sun tzu wrote:The way I see it, until there's some brain development in the fetus, destroying it isn't more unethical than, say, destroying a sperm cell. As such, I think abortion in the first semester should depend on nothing but the woman's choice.
After that, however, the line between abortion and murder begins to blurr.
TMLutas wrote:sun tzu wrote:The way I see it, until there's some brain development in the fetus, destroying it isn't more unethical than, say, destroying a sperm cell. As such, I think abortion in the first semester should depend on nothing but the woman's choice.
After that, however, the line between abortion and murder begins to blurr.
If you leave a sperm cell alone, it will not grow, will not develop, will never become more than it is. It will die a single celled organism with only half the normal complement of human genes. If you leave a fertilized egg alone and nothing ill befalls it, it will attach to a uterus, grow, divide, and eventually become an autonomous human being that everybody recognizes as having rights.
Being a feritilized egg is a tough gig. It can die in so, so many ways. A flood of inopportune hormones, missed implantation, physical injury, immunological rejection, the list is quite long. But a sperm will always die within a few hours, days, or weeks never developing into something more significant no matter how well you treat it.
I see the ethical and moral difference between the two as being self-evident.
The soul/mind is what controlls your brain: it's where you have your memories, logic, emotions, intellect, personality, and will, and it's where all the information from the senses is processed. The mind very much connects your body to your spirit.
The spirit may be a bit difficult for humanists, atheists, and agnostics in general to understand. The spirit is the REAL you, the part of you that is in direct connection to the spiritual world (and if you're born again, to God), it is your conscience.
It is that which makes you self-aware, and that which makes the ultimate decision between right and wrong.
It is the place of "intuition", as others call it, where you simply "know" or "perceive" things without physical input. It is also the part of you that communicates directly with God (if you're born again)
Concerning intuition, have you ever "known" something was wrong (or right) somewhere with you, your possessions, or your family, without having heard or seen anything? That is your spirit perceiving an event around you.
The mind can look at, say, one man killing another, and can process the information and store it in memory, but it is the spirit that ultimately labels the act as right or wrong. Killing Adolf Hitler would be labeled "right" by most people (unless you're a Neo-Nazi, by which you're given deceitful information and you would then try to justify's Hitler's actions). Killing a 2-year-old girl while she's sleeping would be labeled "wrong" (I hope) by a lot of people as well, even though they may not have any info about the girl (though from that example, some would try to justify the killing if the girl had incurable cancer and was in extreme pain, or, as it was 150 years ago, if the girl was black, your slave, and you didn't want to carry that expense on your farm).
The spirit is formed at the moment of conception, while the body develops for 9 months and then continues maturing for the next 20 years, and the mind begins its functions once the brain is formed.
Wow... a lot of discussion going on here! I have to begin by commending Sun Tzu for hanging in there in this debate, especially considering that I think numerically the odds are against him.
It seems to me that what we're into now is the discussion of souls and how that influences the decision on abortion. I'm sure that if Sun Tzu believed that an embryo had a soul, his opinion on abortion would be different.
However, coming from a view of humans as biological machines, his definition of life, specifically sentient life, is based on the formation of mind, which in his opinion will be a by-product of the brain. (Please correct me if I am misrepresenting you in any way, Sun Tzu... I was an agnostic for years and so I feel like I've been down that line of reasoning before.)
I find Sun Tzu's desire to preserve life a refreshing take on the pro-choice stance because so often pro-choicers are not concerned with the life of the unborn. They choose to ignore it. If all the pro-choicers in the world were like Sun Tzu, I think we'd have a much better world than we do now because society's respect for life would be much elevated.
The experiences which brought me out of agnosticism are very personal and while they serve as concrete evidence for me, I don't think it would be too helpful for others.
StrangeWulf13 wrote:sun tzu wrote:Is that not contradicted by certain coma victims whose mind has been irrevocably destroyed, yet whose bodies still function?
Not to mention plants. Though admittedly, I would be hard-pressed to actually prove plants have no mind.
Well, see, that's the thing... when we say "brain dead", we're going on a definition created by doctor's trying to determine point of death. Yet even that term is being heavily debated by people who feel we're terminating people who could eventually recover and live, even with brain damage. Terri Schiavo is an example, and it's hard to argue whether she was "brain dead" or not. The period at which we should've gotten more evidence was lost when her husband got the family and video cameras banned from her bedside. So we don't know.
NydaLynn wrote:Questions. From where I am sitting it looks like the main points of comprosmise are having some kind of cut-of point. The two main ones are the ability to live outside the womb (assisted or unasisted) and the development of mental thought.
The JAM wrote:
Non-human living beings, like animals, have a body and, I'd dare say, a mind. They, however, can't tell right from wrong. If a bear is hungry enough and there's no other food available except a human, it would try to eat the human, whether it's Mother Teresa or an axe murderer. Hence, they don't have a spirit or self-aware conscience. It's capable of some amount of reasoning and it does have memory, but it doesn't know Right and Wrong as you know it.
Earl McClaw wrote:NydaLynn wrote:Questions. From where I am sitting it looks like the main points of comprosmise are having some kind of cut-of point. The two main ones are the ability to live outside the womb (assisted or unasisted) and the development of mental thought.
There's a third "cut-off point" that's being subjected to more debate - the "bonding" of a soul or spirit to the unborn. With no way to medically test this (i.e. when/if it occurs), opinions range from "ignore it" to "from the moment of conception".
While it would be very convenient to have a simple benchmark to tell us "this is a person" or "this isn't", there are enough varied opinions that I doubt it will be decided on this forum. And if it comes down to a difference in religous-derived beliefs, it may well be impossible to reach a consensus.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The JAM wrote:[...unWARP!!!]
Well, Sapphire, that is where Christianity begins to break off from conventional thought.For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
It is the belief of the existence of the spiritual world from where we know that there has to be spiritual senses. That is where a person decides to either acknowledge the spiritual world (and everything in it) or reject its existence.
Deckard Canine wrote:Wow -- at this time, the votes have nearly a three-way tie. Guess this is a well-balanced board.
The JAM wrote:Again, it's difficult to explain the spiritual world to those who already assume that it does not exist.
The JAM wrote:I'll concede the point in that we REALLY don't know whether animals have spirit similar to that which humans have, or not.
The JAM wrote:As for the existence of the spiritual world, I have seen cases of demon possession, have actively sensed demonic activity, and several friends (including 2 brothers) have seen angelic activity as well.
maxgoof wrote:1) Say a man owns a female dog. He does not have her spayed. He does not keep her from having contact with other dogs, particularly male dogs. Every time the dog has a litter of pups, he gathers them up and drowns them in the bathtub. Such a man could be charge with animal cruelty and thrown in jail. Does a human fetus deserve less protection than a puppy?
maxgoof wrote:2) Recently, a man who had oral sex with a woman, had to pay child support because the woman took the sperm out of her mouth and impregnated herself with it. The example is extreme, but illustrates the point that even if a man takes precautions to prevent pregnancy, if one occurs, he is responsible, and has no choice, whatsoever, to terminate it. His only choice is abstinence. Women have all the choices, men have only one. Men are not even given a say if the father wants to raise the child himself. Where is the man's choice in all this? Why can he not choose abortion? This is a violation of equal protection under the law.
sapphire wrote: Too many people are too prudish or uncomfortable to behave like mature grown-ups and talk with other people about condoms and spermicides and those ring things (as a guy, that's a mystery to me).
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