, whatever is popular is moral, which is silly. In my view, they come from a law giver with authority over all humans. I really don't care where you think they come from; as long as you realize that raping a little girl for fun is always wrong, no matter what a society or individual human believes.

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igr

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #158 on: July 16, 2017, 02:36:06 am »
I am offering a one-off comment about the Baby Charlie matter, for the purpose of clarifying where I am coming from with my comments that relate to abortion - sure, some details are different but there are some things in common.  I won't respond to any comments made about these comments and I would encourage others also to make a one-off comment for the same reasom.


I don't have full knowledge of this matter, but it seems to me that there are opposing views about what to do.

It is stated that the condition of Baby Charlie will not imporove, regardless of what is done.  But there is the (faint) possibility of treatment to stabilise the condition.  The parents want to proceed with this and have crowd-sourced sufficient funding for that treatment.  But there is other medical opinion that this would be futile.  As for pain/suffering, apparently Baby Charlie is in an induced coma (or equivalent) and would not be aware of any pain/suffering.  The problem here is that the induced coma is normally used when there will be eventual recovery from the condition that prompted the imposed coma.  That would seem not to be the case here - one would have to ask - to what end is Baby Charlie in this induced coma?

To withdraw life-suppoort seems to fall foul of the Catholic Church position/prohibition of euthenasia.  But that is of relevance only if the parents are faithful Catholics.  So ultimately, my position on this is that it is entirely up the parents to decide.  If they have funding support, they should be allowed to proceed if they choose.  This is consistent with my position on abortion that it is the choice of the mother/parents.


Now, for "somebody" who holds the view that personhood matters and that the zygote is included in the definition, it would seem that Baby Charlie would also be included.  If so, "somebody" must insist that the life-support must not be withdrawn - that is, to impose prohibition.  But surely if (hypothetically) the parents and hospital did not have the money to pay for ongoing life-support, "somebody" who insists on maintaining the life-support would be morally obliged to provide the funding - if not, then maybe the insistence would be empty and not credible.

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igr

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #159 on: July 16, 2017, 03:07:01 am »
Hi Thresh #157,  You may have not noticed, but I agree with you wrt late-term abortion (and the rape of anybody, not just a little girl) - I view that as wrong, for essentially the reasons you state.  For sentience, look up a dictionary. 

wrt this right to life that you say the zygote has, if the pregnant female decides that this "right to life" has zero value, then there is no consequence wrt that right to life.  Whether or not there is a right to life, the zygote does not live if an abortion proceeds.  If the right to life is not recognised, it has zero value.  So if this right to life is solely from definition, it can just as easily be removed by an alternative definition.  So if all you have wrt the zygote is a definition, that has zero usefulness.  If you want to add morals, see next.

If it is your view that morals "come from a law giver with authority over all humans", you are not stating that as fact/actuality.  So because you realise that there are many/varied beliefs amongst the people of this world, you will also realise that there are many who do not share your belief.  I do not believe that there is "a law giver with authority over all humans", so to me that claim has zero value.  So I do not believe that morals "come from a law giver with authority over all humans"

So where does your law giver specify that a zygote is a person?  Where does your law giver specify the definition of a person?  I am not aware of anywhere that this has been done, so I need to know this from you.  thanks, rgds, igr.

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Bill McEnaney

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #160 on: July 17, 2017, 04:09:39 am »
Quote from: igr
So do you think it is "morally right for anyone to impose beliefs about morality on anyone else"?  If so, whose moral beliefs?  And why that person's morals?  rgds, igr.
Hi, igr, I'm not trying to force anyone to agree with me, partly because I'm the most fallible person I know.  What I want is Catholic society where religion and life are integrated thoroughly enough that everyone there will live a life too holy to let him act like President John F. Kennedy or Vice President Joe Biden, and Justice Scalia by saying, for example, I'm against abortion, same-sex marriage, and so forth, but I don't let my religious and moral convictions affect the way I govern."  Laws should reflect the truths about morality, even if most citizens disagree with those laws.  "Thou shalt not impose thy beliefs on others" is not the 11th commandment and those who refuse to act with courage of their convictions may be cowards who care too much about what other people think.  To me, the "Kennedy-Biden way" is hypocritical and immoral.  So you can be sure that I'll never vote for anyone who agrees with it.  I'm happy to hear that you believe that late-term abortions are immoral, and hope you'll do all you can to convince your lawmakers to outlaw them.

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SPF

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #161 on: July 17, 2017, 06:59:46 am »
igr:
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So I ask a hypothetical - if nobody at all believed that abortion was wrong, would abortion still be wrong?  If yes, why?
I'm not sure why this question is so important to you, as we have already established the different foundations with which we hold to.

For me, the answer to this is obviously yes.  Morality is not determined by subjective human opinion.  For you, the answer is obviously no.  In fact for you, the answer is both yes and no depending on who you're talking to as you believe that morality is a make believe construct that resides in each individuals brains.

And this is why my argument for why your anti-life position is wrong won't ever be able to convince you.  For my belief system stems from the foundation of not only God existing, but God conveying Himself to us through Scripture.

I would tell you that the Biblical narrative is that all human life is morally valuable and of equal worth. I would tell you that Exodus 21 provides an example of a woman giving birth prematurely because of a fight, and that if the child dies as a result that life for life is given. 

King David made the observation that he was actually sinful from the moment of conception.  He recognized that his sinful nature began literally at the first moment he was alive.  Only humans inherit sinful natures.

I would tell you that humanity alone possesses the Imago Dei.  We alone are created in the image of God, and as a result have inherit moral worth and value. 

I view all people, no matter their age, location, or level of mental development as morally valuable.  Therefore, abortion at any stage for convenience sake is nothing short of a form of murder. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The anti-life position seems to at least on some level acknowledge that humans do possess moral value and worth. It seems that on some level you also believe this, as you have indicated that you are against late-term abortion.  But there is no difference in terms of moral value between a zygote, an embryo, a fetus, and a newborn. They are all equally human.  The only way we can make it morally appropriate to kill a human at one of the aforementioned stages is if we create a fabricated and arbitrary distinction within humanity.  Then we simply declare that those humans who do not meet this fabricated distinction are not morally valuable.  And viola, abortion becomes acceptable, and our conscience is appeased. 

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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Thresh

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #162 on: July 17, 2017, 11:47:27 am »
If you agree with me about late term abortion, for the two reasons I state, then you agree that it is wrong because they are feeling pain AND ALSO because they are having their life taken from them. The only difference between them and the zygote, is that the zygote cannot feel (does not have sentience). So then, since the unjust taking of human life is something you yourself admit to being a reason against abortion, then you should be against all abortions, except in cases for health of the mother. Experiencing pain is a separate injustice.

I obviously have more than a definition I have asserted for the zygote having right to life. I have made arguments. You have made an argument, but it is so bizarre. You say that if a zygote had sentience, then pro-lifers would use that fact in arguing for it's right to life. But then you say that sentience isn't necessary for a right to life. So, that makes the previous statement meaningless.

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If it is your view that morals "come from a law giver with authority over all humans", you are not stating that as fact/actuality.  So because you realise that there are many/varied beliefs amongst the people of this world, you will also realise that there are many who do not share your belief.  I do not believe that there is "a law giver with authority over all humans", so to me that claim has zero value.  So I do not believe that morals "come from a law giver with authority over all humans"

IGR, we are not debating how morals are grounded. If you don't think that there are morals that are objectively true and binding, then, as SPF said, we can never come to an agreement about any human rights issue. On your view, law is based on mere subjective human preference, and whatever the mob of society wants, that is what should be legal. Meaning, if gays become outcasts again in society, then gay marriage could be taken away, on this view. If slavery becomes socially acceptable again, then it should be legal, on this view. And for these reasons and many more, subjective morality cannot be true.

Yes, I agree that many people disagree on what is moral and what is not. They also disagree on what is logical and existential beliefs too. But there is no reason to think that their views are just as valid as the ones that they are diametrically opposed to others. It doesn't follow from mere disagreement among people that moral truth is subjective.

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So where does your law giver specify that a zygote is a person?  Where does your law giver specify the definition of a person?  I am not aware of anywhere that this has been done, so I need to know this from you.  thanks, rgds, igr.

There is no reason to ask what God thinks about personhood. I've made secular arguments, that do not require a law giver, but merely objective human rights and morals, to argue from. It's not my problem that atheists cannot ground objective morality. That is a separate issue.

Again, if your axioms cause you to come to the wrong conclusions about self evident truths (e.g. humans shouldn't be killed, raped, enslaved, etc. regardless of what a society thinks about that morally) then either change your axioms or accept objective morality as a Moorean fact and be ok with unanswered questions.

So, why do you think that the zygote is ok to kill without a justification while a toddler or an adult is not ok to kill without justification? Keep in mind that sentience does not factor in to this question, as both can be in a temporary state in which they are not sentient.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 03:47:05 pm by Thresh »

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Bill McEnaney

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #163 on: July 17, 2017, 02:27:15 pm »
Quote from: Thresh
Some of these people should take a hard look at their mind. Did you or did you not rationalize God away because you just wanted to have non-marital sex or watch porn? Did you or did you not rationalize God away because you didn't want to put in the time to mature morally or you don't like all the rules that come with religion? Was it a lust for power or in order to be able to treat people as inferior beings in good conscience?
Thresh, in my opinion, many people use evolution and their belief in determinism to excuse their immoral behavior.  Sam Harris seems to believe that although determinism is true, no one is to blame for any wrong he does, criminals should still be punished to correct society from them.  To be consistent, Dr. Harris and anyone who agrees with him may need to admit that if determinism is true, we can't help it when we refuse to punish a criminal.  If Harris is right, he believes that we need to punish them because deterministic factors guarantee that he will believe that.  He thinks that religion is evil.  But genuine moral evil presupposes that to be moral agents, we must have free will, which Harris says we don't have.  Any belief is false when it implies one or more falsehoods.  So I suggest that if we're moral agents and if the theory of evolution i(TOE) implies that we're not moral agents, the TOE is false.

I'm not an expert in any Protestant theology, let alone in Lutheran theology.  But it seems to me that Luther's total depravity theory is like determinism because it gives him a way to rationalize evil behavior.  The psalmist asks God to blot out his offenses and to wash him and make him whiter than snow.  Luther tells us to sin as much as we want to because, despite our misbehavior, we'll still go to Heaven where we'll still be incurably depraved.  Why will we get there anyway?  For him, it's because salvation doesn't depend on works.

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Bill McEnaney

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Re: How serious are you about abortion?
« Reply #164 on: July 17, 2017, 05:06:08 pm »
Hi Bill #152,  Just to clarify/repeat, "my view - which is that late-term abortions are wrong".  So maybe this would mean that I am not a moral nihilist?  And in any case, there are many other matters/issues that involve morals on which I have not expressed my views, so any conclusion about my morals based solely on my comments in this abortion discussion may be incorrect.  As for when one is called a person, it is just a name/label which in and of itself has zero significance.  If we deleted the word "person" (and personhood), that would make precisely no difference to this discussion.

So do you think it is "morally right for anyone to impose beliefs about morality on anyone else"?  If so, whose moral beliefs?  And why that person's morals?  rgds, igr.

The meaning of the word "person" is unimportant in this discussion, igr?  To me, it seems essential to it because pro-lifers believe that at least some abortions are murders and that only people can be murdered.  You've just agreed that late-term abortions are immoral.  So I need to ask what kind of organism an abortion doctor kills during one. 

Some philosophers distinguish between human persons and human organisms because they believe that personhood depends on, say, viability, sentience, or degrees of brain development.  Progressives seem to value rights and autonomy more than they treasure truth.  To me, truth is much more important than rights and autonomy partly because we need to ask whether it's true that people should have rights and the autonomy that progressives demand.  To say that you and I should have some right or other seems to imply a moral ought.  Before I know what rights I should have, I need to know what is morally right and what is morally wrong.  To know what rights I have, I first need to know what I'm obligated to do and what I'm obligated to refrain from.  You can infer rights from duties and you can infer duties from rights.  In my opinion, rights and duties are inseparable.  But progressives seem to want rights without duties.