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Irrational humans

I really have a hard time wrapping my mind around the strategies of anti-choice activists. I’ve encountered a few, and I’ve browsed some of their websites, and am so unimpressed with their tactics…but they seem to work effectively with some people.

We’re all familiar with their favorite choice of signage: preferably something with lots of blood splatters and body parts. This is quite blatantly an attempt to inspire aversion to what goes on beneath our skin, and encourage people to ignore the messiness of reality. It’s ugly but it works, to a degree (it also leads to desensitization; I notice that those sign-waving picketers aren’t prostrate with grief, as you’d expect if they were really feeling the message of their signs).

Their message could be whipped around and applied directly to, for instance, surgeons and oncologists. They also do bloody messy things, and they lop off parts and scar living, adult people. Shall we demand an end to surgery?

And then there’s the Big Lie. I have yet to meet a single anti-choice advocate with a shred of honesty and principle; the ones I’ve talked to are even more nauseating than creationists. They have a party line, and they stick to it…reason doesn’t even exist for these people, just blind, fawning adoration of babies, which they imagine to be sleeping inside the blood and meat of a living woman. So they say things like this without a stirring of conscience:

That’s just bizarre. What biologist has ever claimed that an oocyte was not alive? Of course it’s alive: sperm and egg are perfectly healthy, normal living haploid cells, the fertilized egg is a living cell, the immature oogonia and spermatogonia in the gonad are living cells, the primordial germ cells in the developing gonad are alive.

The argument is never about whether some state is alive or not. Your appendix and tonsils are great masses of living cells, but if the organ becomes inflamed, doctors will cut them out and throw them away. Every time you poop, about a third of that mass that you excrete and flush away consists of living bacterial cells, yet no one hesitates and feels regret at the tragic loss of life when their hand is on the handle.

The argument is about whether that living thing is a person requiring extensive legal and moral protection, and it’s entirely clear that “life” is not a sufficient criterion, or people would be lobbying for the protection of turds and tonsils. We are not absolutists about protecting all life; we can’t be.

Even the anti-choicers know that. That’s why, if you look at the awful site that image came from, you discover their other argument: it’s a baby. It’s got fingers and toes and a face and its heart beats. This is a purely emotional argument, trying to compel you to empathize with something on the most superficial grounds. This is the motivation behind all those intrusive ultrasound laws — you are supposed to surrender reason and decide that because something has a face and hands and heartbeat, it is exactly the same as a teenage girl who wants to go to college, or the young woman who discovers her much-hoped-for pregnancy has gone awry and the fetus is lethally deformed. It’s demeaning to real human beings.

But here, here’s a living creature with a face and hands and a heartbeat.

It’s even got far more autonomy and functionality than a twelve-week fetus, and is adorably cute. Shall we also declare that women and newts are morally, socially, and legally equivalent? It seems to be the way we’re going.

Comments

  1. Louis says

    PZ,

    Shall we also declare that women and newts are morally, socially, and legally equivalent?

    Don’t be silly! Some of those newts will be male, and therefore far more morally, socially and legally valuable than any woman.

    The very idea!

    Louis

  2. lexie says

    But PZ even though the newt has more sentience than the foetus, these god bots claim that man was made in god’s image and that he (I use this pronoun deliberately because according to the bible women aren’t really people) was given dominion over animals. So even though the newt is adorably cute, capable of making basic decisions and capable of feeling pain we can hurt it in any way we please but the tiny ball of cells looks like god and is therefore protected.

  3. dianne says

    There’s another level of irrationality to the anti-choice position that I’ve never understood: Let’s for the moment, take their stated position. Every fertilized egg is a baby. What are the consequences of that position?

    One big one is that the infant mortality rate suddenly got HUGE! Up to 80% of concepti don’t become babies due to one thing or another. Shouldn’t that be a major public health issue? Sure, abortion would be an important problem in this world, but if we lived in a world where 80% of babies were dying of “natural causes” within the first few days of life, I’d want a major research effort into solving that problem, even if, at the same time, there was a major societal problem with infanticide. Where is the outrage at the infant (conceptus/blastulocyte) mortality rate? The usual excuse of anti-choicers is that these deaths are “natural”, but most of them aren’t Christian Scientists and are perfectly happy to take “unnatural” medicine for themselves and their children, so that excuse does not hold.

    Then there’s chimerism. Sometimes two concepti merge and a single baby is born from what was originally a twin pregnancy. Is the baby guilty of involuntary manslaughter? If so, of which conceptus? Does it have to undergo extensive sampling to see if it is majority twin A or majority twin B to determine who is the killer, who the victim? Should the mother be prosecuted for endangering minors (putting the two twins in an environment where one might “eat” the other?)

    Now on to the opposite problem: monozygotic twins. If the fertilized egg is a baby then surely its products are a single baby. What do we make of the second baby? Is it a “soulless” clone? If so, which one? Should the mother be arrested for illegal human cloning?

    Finally, a fertilized egg can occasionally develop not into a baby but into a cancer. A genetically unique cancer entirely separate from its host. An often highly treatable and curable cancer. But is chemotherapy murder? If the egg is a baby then surely it is murder of a sick child.

    I’ve tried multiple times to get anti-choicers to address these points. Never with success.

  4. nofriendoftheatheist says

    Human life begins at conception. The tiny egg cell (once fused with a sperm) has the potential to become a fully-fledged human in a way in which any other cell in the body cannot. Therefore, it is special and must be protected by the law. PZ Myers is here to tell the tale because his mother chose not to have an abortion. But many women are irresponsible and see abortion as an alternative to contraception. That has to stop. If you don’t want a child, either use a condom or abstain from sex. To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

  5. Louis says

    Quoting odious anti-woman apologist at #4,

    But many women are irresponsible and see abortion as an alternative to contraception.

    You heard it here first folks. Ladies, your wombs are not yours, they’re a rental space for the Works o’ God™! Naughty, naughty ladies, thinking your bodies are your own. Now get back in that kitchen and make me a sammich. You better be barefoot too.

    Louis

  6. says

    That’s why if any one asks me when does life begin, I reply “Well, it started 4.5 billion years ago.” They don’t know whether to agree with me because it implies that the embryo is alive, or whether to disagree with me because it implies evolution. It confuses them enough to give me time to escape.

    FSM and Love

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The tiny egg cell (once fused with a sperm) has the potential to become a fully-fledged human in a way in which any other cell in the body cannot.

    Assertion. Citation needed, not unevidenced bullshit.

    Therefore, it is special and must be protected by the law.

    But what about the woman, and why must she be subordinate to the cells? WHY?

    But many women are irresponsible and see abortion as an alternative to contraception. That has to stop.

    More lies. Women see it as a last resort if contraception fails. Why aren’t you for free contraception for all? That actually works to cut down on abortions.

    If you don’t want a child, either use a condom or abstain from sex. To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    What god? Unevidenced assertion, citation needed. Who the fuck are you to force your fuckwitted religious opinion upon any other adult? Or you can supply us with a recent signed letter from your imaginary deity giving you permission to speak for it…without that, all you have is presupposed and super egotistical OPINION.

  8. joey says

    It’s got fingers and toes and a face and its heart beats. This is a purely emotional argument, trying to compel you to empathize with something on the most superficial grounds. This is the motivation behind all those intrusive ultrasound laws — you are supposed to surrender reason and decide that because something has a face and hands and heartbeat, it is exactly the same as a teenage girl who wants to go to college, or the young woman who discovers her much-hoped-for pregnancy has gone awry and the fetus is lethally deformed. It’s demeaning to real human beings.

    Yes! That’s why we should push for laws advocating infanticide. Just because an infant has a face, hands, and a heartbeat doesn’t mean it’s exactly the same as a teenage girl or young woman. Claiming that an infant is a “real human being” is purely an emotional argument. When will the world finally wake up and realize that “after birth abortion” is really no different than abortion in utero.

  9. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    The tiny egg cell (once fused with a sperm) has the potential to become a fully-fledged human in a way in which any other cell in the body cannot.

    At some point of hir life, nofriendoftheatheist had potential to become a decent human being.
    *sigh*
    No luck there.

    PZ Myers is here to tell the tale because his mother chose not to have an abortion.

    And because his mother decided she wanted to have sex that particular time. And because she decided to date PZ’s dad and not some other bloke. And because she didn’t stay home that day they met. And because…
    [continue this exercise until you get the point]

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    I sure hope you are not making God mad by interfering with any disease he might decide to give you.

  10. says

    Number 4 also forgot to say,

    “Ladies, make sure that you always carry a condom, that way if your attacked, you can always use protection. And don’t sin, because if you sin God will deform your fetus and make it a high risk pregnancy. Better yet go to the hardware store, buy so caulk and seal that bad-boy up until you are read to start popping out babies, like Jesus wants.”

    Mother Mary wants to be Grandmother Mary

  11. says

    OK, Joey, I’m arguing that “living”, “heartbeat”, “hands”, “face” are inadequate to define personhood. I am not arguing that there are no possible criteria.

    Your mission is to provide a clearly stated criterion that justifies giving full citizenship to a gastrula, and that isn’t absurd, incorrect, or diminishes the citizenship of a woman.

  12. dianne says

    PZ Myers is here to tell the tale because his mother chose not to have an abortion. But many women are irresponsible and see abortion as an alternative to contraception.

    See, this is another confusing one. If PZ’s parents had used contraception or had simply not had sex at just the right time, he wouldn’t be here to tell the tale any more than if his mother had had an abortion when the embryo that would otherwise have become him was 7 weeks old. So why is one “responsible” and the other “irresponsible”? PZ would be just as non-existent and never existent if his parents had chosen to abstain as if they had decided to have an abortion. I don’t understand the distinction the poster is trying to draw.

  13. Cuttlefish says

    Therefore, it is special and must be protected by the law.

    Therefore, it is trespassing, and I can legally “stand my ground”. I invited haploid cells; I am under no obligation to play host to trespassing diploids.

  14. says

    Joey,

    In your cases an after-birth self-abortion might not be such a bad thing. I recommend a coat hanger. Good luck.

    Here’s the difference, inside the mother, not a person. Outside the mother, a person. There is this nice non-ambiguous event called birth. It’s the culturally accepted starting point for life. We celebrate birthdays not conceptiondays.

  15. dianne says

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    Also, this. Interfering with God’s work. First off, how can I, a mere mortal, interfere with the work of the omniscient and omnipotent God? A god that can be stopped with a D and C isn’t much of a god and you’d probably be best off leaving off worshiping him since he can’t help you anyway.

    Second, at risk of bringing out the fundamentalist Catholics, if God’s intent is to make a baby, isn’t a condom also interference? Isn’t abstinence? A “baby” never conceived is just as non-existent as one aborted.

  16. Louis says

    holytape,

    We celebrate birthdays not conceptiondays.

    Hey! I celebrate attempted conceptiondays! That’s something to celebrate. Birthdays? Getting older and nearer the grave? Not so much.

    ;-)

    Louis

  17. consciousness razor says

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    It isn’t against the law, so it’s not criminal; and if your imaginary friend can’t deal with some uppity women interfering with its baby-making business, maybe it could cast some imaginary lightning bolts. If it’s too stupid to figure that out on its own, your best bet would be to pray for it. That way nothing will happen.

  18. joey says

    OK, Joey, I’m arguing that “living”, “heartbeat”, “hands”, “face” are inadequate to define personhood. I am not arguing that there are no possible criteria.

    So what exactly is wrong with my argument in favor of infanticide? A newborn is not the same as a teenage girl or a young woman. So what other possible criteria should there be to define personhood? Let’s hear it.

  19. Louis says

    Odious woman hating fundamentalist, #4,

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    How do you know what god’s will is? Please be very specific. If I am to convert to your religion I need to know precisely how to determine the will of your deity.

    Thanks in advance.

    Louis

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s why we should push for laws advocating infanticide.

    Gee, nobody here is doing that, as infanticide describes the killing of a baby. A baby is born, outside of the womb, living independently of the woman who bore it.

    Claiming that an infant is a “real human being” is purely an emotional argument.

    Well, the state gave it a certificate to welcome it into the world, showing that it acknowledges its personhood.

    When will the world finally wake up and realize that “after birth abortion” is really no different than abortion in utero.

    Huge difference between being in the womb dependent on the woman, and being outside on your own without needing that support. Any fool can see the difference. The same difference between the old space shuttle sitting on the launch pad, versus being in low Earth orbit. Something irreversible happened between the two positions.

  21. lexie says

    I’m not sure where you live but in most countries abortion is not a criminal offence.

  22. dianne says

    Joey, do you know how “death” is defined? What criteria separate a living person from a dead one? Is it the presence or absence of a heartbeat, face, or hands? Is it the presence or absence of any living cells? Do you think that there might be some other criteria for end of life besides these?

  23. Louis says

    Joey, #20,

    I think PZ asked you first. I notice you snipped that part of his comment. Was that because the words were too hard or because you don’t have a clue?

    Of course you could try to answer the question he asked you…no, no, THAT would be too simple wouldn’t it.

    Louis

  24. nofriendoftheatheist says

    You heard it here first folks. Ladies, your wombs are not yours, they’re a rental space for the Works o’ God™!

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose. Hence, she should not deny her own role in Nature. Once a new life is begun, through the fusion of sperm and egg, she becomes a vehicle for the delivery of another human being. She has no moral right to deprive life from the person who is being formed in her womb by God (Job 31:15). If she does, she has committed a heinous crime and should be punished along with all those who helped her.

  25. jaranath says

    Thanks, PZ. This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make with others. I’m not claiming they can’t argue on other grounds, but “LIFE!” and “TOES!” do not even pretend to approach the question honestly or intelligently.

    Of course, as we can see above, shifting the argument away from these nonsensical positions only yields “INFANTICIDE!” or the barely less nonsensical “POTENTIAL!” Emotion and absolutism rule the day.

  26. says

    @Cuttlefish

    *bows*
    Please accept this token of my sincere worship.

    @ 4

    Aw, bless.

    And by bless I mean, please come back when you can make a decent argument.

  27. dianne says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce.

    Honesty is a positive character trait. I’m glad you’re up front about your belief that women are not fully human.

    I also notice that you’re too stupid or too cowardly to address any of the objections people have made to your position. Not such a good character trait, but perhaps it’s not too late to correct it by addressing some of the questions your position has brought up.

  28. says

    I’m going to get a little graphic, so maybe a trigger warning?

    Let’s say that abortions are fun and happy and feel good and women have abortion parties and do a little dance every time they pee on the stick and have a fetus they want removed, and then they make a dumpling out of it and eat it with their friends… just for the sake of argument. That doesn’t make a bit of difference to the abortion debate, not one single solitary bit of fucking difference.

    Here’s the whole point, the only point that matters: A WOMAN IS A PERSON. Not an incubator, not a life support system, not a vessel of a nonexistent god’s plan on Earth. A WOMAN IS A PERSON. Ethically, women are people while a fetus is a potential person who at best could have co-equal rights but whose rights cannot trump those of another person. You can’t make me donate a kidney, or even donate blood to save the life of another actual person, so why should a women be forced to donate 9 months of the use of their entire body to something that isn’t even an actual person yet.

    The answer, of course, is that anti-abortion means anti-autonomy for women. Period.

  29. lexie says

    Wow! After all these years of thinking that meaning in life came from helping others, improving knowledge and generally improving society, I have discovered that I was wrong apparently my only purpose is to reproduce. Shame that I’m young, single and intend to use my brain not my womb.

  30. FilthyHuman says

    @consciousness razor
    #19

    It isn’t against the law, so it’s not criminal

    The Republican would sure love to make it so.

  31. says

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    Assuming that you live in the US, abortion is not criminal, idiot. Some states are trying their damnedest to make it impossible to end a pregnancy, but none of them have out right banned abortion (yet).

    I also seem to recall a little Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade that made abortion legal in the US. Hmmm.

    And as a woman who is currently pregnant, fuck you. I want to have a child, but I wouldn’t wish this misery on anyone, especially a woman who never intended to have a child in the first place. To make a long story short: I am in constant pain (abdominal cramps, ligament pain, severe back pain), I constantly have an upset stomach (I couldn’t go into work yesterday ‘cos I was hunched over the toilet for hours) and I’m physically exhausted. The kicker? I’m perfectly healthy and my pregnancy is progressing normally– this shit is normal. I can only conclude that assholes like you want women to suffer, otherwise you’d have more compassion for the pregnant woman and not a non-sentient blob of cells.

  32. unbound says

    @4 – “The tiny egg cell (once fused with a sperm) has the potential to become a fully-fledged human in a way in which any other cell in the body cannot.”

    True enough. But every egg has the potential to become a fully-fledged human. Do you advocate that women must always make sure that every egg gets fertilized to continue to process? Why the distinction? Your own logic defeats the very concept of avoiding sex.

    Same actually applies to sperm. Should we make sure every male that masturbates is jailed for clearly killing what could be a potential human? And, once again, your own logic defeats the concept of using a condom.

  33. joey says

    Nerd:

    Gee, nobody here is doing that, as infanticide describes the killing of a baby. A baby is born, outside of the womb, living independently of the woman who bore it.

    And what does “living independently” have to do about a life form’s personhood? Botched late-term abortions resulting in fully born infants outside the mother also “live independently”. Would you consider these things to be persons?

    Well, the state gave it a certificate to welcome it into the world, showing that it acknowledges its personhood.

    Oh, so you listen to whatever the state says?

    Huge difference between being in the womb dependent on the woman, and being outside on your own without needing that support.

    No it’s not. It’s not like the baby right after the birth event can pick up his things and go on his merry way. The baby is still very dependent.

  34. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    And what’s with capitalizing Nature?
    Don’t you go mixing different kinds of woo and worshiping there, you will make God jealous.

    Oh, and go fuck yourself. Thanks.

  35. says

    Someone please tell me #4 is a (badly done) Poe. It rings the alarms bells without quite being over-the-top enough to confirm it.

    A principled “pro-life” argument would be something like:

    1) Show that a fetus has (at some point) characteristics that, when we encounter them elsewhere, we have little hesitation in ascribing personhood (not mere biological activity) to their bearer.

    2) Show that the rights of a fetal person legitimately have priority over those of the woman carrying it. (Even granting #1, this does not automatically follow — a human person does not necessarily have the right to parasitize someone else’s body, even if their own life depends on it.)

    Note that I’m not making the above argument — far from it — only describing the type of pro-life argument I would accept as being made in good faith.

    And that’s not, in general, what we get from the “pro-life” side, is it? Which is why we should refuse them their self-chosen positive-sounding label, substituting instead “anti-choice”, “forced birth” or just “lying misogynist”.

  36. says

    Oh, and I’m not sure that you CAN’T make an argument for infanticide, and in very limited situations I’ll bet an argument can be made in favor of it… but that’s a red herring and we all know it.

  37. interrobang says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce.

    Sorry, no, the primary function of any human being is to be a human being, which includes women. (Besides which, dimbulb, since it takes two humans to reproduce, the onus can’t be entirely on women. What do you think men are doing in this equation, huh?)

    Personally, I’ve got better things to do. My primary function is to be a technical writer, not an incubator. My secondary function is to be a slacker posting at Pharyngula instead of laundering this document I’m totally sick of.

    How many adopted kids do you have? Bet you fifty New Israeli Shekels (just to make the currency exchange annoying for you) that my pro-choice parents are up on you by one.

  38. Louis says

    Odious and apparently clueless woman hating fundamentalist, #26,

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose. Hence, she should not deny her own role in Nature.

    Ohhh you HAVE to be kidding! I hope you’re trolling, for your sake.

    On the off chance that you haven’t been, please familiarise yourself with the naturalistic fallacy. Even if what you claim about design/nature is true (and it really, really isn’t), the fact that something IS does not lead to the moral OUGHT. I will illustrate it for you with an example.

    The pointy end of my hobnailed size 13 boot is designed for the wondrous purpose of being rapidly and liberally applied to your testicles with some force via the medium of my kicking designed leg and foot. Therefore I should not denied my own role in the perfectly natural kicking of your bollocks.

    Now I’m betting that you find the example above to be deeply morally dubious. And you’d be right! Hurrah. Now, sit down and think very, very hard and you might be able to grasp the simple fact that the form of argument made in that example (which is fallacious) is identical to your own. If you disagree, we need to meet up. I’ll bring my boots. I don’t want to deny my role in nature after all.

    Louis

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    Gee, and here this scientist sees a typical human being with a few lady parts, some that only get used a couple of times in typical woman. More lies by the lying liar.

    She has no moral right to deprive life from the person who is being formed in her womb by God (Job 31:15).

    Prove this deity of yours actually exists with solid and conclusive physical evidence. Show your babble is anything other than a book of mythology/fiction with solid and conclusive physical evidence. Now show with solid and conclusive physical evidence why we have to even listen to a liar and bullshitter basing their theology on twin fallacious presuppositions. We don’t.

    Where is your recent signed letter from your imaginary deity giving you permission to speak for it? Talk about egotism…

  40. A. R says

    #26: And the LOLstar Poe detector indicator has the “Really Good Poe/Really stupid Fundamentalist” indicator illuminated. Powering up the LOLcat projector.

    But if you are a genuine fundamentalist, you quite remind me of those Jesus camp ilk.

  41. KG says

    Joey,
    Just how stupid are you? For a member of our species, having been born is an excellent criterion for being a person. Before birth the fetus is (a) entirely dependant on its host, the mother, and (b) almost certainly aware of nothing, as oxygen perfusion of the brain is at levels that are not compatible with consciousness after birth.

    Human life begins at conception. The tiny egg cell (once fused with a sperm) has the potential to become a fully-fledged human in a way in which any other cell in the body cannot. Therefore, it is special and must be protected by the law. – nofriendtotheatheist

    Even neglecting the holes in this claim (see: vast spontaneous rates of failure to implant and miscarriage, monozygotic twins, chimerism), the “therefore” simply does not follow. We do not give potential lawyers the right to represent people in the courts, nor potential adults the right to vote. Why then should potential people be accorded rights?

  42. says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    FUCK. OFF.

  43. consciousness razor says

    The Republican would sure love to make it so.

    But that would be interfering with God’s work. Surely, they wouldn’t want to do that.

  44. FilthyHuman says

    @joey
    #38

    No it’s not. It’s not like the baby right after the birth event can pick up his things and go on his merry way. The baby is still very dependent.

    The key difference is that the person said baby is dependent on can change.

  45. joey says

    jaranath:

    Thanks, PZ. This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make with others. I’m not claiming they can’t argue on other grounds, but “LIFE!” and “TOES!” do not even pretend to approach the question honestly or intelligently.

    So let’s have an honest and intelligent discussion on this. Why can’t we use the same logic and reasoning as Peter Singer to advocate infanticide? Is Peter Singer a loon for his views?

  46. interrobang says

    Sure I have the moral right to deprive life from the potential person invading my uterus; just the same as in certain jurisdictions I have the right to use lethal force to defend my house. How on earth is it right that I can shoot someone dead for entering my house uninvited, but it’s somehow “morally wrong” to use lethal force to remove an invader in my body? I know which of the two I think is more important. The thief can have my shit if they want it, but my skin needs to stay intact.

    Personally, I disagree with ‘castle laws’, but that’s because I think a summary execution for breaking and entering is a bit harsh. Break and enter my body, though, and all bets are off, particularly if you decide you’re going to shit on my metaphorical rugs and eat all the food in my metaphorical fridge.

    Also, too, let’s address the issue of “use a condom.” Don’t you know that abusive men often sabotage condoms in order to deliberately cause unwanted pregnancies in their partners? How do you feel about female-controlled contraception? What about women’s right to determine when or whether they get pregnant?

  47. Louis says

    FilthyHuman, #49,

    Oh that’s not a real difference! The fact that some other person can care for the baby. If that was a real difference then men might have to do some of the work involved in looking after a baby. And we couldn’t have that.

    And we all know what that would mean, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

    Louis

  48. FilthyHuman says

    @KG
    #46

    Why then should potential people be accorded rights?

    We do accord potential adult varying level of rights (it’s not like children have zero rights). Heck, we accord certain level of rights to animals (not to be tortured for one).

  49. joey says

    KG:

    Just how stupid are you? For a member of our species, having been born is an excellent criterion for being a person. Before birth the fetus is (a) entirely dependant on its host, the mother, and (b) almost certainly aware of nothing, as oxygen perfusion of the brain is at levels that are not compatible with consciousness after birth.

    So I ask the question again. Should we protect the fetuses that are fully born who are the result of botched late term abortions? If this birth event is THE defining point, then we must…right?

  50. lexie says

    Not only am I defying nature by not reproducing, I also am defying nature by taking doxycycline to kill of the bacteria which have naturally invaded my sinuses and are rapidly multiplying in a natural environment for them, and I am squatting mosquitos whose natural purpose is to feed on my blood in order to avoid getting infected with the natural malaria parasite which could kill me

  51. twist says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    Damn right! We’re just walking wombs, not people with thoughts, plans, dreams, desires and rights. How silly of me to have thought otherwise all these years! How silly of me to think that my frindships, relationships and career were important when clearly I should have been squeezing out babies, as is my only reason for existing, from the moment I hit puberty.

    So what function do you (or your imaginary friend) think infertile women serve? I’m curious. Or women who’s anatomy can’t cope with this ‘wondrous purpose’ without killing them? They should just die, I guess? And who cares, really? After all, the rights of a little cluster of cells so clearly trump the rights of fully grown, autonomous human beings, as long as those human beings are from the half of the human race in possession of two x chromosomes.

    Fuck you, you woman hating piece of shit. Fuck you for being so fucking scared of us that you try to strip us of our rights every chance you get. Fuck you for thinking you can tell me that I’m not a real person, that a fucking blastocyst is more important than me. Fuck you and your imaginary friend along with you. I am many things, but I am not a baby machine, and I don’t need anyone to tell me what my ‘primary function’ is, fuck you very much.

  52. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And what does “living independently” have to do about a life form’s personhood?

    Everything, including a certificate from the state saying they are a person. As I said, it means everything. Until then, the fetus (not baby, that only comes into play outside of the womb) is a parasite inside of a woman, whos personhood is absolute, and has total bodily integrity like any other adult. You haven’t made the case of why the fetus has more personhood than the living, breathing woman, and you really can’t.

  53. says

    #26: So wrong! Woman has multiple functions. She has multiple orifices for my sexual satisfaction. She has hands to hold my beer, and feet so that she may bring it to me. She has a brain so that she can efficiently clean and cook for me. How dare you diminish the value of god’s holy creation, Woman, which has so many ways to serve man?

    Looking over your recent output, nofriendoftheatheist, I have to conclude you’re either an annoying troll or an awesomely brainwashed and stupid asshole. Either way, I don’t like you. I am toying with my banhammer right now, and I’m just giving you fair warning: I’ll probably be smacking you in the face with it soon.

  54. Brownian says

    And what’s with capitalizing Nature?

    It’s a thing the idiot does in service of its assertion that atheists worship Nature and Evolution and other Things, just like Christians.

    It’s Argumentum ad capitalisum.

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    Ha-ha, stupid women and their baby-making toes. If they want to have abortions, they should have been born with working-in-a-factory toes, or being-a-priest toes, or playing-professional-football toes.

    Seriously, though, if we want to invoke potential, let’s use nofriendoftheatheist here as an example of wasted brainpower: is it honestly any more wasteful to abort a fetus than to raise it as a creationist like this empty-headed dolt?

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Should we protect the fetuses that are fully born who are the result of botched late term abortions? If this birth event is THE defining point, then we must…right?

    Stupid and fuckwitted question. Abortions in the third trimester are not for birth control, as you presuppose with your inane and fuckwitted question. They are because the woman needs the abortion because the fetus is killing her, or the fetus has abnormalities. Try again with an intelligent question.

  56. says

    So what exactly is wrong with my argument in favor of infanticide? A newborn is not the same as a teenage girl or a young woman. So what other possible criteria should there be to define personhood? Let’s hear it.

    Because, Joey, a newborn isn’t literally leeching off the body of the woman anymore. She can separate herself from it without killing it.

    And, yes, I said “leeching.” I realize that fetishizers of pregnancy and motherhood flap their hands in outrage when a fetus is called a parasite, but, biologically speaking, that’s what it is. Beyond what Audley is saying at #36, google “risks of pregnancy.” Pregnancies can kill women — especially in a piss-poor excuse for a “developed nation” like the United States, where if you don’t have money, you aren’t considered worthy of healthcare.

    It’s not like the baby right after the birth event can pick up his things and go on his merry way.

    Telling, isn’t it? And Joey is far from the first pro-liar I’ve seen that “slip” from.

    nofriendoftheatheist:

    But many women are irresponsible and see abortion as an alternative to contraception. That has to stop.

    Assholes like you make me want to go out and get knocked up so I can get it scraped out and leave the fucking abortus on your doorstep.

    Abortion is responsible. It’s a hell of a lot more responsible than having kids you can’t take care of, and no woman is obliged to breed for some random Nice White Hetersexual Xtian Middle-Class Couple.

    Women shouldn’t have to forego the pleasurable, healthful benefits of sex because you believe in a hateful, misogynist, science-denying deity. And women in relationships where they have no power to negotiate saying no to sex, let alone having the man wear a condom, shouldn’t be forced into endless pregnancies for the same reason.

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce.

    Who the fuck are YOU to decide what my “primary function” is? I am the one who decides that. I am a full human being, just as a man is. Shove your forced-birther bullshit up your ass and wedge it in there with a taxidermied porcupine that’s been marinating in dogshit and Ebola for a month.

    Oh, and fuck your imaginary friend, too.

    Eamon, sadly, NFotA doesn’t seem to be a Poe.

    Louis:

    The pointy end of my hobnailed size 13 boot is designed for the wondrous purpose of being rapidly and liberally applied to your testicles with some force via the medium of my kicking designed leg and foot. Therefore I should not denied my own role in the perfectly natural kicking of your bollocks.

    You know, I just may have to join that Groop Secks club. But I want to forego any birth control, because I’d like to make me an unborn babby, then go to the Abortionplex and have it removed whilst I get a pedicure and enjoy some home-churned gourmet lavender ice cream. I’ll have to ask them if they can vacuum-seal and freeze it for delivery to NFotA. (Sorry, NFotA, the ‘Plex only mails abortions C.O.D.)

  57. chigau (違う) says

    fetuses that are fully born who are the result of botched late term abortions

    citation needed

  58. nofriendoftheatheist says

    @Dianne

    Honesty is a positive character trait. I’m glad you’re up front about your belief that women are not fully human.

    I am just stating a simple fact: women are baby-making and nurturing machines whether you regard this as the will of Nature or of God. Just take a look at your naked body in the mirror. It doesn’t mean that women are subhuman. On the contrary, the human race cannot survive without them. I believe that women are nothing short of biological temples to the Lord.

    @Unbound

    True enough. But every egg has the potential to become a fully-fledged human. Do you advocate that women must always make sure that every egg gets fertilized to continue to process? Why the distinction? Your own logic defeats the concept of avoiding sex.

    Every fertilized egg has not only the potential to become another human being but will do so unless prevented. Unfertilized eggs are backups that should still be respected. How many babies a woman has is her business.

    Same actually applies to sperm. Should we make sure every male that masturbates is jailed for clearly killing what could be a potential human? And, once again, your own logic defeats the concept of using a condom.

    Masturbation does indeed lead to an undignified loss of cellular life. I think people should think of their own tadpoles before they jerk off. If they did, they would refrain from doing so as often as they do.

  59. FilthyHuman says

    @dianne
    #55

    So I ask the question again. Should we protect the fetuses that are fully born who are the result of botched late term abortions? If this birth event is THE defining point, then we must…right?

    In that case yes. By that point, the mother in question have no right to ask the doctor to kill it (since at that point, the fetus/infant is no longer exclusively dependent on the mother).

  60. jaranath says

    You’re dodging, joey, and in quite the dishonest fashion. NOW you want to talk about honest and intelligent discussions? Why didn’t you start with one, instead of raw emotional appeal? The question (and burden) is on you here. You need to offer a coherent, rational, defensible case.

    Why is it ok, or not as bad, to kill the salamander (or was that John Cleese?)
    Why is infanticide wrong?
    How does that transfer to fetuses from conception to birth?

    Show your work.

  61. otrame says

    Joed is just a classic troll. I doubt s/he actually believes any of the deliberately outrageous shit that s/he spews here. And s/he is boring.

    Nofriendoftheathiest is much better. He (might be a woman, but unlikely) really believes this stuff. Nofriendoftheathiest, you arrogant creep, I had 4 pregnancies that I know of (there were almost certainly a bunch more I didn’t know about). I have two children, both of whom now have children of their own. The other two pregnancies did not come to term. One was a spontaneous abortion at about 6 weeks. The other was an ectopic pregnancy that was (maybe deliberately) misdiagnosed at a Cathoilic hospital, so that I very very very nearly bled out before it could be removed. I say all that to show that I have made babies and lost wanted babies to the nature of nature. Being a mother and grandmother is an important part of who I am BY MY CHOICE.

    You cannot even imagine how offensive your assertion that my only purpose in life was to be a fucking brood mare is. How dare you?

    You don’t even deserve a porcupine. Go fuck yourself.

  62. interrobang says

    I’m an adoptee. Abortion wasn’t legal when and where I was born, and I’ve also just found out that when and where I was born, there was a huge industry aimed at separating young unwed mothers from their (healthy, white) babies. On behalf of my biological mother and myself, and all biological parents and coerced adoptees out there, the forced-birther contingent owes us a huge apology, and probably compensation for emotional damages to the birth parents.

    We had the world you assholes wanted. It was a tragedy for everyone. Put up or shut up.

  63. joey says

    Nerd:

    Stupid and fuckwitted question. Abortions in the third trimester are not for birth control, as you presuppose with your inane and fuckwitted question. They are because the woman needs the abortion because the fetus is killing her, or the fetus has abnormalities. Try again with an intelligent question.

    And what you presuppose is that abortions in the third trimester cannot possibly be used for birth control. And what if a woman does choose to wait until literally the very last minute (before birth) to perform an abortion? Would you actually have a problem with this?

  64. Brownian says

    Every fertilized egg has not only the potential to become another human being but will do so unless prevented.

    If your god truly loved you, nofriendoftheatheist, he wouldn’t let you be so goddamn fucking wrong all the time.

    Or do you actually worship Ignorance?

  65. says

    Interrobang:

    Don’t you know that abusive men often sabotage condoms in order to deliberately cause unwanted pregnancies in their partners?

    Oh, I’m sure NFotA is perfectly fine with that. After all, wimminz is MADE fer breedin’, and a man who properly owns a woman has every right to expect her to start crankin’ ‘em out.

    Joey:

    Should we protect the fetuses that are fully born who are the result of botched late term abortions?

    I’d like to see some citations from respectable publications on how often this happens. That is to say, peer-reviewed journals, not webpages from some “pro-life” organization.

    Lexie: And NFotA is defying nature by typing on a computer. It’s rather interesting, isn’t it, how the only form of nature defiance the pro-liars care about is, by sheer coincidence I’m sure, the one that allows women to live fully realized and healthier lives?

    Twist: “They should just die, I guess?”

    “If they become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth – that is why they are there.” — Luther

    NFotA:

    I think people should think of their own tadpoles before they jerk off.

    Ah, never mind. Yep, it’s a Poe.

  66. Louis says

    Pz, #60,

    Good point! I want a sammich AND a beer AND a blow job. Surely those things are part of the Purpose of Women?

    Excuse me, I am just going to phone my wife and make my Natural Man Wishes known.

    {Sound of dialling}

    {Sound of informing}

    {Sound of wincing and holding phone at some distance}

    My beloved wife has informed me that she mildly disagrees that these things are her Purpose. She said that whilst she was happy to do at least one of those things, that I can get her a beer and a sammich when she gets home if I’m there before her, or there’s fuck all chance of the third thing. I believe she made her point with some force and in a variety of ways.

    Perhaps I am asking the wrong woman. Excuse me whilst I ask one of my colleagues…

    {Sound of informing}

    {Sound of being punched

    {Sound of sexual harassment lawsuit}

    Hmmmm. I’m thinking this idea of Purpose doesn’t have the legs I would like it to. I wish to make a complaint.

    Louis

  67. twist says

    Also, too, let’s address the issue of “use a condom.” Don’t you know that abusive men often sabotage condoms in order to deliberately cause unwanted pregnancies in their partners?

    This. I was seventeen when this happened to me. But of course, if I hadn’t been slutting around in the first place, and just kept myself pure for marriage as gawd intended it wouldn’t have happened, right? Which totally makes it my fault. So I’m totally a selfish baby killing slut.

    How do you feel about female-controlled contraception? What about women’s right to determine when or whether they get pregnant?

    Condom usage still leaves control in the hands of the man, the only real person in the relationship, hormonal contraceptives let all of us slutty slutty sluts have control, and we all know how the invisible sky daddy feels about walking wombs having control over anything.

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Every fertilized egg has not only the potential to become another human being but will do so unless prevented.

    When will you stop lying and bullshitting. Unless it implants in the uterus, it goes out in the wash. And up to 50% of fertilized eggs, do that. So, your imaginary deity is very wasteful, and actually approves of abortion. It is the biggest cause of abortions in the world. You lie when you claim to know what it wants…

  69. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    Says the self centered sack of shit who never has to deal with the health risks, pains and dangers that pregnancy brings.

    Pointless to even argue with the slime, he will not acknowledge the pains that women go through in order to fulfill this wondrous purpose.

    Why was this intelligent designer so unintelligent that he made the skull of the baby too big to fit through the pelvic girdle.

    Also, does this sack of shit think that women who do not have children are denying their place?

  70. FilthyHuman says

    @PZ
    #60
    Aw, we like our new toy.

    @Dianne
    #64

    “How to Serve Man!”

    Hm… I’ve never eaten a man before…
    Wait, that sounded wrong somehow…

    @nofriendoftheatheist
    #67

    Masturbation does indeed lead to an undignified loss of cellular life. I think people should think of their own tadpoles before they jerk off. If they did, they would refrain from doing so as often as they do.

    Meh, a million+ death is just a statistics.
    I’m making a lot of statistics.

  71. Owlmirror says

    I am just stating a simple fact:

    It’s not a fact; it’s an opinion.

    women are baby-making and nurturing machines

    Your dehumanization of women is noted.

    whether you regard this as the will of Nature or of God.

    Nature does not have a will.

    A nonexistent God cannot have a will.

  72. A. R says

    {Sound of sexual harassment lawsuit}

    There’s a sound associated with sexual harassment lawsuits?

  73. lexie says

    Ms Daisy Cutter (congrats on the Molly btw) thanks I had forgotten about computers in the midst of being grumpy about the bacteria that think my sinuses are a good home and my itchy mosquito bites.

  74. Louis says

    Ms Daisy Cutter, #63,

    You are of course most welcome. Note that we are trying to get a self sustaining orgy going, with people coming and going all the time, but the orgy reaching the point of self perpetuation. Naturally, this will be quite large, and ingress and egress might take some time, therefore the orgy will be conveniently situated near an Abortionplex.* Full beauty services will also be available, have no fear!

    ;-)

    Louis

    * The stem cells from these abortions will be used to make an army of clone zombie atheists. Obviously.

  75. A. R says

    How to Serve Man!

    Since Esteleth isn’t here, I am now obligated to proclaim the virtues of fried mountain oysters.

  76. Brownian says

    Ah, never mind. Yep, it’s a Poe.

    Likely, though we need a better term than ‘Poe’ for these cases, since this isn’t an attempt to satirise the positions of creationists and anti-abortion advocates, but just to regurgitate them. If those aren’t the beliefs it holds, then it’s just lying.

    Either way, it’s a fucking douche.

  77. nofriendoftheatheist says

    I am toying with my banhammer right now, and I’m just giving you fair warning.

    Would that be Thor’s hammer, by any chance? I heard you were part Swedish or something. Let me just say this: I am not your friend.

  78. unbound says

    @67 – “Every fertilized egg has not only the potential to become another human being but will do so unless prevented.”

    I have some really, really bad news for you. In reality only about 1/2 to 2/3 of fertilized eggs implant successfully in the womb. The rest are flushed out…or aborted naturally by the female body.

    A few other things that you should be aware before you continue on your naive black-and-white journey with this subject.

    Ectopic Pregnancy, Vanishing Twin, and Anencephaly (which could challenge some of your preconceived definitions) just to name a few of the things that eliminate the concept of “…will do so unless prevented”.

  79. dianne says

    Masturbation does indeed lead to an undignified loss of cellular life. I think people should think of their own tadpoles before they jerk off.

    Ok, that’s IT. I call Poe on this one. Tadpoles, indeed. You had me going for a while, nofriend!

  80. Louis says

    A.R., #82,

    Of course! Usually a wailing and gnashing of teeth and a *kerching* of lawyers. Occasionally the sound produced by the dawning of realisation of personal fuckwittery on the part of the man….but that is sadly rare.

    Louis

  81. pensnest says

    If we found single-celled life elsewhere in the solar system, we’d get excited about it but we wouldn’t try to communicate with it, we wouldn’t expect it to act autonomously (at least, not in any meaningful way) and we wouldn’t consider it the equal of the human beings who found it.

    Actually, we’d probably go from Step 1: Discovery straight to Step 2: Exploitation.

    Also, nofriendoftheatheist @ #26: I have reproduced, thanks. Twice. Took a total of around 80 weeks. I’ve been alive for about 2,670 weeks. 2,590 weeks is a lot of time to exist with no purpose.

    Incidentally, I also had a pregnancy which involved a blighted ovum. Conception occurred,yay!—an egg and a sperm fused together and then did nothing else. No development, no fetus, nothing, just a busy uterus trying to support something that was not going to grow. Was that blighted ovum a person, do you think?

    Pillock.

  82. says

    nofriendoftheatheist, it’s pretty simple. The omnipotent God you believe in could stop abortions in an instant. He could appear to everyone on the planet and state “ABORTION IS WRONG. DON’T DO IT AGAIN OR FACE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT. AND BY THE WAY, THE JEWS AND MUSLIMS ARE RIGHT, EATING PORK IS FORBIDDEN. NO MORE BACON FOR YOU!” Yet he doesn’t. So, if he exists, he apparently doesn’t have a problem with abortion. Or perhaps he’s a horrible creature looking for any excuse to punish people after they die. Or is only interested in the behaviour of a tiny number of human beings. Take your pick.

  83. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    The sack of shit seems to want to make teen aged boy who have wet dreams feel bad about what they cannot control.

    Also, think of periods. Each one is a potential life that was never allowed to come to being. A woman’s body is a murderous field. No wonder women are so irresponsible.

    Just for the record, I want nofriendofthe atheist to play the role of the decaying porcupine and for joey to make use of him.

  84. says

    Thanks, A.R. and Lexie.

    Louis:

    with people coming and going all the time

    Well, I should hope so.

    and ingress and egress might take some time

    Not too much time, though. Chafing. Ouch.

    The stem cells from these abortions will be used to make an army of clone zombie atheists. Obviously.

    Should clone zombie atheists be released on megachurches? On the one hand, the idea gives me a ferocious ladyboner. On the other, there will be no brains in sight on which they can subsist.

  85. Randomfactor says

    I’m perfectly willing to accept that there’s room for compromise in the abortion debate.

    It’s called Roe v. Wade, in this country.

  86. FilthyHuman says

    @A.R.
    #82

    {Sound of sexual harassment lawsuit}

    There’s a sound associated with sexual harassment lawsuits?

    I’m guessing sound of ass-slapping followed by face-slapping.

  87. nofriendoftheatheist says

    Why was this intelligent designer so unintelligent that he made the skull of the baby too big to fit through the pelvic girdle.

    That’s easy enough to explain. I read on the ICR website that if women had hips any wider they couldn’t walk properly. So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine!

  88. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Let me just say this: I am not your friend.

    Like we give a shit what an unevidenced delusional fool like you thinks. Your disapproval is makes PZ’s day, if he swats your ass back into the bandwidth for being a general egotistical turd.

  89. lexie says

    No, it’s not Thor’s hammer. Information on the ultimate overload’s banhammer is available under the ‘Standards and Practices’ section.

  90. Louis says

    Masturbation does indeed lead to an undignified loss of cellular life. I think people should think of their own tadpoles before they jerk off.

    Undignified? Nonsense! I have my butler masturbate me whilst I am reading the Financial Times, listening to Brahms and wearing a dinner suit.

    Undignified? The very idea.

    Louis

  91. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Let me just say this: I am not your friend.

    You must think we are all fucking stupid if you think we cannot figure that out from your moniker.

    Any friend of mine would has to be of a higher grade of human than what you have been showing.

    Go forth and fucking meet your god already. You deserve to grovel forever.

  92. chigau (違う) says

    The primary function of a man is to impregnate a woman.
    Once he’s done that he can be turned into drymeat to sustain the woman and her precious, precioussss foetus during the pregnancy.

  93. rookieatheist says

    I’m a fan of Pharyngula. I would describe myself as a non-believer and a rationally minded person. But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

  94. says

    A.R:

    I am now obligated to proclaim the virtues of fried mountain oysters.

    Eh, they’re okay. I tried them once, just to say I’d tried them. I don’t think I’d order them again. Also, my friend and I were disappointed that they arrived all cut up; we were hoping our plates would each have two gigantic fried spheres in the middle. Maybe with the parsley-stuffed sac artfully arranged around them.

    NFotA:

    Let me just say this: I am not your friend.

    PZ is eating his heart out over that, I’m sure. With “friends” like you….

    Janine:

    Just for the record, I want nofriendofthe atheist to play the role of the decaying porcupine and for joey to make use of him.

    And Brownian to write the slashfic.

  95. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    That’s easy enough to explain. I read on the ICR website that if women had hips any wider they couldn’t walk properly. So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine!

    Speaketh the asshole from Cloudcuckooland.

  96. otrame says

    “it works just fine”

    It works just fine? It works JUST FINE!!?!!?!!?

    Okay. Now I believe Nofriendoftheathiest is a lying sack of shit or is about 10 and his parents have never let him out n the real world.

    Which is it?

  97. Louis says

    Ms Daisy Cutter, #95,

    There will be specific battalions aimed at the megachurches, they will be engineered to subsist on sanctimony and hair products.

    Also this:

    ferocious ladyboner

    is one of the best things I have ever read. I am making a rock band right this second and appropriating that name for it.

    Louis

  98. Owlmirror says

    I read on the ICR website that if women had hips any wider they couldn’t walk properly. So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine!

    Marsupials laugh in your general direction.

  99. FilthyHuman says

    @rookieatheist
    #104

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    When it is born.
    Simple as that.

  100. Louis says

    Legally? Birth.

    Scientifically? It’s always “human”. But then so is a significant portion of my last turd.

    The legal definition isn’t perfect, but since we are trying to apply discontinuous definitions to systems that are largely continuous (although birth is obviously THE big rubicon), there will always be difficult decisions to make.

    After all, how many grains of sand does it take to make a pile of sand? I wonder, has anyone asked questions like these before? I wonder if there’s…ooooooh…millennia of philosophical and medical thought on the matter?

    Nope, can’t be. Otherwise the anti-woman forced-birther fundamentalists wouldn’t exist, right? Right?

    Louis

  101. KG says

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human? – rookieatheist

    You’re either a liar or an idiot: the answer is, of course, at birth.

  102. twist says

    That’s easy enough to explain. I read on the ICR website that if women had hips any wider they couldn’t walk properly. So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine!

    So, your all knowing, all powerful, all intelligent imaginary friend couldn’t come up with something that would allow women to walk properly and give birth easily? Sounds like a pretty rubbish engineer to me, considering it’s meant to be all knowing and all powerful. Oh wait, giving birth is meant to be a punishment, right? Because of the rib woman being talked into eating magic fruit by a snake? After the all powerful designer left them all alone together, knowing what would happen? Now it makes sense!

    I’m learning so much today! I’ve learned that I’m not a real person (I’m a baby machine!)and now I’ve learned why my pelvic girdle is too small to fit a baby’s head (god’s a shitty engineer/women need to be punished FOREVER). While we’re at it, can you explain the appendix to me? I just can’t see why an all powerful, all loving and all knowing designer would leave what in many people amounts to a ticking time bomb inside his beloved children. Is this the shitty engineer thing again?

  103. otrame says

    @rookie

    In general, I would say when the fetus is viable outside the woman. Baby=capable of independent existence.

  104. dianne says

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    Two counter-questions for you:
    1. When does a living person become a dead person? That is, what biological changes have to occur before someone is considered to be dead?
    2. If a fetus or even an embryo were given the same level of rights as a born and independently living human, what laws would be in effect with respect to abortion?

    I’d like your answers before I give mine.

  105. Owlmirror says

    …of course, all theists should actually support abortion, since that guarantees that an innocent (putative) soul goes to (putative) heaven.

    Their problem is that they don’t even understand the premises of their own theology.

  106. consciousness razor says

    * The stem cells from these abortions will be used to make an army of clone zombie atheists. Obviously.

    Excellent. Then we will pit my TZT robots against the undead clones. It’ll be like Star Wars episode 2, except it won’t suck quite so much. Except for the good kind of sucking. Lots more of that, obviously.

  107. KG says

    So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine! – nofriendoftheatheist

    What a callous little shit you are! For a woman, giving birth is a painful and dangerous process: in the absence of modern medical techniques, maternal mortality rates of 2-3% per birth were normal. And you think that a process that leads to an excruciatingly painful death for that proportion of women “works just fine”. You sick scumbag.

  108. Louis says

    Otrame, #123,

    {Gasp}

    That could lead to abortions! Won’t someone PLEASE think of the babies?

    Louis

  109. Brownian says

    Let me just say this: I am not your friend.

    That’s fair. I am not your friend either.

    However, given that I, as an atheist, hold from the same amoral no-God-to-tell-me-what’s-right-and-what’s-wrong worldview as Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, our mutual enmity should worry you a lot more than it worries me.*

    So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion.

    So, it is not the case that “everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose” of giving birth. So much for your earlier claim. So much for your Intelligent Designer.

    *Two can play this Poe game.

  110. jaranath says

    rookieatheist:

    I tend to agree with others about birth, at least as a practical line. Though I’m not entirely sure I’d rule out the current “somewhere pretty late in pregnancy with exceptions” line that we theoretically have now.

    Of course the underlying philosophy, evidence, rationale, etc, are what I’ve been trying to draw out of joey. You aren’t him, are you?

  111. KG says

    In addition to my #124, your imaginary friend is supposed to be omnipotent, nofriendoftheatheist. Yet this useless douchebag couldn’t come up with a solution – like, for example, a pelvis consisting of two separable halves that could part to let the baby through – that both allows women to walk and does not subject them to such pain and danger. What a maroon!

  112. DLC says

    But what if my God demands that children conceived on odd months must be aborted ? What if my God demands that children only be conceived in months without an “R” in them, and that all others must not be born, on pain of eternal damnation ?
    Are you Christers going to force eternal damnation on followers of my God?

    But seriously folks: Anti-Choice whackjobs have been doing this since the 1970s. It’s all appeal to emotion, grossout and appeal to deity (authority). Not surprising, because they can’t come up with a solid empirical argument. Even a religious argument is shaky, and would in any case only apply to adherents.

  113. dianne says

    But what if my God demands that children conceived on odd months must be aborted ?

    So, what’s the call then if you’re not sure of when the conception happened? Like if you had sex on March 31st: the sperm survive 24 hours in the woman’s body so the conception could have been in March or April. Abort to be sure, carry to term to give benefit of the doubt, or dealer’s choice? These questions are important for potential convertees, you know.

  114. Brownian says

    But seriously folks: Anti-Choice whackjobs have been doing this since the 1970s

    So they had to wait for secular science and technology to provide them with the ultrasounds and colour pictures they need to stop this inhumane slaughter that’s been going on for millennia? Was God all out of stone tablets?

  115. nofriendoftheatheist says

    I’m learning so much today! I’ve learned that I’m not a real person (I’m a baby machine!)

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life. Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    I’ve learned why my pelvic girdle is too small to fit a baby’s head (god’s a shitty engineer/women need to be punished FOREVER).

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

  116. says

    Is Peter Singer a loon for his views?

    Tell you what: After you’ve 1) answered PZ’s question above and 2) demonstrated that you fully understand Singer’s logic and reasoning related to these issues (in your own words, without cut-and-paste propaganda, and with nonquote-mined citations and/or quotations from Singer’s own work; and including the relationship of his personhood arguments to all related issues: animal rights, fertility treatments, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia), I will answer your question.

    ***

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    Why are you asking us whether or not you can figure it out? You should know.

  117. says

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    Nope, that’s we call a workaround.

    O, Me damn, I made the exit too small. Wait, what if I make the cranium flexible? It’s either that, or a complete redesign.

  118. says

    Time for my bit of rage about the “purpose” of women. It makes me wonder what NFotA supports with regard to women with an asexual orientation, as in women who don’t feel strong sexual desires.

    Are they considered worthless because they have no desire to fulfill their alleged reproductive purpose? Would NFotA support raping them so that they could fulfill their designed “purpose” instead of the purpose those women choose for their own lives?

    As a largely (but not completely) asexual man, it makes me wonder if NFotA considers me to be nothing more than a drain on the human race because I don’t reproduce. Am I a terrible, terrible sinner for preferring blogging and video games over sex?

  119. pdxy says

    “To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.”

    This is the crux of the problem, of course. Why they have their panties in a wad.

    They drew the line at Gutenberg and his infernal babble-replicating machine.

    Then they drew the line at Galileo and his infernal notions.

    Then they drew the line at Darwin and his infernal notions.

    Now they’re drawing the line at what the godless chemists and surgeons have got up to.

    Eventually they’ll draw the line so close that they’ll all disappear with a bright little twinkle and a pop.

  120. Owlmirror says

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life. Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    No concession. Biology is not destiny.

  121. dianne says

    that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    No, it’s not. It’s a crappy kluge and any decent engineer could come up with half a dozen better ways to get children born. About 30% of pregnancies in the US end in a c-section. What kind of engineer designs something with a 30% failure rate and claims it’s a remarkable feat?

  122. A. R says

    KG: The symphysis pubis can allow a small degree of seperation, but not much. Anyway, I’ve heard arguments for 24 weeks being the cut off for abortion, as that is the point at which the fetus is theoretically capable of surviving outside of the uterus. I would generally agree with birth though. Excepting, of course those babies intended for atheist barbecues.

  123. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life. Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    Going to play this game. fuckface?

    You were not made to spend time on a computer. Act as your fucking monster of a tyrant designed you and get off the net right now.

    You must concede this!

    Also, take a face first dive in a cesspool.

  124. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    What I’m always confused about is even IF the woman had a late-term abortion where the baby would survive outside of the womb and didn’t have a condition incompatible with life – whether she had this “late-term abortion” for shits and giggles or to save her own life – where I live, we normally call that preterm birth and the product of it is a premature baby

    Is it different in other places?

  125. otrame says

    idiot @ #132

    So why didn’t your great engineer just make babies heads smaller and then increase how much a brain grows after birth? He can do anything. Why not that one little thing. It would save so many lives. Remember, when women die in childbirth because the baby’s head is too big to pass through the pelvis, THE BABY DIES, TOO.

    Look, if you are for real, go to your library and get an obstetrics text book. Look at the pictures if the words are too much for you. Then come back and tell us about the marvelous engineer. I’m serious. You are so ignorant, you are pathetic. Don’t worry. Lots of people who have read such textbooks are still among the faithful*. You’ll be safe.

    If you are just a lying troll: I repeat, fuck right off.

    * though I will never understand why, personally.

  126. Owlmirror says

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design evolved kludge.

    Fixed that for you.

  127. says

    Notawhatever,
    Somehow, I’m not surprised that gay men and lesbians don’t exist in your fantasy world.

    If woman’s “primary purpose” is BAYBEEZ, why are we intelligent? Why do we have goals and wants? Wouldn’t it have been much more efficient if your god made us without the capacity for thought?

    Pro-tip: No, we are not made for pregnancy. Way back in my post at 36, I described some of the pain that my prenancy is causing. I have ligament and nerve pain because my abdominal cavity cannot accomodate both my expanding uterus and the connective tissue that’s already there. That some pretty shitty design, if you ask me.

    Anyway, fuck you, you inhuman sack of shit.

  128. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    What kind of engineer designs something with a 30% failure rate and claims it’s a remarkable feat?

    The answer is simple. Someone who does not give a flying fuck.

  129. says

    So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine!

    Actually it’s a fairly shitty design even from a novice POV that has any number of problems. Some other solutions

    a) Elongate the skull to maintain the same mass but reduce width, also elongate the adult torso to accomodate a longer womb

    b) Reproduce by eggs, with a organ for carrying and incubating said eggs

    c) Increase brain density/surface area while reducing volume.

    d) Alter the locomotion system.

    e) Extreme sexual dimorphism. Since you’ve already said the purpose of females is to make babies, why not specialize for that? Why is locomotion needed at all? Many species that have castes specialized for reproduction just swear off that whole “moveing about” nonsense. Why not have females be like termites? I mean if that were the case we could have more males to defend her and carry her if they need be and it would make reproduction a lot safer and less messy.

    Also speaking of D, there are a number of complaints to your designer about our horrendously inefficient structure for bipedal locomotion. Now ignoring even the problems of flaws in arches, known birth defects with feet, the pointlessness of the toes, the structural weakness of the underside of the foot which I might point out is heavily prone to injury from casual use and the good lord has failed to provide even the minimal protection from such injuries he deigned to grant his, presumably more favored creations, of canines and swine, There’s still a problem with leverage and strain on the spine.

    Furthermore there’s the question of why have a bipedal system at all. A bipedal walk is inherently problematic as it is basically a controlled fall. Meanwhile the hexapedal system is shown to be amazingly stable as it allows the body to have a tripod support at every moment of movement. Why roaches can maintain their balance when having a miniature rocket strapped to their side pushing them sideways because of how efficient this is. Why the problems that could be solved by having humans be based on the template of say, spiders or insects, with octopod body structures (two adapted into manipulating limbs, 6 for locomotion) and specializing an abdomen under neither or behind the legs for locomotion would allow us to have a reproductive system that would give minimal impediment to movement. In fact the frankly slap dash engineering of the tetrapod body is disgraceful. Arthropods, especially insects, show high degrees of specialization for their body, a sensory head, locomotive thorax, and organ holding abdomen. Humans on the other hand have their organs and locomotive muscles shoved into one tube shaped segment where they conflict with each-other. What was the designer thinking; especially considering he had the blueprints of better designs right on hand? I ask you, do we not deserve an explanation?

    Oh sure the speculated arcahnomorph human wouldn’t look very humanoid (frankly I think we could also use the opportunity to fix some sensory problems) but why is that a bad thing? Are we to believe that the All Mightly Creator gimped us with a body that literally struggles to both reproduce and WALK purely for aesthetic reasons?

  130. jaranath says

    “That is your primary role in life. Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.”

    Ah, so the PoeTroll does at least have an agenda. Pro tip: When pushing your more serious points, make sure you’ve weeded out the fallacies. That line’s dripping with the naturalistic one.

  131. Louis says

    I’m thinking this Nofriendoftheatheist muppet is deeply needing to have an intimate connection between my boot and his testicles. After all he seems inordinately fond of the argument from design coupled to the naturalistic fallacy. Both of which are…haha…false!

    Looks like bollock kicking time again.

    Oh the burdens I bear.

    Louis

  132. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Audley, unless I am mistaken, you wanted to have this child.

    Imagine what it is like for those women who do not.

    Wait, be it by inclination or by making himself this way, the latest troll will not use imagination. Empathy will not touch the sack of shit.

  133. says

    Louis:

    The legal definition isn’t perfect, but since we are trying to apply discontinuous definitions to systems that are largely continuous (although birth is obviously THE big rubicon), there will always be difficult decisions to make.

    Categorization is both an immensely useful and an immensely harmful human behavior.

    I’m a marsupial? Fuck me!

    I want custody of the ‘roos. Because they’re cute.

    DLC:

    What if my God demands that children only be conceived in months without an “R” in them, and that all others must not be born, on pain of eternal damnation be steamed and eaten with a twist of lemon?

    FTFY.

    NFotA:

    but your female body is designed to attract males,

    Your gawd “created” non-heterosexualty, too, you know. And not just in humans.

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    Yep. Works every time, too.

  134. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    that is a remarkable feat of engineering design EVOLUTION adapting.

    FIFY.

    Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.Nope, the evidence says the woamn only carries fetuses for a small fraction of their life. You lose to reality once again, as expected for your abject stupidity.

    Still no evidence for your imaginary deity.
    Still no signed letter from your imaginary deity allowing you to speak for it.
    All you have is presupposition and fuckwitted thinking.

  135. says

    And as a woman who is currently pregnant, fuck you. I want to have a child (…)

    Wow, congratulations! (I’m totally TET-rupt, so I will have missed any earlier announcement).

  136. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Also, that design is only useful because enough offspring survive to keep the species going. It is only good enough, not a marvelous design.

  137. adamshelton says

    Off-topic, but is it weird that when I glanced at this ad image as I was scrolling through PZ’s blog entries, I thought it was a picture of a robotic squid?

  138. Matt Penfold says

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    Not really. It is a compromise that puts babies at risk from head injury. It is the type of solution engineers might come up with, but for an omnipotent and omniscient who is not subject to the constraints engineers are, it has to be considered a piss poor solution.

  139. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    What were male nipples designed for?

    Nipple torture!

  140. Louis says

    SC, #155,

    In order:

    Sucking, twiddling, pinching, clamps, electroshock and laughing at.

    HTH

    Louis

  141. says

    Janine,
    Totally wanted. I pointed out in my post at 36 that while this pain is bad for me, it must be torture for a woman who doesn’t want to be pregnant.

    If anything, being pregnant has made me even more pro-choice.

    SQB,
    Thanks! I haven’t announced on TET yet– this is the first time I’ve mentioned my pregnancy on Pharyngula, so you didn’t miss anything.

  142. Rey Fox says

    And as a woman who is currently pregnant

    And this is how you tell me?!

    Congrats, Audley. May you carry out your predetermined purpose with maximum possible efficiency.

    And what if a woman does choose to wait until literally the very last minute (before birth) to perform an abortion?

    You anti-choicers sure love your bullshit hypotheticals, don’t you?

    I am just stating a simple fact: women are baby-making and nurturing machines whether you regard this as the will of Nature or of God.

    Facts: You’re doing them wrong.

    Just take a look at your naked body in the mirror.

    Please leave your prurient fantasies out of this.

    I believe that women are nothing short of biological temples to the Lord.

    Fortunately, what you believe about women is completely irrelevant to actual women.

    Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    Actually, most biologists aren’t authoritarian whackjobs who masturbate about “purpose”.

  143. says

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life. Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    So, Nofriend, how’s the mammoth hunt been? What? You don’t hunt mammoth? You spend time on the internet you say… Pfft, unnatural freak.

    FUCK. OFF.

  144. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Funny how a bunch of people who denies the natural purpose of women are congratulating a woman who will give birth to a wanted baby.

    Wait. No, that is not funny. This is everyday life, not a bullshit argument.

  145. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    Seconding the congrats to you, Audley, as well as seconding that being pregnant (and actually having kids, the kind you can’t give back or take time “off” from, you know, kids in real life who aren’t always delightful or cheap or easy to deal with) has made me more pro-choice.

  146. Matt Penfold says

    Actually, most biologists aren’t authoritarian whackjobs who masturbate about “purpose”.

    Well the ones that are not genetic detirminists anyway. Which of course is most of them.

    I have to wonder how nofriendoftheatheist explains the menopause.

  147. Rey Fox says

    In order:

    Sucking, twiddling, pinching, clamps, electroshock and laughing at.

    Nah, I’m pretty sure “laughing at” comes first.

  148. DLC says

    dianne @130 :
    Clearly which month the baby was conceived in must be judged by a member of the clergy. She’s the one with the plate of spaghetti on his head. It’s a fairly simple magic ceremony that takes a few minutes.

    Brownian @ 131 : before all the ultrasounds and such they used mimeographed stories, drawings and the occasional airbrushed “dead baby” photo. Because, well, God took the last two tablets.
    Guess he had a headache after designing everything.

    SC @155 : male nipples were designed so that men could also have piercings and enjoy nipple clamps. why else ?

  149. nofriendoftheatheist says

    Since you’ve already said the purpose of females is to make babies, why not specialize for that? Why is locomotion needed at all?

    The primary purpose, not the sole purpose. Locomotion is needed to evade predators, gather resources, and to attract males by wiggling it about.

    So why didn’t your great engineer just make babies heads smaller and then increase how much a brain grows after birth?

    Because we need huge brains to start off with. Anyway, women do have to feel pain because it makes giving birth an unforgettable experience.

  150. Louis says

    Janine: Sick minds think alike! ;-)

    Ms Daisy Cutter: The ‘roos are all yours, and double seconded on the “categorisation” comment.

    Dr Audley Z Darkheart:

    CONGRATULATIONS

    My best wishes for your pregnancy and impending motherhood! I’ll celebrate by having your beer for you. No, no. No need to thank me, it’s just the kind of self sacrifice I am willing to do for lovely people like you. Every drop of amber gold will be murder I assure you. Somehow I’ll choke it down.

    Louis

  151. Porco Dio says

    …or the young woman who discovers her much-hoped-for pregnancy has gone awry and the fetus is lethally deformed. It’s demeaning to real human beings.

    For this reason I call the anti-choice folks Anti-Life as they don’t really give a shit about life as they claim.

    They would sooner trample on a newt or stampede over a woman to save a blastocyst.

    Or maybe we should start calling them “pro-cells”

    Rejects.

  152. dianne says

    Audley, congratulations! But pregnancy is an absolute horror, isn’t it? I ended up with one kid because I couldn’t face it again…at least it does get better after delivery. A newborn’s easier than a fetus, a toddler easier than a newborn, a kid easier yet.

  153. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I am calling myself a monster as a joke.

    This shitstain is an actual callous monster.

    Funny how it makes use of “biology” when it backs it’s facts about being female.

    …and to attract males by wiggling it about.

    Am I the only one getting an MRA vibe.

    What does the shitstain think of actually allowing breeding stock to get educated?

  154. Louis says

    Fuckwit, #173,

    Anyway, women do have to feel pain because it makes giving birth an unforgettable experience.

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA Oh that is some really poor quality trolling.

    Seriously, you are not good at this. You do realise most people are simply laughing at you right? The newest 10 year old on /b/ could do better than you. Paddle the troll canoe elsewhere, old bean. Which I suspect you will be doing very soon. Incompetence of that degree is not tolerated.

    Louis

  155. Rey Fox says

    Locomotion is needed to evade predators, gather resources, and to attract males by wiggling it about.

    Fuck off, you lying sack of shit. Take some time to ponder just how profoundly you have failed in life.

  156. says

    Anyway, women do have to feel pain because it makes giving birth an unforgettable experience.

    And your omnipotent and super benevolent skydaddy couldn’t make it unforgettable by making it super duper fun time? Seriously? Your god is an asshole.

  157. FilthyHuman says

    @dianne
    #178

    Audley, congratulations! But pregnancy is an absolute horror, isn’t it? I ended up with one kid because I couldn’t face it again…at least it does get better after delivery. A newborn’s easier than a fetus, a toddler easier than a newborn, a kid easier yet.

    I find it interesting that you stopped before teenager.

  158. Louis says

    Dianne, #178,

    I can’t speak about the pregnancy part from personal experience, although my wife agrees with you about the “ONCE ONLY, LOVER BOY!” thing. I agree with her too! I’m not dumb enough not to!

    I’ve heard the baby > toddler > kid > teen sequence is reversed though. Apparently when you can hold them in one hand and wipe their backside it’s easier than when they are 16. Mind you, mine isn’t even 3 yet and he’s a handful, so I have no idea! :-)

    Louis

  159. The Amazing Rando says

    Because NfotA likes to quote the bible, let’s play that game!
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/abortion.html

    What the Bible says about Abortion

    Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.

    If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. — Exodus 21:22-23

    The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

    And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6

    Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.

    Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16

    God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.

    And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17
    (Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)

    Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14

    Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16

    Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16

    God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.

    Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14

    God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.

    The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …
    And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

    God’s law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

    Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. — Genesis 38:24

    How does that set with you NfotA, god says abortion is alright, or do you disagree with your own god?

  160. dianne says

    I find it interesting that you stopped before teenager.

    I’m not there yet-the critter’s only 8-so don’t have any information yet. My mother claims that I was easier as a teen than as a child, but I was a probably Aspie nerd so not sure that holds for a normal kid.

  161. says

    Human life begins at conception. The tiny egg cell (once fused with a sperm) has the potential to become a fully-fledged human in a way in which any other cell in the body cannot. Therefore, it is special and must be protected by the law.

    no matter homw much you lot whine about this, fetuses are not entitled to more legal protection than grown human beings. And since I’m not morally and legally obligated to give you any body parts of mine if I cause an accident and run you over with my car, I’m also not obligated to give you any of my body parts if I cause an accident and the condom breaks.

    But many women are irresponsible and see abortion as an alternative to contraception.

    this, of course, is not actually true. The few women who do so can’t use other forms of Birth Control due to hormonal sensitivity and latex allergies.

    but thanks for coming out right at the beginning with the admission that this isn’t about fetuses, but about punishing women.

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    it’s neither, and god doesn’t exist.

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce.

    people don’t have “functions”, primary or otherwise. But thank you again for making it so fucking obvious that this isn’t about fetuses but about controlling and punishing women.

    Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    actually, nothing about a woman’s body is designed; and only a few parts are specifically used in procreation, but unsurprisingly, you probably haven’t noticed that women consist of something other than their reproductive systems.

    Once a new life is begun, through the fusion of sperm and egg, she becomes a vehicle for the delivery of another human being.

    more unsurprising misogyny. You’re like a poster-child for how anti-choice is all about how women aren’t people, rather than about Teh Babeez.

    I am just stating a simple fact:

    your opinion is not factual.

    women are baby-making and nurturing machines whether you regard this as the will of Nature or of God.

    nature doesn’t have a will, and neither do nonexistent deities. And your misogyny continues to be noted.

    Just take a look at your naked body in the mirror.

    the vast majority of a woman’s body is not part of the reproductive system, but again it is duly noted that you’re not capable of looking past the boobs.

    I believe that women are nothing short of biological temples to the Lord.

    again, your “lord” doesn’t exist. and women are people, not buildings.

    Every fertilized egg has not only the potential to become another human being but will do so unless prevented.

    incorrect. at most, about 20% of them will, and that’s not counting death at childbirth.

    Unfertilized eggs are backups that should still be respected.

    why am I not at all surprised that you value even unfertilized eggs above a woman.

    So, it is an engineering compromise between giving birth and locomotion. And it works just fine!

    lots of dead women = “works just fine”.
    you’re a real piece of shit. also, if women were “engineered”, they’d have pouches like kangaroos, which would actually solve the problem.

    but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them.

    the female body is not designed. as for attraction… the male body is just as attractive to women as the female body is attractive to men, but you never hear the argument that men are “designed” to be sextoys for women. Could that be because people like you consider men to be autonomous beings, and women to be those autonomous beings possessions?

    Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    or?
    anyway, evolutionary biologists will tell you that the human body isn’t designed. you’re projecting yur misogyny and teleology.

    that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    no it isn’t, it’s a pretty shitty evolutionary adaptation to a problem that could have been solved much more elegantly if a designer or engineer had actually been involved.
    – – – – – – –

    BTW, is anyone surprised that joey turned out to be an anti-woman fuckweasel? whining in every thread about how Teh System is oppressing him, but Patriarchy? Nah, that’s just fucking peachy.

    It’s not like the baby right after the birth event can pick up his things and go on his merry way.

    male pronound duly noted. Also duly noted is the conflation of a woman’s body with “things”.

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    once again: even fully grown adults don’t get to use another person’s body against their express permission. Under no circumstances can a fetus be granted more rights than other people have, that would be fucking absurd.

  162. Amphiox says

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    That is a remarkably STUPID example of engineering design, particularly when the ludicrously easy (from a design and engineering point of view) alternative of moving the birth canal a couple of inches so that it exits above the symphysis pubis (through the abdomen instead of through the pelvis) is superior in every imaginable way.

  163. says

    Congratulations, Audley!

    ***

    The tendency to ignore all of the aspects humans share, focus exclusively on differences, and then use these differences to define people is just so wrong. (Of course, I suspect this is a troll, but it’s similar in form to arguments you often hear.) It’s the same thing people do when they insist virtually exclusively on talking about how humans are so vastly different from other animals and how it’s these differences that define us and them.

  164. Amphiox says

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    When it is no longer a fetus. ie, AT BIRTH, whether that birth is natural or technologically assisted.

  165. chigau (違う) says

    Louis
    re: proxy beer
    Aren’t you some kinda 40-day wagon?
    (like jesus in the desert)

  166. Louis says

    Jadehawk, #188,

    BTW, is anyone surprised that joey turned out to be an anti-woman fuckweasel? whining in every thread about how Teh System is oppressing him, but Patriarchy? Nah, that’s just fucking peachy.

    Waaaaaaaiit a second! Are you implying that certain libertarian tendencies appear to strongly correlate with being a cluelessly privileged, selfish, sexist fuckstick?

    {Gasp}

    But, but, but….no, I simply cannot imagine such a thing to be true.

    Louis

  167. Anri says

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life. Surely any biologist or evolutionist would have to concede this point.

    And human males are well-suited (I’m not going to use the prejorative ‘designed’) to impregnate multiple partners.

    Therefore that’s good, right?
    If not, please explain your biological justification for objecting – or admit that biological well-suited-ness is a stupid thing to reflexively base civilized rules of behavior on.

    (Oh, and harems are also pretty common among biblical characters, so please don’t object to it on that basis.)

  168. pensnest says

    Rookieatheist € #104

    But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    When it is BORN. Seriously, why is this difficult?

    Has Nofriendoftheathiest ever wondered why women have hands? These play no part in reproduction. Feet? Likewise. Eyes? Ears? Not necessary. If women’s bodies were designed solely for incubation, I’m sure they could have been made a whole lot more efficient. Something like a giant womb with input pipes for air and food and output pipes for waste. Oh, wait, I forgot—we’re *also* designed to be attractive to men. Better throw in a cunt, then.

    What women actually are, is ‘human beings’. Not designed at all.

  169. twist says

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life.

    No, no it is not. Currently, my primary role in life is as a graduate student. One day, I hope that my primary role will be as a researcher in some capacity, actually doing something useful with my life. One day, perhaps, I might have a child, but it will never, never, never be my primary function. I will not give up my career to take care of it. My female body is not ‘designed’ to do anything. I am not here to attract males. I am not here to be a fucking brood mare. If my only perpose is to attract men, breed with them and pop out babies, why bother giving me a brain at all? Why does your imaginary friend give us breeding machines the reasoning skils to look at your pathetic non-argument and call bullshit? It would be so much easier if we were just good little brainless clones, right? I am going to use my brain, that was not designed but evolved, to do something constructive and hopefully, in some small way, beneficial to the human race. I am not going to waste my life contributing to the overpopulation of this planet. And most importantly, I can do these things becuase the decision is fucking mine, however much you woman haters try to take it away from me. I am first and foremost a human being and I’m sorry if that’s too much for the lump of sewage you call a brain to deal with. You didn’t seem to get it last time, so I’ll say it again. I have plenty of meaning in my child-free life. I’m happy and fulfilled. SO FUCK OFF AND STOP TRYING TO TELL ME THAT I CAN ONLY FUNCTION AS A BABY MACHINE YOU SHIT-SWILLING MISOGYNIST. FUCK OFF.

    Actually, babies have very flexible crania. They are composed of bone plates which can bend in order to allow the baby to make it through the birth canal – that is a remarkable feat of engineering design.

    Tell that to the countless women who have, and still are, bleeding to death in childbirth you inhuman sack of shit. Pregnancy can kill a woman in many, many ways, not just the part where you actually have to give birth. It is dangerous. It is not some perfect fluffy fucking miracle. Pre-eclampsia. Placental abruption. Eclampsia. Deep vein thrombosis. Ectopic pregnancy. Gestational diabetes. HELLP syndrome. Prolonged or obstructed labour. Of course, none of that matters when you don’t consider those who suffer from these conditions to be really human. If it’s just an incubator, who cares when it bleeds to death, right? Either your imaginary friend hates women as much as you do, or it couldn’t come up with anything better, which makes it a shitty designer. And again, FUCK OFF.

  170. RFW says

    #155 #SC (Salty Current), OM says (3 April 2012 at 10:52 am):

    What were male nipples designed for?

    Sexual stimulation (ask nearly any gay man about nipples) and, on rare occasion, a source of life-sustaining milk for infants whose mothers died in childbirth. They’re also handy for body ornamentation via piercing and the wearing of jewelry therefrom dangling.

    They’re also useful as markers distinguishing the ventral side of the torso from the dorsal, in the event that other such markers (face, pectoral muscles, skeletal conformation, navel, external genitalia) are ambiguous or missing.

    The rubes, as usual, are utterly unaware of these usefulnesses.

    Ladies with male partners in intimacy are particularly pointed to the first usefulness noted in the above list. Just keep in mind that well-known slogan, “no pain, no gain.” Should the b.f. squeal in distress as you adjust his anatomy, remind him that when the scabs fall off, there’ll be a new him underneath.

  171. Amphiox says

    BTW, is anyone surprised that joey turned out to be an anti-woman fuckweasel?

    Not at all. This has been a standard and recurring pattern for his ilk.

    I will go on to predict that if his rampant misogyny should get him squished by the banhammer (as empirically, odious misogyny gets them banned much more easily that insipid creationist trolling) he will go his merry dishonest way whining about being censored here for his creationist views.

  172. Louis says

    Chigau, #194,

    I am, I am. But I am writing myself little notes with glasses of beer drawn on them for use on the evening of May the 11th (when self imposed good behaviour ends for the weekend, then reinstates itself around the Tuesday).

    I can at least imagine the beer until then.

    The 40 day part is a happy coincidence. ;-)

    Louis

  173. raven says

    The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

    And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6

    True.

    According to the magic book of mythology, personhood starts one month after birth.

    This is common even in third world cultures today. The reason is real simple. Newborns have a high probability of dying. No point in giving them a name or getting too attached when half of them will die.

    In parts of Africa, naming day is 3 months after birth.

  174. tavethethrasher says

    Just as a side note, an interesting historical fact.

    Bartolomeo Corte, a student of Antonio Vallisneri, in 1703 tried to publish ” Lettera nella quale si discorre da quale tempo si infonda nel feto l’anima ragionevole “, which can be loosely translated as ” An argument regarding when the soul is infused in the fetus “. In it, Bartolomeo corte, which was a Cartesian preformist, argues that the soul enters the fetus at the moment of conception.

    The catholic church will put this letter in his index of forbiddeen books, and forces Bartolomeo to abjure on the penalty of life imprisonment. In 1703 the Catholic Church still accepted abortion based on the writings of Thomas Aquinus, for whom ” a male fetus becomes a person after 40 days, a female fetus becomes a person after 80 days “.

    Only after 1869 with Pope Pius IX the “life begins at conception” doctrine becomes the standard position of the Catholic Church.

    Just saying.

  175. Louis says

    Twist, #198,

    If my only perpose is to attract men, breed with them and pop out babies, why bother giving me a brain at all?

    OH I KNOW I KNOW!

    It’s because men need brains and men and women share most features of embryological development. The reason men need brains is so their eyes can connect to something that knows it’s looking at boobs.

    I HAS COMBINED MISOGYNY AND SCIENCE! Can I have a biscuit now?

    Louis

  176. says

    @185: Speaking from experience, I’d say kids are a royal pain from the moment the morning sickness kicks in until they achieve economic escape velocity, 20+ years later.

    And it’s totally worth it.

    (Which is not in the least to imply that it’s an inferior choice to just forgo the whole experience. And yes, we are enjoying life now that it’s just us and the cats, while looking forward to #1 Son’s visit this upcoming long weekend, and #2 Son moving much closer to home [ie. two hour drive instead of two day] for his Ph.D programme).

  177. Anri says

    I’m a fan of Pharyngula. I would describe myself as a non-believer and a rationally minded person. But I just can’t figure out what the general consensus among PZ and like-minded people is on when the fetus should acquire legal/scientific status as a human?

    In the US, a person becomes a full citizen 35 years after birth.

    Prior to that point, they are restricted by law from doing things full citizens can do. The younger one is, the fewer rights one has – these is no ‘magic moment’ where one transitions from a ‘not-person’ to a ‘person’. There are just accumulations of rights throughout life. The biggest jump, however, is at birth, for I think pretty obvious reasons.

  178. Louis says

    I remain convinced that, as someone else said, this nofriendoftheatheist moron is the troll “IT polymath” muppet from the other thread. I don’t know why I think this so strongly. Perhaps it’s a supernatural sense that detects arseholes and their resonances.

    I think we’re just being trolled. Not that it makes much difference. The schtick is indistinguishable from that of real pissant misogynists.

    Louis

  179. Amphiox says

    Every fertilized egg has not only the potential to become another human being but will do so unless prevented.

    Over 80% of all fertilized eggs will spontaneously abort.

    Fact. A word you like to use, but whose meaning you evidently do not comprehend.

  180. Matt Penfold says

    I have never understood this life begins at conception stuff. Conception is not an instantaneous process. I have asked Catholics at what point during the process they consider life to have begun. Most of them have not even understood the question, and all of them has just kept repeating “life begins at conception”.

  181. says

    I appreciate that he spawned all kinds of brilliant responses to his idiocy, but clearly, the purpose of nofriendoftheatheist was to be crushed by my banhammer. Why else would god have made him so stupid?

  182. Amphiox says

    but your female body is designed to attract males

    No, actually it is your male brain is designed to be attracted to female bodies. It is specifically a secret test of character that your god implements to determine that nature of your moral fibre.

    A test which you have failed.

  183. Eris says

    To all those people who twitch in horror at the idea of hypothetical late term abortions of healthy fetuses: I have a question.

    If you really hate late term abortions, why are you engaging in behavior that will force women into getting abortions later and later?

    For example, one of the main reasons that a woman might have an abortion later rather than sooner is that she does not have access to affordable early abortions. This means making sure women have to have access to accurate pregnancy tests to allow her to get an abortion early on, the money to get an abortion, the ability to find an abortion clinic easily, the ability to take time off from work/school/child rearing/etc to get an abortion, transportation to the abortion clinic, lack of fear that she will get in trouble for getting an abortion, not being forced to wait due to “waiting periods” and unnecessary medical procedures, etc. Furthermore lack of access to healthcare/housing/food/child care/etc that doesn’t depend on employment and may take a wanted, prepared for pregnancy and turn into one that cannot be handled in a heartbeat.

    All of these things push women into having abortions later. So why don’t you spend your time fighting against these things?

    Unless, of course this whole “late term abortion” thing is a smokescreen, and you are no happier with a first trimester abortion than you are with a third trimester abortion.

  184. Louis says

    SC, #214,

    Tragically there will never be enough pain for him to remember even the basics of something worth remembering.

    Louis

  185. Amphiox says

    So even though the newt is adorably cute, capable of making basic decisions and capable of feeling pain we can hurt it in any way we please but the tiny ball of cells looks like god and is therefore protected.

    Before a certain point, a human fetus looks more like a newt than it does an adult human, though.

  186. Amphiox says

    Abortions in the third trimester are not for birth control, as you presuppose with your inane and fuckwitted question. They are because the woman needs the abortion because the fetus is killing her, or the fetus has abnormalities.

    I will also point out that in a third trimester situation in which the mother’s life is threatened and can only be saved by ending the pregnancy, if it is possible to deliver the child alive, then that IS the medical treatment, induced birth or caesarian section.

    Abortion is this situation is ONLY contemplated when survivable birth of the fetus cannot be accomplished, either because the fetus is not yet mature enough to survive outside the womb, if it has defects that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb anyways, or if the condition that is threatening the mother’s life is also going to kill the fetus regardless.

    ie, abortion in these situations is the option only when the fetus CANNOT be saved. (These are virtually all wanted pregnancies, after all.)

  187. Akira MacKenzie says

    #173

    You’re missing the point, fucktard. The invisible cosmic tyrant you and all other Christians mindlessly worship is supposed to be omnipotent, and if you can wrap you tiny brain around big, foreign-sounding words, that means “all powerful.”

    An omnipotent being should be able to create a biological structure that allows for locomotion and big brained infants that won’t put the female through distress. As pentatomid just pointed out, if imparting the birth experience into a woman’s memory is so damn important , then your magical space dictator could have made labor an orgasmic experience rather than an agony. If abortion was such a horrible thing, then he should have the power to magically stop it. All of the things should be cake for an all powerful being.

    In your religion’s Big Book of Fairy Tales, your immortal intergalactic despot could allegedly POOF the universe into existence, make it rain for 40 days and nights, part the Red Sea, stop the Earth from rotating so one of his followers could have sufficient daylight to slaughter a group nonbelievers, make virgins give birth to bouncing baby demigods, raise the dead, etc. Yet your deity, despite his allegedly omnibenevolent (that means “all good”) nauture, seems utterly incapable of dealing with the pain and suffer that his supposed creations endure. (He does, according to your Bible, have a psychotic desire to spread pain and suffering around, though.) Don’t give me this bullshit about “interfering with free will” either. Ignoring that free will is about as mythical as gods, how does preventing an “evil” act curtail free will? “Sorry, ma’am. I like to stop that thug from raping you, but to do so would curtail free will and reduce us to fleshy robots!”

    Your god’s absence is as telling as his silence is deafening.

    To close, I quote Epicurus:

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    Ponder that, moron.

  188. says

    Oops, forgot this:

    women are baby-making and nurturing machines

    Uh-huh. That must be why mothers never, ever murder their children, either because of postpartum psychosis (there’s that “intelligent design” again) or because they’re just not good at the job. That must also be why I start feeling very antsy when around a small, squalling human for more than about 30 seconds.

    Jadehawk, I don’t think “Joey” is the same commenter as “joed.”

    Pensnest: Well, feet are to fetch another nappy for teh baybee. Eyes are to check to see whether the current nappy is full first. Ears are to hear Baybee crying. And, Twist, I’m sure NFotA would say that your brain exists only to boost your (male) Baybees’ IQ and make him more attractive to the wimminz who will be wiggling their hips at him in the future, because that will make him a better provider.

  189. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I will also point out that in a third trimester situation in which the mother’s life is threatened and can only be saved by ending the pregnancy, if it is possible to deliver the child alive, then that IS the medical treatment, induced birth or caesarian section.

    And I will also point out: Even if it is used for birth control so fucking what?. We need to stop with this tacit agreement that there’s something fundamentally horrible about late-term abortions or using abortions as birth control. It’s as bad as pro-choicers echoing that dreadful sentiment “safe, legal, and rare.” And no, don’t talk to me about them meaning “rare” as in “birth control is so widely available women don’t have to have a medical procedure.” It’s tacit support of abortion-as-immoral whether it’s meant that way or not and it will be read that way by anti-choicers.

  190. Akira MacKenzie says

    Awwwww, nuts PZ. I wanted to see if the little maroon (I’m channeling Bugs Bunny) would have responded.

  191. says

    I’m sorry if it upsets you, but your female body is designed to attract males, to give birth to babies and then to suckle them. That is your primary role in life.

    Soooooooo, I suppose that xe would have no problem with impregnating girls as soon as they are physically able. That would be around age 10 for many in the developed countries, right? Also, why even bother sending girls to school. What “natural” purpose does that serve? Education, clothing, etc are not necessary to a female’s purpose.

    Gah, I think I’m going to be sick now.

  192. Eris says

    And I will also point out: Even if it is used for birth control so fucking what?

    I have never understood why giving birth to a child you can’t care for (either due to a lack of desire or a lack of resources) is considered to be somehow superior to abortion as a method of birth control.

  193. The Amazing Rando says

    Akira MacKenzie

    Awwwww, nuts PZ. I wanted to see if the little maroon (I’m channeling Bugs Bunny) would have responded.

    Yeah, I want him to respond to me too. Will he feel the same way about Abortion if god says it’s alright? Inquiring minds are moderately curious…

  194. Nepenthe says

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if the symphysis pubis was super stretchy, like the one joining the mandibles of snakes? Birth would be no problem! And I see some interesting recreational possibilities there too!

  195. says

    Nepenthe:

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if the symphysis pubis was super stretchy, like the one joining the mandibles of snakes? Birth would be no problem! And I see some interesting recreational possibilities there too!

    On the one hand, backpacks would become obsolete.

    On the other, I misplace my keys quite often enough, thanks.

  196. Rey Fox says

    We need to stop with this tacit agreement that there’s something fundamentally horrible about late-term abortions or using abortions as birth control.

    In the same way, the “at what instant does it *ping* become a person” argument is a red herring.

  197. says

    In the same way, the “at what instant does it *ping* become a person” argument is a red herring.

    The overlap between this and anti-healtcare is disgusting to me.

    On one hand every life is sacred and we cannot allow death panels…on the other hand we need to preserve a system of cold calculus that determines how many avoidable deaths is acceptable.

  198. Akira MacKenzie says

    @The Amazing Rando:

    Will he feel the same way about Abortion if god says it’s alright? Inquiring minds are moderately curious…<

    Be careful, after hearing fundy scum like William Lane Craig and Doug Wilson* defend Moses and Joshua's apocryphal genocide of any non-Hebrew culture they ran into on their mthical 40-year stroll, the answer to that might be more frightening than you imagine.

    *See the film "Collision." all I can say is that Hitchens was way too this creepy pile of Christian shit.

  199. joey says

    Jadehawk:

    BTW, is anyone surprised that joey turned out to be an anti-woman fuckweasel?

    Where are you getting this? I’m simply trying to argue why infants should not be considered persons.

    Why can’t the criteria for personhood be “rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness” as advocated by Singer? Those seem like much more reasonable criteria for personhood compared to the somewhat arbitrary point of birth.

    And why do some people get so upset with notion of late-term abortion. Why exactly?

  200. says

    Eris:

    I have never understood why giving birth to a child you can’t care for (either due to a lack of desire or a lack of resources) is considered to be somehow superior to abortion as a method of birth control.

    It’s the exaltation of suffering and sacrifice above practical concerns. Of course, said suffering and sacrifice are honored the most only in certain sorts of people.

    Audley: Sorry!!! :D

    Ing:

    The overlap between this and anti-healtcare is disgusting to me.

    It’s the flip side of my reply to Eris. Some people, by virtue of being whiter, maler, richer, straighter, and Christianer, are appointed by gawd to dispose of other people. Those other people are appointed by gawd to suffer.

  201. joey says

    Josh:

    We need to stop with this tacit agreement that there’s something fundamentally horrible about late-term abortions or using abortions as birth control.

    Why? What is so “fundamentally horrible”? You sound like an anti-choicer.

  202. KG says

    Anyway, women do have to feel pain because it makes giving birth an unforgettable experience. – nofriendtotheatheist

    So why not make the experience an intensely pleasureable one? Your imaginary friend would be even more of a sack of shit than you are if it existed.

  203. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m going to post that last one again. Too many errors:

    @The Amazing Rando:

    Will he feel the same way about Abortion if god says it’s alright? Inquiring minds are moderately curious…

    Be careful, after hearing fundy scum like William Lane Craig and Doug Wilson* defend Moses and Joshua’s apocryphal genocide of any non-Hebrew culture they ran into on their mythical 40-year desert stroll, the answer to that might be more frightening than you imagine.

    *See the film “Collision.” all I can say is that Hitchens was way too nice to that creepy pile of Christian shit.

  204. KG says

    joey@237,
    Why not learn to read, fuckwit? Josh was quite clearly dissenting from the view you interpret him as supporting.

  205. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    Just take a look at your naked body in the mirror.

    Strangely, the first thing that hits my eyes is my face and head, which contains a brian suited for far more complex tasks than caring for wee babbies (fun as that is) and giving men boners (fun as that is).

    I believe that women are nothing short of biological temples to the Lord.

    I just threw up in my own mouth a bit.

    Too bad fuckwit was too fuckwitted to evade the banhammer. Oh wait, no, that’s a wondrous thing, a testament of his fulfillment of his Natural Function.

  206. joey says

    Why not learn to read, fuckwit? Josh was quite clearly dissenting from the view you interpret him as supporting.

    Oh, okay then. My bad.

  207. says

    Joey:

    And why do some people get so upset with notion of late-term abortion. Why exactly?

    That something makes people “so upset” is not an argument against it per se. Why do some people get so upset that other people have gay sex, which, when consensual and safe, harms no one?

    Also, as KG says, your reading comprehension of Josh’s comment sucks. You yourself seem much more exercised at the idea of late-term abortion than anybody else here, except maybe the other pro-liar trolls.

    Sally:

    a brian suited for far more complex tasks

    Huh. I’ve met a few men who’ve named their penises. I’ve met one or two women who named their vaginas. I’ve never met someone who named their grey matter.

  208. Louis says

    Sally, #241,

    We demand boners!

    And also: sammiches!

    Get on that right away because it’s Natural apparently.

    Louis

  209. phein39 says

    Human life begins at conception.

    A meaningless statement from Mr. Obvious. [Who thinks this is news? Do they really think that most women believe they are growing, what, toaster ovens?, and that if they only truly knew . . .]

    When does human personhood begin? And more importantly, how do a few small cells get to be a person?

    From all that I can see, being the father of four, my wife made those small cells grow into persons. None of this “vehicle for delivery” nonsense, as if she were just along for the ride. She was the producer.

    This is what every right-to-lifer can’t stand: Each and every one of us was created by an individual woman. That’s a simple truth. But for pathological reasons of their own, they can’t recognize that fact and grant the authority that naturally goes with the power and responsibility.

  210. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those seem like much more reasonable criteria for personhood compared to the somewhat arbitrary point of birth.

    Except autonomy requires being born and unplugged from the woman. Being born is a defining event. You haven’t shown another equally defining event.

    Avoid this inane question bullshit, and simply say “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up. We prefer the direct approach.

  211. Gregory Greenwood says

    As A late comer to the thread I missed all the fun to be had gnawing on the chew toy, but looking at hir comments nofriendoftheatheist seems to have been an exceptionally nasty piece of work – good banhammer-fodder and little else.

    You know, I am almost certain that such clueless misogyny is the product of male privilege. It is times like this that I almost wish that reincarnation wasn’t a ludicrous superstition. Justice could be neatly served if nofriendoftheatheist is in fact a man, and was reborn into the body of a woman in order to get a first hand look at the vicious misogyny he so approves of at the moment…

    ——————————————————————

    joey @ 237;

    Why? What is so “fundamentally horrible”? You sound like an anti-choicer.

    Read Josh’s comment again – he is arguing against the behaviour of some pro-choicers who talk about making abortion ‘safe, legal and rare‘, and that thereby give ground before anti-choicers by tacitly supporting the idea that late term abortion is somehow morally objectionable. A stance that will be interpreted by anti-choicers as an admission that abortion is inherently unethical.

  212. joey says

    Nerd:

    Except autonomy requires being born and unplugged from the woman. Being born is a defining event. You haven’t shown another equally defining event.

    Sorry, your argument doesn’t work. I could also argue that autonomy requires that you have to be conceived first. Or maybe that you have to develop a brain first, or a heartbeat. So can’t any of those prerequisite moments also be argued as “defining events”?

  213. says

    Sorry, your argument doesn’t work. I could also argue that autonomy requires that you have to be conceived first. Or maybe that you have to develop a brain first, or a heartbeat. So can’t any of those prerequisite moments also be argued as “defining events”?

    …you’re not possibly this stupid.

    A defining event would be one that, by definition, is the turning point that establishes the definition.

    For example BIRTH is the defining event of becoming a baby from fetus.

    You’re being intentionally dense and are arguing that birth is the defining event of graduating from the Marine Corps.

  214. joey says

    Gregory Greenwood:

    Read Josh’s comment again – he is arguing against the behaviour of some pro-choicers who talk about making abortion ‘safe, legal and rare‘, and that thereby give ground before anti-choicers by tacitly supporting the idea that late term abortion is somehow morally objectionable. A stance that will be interpreted by anti-choicers as an admission that abortion is inherently unethical.

    Yup, I already admitted fault in glossing over his actual meaning. I, too, think it’s absurd that a pro-choicer could think that that a late term abortion is somehow morally objectionable. “Irrational humans” (thread title).

  215. Feats of Cats says

    …if imparting the birth experience into a woman’s memory is so damn important , then your magical space dictator could have made labor an orgasmic experience rather than an agony.

    If childbirth was a pleasurable experience, I expect this would be a very different conversation. Abortion might even be encouraged by the same people arguing against it now as it would be more of a punishment for those slutty, uppity wimmen than going through with the birth.

  216. says

    Sorry, your argument doesn’t work. I could also argue that autonomy requires that you have to be conceived first. Or maybe that you have to develop a brain first, or a heartbeat. So can’t any of those prerequisite moments also be argued as “defining events”?

    Wait… What? Seriously, Joey, you cannot be this stupid. I don’t think that’s humanly possible.

  217. joed says

    Seems truely unfortunate to me that this abortion “arguement” is still part of life in the u s.
    I think the antiabortionists are concerned about when the “soul” enters the body. What I hear them saying is that the soul enters the body at the moment of conception and therefore is a viable human. but the anti’s seldom use the term “soul” because they know proof is not available but they use the term “life” to confuse the issue. Like this article says,”The argument is never about whether some state is alive or not.”
    So, if i find myself talking about this I will always bring up “soul” and see where the conversation goes. The antiabortionists will say anything to confuse the issue because they know they can’t be reasonable.
    To them Life=soul.
    Anyway, if a woman has enough money she will get a proper abortion. If a woman doesn’t have the resources she will take her life in her hands. What an immoral , unjust situation for women, their partners, family friends.
    Seems everyone loses.

  218. joey says

    ING:

    A defining event would be one that, by definition, is the turning point that establishes the definition.

    For example BIRTH is the defining event of becoming a baby from fetus.

    You’re being intentionally dense and are arguing that birth is the defining event of graduating from the Marine Corps.

    My comments were in the context of the criteria of autonomy, rationality, and self-consciousness. Okay, so I guess it can be argued that an infant is “autonomous” after birth (that’s a stretch, but let’s simply roll with it). What about rationality and self-consciousness? Is autonomy the only criteria?

  219. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I could also argue that autonomy requires that you have to be conceived first. Or maybe that you have to develop a brain first, or a heartbeat. So can’t any of those prerequisite moments also be argued as “defining events”?

    No. Autonomy means not supported by anothers’s body, so anything in utero can’t fit the definition. End of story.

    The other things you stupidly mention do not happen in one time relatively quick event. Which is why birth is such a fantastic defining event. The change from non-breather to air-breather, from in utero to normal human environment, from feeding parasitically off a woman to feeding off other sources, all happen at approximately the same time, and are irreversible. Find a better moment and defend it, or shut the fuck up.

  220. says

    My comments were in the context of the criteria of autonomy, rationality, and self-consciousness. Okay, so I guess it can be argued that an infant is “autonomous” after birth (that’s a stretch, but let’s simply roll with it). What about rationality and self-consciousness? Is autonomy the only criteria?

    You are failing to understand autonomous in this context.

    What about rationality and self-consciousness? Is autonomy the only criteria?

    Of value yes. If you can come with a way to test ‘rationality’ and ‘self-consciousness’ you’re welcome to try to expand it. It takes between 18-25 years for a human to become fully ‘rational’ and ‘self-conscious’ if you want to get technical. Our society already has people in development under the responsibility and wardship of others.

  221. twist says

    I, too, think it’s absurd that a pro-choicer could think that that a late term abortion is somehow morally objectionable.

    From your earlier postings, you also seem to think it’s absurd that pro-choicers are not fine with people going around gleefully murdering newborns.

    What is so difficult to understand about a fetus becoming a person when it ceases to be dependent on it’s mother’s body to survive (newborns, toddlers and children are dependent on other people to survive, not necessarily their mother)? It is a person when it is not living inside the body of another person. Before that, not a person.

  222. joey says

    Nerd:

    Find a better moment and defend it, or shut the fuck up.

    Fine. Rationality and self-consciousness. Infants have neither. You have a problem with those criteria?

    After all, even the bacon we ate for breakfast was once part of an autonomous life form.

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What about rationality and self-consciousness?

    Why don’t you defend them instead of us. This is your inane idea, not ours.

    So, tell us how an infant isn’t rational or self-conscious, compared to say a dog or a cat (Singer’s argument).

  224. Azuma Hazuki says

    I am fairly sure, after reading this thread, that NFotA is a Poe. He’s too well-spoken to be completely serious and there’s a few subconscious “tells” in there that out him.

  225. IslandBrewer says

    <god, (Spaghetti monstrum volans)> Did someone mention intelligent design?

    Okay, okay, I’ve got a lot on my plate, you know, not listening to prayers and ignoring human suffering, but I’ll see if I can’t redesign this.

    Yes, I’ll admit it. I fucked up the first time. Yeah, sorry. What, you want a box of candy from me?

    And, by the by, “intelligent” refers to me, not the “design”. So I’m intelligent, and a designer, but that doesn’t mean my designs are necessarily intelligent, so there!

    Alright, yes, I’m getting on with it.

    So, first off, I’m getting rid of menstruation. No purpose at all. “Wait, it cleans the uterus and prepares it for,” No, it doesn’t. Bunch of crap.

    I’ll make it so women will mentally have to turn their fertility on and off. They’ll have to concentrate really hard, go into a short fugue state for a few hours, so they can’t casually and accidentally become pregnant. Childbirth is a big decision – don’t want it to happen indiscriminately.

    I mean, it’s either treat them as sentient adults with intelligence and wills of their own, or make them into breeding livestock, like the Republicans want. I flipped a coin, so we’re going with mental switches.

    Next, a pregnant woman will grow a birth canal ventrally and avoid the narrow pelvic opening. That’s right. The birth canal and vagina are now two completely separate things. Vaginas will now only be for fun, and occasionally incubating yeast (I’ll fix that in an upcoming patch, okay?).

    Also, zippers. She’ll grow a zipper. The whole thing will be reabsorbed postpartum.

    The onset of birth will release a whole bunch of opioids and cannabinoids, making the birth process painless, and a little bit trippy (as if it’s not already kind of trippy).

    And finally, gestation and birth will be available to men, too.

    Only fair, right?

    Please direct complaints and prayers in a generally upward direction. All currently known issues will be addressed in an upcoming patch to be released at some future date.

  226. Anri says

    Why can’t the criteria for personhood be “rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness” as advocated by Singer? Those seem like much more reasonable criteria for personhood compared to the somewhat arbitrary point of birth.

    (Emphasis added for incredulity)

    Wait, what?

    Birth is arbitrary?

    Has some sort of Stupid Olympics been going on that I’m unaware of or something? Like a Decathlon of Dumb event?

  227. julietdefarge says

    I suggest we ask all politicians who oppose any form of birth control if they were virgins when they married. If not, I’ll expect them to make a tearful confession about how their sluttiness ruined their lives.

    When does a fetus become a human? Well, a normal fetus will have enough brain and nervous system development to reach sentience in 26 weeks. It can be aware that it is feeling discomfort. 26 weeks is not viable outside the womb, though. Call me callous, but I think doctors and parents have to establish if a fetus can/should survive to term in each specific case.

  228. KG says

    To what purpose is Joey arguing? Does he perhaps want to go around killing babies, and thus needs to find a justification for doing so?

  229. twist says

    practically trying to equivocate pro-choice with “it’s ok to kill babies” is a horrendously stupid idea. Stop “helping”.

    Joey’s argument seems almost like something an anti-choicer who was trying to prove that pro-choicers are in fact evil baby murderers who are secretly just waiting for the chance to bludgeon your toddler to death would come up with. But nah, that can’t be it.

  230. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    Yeah, that “rare” in “Safe, legal, rare” doesn’t work for me either. I, in fact, wish sincerely that abortion was more common. Easier, more affordable and just generally done more – every single child on this planet should be a wanted child.

    Having a kid as a punishment (either for opening your legs in the first place or for not meeting some kind of “deadline” while obstacle after obstacle is thrown at you) is, to me, the height of immorality.

    Abortion as contraception? I have no problem with this in any way.

    However, from what I’ve seen and read, third trimester abortions as contraception? They simply do not exist, and if they DO sometimes slip through, it’s because the woman couldn’t get an abortion earlier. No one goes through 6+ months of pregnancy to just one day wake up and think “Nah, don’t want it after all” and then just skip over to the hospital to get it done.

    Even if that *were* to happen, despite all odds and all sense of common sense, chances are better that said woman would go the adoption route at this late stage.

    Further, if the late-term abortion is done due to life-threatening complications (which is most often the case), everyone would try to do what’s possible to ensure survival after preterm birth (Steroids, those things they do when they expect a premature birth) – if there’s any possibility for the fetus to be able to live, that is.

    That’s what I see the most. Early labours, induced from 6 months up (or emergency c-sectioned) because of severe distress to the mother. However, since every single one of these cases I’ve heard of were for wanted babies, the potential survival of the fetus ex utero also receives a lot of attention in these cases, where time and resources and circumstances permit.

    Third trimester abortions? They exist, and are almost without exeption heart-shattering to the prospective parents, since they are almost without exception done in wanted pregnancies where shit went really bad really fast. The kind of circumstances you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

    Third trimester abortions as contraception? Sorry, I don’t believe that this animal exists outside of the fervent imaginings of the death cultists and maybe, I said maybe, in the rare, exceptional case caused by these very same hand-wringers.

  231. Nepenthe says

    To Ms. Daisy Cutter, in regards to comment 228.

    Well played, ma’am. Well played. It made my day to have assisted in that post.

    Sincerely,

    Nepenthe

  232. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    julietdefarge , 272

    Call me callous, but I think doctors and parents have to establish if a fetus can/should survive to term in each specific case.

    Actually, I’ll call you the opposite of callous, whatever that is, since this is the only consistently humane and ethical position – I’d only change the “parents” in there to the “pregnant person”, but that’s just coz I nitpick often and well and am hyperaware of the culture of violence and coercion we live in.

  233. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Aw, I missed all the fun :(

    Masturbation does indeed lead to an undignified loss of cellular life. I think people should think of their own tadpoles before they jerk off.

    Undignified? Nonsense! I have my butler masturbate me whilst I am reading the Financial Times, listening to Brahms and wearing a dinner suit.

    Undignified? The very idea.

    Louis

    Louis, I want to marry you and not have any of your babies. However, since you are already married I think I’ll just drop by The OrgyTM and of course the ‘Plex.

  234. Akira MacKenzie says

    @Feats of Cats

    Abortion might even be encouraged by the same people arguing against it now as it would be more of a punishment for those slutty, uppity wimmen than going through with the birth.

    Heh, probably. I met a comely young female atheist at one of my local freethinker Meet-Up group who I’m quite fond of and lately I’ve been going to her place to watch documentaries (perhaps more, one day, if I can work up the courage to tell her how I feel…but I digress). A few weeks ago we watched “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” which about the MPAA and the slimly right-wing politics behind the rating system. The directors interviewed mentioned that part of the review boards reason to give a couple of their films were given NC-17 was because they featured a female character who was having a “too long” of an orgasm during a sex scene.

    Apperently, cinematic blood, guts, and slaughter can get you a PG, but the sight of a woman coming (along with breasts, genitals, and simulated sex acts) is a threat to Western civilization.

  235. joed says

    @210 Matt Penfold,
    “I have never understood this life begins at conception stuff. Conception is not an instantaneous process.”
    The word “life” equals the word “soul” to those folks. So, they are saying, At conception the soul enters the body.
    It is goofy but to them life=soul.

  236. hypatiasdaughter says

    All this “fundamental right to life once conceived, a right that transcends all others'(esp. the woman’s) rights” seems to fly out the window in so many cases.
    Like: Treyvon Martin’s, who was an autonomous being who had “fingers and toes and a face and (a) heart beat.” But his right to life got trumped by someone else’s right “to stand his ground”.
    Like: African women and children who get infected and die from HIV, because their right to life gets trumped by the greater moral issue of using condoms.
    Like: The 150,000 – ???? Iraqis who have died in the 10 year war, fought to overthrow a dictator who was in America’s bad books.
    Like: The 3200 inmates on death row in the USA

    The “Sacredness of Life” meme bites the dust when someone has a personal need, such as self-defense, protection from criminals or war, that they think trumps it. Taking the higher moral ground in these cases might actually put men and their privileged womenfolk at risk. Putting young women at risk in pregnancy is a gamble these bastards are willing to take.

  237. Eris says

    Fine. Rationality and self-consciousness. Infants have neither. You have a problem with those criteria?

    First, please indicate how you intend to prove that an individual organism has said abilities.

    Also, I don’t understand why this is an important distinction for you to make. If someone has an infant they cannot or do not wish to care for, they are perfectly capable of dropping the infant off at child protective services. Why is it important to you that people be allowed to kill infants rather than dropping them off somewhere? Because part of the abortion argument is that it isn’t possible to just drop off unwanted zygotes/embryos/fetuses/etc. What would infanticide solve that termination of parental rights can’t?

  238. says

    To interfere with God’s work in making the foetus is both criminal and immoral.

    I guess you are not aware that abortion rates are higher in those countries where abortion is criminal. As for the immoral part: Look you don’t make any fucking sense. The development of the foetus has absolutely zip to do with morality. You can chose to apply what ever sense of “morality” you want when you’re pregnant, but you are not welcome to make decisions for other women’s body.

  239. joey says

    Nerd:

    Why don’t you defend them instead of us. This is your inane idea, not ours.

    Sorry, I can’t take credit for the argument. Singer and others have formulated it before me.

    So, tell us how an infant isn’t rational or self-conscious, compared to say a dog or a cat (Singer’s argument).

    You think a newly born infant is more rational than an adult dog or cat? I wouldn’t.

  240. says

    The word “life” equals the word “soul” to those folks. So, they are saying, At conception the soul enters the body.

    Another way I look at it: They’re equivocating with “life.”

    The zygote has “life” in the way biologists talk about, mixing organic chemicals, and such. They’re “alive” in the same sense that my spleen is alive. It’s a large collection of chemical reactions performed in certain ways.

    The other definition is in the sense of having a life: As human beings, we have social, professional, educational, cultural and leisure activities. Those activities are the result of having a well-developed and active brain that performs the processes we use to engage in those activities. A person who loses those parts of his brain can no longer engage in those activities. A brain-dead person is no longer alive in this sense because he no longer has the ability to process thoughts and emotions necessary for those sorts of conscious activities.

    They’re trying to conflate simple things like protein coding with the complexities of consciousness.

  241. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Joey, make your argument as to time and defend it. Or shut the fuck up. Your blathing is pointless at the moment.

  242. Eris says

    Sorry, I can’t take credit for the argument. Singer and others have formulated it before me.

    I don’t think anyone cares who came up with the original argument. The issues is that you are currently making the argument, regardless of where you got it from. As such, it is your place to defend the argument that you are making.

  243. joey says

    ING:

    What problem is there that justifies creating greater complexity and adding more subjective criteria to this question rather than a very simple, impossible to confuse, and absolute objective criteria.

    How do you define “birth”? Is it when the fetus has a single toe or strand of hair outside the mother? Is it when 51% of the fetus is outside the mother? Is it when the baby’s head is completely out? Is it when the baby takes its first breath? Is it when the umbilical chord is cut? When exactly is the absolute objective moment “birth” happens?

  244. says

    The directors interviewed mentioned that part of the review boards reason to give a couple of their films were given NC-17 was because they featured a female character who was having a “too long” of an orgasm during a sex scene.

    and then there’s male masturbation vs. female masturbation; only one of those gets an NC-17

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is it when the baby takes its first breath? Is it when the umbilical chord is cut?The state has it covered. Any or all the above.

    Again, you put forward your decision and defend it. We shouldn’t play your inane and fuckwitted game of “what if”.

  246. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, borked the blockquote in #291. First two sentences are Joey’s fuckwittery.

    Let’s all make Joey defend his goal. Don’t answer his questions, but keep requiring him to define himself. Which he is is afraid to do.

  247. says

    How do you define “birth”? Is it when the fetus has a single toe or strand of hair outside the mother? Is it when 51% of the fetus is outside the mother? Is it when the baby’s head is completely out? Is it when the baby takes its first breath? Is it when the umbilical chord is cut? When exactly is the absolute objective moment “birth” happens?

    Baby in >>> Baby out

    Why does this matter? Are there people who actually WANT to kill an infant just before it draws first breath? Is this an actual issue?

    Intentional obtuseness does not help your case.

    Neither does dodging the actual question. WHY?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that joey is an anti-choice asshole who is concern trolling us. Nice try but those tactics are shitty tactics that shitty authoritarian people use because they’re shit.

  248. says

    Seriously, I can’t tell what joey is arguing for. Or against.

    Birth isn’t a good enough line to establish when personhood occurs, so infaticide is okay? Or is this a shitty “gotcha!” to demonstrate that all abortion is wrong?

    For fuck’s sake, notafriend was a sack of shit, but at least they were clear.

  249. joey says

    ING:

    Baby in >>> Baby out

    Why does this matter? Are there people who actually WANT to kill an infant just before it draws first breath? Is this an actual issue?

    You never heard of intact dilation and extraction (a.k.a. partial-birth abortions)? Look it up.

    If Baby in >>> Baby out, then you must disapprove of such procedures. And yes, these procedures do occur in the real world.

  250. joey says

    Nerd:

    Is it when the baby takes its first breath? Is it when the umbilical chord is cut?The state has it covered. Any or all the above.

    Here you go again simply appealing to whatever the state says.

    You know what my state says? That there is no such as gay marriage. So if the state says so, then it must be so…right?

  251. Woo_Monster says

    joey, what position do you advocate? Seriously, you’ve been asked countless times. What the fuck are you arguing for? State it plainly or just shut the fuck up already.

  252. dianne says

    joey, I’m going to ask you a third time: Do you know what criteria are used to establish someone’s death?

  253. jaranath says

    Joey has no interest in describing and defending his position. His purpose here is to scatter a few drive-by potshots and reinforce his sense of moral and intellectual superiority.

  254. Mak says

    If Baby in >>> Baby out, then you must disapprove of such procedures.

    Baby isn’t out during IDX. Notice it isn’t called a “birth abortion”.

  255. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    Here Joey. Imma lay it out for you real simple-like, so you can’t pretend any longer that nobody has answered your obvious concern-trolling.

    The difference between a fetus and a baby is that you can take the baby away from its mother if she doesn’t want it, and allow someone else to care for it and feed it. You can’t take a fetus away from its mother, though; if you do, it will die. If you do take it away from its mother and it doesn’t die, then guess what! That’s called birth. Premature birth perhaps, but birth nonetheless. The point is that in order to ensure that all blastocysts and embryos have the chance to become babies, you necessarily have to enslave pregnant women to do so. Practically speaking, you would have to institute all sorts of invasive government bureaucracies that would track ovulations and pregnancies, have the power to lock up women who expressed an interest in abortion, and to penalize women who somehow succeeded in breaking the law and getting one (and who managed to survive the process of getting an illegal abortion–maybe you’ve heard that medical procedures tend to be more dangerous when they’re illegal and performed by unlicensed practitioners?). Practically speaking, it would require that the state write off an increase in the mortality rate of pregnant women in favor an increase in the percentage of blastocysts becoming actual babies.

    That is, until and unless someone manages to develop an artificial womb, into which a removed embryo or fetus could be deposited until it was sufficiently biologically mature to breathe air and absorb nutrients under its own power.

    Anyone who thinks abortion is morally abhorrent, but also believes that having the government track menstruations and imprison women for seeking or getting abortion would be more morally abhorrent, is in fact pro-choice.

    There’s nothing in there about endorsing infanticide, so shut the fuck up with your obvious attempts at a “gotcha” moment. that only works with people who are as stupid as Sarah Palin, and that’s not Pharyngulites.

    Any questions?

  256. dianne says

    Practically speaking, it would require that the state write off an increase in the mortality rate of pregnant women in favor an increase in the percentage of blastocysts becoming actual babies.

    A small increase in the percentage of blastulocytes becoming babies in return for a large increase in maternal mortality. As I pointed out at the beginning and multiple people have added since, the vast majority of blastulocytes die before or shortly after implantation. And no one in the “pro-life” movement is in the least interested in finding a way to avoid the loss of those “babies.”

  257. says

    Apparently S.M. Stirling is smarter than God. His book Drakon deals with a Drakka, a member of a race of genetically engineered superhumans who conquered the world, who ends up on a late 20th Century Earth parallel to her own, and intends to conquer it. She eventually has a woman act as a surrogate mother for her, and as I remember it the fetus is genetically engineered to have a smaller head, to make childbirth easier.

    (Don’t tell Stirling he’s smarter than God. The guy is apparently enough ot a prat without having it encouraged further. Of course he probably believes it already anyways.)

  258. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    (Don’t tell Stirling he’s smarter than God. The guy is apparently enough ot a prat without having it encouraged further. Of course he probably believes it already anyways.)

    Well, if we’re talking about the Yahweh of the Bible here, lots of people are smarter than God. The God of the Bible is a fucking dumbass in a lot of ways.

  259. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Joey is expressing himself badly, but he’s right on several counts. If you’re not familiar with Peter Singer’s arguments that might make this hard to follow. Near as I can tell, Joey is trying to say:

    1. Using birth as the event that makes the baby non-abortable is arbitrary. It may be a convenient bright line, but it is arbitrary.

    2. There’s a very good argument to be made that an adult cat, dog, cow, etc. is a good deal more conscious and self-aware than a just-born human baby. I’m sorry if that makes folks uncomfortable, but it’s true.

    3. Because we answer questions about life and death (the blurry ones) by appealing to personhood—consciousness, self-awareness, ability to retain memories, ability to fear potential death, etc.—it’s not insane to argue that newborns aren’t persons.

    4. So who are the persons with interests that should weigh more heavily? The living mother, a fully self-conscious being with interests, fear of mortality, maternal feelings (or lack thereof), a web of relationships in society, etc. The infant lacks these.

    5. If we actually accept these (I find even those of us who do often can’t get past our emotions) as true infanticide simply does not present as a per se evil.

    That’s Singer in a nutshell.

  260. says

    What Joey may be getting at, is that while life does not begin at conception, there is something there at some point before birth. My definition of life would be presence of brain activity, and that does not begin abruptly at birth.

    However, there is something else that does begin at birth and that is autonomous life. Up until that point, the woman has full control over what goes on in her body, and that includes expelling other inhabitants. And I support that, even it that involves ‘killing’† other inhabitants.

    † Let’s not mince words. If there is life (although not autonomous life), then the most adequate description of ending that, is ‘killing’.

    tl;dr:
    Some form of life is likely to be present at some point before birth, however that is — to me — no reason not to be pro-choice.

    I’m sure someone else will word this better than I just did.

  261. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    SQB: The concept you’re looking for is personhood. There are a lot of things that are alive but are not persons.

  262. says

    Is it when the baby takes its first breath? Is it when the umbilical chord is cut?

    I would say it’s the third time it renews its driver’s license.
    Happy now, Joey? It’s the sort of answer you deserve.

  263. says

    Damn! Haven’t renewed my driver’s license even once! Uh-oh — I’m toast now!
    ====
    Also, thanks Josh, personhood is what I meant.

  264. dianne says

    Using birth as the event that makes the baby non-abortable is arbitrary. It may be a convenient bright line, but it is arbitrary.

    Not entirely. Physiologically, babies are different from fetuses, even babies who were conceived the same number of days ago as the relevant fetus.

    Babies are, obviously, born. They are no longer dependent on a specific person to provide them with oxygen, glucose, and other necessities of life. So they are not obligate parasites the way fetuses are.

    In addition to that huge issues, fetuses are physiologically different. Their circulatory systems are different. Their hearts are different. A baby with a large PDA is often in trouble, a fetus without a PDA definitely is. Blood pumps through the umbilical vessels in a fetus, but not in a newborn. Most significantly, a fetus exists in a low oxygen environment. We know that adults and children in a low oxygen environment lose consciousness rapidly. There is no particular reason to believe that fetuses are more able to maintain consciousness in a low oxygen environment than people. Therefore, it is extremely likely that a fetus is not conscious, but a newborn may be.

    If an adult were to become brain damaged to the point that they would never recover consciousness, few people (apart from the occasional “pro-lifer”) would object to “pulling the plug”, i.e. to allowing that person to die. Why, then, should we be all that concerned with the death of a fetus that has never experienced consciousness? It will suffer no more than if it had never been conceived. A baby, on the other hand, has experienced at least some level of awareness (though it is true that babies can’t pass the mirror test at birth or indeed until about 15-18 months) and killing it is a much more morally questionable act, even leaving aside the issue of the trauma killing an infant would do to related people.

    Therefore, I would argue that the bright line of birth is not arbitrary but is, in fact, sensible.

  265. unbound says

    @307 –

    1) Birth is not really arbitrary. It is the point which the fetus was fully integrated with the female becomes separate and functions independently. The newly born infant is no longer linked to the mother. I really don’t understand how that would be considered arbitrary…there is reason behind designating this event which is the polar opposite of arbitrary.

    2) So what? It is completely irrelevant that something might be more self-aware or more conscious.

    3) Invalidating the independent life just because something may be more self-aware is about as poor of an argument as I can imagine. Is someone that is developmentally delayed less of a person?

    4) The mother’s interest as being the independent person will have priority over the fetus that may or may not become an independent person.

    5) Since the prior arguments are largely nonsense, I call non sequitur.

  266. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Ms Daisy Cutter, I love lavender ice-cream. Maybe we could have a fricassée of Aborted Unborn Babies as a restorative mid-OrgyTM snack, with lavender ice-cream for dessert?

    PS just wanted to QFT this from Cuttlefish #15:

    it is trespassing, and I can legally “stand my ground”. I invited haploid cells; I am under no obligation to play host to trespassing diploids.

    No-one can be forced to donate an organ, let alone lend their entire body and risk their health against their will (eh, not even if the technology ever became available to hook up the forced-birthers/MRAs for use as involuntary life-support systems …)

  267. Azkyroth says

    PZ Myers is here to tell the tale because his mother chose not to have an abortion.

    Key word: CHOSE.

  268. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Dianne, it simply does not make sense that a baby five minutes outside the birth canal is as different as you claim it is from one five minutes earlier. Unless I’m misunderstanding you, I don’t believe what you’re saying.

  269. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Unbound – I don’t even know how to respond to you because you didn’t actually dispute my arguments. You just called them absurd. Do I have to write in all caps for you to understand that what’s arbitrary about choosing birth as the line is that it’s the choosing itself? That the baby isn’t fundamentally different than it was an hour earlier while still in utero? That there’s nothing that makes it more of a “person” by my criteria simply by having passed out of the birth canal?

  270. raven says

    PZ Myers is here to tell the tale because his mother chose not to have an abortion.

    So what.

    Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and George Bush were here to kill millions and screw up millions of lives because their mothers didn’t choose to have abortions.

    These sort of meaningless statements are what really stupid people come up with.

  271. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Dianne, I respect you as a great commenter, so I’m surprised to see this kind of thing from you:

    A baby, on the other hand, has experienced at least some level of awareness (though it is true that babies can’t pass the mirror test at birth or indeed until about 15-18 months) and killing it is a much more morally questionable act, even leaving aside the issue of the trauma killing an infant would do to related people.

    The first part is patently ridiculous. So the baby has coughed and opened its eyes. That all of a sudden makes it a “much more morally questionable act?” That doesn’t follow. At all. I think it just makes you squeamish.

    As for the second part, how in the world did you read my post and imagine I didn’t account for that? How did you manage to not notice that I talked about the mother’s interests. Yes, we both agree that the trauma to other people is a serious concern. Did you actually think I was positing that it would be morally acceptable to kill an infant that actual persons had vested connections with? Do I really seem that stupid to you?

  272. A. R says

    Josh: Are you suggesting that it’s not a person until it reaches a certain state of cognitive development?

  273. dianne says

    Josh, if we sent you up a few thousand meters in an unpressurized airplane, you’d lose consciousness due to hypoxia. Generally, if oxygen saturation goes below 80-85%, people start having loss of consciousness. Fetuses exist in a low oxygen state, with a pO2 of about 25-30 mmHg (about 70% saturation). Unless I’m screwing up the gas dynamics (very possible), this should mean that the fetus does not have enough oxygen to maintain consciousness.

  274. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    If I may, could I ask how you feel about the following pontifications / arguments / questions?

    I think first, as a matter of principle, we have to agree that the primary moral concern is to promote the well-being of conscious creatures (including people), and to prevent/stop the suffering of conscious creatures. Next, as a matter of facts, suffering and well-being requires a mind, and a mind requires a brain. Thus, one consequence is that no (functioning) brain implies no moral rights. As many others in the thread rightly noted, this is the usual goto definition for demarking the end of human life w.r.t. moral rights.

    So, next is Roe Vs Wade. It is unreasonable to demand conscription of a mother’s body to care for another member of society. I agree with this simple argument quite readily (with possibly a couple of caveats).

    So, I guess my main question is: if we determine that a late term fetus is “aware” or “conscious” to sufficient degree to grant some moral rights, is it morally permissible to allow a woman to chose to allow the fetus to grow in her for some time, but then later change her mind? Let me try to elaborate.

    I think we’re all on board with outlawing the killing of born babies. It’s my very limited knowledge that the awareness, the ability to suffer pain, etc., between an infant and a fetus is small as to be negligible for this discussion. (Though one post else-thread has questioned this. Can you provide any sources please? I’m curious now.) So, the only reason to allow the killing of an almost indistinguishable infant is to prevent the harm, the conscription, of the unwilling mother’s body. My … sticking point, my inherent question, is whether this is justifiable to let the woman wait so long to make the decision. The longer the woman waits, the more she risks killing a conscious or “more conscious” creature.

    Some might say that sex carries consent to carry the baby to term. I’m dubious of that claim. However, what I feel is a stronger argument is that after X months (say 3 or 6), the mother knows if she’s pregnant, and failure to get an abortion in a “timely” manner carries consent to carry the fetus to birth. (Of course, barring mother’s health issues, which are legit.) I’m not against the Roe Vs Wade argument. I think that I’m against allowing someone 1- to notice a leech leeching them, a leech which has no moral rights, but which will eventually gain moral rights, and 2- to decide not to remove the leech now, and 3- to later remove and kill the leech which has since gained moral rights. I think this is a reasonable and quite small restriction on a woman’s autonomy, liberty, and citizenship to prevent what I might consider the involuntary ending of an innocent conscious creature’s life.

    ~prepares for incoming porcupines~

  275. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Josh: Are you suggesting that it’s not a person until it reaches a certain state of cognitive development?

    I’m not suggesting it, I’m stating it candidly. But you know what? I can’t have this conversation here I’ve realized. If one hasn’t read philosopher Peter Singer on this issue it’s pointless. Because I know exactly where you’re going – “what about mentally retarded people? What about developmentally delayed people—it’s OK to kill them????” No. But you won’t get it because you don’t have the same reading under your belt. All these horrible things you imagine flow as consequences from my position don’t actually, and they have been accounted for. But it requires me to walk you through them and the associated fallacies step by step, and I’m not willing to do that.

  276. Brownian says

    PZ Myers is here to tell the tale because his mother chose not to have an abortion.

    Not that the asshole needs a response at this point, but I’m only here to tell any tales thanks to a centuries-old process of nation-building that included genocide, war, colonialism, internment, and the state-appropriation of land.

    Does that mean I have no right to argue against these things by right of my existence?

    I think we’re all on board with outlawing the killing of born babies.

    I don’t think we are.

  277. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Jesus Fucking Christ. This is exactly why I shouldn’t have had this conversation. You haven’t read Singer either, have you Dianne?

    There’s much more to personhood than mere consciousness. I’m not so goddamned stupid and ethically moronic as you appear to think I am.

  278. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    I think we’re all on board with outlawing the killing of born babies.

    I don’t think we are.

    Could you explain further please? Are you in favor of killing born babies on a whim? Who is?

  279. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    And the thread devolves into an embarrassing pit of emotional arguments and loaded terms.

  280. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    So, the only reason to allow the killing of an almost indistinguishable infant is to prevent the harm, the conscription, of the unwilling mother’s body.

    Ack. Proofreading fail. “an almost indistinguishable late term *fetus*”, not infant.

  281. A. R says

    Josh: I find it hard to take Peter Singer seriously after Animal Liberation. But let’s not derail this thread with that argument.

  282. Brownian says

    I hope there was a car coming down the road, because I cannot imagine you had any better reason for shifting the goalposts from “We’re not all on board with outlawing the killing of born babies” to asking “Are you in favor of killing born babies on a whim?”

    But since you asked, I’ll respond in kind:

    What the fuck is a whim, and how do I get on one?

  283. dianne says

    So the baby has coughed and opened its eyes.

    Coughed, opened its eyes, and breathed oxygen rich air, instead of getting its oxygen second hand and in low amounts through the placental circulation. That, IMHO, is the potentially critical difference between a fetus and a baby.

    Did you actually think I was positing that it would be morally acceptable to kill an infant that actual persons had vested connections with? Do I really seem that stupid to you?

    Of course you don’t and I apologize for the implication!

  284. says

    I’m not suggesting it, I’m stating it candidly. But you know what? I can’t have this conversation here I’ve realized. If one hasn’t read philosopher Peter Singer on this issue it’s pointless.

    Heh. *clenched-tentacle salute*

  285. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Brownian
    I’m sorry Brownian, I did mean to use the two phrases interchangeably. I don’t mean to be moving goalposts. I admit – I can’t think of a legitimate plausible reason offhand to justify the killing of a born baby, but I don’t want to derail the discussion of questions / arguments over this silliness.

  286. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @dianne
    Interesting, I’ve never heard of this before. Is kicking in the womb some sort of … reflex reaction?

    I guess this raises the interesting point that I usually like to dodge as irrelevant, but it’s not irrelevant here.

    Suppose a man in a coma in my world view still has moral rights. However, suppose he was born in a coma, and never achieved what we call conventional consciousness and awareness. Are you arguing that he doesn’t have moral rights? I’m not sure I can agree quite so readily. I’ll have to think on it.

  287. dianne says

    There’s much more to personhood than mere consciousness.

    Hmm…I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing. What criteria are you using to describe someone/something as having personhood?

  288. Brownian says

    I admit – I can’t think of a legitimate plausible reason offhand to justify the killing of a born baby, but I don’t want to derail the discussion of questions / arguments over this silliness.

    Fair enough. I, on the other hand, given some intractible incompatibility between another life and a newborn (think trolley problems) don’t see why it should never be justifiable, using consciousness and experience as one possible measure for ranking lives. And trolley problem-type moral calculi were one justification for infanticide in our forager past, though my thoughts are less clear on the problem.

    What I did mean, though, was that it’s clear from this discussion (to me at least) that we’re not universal here in condemning infanticide.

    It would appear that I have some Singer to read.

  289. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Heh. *clenched-tentacle salute*

    Thank you. I am a dumbass, though, for forgetting this. It’s like having to do Feminism 101 each time. Reasonable people can make arguments against Singer’s view or what I’m presenting, but not if they don’t even know what the arguments actually are they think they’re disputing. “Killing babies” is, I gather, so powerful an emotional trigger that the most rational people lose their ability to engage in logic. It may well be the only impossible conversation.

  290. John Morales says

    LFAAPN: As dianne has noted, parturition changes a fetus into a neonate; that’s a pretty clear and definitive transition.

    dianne: I don’t like the “potentially critical [physiological] difference” distraction; I think the physical separation is enough.

  291. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    What I did mean, though, was that it’s clear from this discussion (to me at least) that we’re not universal here in condemning infanticide.

    True.

    It would appear that I have some Singer to read.

    As do I.

  292. Brownian says

    Are you arguing that he doesn’t have moral rights? I’m not sure I can agree quite so readily. I’ll have to think on it.

    Me as well, though right off the bat we can differentiate between different sorts of rights: i.e. Am I, as part of the state, responsible for keeping him alive, and if so for how long? vs. Can I use the body to satisfy my sexual urges?

    One seems more clear cut than another.

  293. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    LFAAPN: As dianne has noted, parturition changes a fetus into a neonate; that’s a pretty clear and definitive transition.

    I know it’s probably utterly impossible, but can any of you at least try to grok that the question isn’t whether a physical transition happened. That the question is is that relevant to a moral calculation and why?. Note that you cannot answer that question by continuing to describe the ways in which this physical transition manifests.

  294. dianne says

    Suppose a man in a coma in my world view still has moral rights.

    IMHO, it depends on what you mean by “in a coma”. A person who is unconscious can be so for reasons ranging from s/he just had surgery and is under general anesthesia still to his/her brain has been eaten by kuru. Obviously, saving the first person should take precedence over saving the second.

    It’s generally established medical ethical practice to give relatives of patients who are in a persistent vegetative state with no reversible cause the option of “pulling the plug” i.e. withdrawing care and allowing the person to die. If the thinking part of the brain is gone but the brainstem is still active, the person isn’t actually dead yet, but they are essentially unable to function as people again.

    However, suppose he was born in a coma, and never achieved what we call conventional consciousness and awareness. Are you arguing that he doesn’t have moral rights?

    I’d argue that such a person would have few moral rights. Indeed, an anencephalic baby is considered a potential organ donor, i.e. is treated as being dead despite the beating heart, fingers, and toes or whatever else the right appeals to to try to make abortion seem evil.

  295. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    LFAAPN: As dianne has noted, parturition changes a fetus into a neonate; that’s a pretty clear and definitive transition.

    Yes, but if you take the view that I do that the primary concern is about human suffering and human well-being (or more generally the suffering and well-being of conscious creatures), then it seems to be an irrelevant point – unless of course I was wrong and that birth actually gives the baby its first moment of awareness / consciousness. That raises all other sorts of hairballs in my world view.

    I’m still more interesting in my basic proposition that: If you notice a leech leaching you which currently has no moral rights, and you know that sometime in the future it will gain consciousness and thus moral rights, is it morally permissible to chose to not remove and kill it now, wait until it gains consciousness and moral rights, and then chose to remove and kill it? Barring some sort of other mitigating circumstances, I think not. In fact, I think it’s evil to make those choices, and that the state ought to act to prevent such actions.

    Of course, this may not be a fair description of fetuses and babies, given the suggestions about oxygen content before and after birth.

  296. A. R says

    Josh: But linking the physiological transition to a neuropsychological one does create a moral boundary. I’ve always seen that as one of Singer’s faults.

  297. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @dianne
    Yeah, we recognize that there is a “level” of a mind that doesn’t require conventional normal awake consciousness. At least, I think that’s the consensus we two have. A sleeping person still has rights. A man in a coma which isn’t persistent vegitative still has right. I’m trying to get at if you think that merely being “unconscious” due to lack of oxygen before birth would void all moral considerations for a fetus. Do you?

  298. Brownian says

    “Killing babies” is, I gather, so powerful an emotional trigger that the most rational people lose their ability to engage in logic. It may well be the only impossible conversation.

    I don’t think this has to be the case. I can tell you why I don’t have that emotional trigger*, and it’s because I was exposed to the concept of infanticide as a necessary method of child spacing† used by forager groups when I did my anthropology degree.

    Fuck, does that sound pretentious. Sorry.

    *There are probably other contributing factors. I like babies less than kittens, for instance.

    †It’s not the only one, of course. But for forager groups, there’s no fucking about with the concept of ‘potential': if you cannot support more than one child at the age of helpless dependence, you sacrifice it in favour of older ones who’ve already survived the riskiest period of infant mortality. In a lifestyle where age and experience increase your likelihood of living longer, infants are at the lowest rung of the ladder. It’s the only sensible solution.

  299. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Am I, as part of the state, responsible for keeping him alive, and if so for how long?

    If there is no part of “the mind” surviving (a neurological question), then I argue no obligation. It’s when there is a mind still there that things get tricky IMHO. It’s the same for government health care in general. Sadly, resources are finite, and there is only finite things we can do for other people. In principle, eventually the moral choice is to let someone die so we can help others live. In practice? I haven’t the faintest clue.

  300. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    But linking the physiological transition to a neuropsychological one does create a moral boundary

    Needs demonstration and explication. You are also ignoring all the other factors that go into whether an entity is a person. Are you seriously claiming that a five-second-old infant is capable of fearing death, for example? That it even knows what anything is beyond hunger?

  301. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s the same for government health care in general.

    Tell me you just didn’t imply that Guvmint Health Care is likely to let people die who shouldn’t otherwise. Tell me you didn’t just imply that the private health insurance system is to be trusted not to do that, despite that it does it every damned day.

  302. dianne says

    That the question is is that relevant to a moral calculation and why?

    Ok, here’s a simple reason why it’s relevant to the moral calculation:

    Before birth the fetus is parasitic on a person who may not consent to being parasitized. To force her to continue to support the parasite would be to give it rights far beyond those given to any living person under any other circumstance. No one can be forced to donate the use of their body or any body part to another person under any other circumstance, even if they have previously agreed to do so.

    For example, suppose I got leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. You were in the registry and are a match for me. Indeed, the only match for me. Preliminary testing shows that you’re healthy and able to tolerate the procedure. You take neupogen to stimulate your marrow and get hooked up to the pheresis machine to remove the stem cells needed for transplant. About half way through the procedure, you suddenly remember this argument and decide I don’t deserve your cells. You say, “Stop! I don’t want to donate any more!” What happens then?

    The answer is, the procedure is stopped. Even though I’ll die. Even though you agreed to give me the stem cells earlier. Even though you are healthy and the risk is extremely low. And you’d be 100% within your rights to do so. No one should under any circumstances be forced to give up their bodies to another person.

    After birth, it’s a baby that can be tossed to any competent adult and indeed a lot of competent children to be raised and come out at least half way decent.

    That’s THE most relevant point: the transformation of the fetus from parasite to free living baby. John Morales is quite right that the question of personhood is a distraction. Even if the fetus could be proven to be a “person” (whatever that means, exactly), it still would not have the right to use another person’s body for its benefit without her consent.

  303. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Josh, Official SpokesGay
    Dude, no. Hair triggers here. Sorry, I’ll try to be less vague in the future.

    No no no. I argued that we can’t save everyone. This is true of a person in a coma, and this is true for health care in general, government provided or privately provided or whatever. You can’t spend the entire world’s GDP to get a cure for some obscure disease that only one person has. It’s not moral.

    That was my only point.

    It’s unreasonable IMHO to require great expenditures of money to keep someone in a coma alive, or someone not in a coma alive. What constitutes “great expenditures” is a matter of public discussion IMHO.

  304. Brownian says

    Tell me you just didn’t imply that Guvmint Health Care is likely to let people die who shouldn’t otherwise. Tell me you didn’t just imply that the private health insurance system is to be trusted not to do that, despite that it does it every damned day.

    I don’t think Looking For An Applicable Political Name was implying that, but instead arguing from a “What is society’s responsibility in such cases?” and used government health care as a concrete.

  305. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @dianne
    tl;dr
    Again, do you think it’s morally permissible to notice a leech leaching on you, to know it has no mind but will soon develop one, to not remove and kill it now, and to later remove and kill it after it develops a mind? That’s my basic question.

    Whether it applies to fetuses and babies is one for neurology to answer, for which I’m quite ill prepared to discuss at the moment.

  306. A. R says

    Are you seriously claiming that a five-second-old infant is capable of fearing death

    Absolutely. fMRI studies (will link when I find it again) indicate that newborns show heightened activity in the amygdala when threatened with unknown situations. Whether this is a reflex or genuine fear is unknown. But where is your “bright line?” Is it a certain form of brain activity? Is it the infant’s relationships with it’s surrounding community of people?

  307. consciousness razor says

    joey was doing the same shit last week about free will… He was vaguely on the “right” side of the argument, but making a dumbed-down version of it I’d expect from a fucking cartoon character. I’ll be charitable and give him an E for effort, but a big fat F for noncomprehension and lack of clarity. Please let Singer and others make the argument if you can’t avoid fucking it up.

  308. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    No one should under any circumstances be forced to give up their bodies to another person.

    I fundamentally disagree. I can name several counterexamples offhand: taxes, the draft, jury duty, jail.

    Do you mean to split hairs over the exact meaning of “give up their bodies to another person”?

  309. dianne says

    Again, do you think it’s morally permissible to notice a leech leaching on you, to know it has no mind but will soon develop one, to not remove and kill it now, and to later remove and kill it after it develops a mind?

    I can’t imagine why that would ever come up in real life. If you’re pregnant long enough for it to even questionably apply to a fetus then you need to sue your OB because you needed an induction a loooong time ago.

    That being said, I think the most morally correct thing to do, if you don’t want the leech on you is to remove it as soon as possible. That’s also the most sensible and instinctive thing to do. In the embryo/fetus context, how does it make any sense that someone would live through 9 months of nausea, abdominal pain, and fatigue and then get an abortion if they could get one at 7 weeks and avoid a lot of pain and suffering?

    However, what if one were prevented from removing the leech earlier? Suppose there are leech removal wait times or leech removal is not covered by your Catholic employers’ insurance carrier or there is only one leech removal expert in your state and s/he’s hundreds of miles away? Then you have the right to remove the leech at any time that you can do so and any immorality involved is on the part of the people who prevented you from removing it sooner, not on your part.

    Still tl?

  310. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @dianne

    Still tl?

    Ack, that was meant to apply to my post. I trimmed down my basic question.

    Otherwise, I think we’re mostly in agreement. I’m too ignorant to know when the fetus actually gets a mind – again a question for neurology. Let’s suppose it happens after 6 months. We can agree that you know if you’re pregnant before 6 months. Thus abortions out to be illegal after 6 months, barring mother’s health issues, or bullshit w.r.t. Catholic church provided care et. al. Is that a fair assessment of the consensus? If so, I have no complaints, and my question is answered.

    Well, I fibbed a bit just there. When is it reasonable to assume / require that a woman knows she’s pregnant? Is 3 months too early?

  311. John Morales says

    LFAAPN:

    We can agree that you know if you’re pregnant before 6 months.

    You quite sure about that?

  312. dianne says

    I can name several counterexamples offhand: taxes, the draft, jury duty, jail.

    The draft has gone away and I agree it was completely immoral. Taxes and jury duty don’t require you to give up any part of your body for the use of another person. At least, I know of no country in which your taxes could be “$10,212.34, two pints of blood, and one kidney”. Jail is more equivocal, but even there, as far as I know, no country requires a person to, say, give up a kidney as punishment for an assault that caused the victim to lose a kidney. I’m pretty sure the Supreme Court would have something nasty to say about such a requirement, in the US.

    When I think about it, there did used to be laws in the US and probably still are elsewhere which required people to allow other people to use their bodies. Specifically, marriage laws which allowed one spouse (guess which one, typically) to force the other to have sex with them. I don’t think much of their morality either.

  313. Anri says

    Are we still trying to get joey to actually say what he’s arguing for?

    Can we conclude, at least tentatively, that he doesn’t have any ideas and just likes making metaphorical mud pies to throw in his own face?

    Really, joey, take a position and defend it or stop pretending you’re doing anything more mature than “But WHY? Nuh-UH! But WHY? Nuh-UH! But WHY? Nuh-UH! But WHY? Nuh-UH! But WHY? Nuh-UH!”
    …which we can get out of any passing three year old. (The difference being that the three year old will eventually outgrow it.)

  314. echidna says

    Hailing from Melbourne as I do, I have been exposed to Peter Singer’s arguments for some decades now. Having said that, I am not a philosopher, nor have I studied him per se.

    FWIW, my understanding of the underpinnings of Peter Singers arguments go something like this: the job of philosophers is to examine the logical framework by which we make decisions, particularly life and death decisions, for internal consistency, without giving special regard to existing social conventions. It’s that last part that leaves people gasping, for the most part.

    I’ve never heard him advocating human infanticide: quite the opposite: if we draw the line at human infanticide, what are our grounds for treating animals without anything like similar consideration? He does of course talk about the idea that the quality of life is an important consideration, not just the existence of life itself. For example, Alzheimers sufferers (like his mother) have lost so much, that if forces the consideration of whether at some point life itself is not worth sustaining.

    My own thoughts now: as background, it is probably useful to recognise that cultures all over the world have accepted infanticide as a reasonable and necessary action during times of scarce resources to preserve the ability of the group to survive. Australian aboriginal tribes kept very strict control of numbers, allowing new children to the group only when a member died. Eskimos similarly sacrificed babies when the group was in danger of starving. No human group is so distant historically, from infanticide and even cannibalism, that we can claim that our current view that existing human life (i.e. from birth to death) is precious is inviolable.

    If we do, does that mean that we condemn people for population control in whatever way they can manage for the survival of the group as being immoral? Whose morality? The idea of infanticide being immoral seems to have arisen when there was a constant food supply that an agrarian culture can provide, but not before then.

  315. Anri says

    Josh:

    How does Singer differentiate between a newborn and a sleeping adult? Not a gotcha, I’m curious.

    If it’s too involved, then don’t worry ’bout it.

  316. A. R says

    The idea of infanticide being immoral seems to have arisen when there was a constant food supply that an agrarian culture can provide, but not before then.

    Exactly. Perhaps this was due to the need for farm assistants? Same reasons for the construction of the patriarchy.

  317. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    People really should read the Singer. I’m sorry, but I’m just not motivated to do it for you.

  318. dianne says

    Ack, that was meant to apply to my post. I trimmed down my basic question.

    Heh. I’m kind of verbose so it could well apply to my posts.

    We can agree that you know if you’re pregnant before 6 months.

    I’ve heard of exceptions. They’re rare, but not incredibly so.

    Thus abortions out to be illegal after 6 months, barring mother’s health issues, or bullshit w.r.t. Catholic church provided care et. al.

    I don’t entirely agree. While I think that on a practical level if abortion were readily available and cheap/free in the first 3-4 months of pregnancy and one removes from consideration medically necessary abortions that the number of abortions performed after 4 months would be negligible. However, in principle, I think that the pregnant woman should always have the right to remove an unwanted fetus in the way that is safest and most acceptable to her.

    That having been said, I would be reasonably happy with laws that restricted non-medically necessary abortions to, say, 20 weeks and earlier, if I thought that it would end there. For example, I’d be reasonably happy if the US compromised on the question by instituting Holland’s abortion laws. But in the current political climate in the US, any compromise will inevitably lead to further restrictions and a generally more Romania like country.

  319. A. R says

    You know what Josh, don’t try to make the argument unless you are willing to explain it. That’s what trolls do.

  320. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @dianne
    Curious, I can agree with most of that reasoning, or at least call it plausible, but not the draft. Why is the draft immoral? It seems like a classic freerider problem. Of course, we can argue whether particular wars are unjust, but are you trying to argue that war is always unjust? I will politely disagree with the strict pacifist viewpoint as self defeating, stupid, suicidal, and immoral. “All it takes for evil to flourish is good men to do nothing.”

    Still, going back to your other points, this decision that 1- requiring labor is ok (taxes) but 2- forced blood donation (for example) is never ok, seems without basis. I try to focus on the well-being and suffering of people, and this seems to be an example of the so called libertarian ideology of “don’t mess with me, leave me alone” or whatever (appropriate) (non)caricature is popular around here.

    If I could cure all cancer by forcing monthly forced blood donation for everyone, I would vote for that. This seems like an exceedingly easy moral question. Admittingly, it is rather divorced from the real world because such situations simply don’t present themselves. Money spent on blood drives seem to do enough to get enough blood. Taking a kidney isn’t a simple blood transfusion and does terribly impact your quality of life. Still, I reject your simplistic superlative universal.

  321. dianne says

    People really should read the Singer.

    I’ve tried. Really, I have. I’ve never been able to get past his argument that it’s immoral to kill animals but ok to kill some humans. What about our rights as animals? Maybe I never got in deeply enough to get to the good stuff, but Singer just never made much sense to me.

  322. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You know what Josh, don’t try to make the argument unless you are willing to explain it. That’s what trolls do.

    Go fuck yourself. I’ve been explicit and detailed, but there’s a limit. I’m not obligated to look up the text to explain someone else’s question about what Peter Singer would say. Are you mad?

    You don’t want to start shit with me, A.R. You don’t have near enough capital here for that and I’m a nasty opponent.

  323. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Also, to dianne 366. Thanks. Makes perfect sense. This might be one of the first times I’ve engaged in discussion with a “rabidly” pro-choice side (as I usually engage with my usual opponents of the pro-life side), and I’m thankful to say that I came back from a quite reasonable person making quite reasonable demands. Just wanted to say thanks for that, for proving the stereotype wrong that between two strongly vocal camps the truth lies in the middle.

  324. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’ve never been able to get past his argument that it’s immoral to kill animals but ok to kill some humans. What about our rights as animals? Maybe I never got in deeply enough to get to the good stuff, but Singer just never made much sense to me.

    Dianne, I’m not trying to be caustic, but that’s a ridiculous and embarrassing misunderstanding. Either you haven’t made it to the end of an essay, or you’ve got (which I suspect) an emotional reaction that’s heavily filtering stuff. You think authors are saying things they’re not saying, you’re reducing complex arguments to strawmen (and you’re super intelligent so I know it’s not that you can’t understand them).

  325. dianne says

    Why is the draft immoral?

    While I think that there’s an argument to be made for pacifism as a first line of defense, that’s not the argument I intended to make by calling the draft immoral.

    A draft forces a person to fight, to put his/her body on the line for the state. A volunteer military fighting for its country is a much more reasonable and moral way to go, if you intend to use violence to make your political point (or defend yourself from someone making theirs with violence.)

    Taking a kidney isn’t a simple blood transfusion and does terribly impact your quality of life.

    Fun fact: Kidney donation and completion of pregnancy have similar mortality rates. Kidney donation is still slightly more dangerous at about 30 deaths per 100,000 versus 14-15 for an average risk pregnancy.

  326. echidna says

    Dianne,
    I’ve got a lot of respect for Singer, and have always enjoyed his talks and articles. Because his arguments don’t pander much to social norms, the trick, I think, is to keep the question “is this internally consistent?” uppermost, rather than “do I agree with this?”, and set aside judgement until you have had time to think about his arguments. Is he actually wrong, or is he just seeing it all differently?

    BTW, this suspension of belief, with a different author, was very useful for me in coming to realise that Christianity was a house of cards.

  327. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @dianne
    I think we’re mostly quibling over semantics, which is usually my favorite kind of disagreement because it’s no disagreement at all. I agree that war is the last resort, and that a legitimately volunteer fighting force is morally better than a drafted force. I disagree that a drafted force is never morally acceptable – in principle. I am not an adept enough stupid of history to say whether even the prototypical example of WW2, to end Naziism, is a justifiable case. I lean towards “yes the draft was justified in WW2″, but I fear porcupines from all sides for my ignorance of history.

  328. A. R says

    Eh, perhaps I’ll have to read Singer again, if only to dissect his arguments.

  329. says

    It seems like a classic freerider problem.

    I don’t owe my body to anyone, and not to the state either. Slavery, even temporary slavery, is a violation of one of the most basic human rights.

    Economic free-riding OTOH is remedied by making a society pay for making the lives of volunteers as free from need and want as possible.

  330. Amphiox says

    However, what I feel is a stronger argument is that after X months (say 3 or 6), the mother knows if she’s pregnant, and failure to get an abortion in a “timely” manner carries consent to carry the fetus to birth.

    On the day that abortions are freely available, upon demand and without stigma, no strings attached, no questions asked, for any and every woman pregnant for less than X months (be it 3 or 6 or whatever), anywhere and everywhere, and the period from demand to actual access to and completion of the procedure is absolutely guaranteed to be less than X months, be it 3 or 6 or whatever. On that day the above argument may be legitimately discussed.

    Until that day, it isn’t relevant.

  331. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Jadehawk, cascadeuse féministe
    Politely disagreed. I doubt we’ll get anywhere on this, but at least let me ask: “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?”. Perhaps it’s not a legitimate characterization of the facts of WW2, but that’s not the point. What if it was?

  332. says

    However, what I feel is a stronger argument is that after X months (say 3 or 6), the mother knows if she’s pregnant, and failure to get an abortion in a “timely” manner carries consent to carry the fetus to birth.

    because circumstances never change, eh? it never happens that having and raising a child seems like a good idea at 2 months, but like a dire mistake and unbearable burden on everyone involved at 4 months.

    idiot.

  333. dianne says

    OTOH, kidney donation and pregnancy after age 35 have almost exactly the same mortality and pregnancy is more dangerous than kidney donation for a black woman.

  334. says

    “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?”

    what difference does it make whether I’m killed by my government against my will because it wants me to fight a war, or because it thinks I’m too jewish?

  335. Azkyroth says

    Botched late-term abortions resulting in fully born infants outside the mother also “live independently”. Would you consider these things to be persons?

    ….um, yeah, no shit?

  336. Azkyroth says

    So I ask the question again. Should we protect the fetuses that are fully born who are the result of botched late term abortions? If this birth event is THE defining point, then we must…right?

    Why even ask?

  337. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    because circumstances never change, eh? it never happens that having and raising a child seems like a good idea at 2 months, but like a dire mistake and unbearable burden on everyone involved at 4 months.

    idiot.

    Sorry, new person, new discussion. Let’s go back to basics. So, you do think that you can 1- notice a leech leaching you that is not conscious, but soon will be conscious, 2- decide not to remove and kill it, and 3- later decide to remove and kill it on a whim after it’s gained consciousness?

    Sure, we can play the circumstances game all day, and I’m curious how that will end, but I don’t like you calling me an “idiot” and thereby dismiss this entire point, thereby stating you do think it’s morally permissible. I think that’s reprehensible, honestly.

    To use an example else-thread. Suppose you voluntarily decide to do a kidney transplant for a friend. You are right that in my world view you can legally, and to some extent partially morally, decide at the very last minute to not go through with it, even if that means the recipient is going to die because there’s no time to find another donor. I say legal, but morally this is dubious at best. In fact, I’m tempted to characterize this hypothetical not-donor as an asshole.

  338. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?”

    what difference does it make whether I’m killed by my government against my will because it wants me to fight a war, or because it thinks I’m too jewish?

    I have nothing to say to such amazing stupidity and selfishness.

  339. says

    Sorry, new person, new discussion. Let’s go back to basics. So, you do think that you can 1- notice a leech leaching you that is not conscious, but soon will be conscious, 2- decide not to remove and kill it, and 3- later decide to remove and kill it on a whim after it’s gained consciousness?

    yes.

    it’s my fucking body, asshole. It means I legally get to be an asshole to people depending on its parts for survival. I’m legally allowed to deny a kidney or bone marrow to my adult child, even it it will kill that child. Because the alternative is slavery.

  340. A. R says

    Indeed, he does give an (excessively concise) explanation earlier. He then goes on to complain that anyone who hasn’t read Singer can’t fully understand the argument he is making. Sounds like a variant of the Courtier’s reply to me.

  341. says

    I have nothing to say to such amazing stupidity and selfishness.

    so you don’t have an answer, you just “know” that forcing people to die in one of these ways is “bad”, and in the other way is “good”.

    you’re out of your fucking depth here.

  342. echidna says

    “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?” Perhaps it’s not a legitimate characterization of the facts of WW2, but that’s not the point.

    False dichotomy. Australians fought WWII without the draft. Having a draft just encourages the powers-that-be to treat soldiers as expendable. Remember always that the USA shot its own veterans on July 28, 1932, and went on to draft for WWII. Only this time, they needed the GI bill to prevent social unrest.

    You could even speculate that its taken till now to wind back the rise of the middle class that arose from that bill.

  343. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Jadehawk, cascadeuse féministe

    so you don’t have an answer, you just “know” that forcing people to die in one of these ways is “bad”, and in the other way is “good”.

    you’re out of your fucking depth here.

    You fucking asshat.

    Did it ever occur to your small and self centered brain that maybe, just maybe, the people in the concentration camps in Germany and elsewhere may be quite happy and better off because of your sacrifice? Or the billions of people to be born after? Or even your own sorry excuse of a person when they find out you’re an atheist? “Oh no”, you say, “god forbid I’m compelled to fight for the lives of myself and billions of other people in the world. That would be slavery!”

    Fuck you.

  344. consciousness razor says

    “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?”

    That’s not how it works. I want neither, because not issuing a draft does not entail Nazis ruling the world.

  345. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Having a draft just encourages the powers-that-be to treat soldiers as expendable.

    Perhaps, but it’s insane and suicidal to decide that, in the face of overwhelming odds, to decide against the draft for these reasons. Your argument really is “There could not be a situation where the draft or no-draft would be the deciding factor between the moral side winning or losing a war against a morally bankrupt group, like Nazi Germany”. I think the argument is patently absurd.

    Now, as a matter of practical geopolitics, I admit that perhaps today the draft is a bad idea, and it’s not needed to prevent a hypothetical Nazi Germany. Still, it remains in the realm of plausibility that sometime in the near or far future, a war could erupt where the moral side find themselves losing for want of more soldiers, and the draft could remedy that.

  346. Amphiox says

    I say legal, but morally this is dubious at best. In fact, I’m tempted to characterize this hypothetical not-donor as an asshole.

    No it is not morally dubious AT ALL. It is morally COMPLETELY NORMAL.

    Going through with the kidney transplant is ABOVE AND BEYOND the requirements of normal morality. It is an act of heroism, and is rightly celebrated. But it is NOT ethically right or fair to REQUIRE or COMPEL anyone to be a hero. Nor is it ethically justifiable to sanction anyone for failing to be a hero.

    The asshole status of this hypothetical not-donor depends COMPLETELY on the reason why he chooses to back out at the last minute. If it is because he was afraid of the medical risks to his own life, then he is NOT.

    Choosing to become a mother is a heroic act. It should be celebrated (and it is!). But no woman should ever be compelled to become a mother.

  347. says

    #4

    Then you admit gays are also created by God.
    Then you admit the death penalty is wrong because man has no right to take a life.

    And re
    “If you don’t want a child, either use a condom or abstain from sex.”

    I assume you are talking to women.

    What about the husband that is determined to have sex and not listen to your objections?

    Why are women always singled out for guilt?

  348. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Hmm, we would appear to have Godwinned out.

    To be fair, isn’t Godwin when someone compares a participant in the conversation to Naziism? I merely used Naziism as a convenient stereotypical evil. I think there’s a difference there. I could go a step further if need be and use baby-eating Nazi vampires ala Hellsing. I don’t know much that’s closer to universally reviled than that. ~smile~

  349. consciousness razor says

    So, you do think that you can 1- notice a leech leaching you that is not conscious, but soon will be conscious, 2- decide not to remove and kill it, and 3- later decide to remove and kill it on a whim after it’s gained consciousness?

    Look at the bolded part closely, asshole. Then check out the italicized part.

  350. says

    Did it ever occur to your small and self centered brain that maybe, just maybe, the people in the concentration camps in Germany and elsewhere may be quite happy and better off because of your sacrifice? Or the billions of people to be born after? Or even your own sorry excuse of a person when they find out you’re an atheist? “Oh no”, you say, “god forbid I’m compelled to fight for the lives of myself and billions of other people in the world. That would be slavery!”

    precious. except this isn’t about me, and I’m not being “selfish” for pointing out that dead is dead, and forced to die is forced to die. No matter that one of these forced deaths is considered the epitome of evil in our society, while the other is considered acceptable.

    And in any case, did it maybe occur to you that the people who were sent against their will to fight in wars and died there also would have been quite happy if a small part of Europe would have sacrificed itself so they wouldn’t have to have fought that war and died in it?

    22 million soldiers died in that war.

    and in any case, “your sacrifice” implies choice. what you meant to say is: “your government sacrificing you”.

  351. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Amphiox

    I think you missed a subtly in my argument. It’s voluntary, even heroic, to offer a kidney. It’s a total asshat move to offer it, then take it back at the last moment offering the recipient no time to find another potential donor. I argue it’s morally reprehensible, far worse than not offering in the first place.

    I then left an implicit analogy to offering a leech residence in your body, only to remove it at a future time. Of course, the analogy is weak, as I think “gaining consciousness” or “more consciousness” is an important part of my argument.

  352. Brownian says

    Did it ever occur to your small and self centered brain that maybe, just maybe, the people in the concentration camps in Germany and elsewhere may be quite happy and better off because of your sacrifice? Or the billions of people to be born after? Or even your own sorry excuse of a person when they find out you’re an atheist? “Oh no”, you say, “god forbid I’m compelled to fight for the lives of myself and billions of other people in the world. That would be slavery!”

    Despite the fact that Jadehawk does not make such claims without thinking such things through, slavery is still fucking slavery no matter how many people it benefits.

    By the way, the technical term for what you just pulled is argument ad captandum. You are out of your depth. Reel it back.

  353. Azkyroth says

    The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.

    You know, breasts and a vagina and uterus probably ARE the only parts of a woman’s body he realizes exists.

    Sick.

  354. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @consciousness razor

    Look at the bolded part closely, asshole. Then check out the italicized part.

    I’m sorry – what point are you trying to make?

  355. says

    What if the test or echography show at 7 months the fetus has no brain?

    Some tests take a lot of time to get results.

    Especially when antichoice terrirists do all they can to make prenatal tests impossible.

    And then they defund homes for the handicapped because “State is too big”.

    Ah, clumps of cells have to be protected at all costs (even the woman’s death. Ever heard of ectopic pregnancies?). After they are born, they can go fly a kite. If they have arms, of course.

  356. says

    a war could erupt where the moral side find themselves losing for want of more soldiers, and the draft could remedy that.

    “the moral side”?

    we are talking about war. there is no “moral side”, there’s only more or less morally fucked up sides. and the side that forces the most of its people to die against their will is the less moral one.

  357. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Brownian

    You are out of your depth. Reel it back.

    @PZ

    This is a rude blog

    Thus, no. You can fuck off too if you are defending your right to not be drafted if that’s the deciding factor between Nazis ruling the world vs not.

  358. says

    “The primary function of a woman is to reproduce. Everything about her anatomy is designed for this wondrous purpose.”

    They why do men enjoy looking at them so much?

  359. says

    I can’t think of a legitimate plausible reason offhand to justify the killing of a born baby Aren’t you lucky? Sadly, that’s too easy. It happens all the time, except mostly they’re left to starve or suffocate on their own because Teh Law is against euthanasia. Some babies simply can’t live – one case I read about recently was a baby born with no kidneys. A quick shot of morphine would have been the kind choice.

    I’d rather not get into the Singer thing, but I don’t 100% dismiss it. While birth is an excellent bright line for some rights, we do also have other lines for other rights. A newborn isn’t allowed alcohol or tobacco or a drivers license. In many cultures a newborn isn’t a person until it’s survived for a certain time. So, yeah, it’s arguable. But also it’s irrelevant, unless all parties are arguing in good faith and not trying to derail the issue from the topic of women’s rights to our bodily autonomy.

  360. Amphiox says

    Botched late-term abortions resulting in fully born infants outside the mother also “live independently”. Would you consider these things to be persons?

    Late-term abortions only occur in two situations:

    1. A late identified congenital defect or late developing disease of the fetus renders it impossible for the fetus to survive beyond birth for any significant length of time without intense pain and suffering.

    2. A late developing or late identified complication of the pregnancy itself renders it prohibitively life-threatening for the woman to continue with the pregnancy AND it is IMPOSSIBLE for the fetus to survive an induced early birth.

    When it is actually possible for the fetus to survive the termination of the pregnancy, the treatment for scenario 2 is INDUCED BIRTH, not abortion. Never abortion. The risk to the woman of the two procedures are virtually identical. In fact, from a technical standpoint, the two procedures are virtually identical.

    So the scenario wherein a botched late term abortion results in living infant capable of surviving independently can virtually only happen in the event of a misdiagnosis – ie, a fetus that was thought to be non-viable turns out to be viable. And in this scenario the so-called “botched” abortion actually IS an induced live birth.

    This occurs so rarely that to even bring it up as an argument against abortion in general is an exercise in pure intellectual dishonesty.

  361. Just_A_Lurker says

    *rabbit*I’m late! I’m late! I’m late,I’m late,I’m late!”
    joey

    You never heard of intact dilation and extraction (a.k.a. partial-birth abortions)? Look it up.

    If Baby in >>> Baby out, then you must disapprove of such procedures. And yes, these procedures do occur in the real world.

    There’s the sign we’ve all been waiting for. You are indeed a forced-birther trying and failing to play “Gotcha!”.

    Yeah, Gotcha!

    Here you go again simply appealing to whatever the state says.

    You know what my state says? That there is no such as gay marriage. So if the state says so, then it must be so…right?

    You moron, he was simply informing you that our position is already solidified and in use. It’s practical. In order for your position to “win”, you have to put forth what you think would be better and defend it. The impractically of using Singer’s standards for human fetus’ is just one way to chip at your pathetic ramblings put forth.

    LFAAPN

    Otherwise, I think we’re mostly in agreement. I’m too ignorant to know when the fetus actually gets a mind – again a question for neurology. Let’s suppose it happens after 6 months. We can agree that you know if you’re pregnant before 6 months. Thus abortions out to be illegal after 6 months, barring mother’s health issues, or bullshit w.r.t. Catholic church provided care et. al. Is that a fair assessment of the consensus? If so, I have no complaints, and my question is answered.

    Well, I fibbed a bit just there. When is it reasonable to assume / require that a woman knows she’s pregnant? Is 3 months too early?

    /sigh
    NO.
    Look, asshole, this isn’t funny. It is not reasonable to assume a woman will know she’s pregnant at 3 months. In a whopping amount of cases you have your period for the first 3 months and the signs are subtle. Some women have their periods all the way through. I knew a girl in high school who did not know she was pregnant until she was 6 months. She didn’t have the big belly and was still having her period. For women on birth control it is extremely silly to insist these requirements on them. You really want to force a scared 17 year old to go through with the rest of it and fuck up her life plans?
    Fuck you.
    It is not reasonable to put the onus on the woman to get this done before your arbitrary deadline. Life happens. Clinics are few and far between, several appointments necessary, time off needed, often travel is needed, and money to do all of this.
    You do not get to decide when a woman loses her body to a hostage. That is fucking wrong. Birth is a physical, distinct line to cross. Enough of this nonsense.

    diane

    I don’t entirely agree. While I think that on a practical level if abortion were readily available and cheap/free in the first 3-4 months of pregnancy and one removes from consideration medically necessary abortions that the number of abortions performed after 4 months would be negligible. However, in principle, I think that the pregnant woman should always have the right to remove an unwanted fetus in the way that is safest and most acceptable to her.

    YAY, good.

    That having been said, I would be reasonably happy with laws that restricted non-medically necessary abortions to, say, 20 weeks and earlier, if I thought that it would end there. For example, I’d be reasonably happy if the US compromised on the question by instituting Holland’s abortion laws. But in the current political climate in the US, any compromise will inevitably lead to further restrictions and a generally more Romania like country.

    Ugh. So close. You agree it’s impractical at least, I will give you that. No, I would not be happy with this. You know why? I’m a poor single mother, in and out of shelter due to being born poor. I’m struggling to keep a job (currently unemployed) and can’t pay rent. It may very well take me 7 fucking months to raise money to get an abortion. Unless its covered under universal health care and employers stay out of my business (Fuck you too Arizona!) then I’d be screwed out of one. Seriously. Bring this bullshit squeamish waffling down the line when it wouldn’t fuck everything up.

    [General]
    This is not funny. You are giving ground to forced-birthers. They love to point and say “See you aren’t comfortable with this either! You know its wrong. Gotcha!”. Why is this still a debating point. Even if you deem the fetus a person it doesn’t trump the woman’s right at any time. This late term, partial birth abortion crap, is just that, crap. They are trying to trap you. Why are people failing for this?

    /sigh

    Fuck it.

  362. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Jadehawk, cascadeuse féministe
    The better part of Europe vs the World vs even a small country doesn’t change the calculus.

    I have also emphasized that this may not indicative of the facts surrounding WW2, and as such it’s a hypothetical, but it’s not one of the asinine hypotheticals that could never actually happen. This could. If your reading comprehension is so bad that you didn’t understand that Naziism was just a proverbial placeholder, that’s not my fault. It’s your own ass for promoting your hateful, selfish policy where you only care about yourself.

  363. Azkyroth says

    I tend to agree with others about birth, at least as a practical line. Though I’m not entirely sure I’d rule out the current “somewhere pretty late in pregnancy with exceptions” line that we theoretically have now.

    There’s a perfectly logical solution:

    A woman has the right to have a fetus removed from her body at any time.

    At the stage of development where it’s possible to do so, efforts should be made to remove it alive and keep it alive, if that won’t substantially additionally burden the woman.

  364. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Just_A_Lurker
    Good points. I wouldn’t suggest this policy unless abortion was free. I’m still of the mind that perhaps it’s not too much of an onus to require monthly pregnancy tests. Again, we are talking about ending the life of what may be a fully conscious human being. I don’t take these matters that lightly.

    Still, I apologize if I’ve talked someone into helping the Christian right on this topic. I do not mean to do that. They are far, far worse.

  365. A. R says

    we are talking about war. there is no “moral side”, there’s only more or less morally fucked up sides.

    Exactly. I’ve been trying to argue this here for a very long time.

  366. Brownian says

    This is a rude blog.

    I’m not saying be less rude. I’m saying be less stupid.

    Thus, no. You can fuck off too if you are defending your right to not be drafted if that’s the deciding factor between Nazis ruling the world vs not.

    What are you, fucking fourteen? “OMG! Teh Nazis! therefore trump card!”

    First of all, I was clarifying why what you said was stupid, not making any such claim. But since you’ve made the claim, it’s not out of bounds for me to note: here’s a list of ongoing conflicts. Why aren’t you getting the fuck off the internet and sacrificing yourself for one of the moral sides, asshole?

  367. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    we are talking about war. there is no “moral side”, there’s only more or less morally fucked up sides.

    Oh goody. Can we start going over all wars in history? I’m sure there’s got to be some wars purely for aggression and territory expansion, where there clearly is a good side and a bad side. This moral relativism and pacifism is confounding. Again, I’m not half-cocked, and I don’t support war as anything but the last option, but sometimes force is required and it’s naive to advocate otherwise.

  368. says

    If your reading comprehension is so bad that you didn’t understand that Naziism was just a proverbial placeholder, that’s not my fault.

    we are talking about war. there is no “moral side”, there’s only more or less morally fucked up sides. and the side that forces the most of its people to die against their will is the less moral one.

    yep. I’m the one with the reading comprehension issues. sure.

  369. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    JAL: You’re right, and I’m sorry I got sucked in to this stupid debate. It is all just a planned trap. Now I feel filthy.

    So fuck y’all (except everyone but A.R, Joey and Looking).

    Oh, and Looking?

    I’m still of the mind that perhaps it’s not too much of an onus to require monthly pregnancy tests.

    You fucking bastard. Don’t look any further for a political name, you’ve found it. Republican.

  370. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Why aren’t you getting the fuck off the internet and sacrificing yourself for one of the moral sides, asshole?

    False dichotomy. We’ve already established that a voluntary army if sufficient to get the job done is preferable to a drafted force.

    Now, if you’re asking why we’re not helping in more countries around the world where there clearly is a right and wrong side, then “it depends” and “I don’t know”. There is a limit to the good we can do militarily. It’s the last option. For example, why aren’t we helping out Syria? Maybe because it can do more harm than good. Maybe because we’re too selfish and they don’t have anything pertaining to our interests.

    I do not demand of anyone that they must live their lives purely for others. I will demand that as a collective action issue, if our country and its liberty is threatened and the only plausible option to save it is the draft, then I will go for the draft. That is your false dichotomy.

    Stop being an asshat.

  371. A. R says

    Oh goody. Can we start going over all wars in history?

    Yep. How about the Tokyo firebombings, Dresden, and the Japanese Internment Camps?

  372. says

    This moral relativism and pacifism is confounding.

    I’m not a pacifist, honeycakes.

    sometimes force is required and it’s naive to advocate otherwise

    you live in an interestingly black-and-white world where all “required” choices apparently become wholly moral, with no possibility of that which is required to be accomplished by immoral means. apparently the ends make the means moral…

  373. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Josh, Official SpokesGay

    You fucking bastard. Don’t look any further for a political name, you’ve found it. Republican.

    Again, you give no weight or importance to stopping the ending of life of conscious human beings? Or are you arguing Singer?

    The example used else-thread is that I would be for forced blood donations of everyone if it could stop all cancer. I fail to see a marked difference between this and what appears to be a rather weak and trifling requirement of a monthly pregnancy test. Of course, one has to weigh the harms vs the benefits, and I haven’t even began to do that. I find it telling though that you reject this flat out.

    Surely one could even make a point of the added heath benefits to the monthly “piss on a strip” tests. Private of course. Not even recorded. I’m not suggesting a policy. I don’t even know what would be a good policy.

  374. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Again, you give no weight or importance to stopping the ending of life of conscious human beings?

    If you seriously believe a fetus at any stage is a fully conscious human being, a person, then you have much to learn. So very much.

    I don’t even know what would be a good policy.

    How about getting the fuck up out of women’s vaginas and stop yapping your goddamn trap about their private medical conditions.

  375. Amphiox says

    It’s a total asshat move to offer it, then take it back at the last moment offering the recipient no time to find another potential donor.

    You completely miss the main point of my argument. The “asshat-ness” of this action DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON THE REASON WHY IT IS TAKEN BACK. If, for example, the reason for the takeback is because the donor was hoping to be paid, and finds out at the last moment he won’t be, then that’s pretty dickish. Or if, for example, the donor did it all deliberately because he actually hates the dying recipient’s guts and it was an elaborate revenge scheme to raise his hopes and then dash them, then it is rather evil.

    But if that reason has to do with fear for personal safety/of violation of personal integrity, and the reason the offer was made in the first place was because the donor misjudged his own courage, then there is NOTHING MORALLY WRONG with that decision.

    It is simply sad, and human, and nothing more, or less.

    There is NO SUCH THING AS AN IRREVERSIBLE BINDING CONTRACT, ethically, morally, or legally, on questions of personal bodily autonomy. Written, verbal, or implied.

    I argue it’s morally reprehensible, far worse than not offering in the first place.

    And I argue that you are dead wrong, because you start by making a dishonest overgeneralization in an attempt to bring up a false equivalence.

    As for your leech scenario, I didn’t even bother bringing it up originally because it is so obviously refuted. Two words: self-defence. Even if the leech achieves complete human level sentience, you are fully entitled to blow its brains out, any time you want, so long as it is still attached to you and sucking your blood.

  376. John Morales says

    Azkyroth:

    At the stage of development where it’s possible to do so, efforts should be made to remove it alive and keep it alive, if that won’t substantially additionally burden the woman.

    Tsk.

  377. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Or, we could have a policy requiring menz to get monthly sperm count and motility tests. Privately, of course. We could even make an argument of the mental health benefits of jacking off even more. Or something equally fucking stupid.

  378. says

    He then goes on to complain that anyone who hasn’t read Singer can’t fully understand the argument he is making. Sounds like a variant of the Courtier’s reply to me.

    I haven’t read Singer and yet I still get the gist of what his arguments are. Also, since Josh made reference to Feminism 101, his reply sounded more like, “It’s not my responsibility to educate you on the basics” than, “If you can’t deal with all the myriad complexities of my fictional system then you aren’t qualified to comment on it.” Josh wasn’t saying that you aren’t qualified to comment on it, but that apparently since his fairly decent synopsis wasn’t enough for you to grasp it, it’s time for you to strike out on your own and do a little self-education.

  379. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    If you seriously believe a fetus at any stage is a fully conscious human being, a person, then you have much to learn. So very much.

    I think it’s silly to say a 9 month fetus in the womb has less consciousness than a just-born baby, though some interesting arguments have been advocated in this thread. I have tried to stress that the material facts of neurology will triumph in this conversation, and if what I say isn’t applicable, then I’m sorry. Still, AFAOL, 9 month old fetuses have a brain and a mind, just like a just-born baby.

    Then again, I haven’t read Singer, so I don’t know if you’re seriously advocating that a just-born baby lacks sufficient consciousness to give it some moral rights, such as the right not to be killed on a whim.

  380. says

    if our country and its liberty is threatened and the only plausible option to save it is the draft, then I will go for the draft

    who gets to define when and how “our country and its liberty” is threatened sufficiently to force people to die for it? What if they don’t think that “our country” is something worth dying for, or maybe they think that “their” country is already dead, and they’re being forced to defend a tyranny that has taken its place? Or what if they don’t think liberty is imperiled by whomever they are being forced to fight?

    hypotheticals are worthless. the draft is, ultimately, the right of a government to decide for its people when and for what they should die, whether they agree with that assessment or not. being for the draft in WWII is also being for the draft in Vietnam, because that’s what the draft is: letting the government decide what is worth dying for.

  381. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Or, we could have a policy requiring menz to get monthly sperm count and motility tests. Privately, of course. We could even make an argument of the mental health benefits of jacking off even more. Or something equally fucking stupid.

    If that could help cure cancer in everyone, or help prevent endings of human life, I would be for it.

    And there are arguments that masturbation is better for mental health than abstaining. Of course, complete non sequitir.

  382. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    such as the right not to be killed on a whim.

    Why is your mind so prone to imagine such depravities? You really are an asshole.

  383. says

    Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    In Canada there are zero legal restrictions on a woman’s right to get an abortion. (There are some logistical/geographical hurdles, but that’s not the same thing.) In Canada, it is perfectly legal to abort your healthy, 8.5 month old fetus.

    Do you know what the difference is between late-term abortion rates in Canada vs. the USA, where such abortions are only allowed for specific reasons, such as severe risk to the mother’s health?

    Do you?

  384. consciousness razor says

    It’s your own ass for promoting your hateful, selfish policy where you only care about yourself.

    What a twisted fucking lie. The state has no right to force me to fight in whatever fucking war it wants.

    Again, I’m not half-cocked, and I don’t support war as anything but the last option, but sometimes force is required and it’s naive to advocate otherwise.

    It’s only necessary in self-defense. Yet you want to take my necessary ability to defend myself away and give it to the state. Fortunately it can’t be “hateful” or “selfish” — oh no, there’s no way it could be conducting a war I don’t want to fight. Not when we know ze Nazis will take over the world. Dishonest fucker.

  385. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    If that could help cure cancer in everyone, or help prevent endings of human life, I would be for it.

    Jadehawk is right. You are a little shit. A little shitty authoritarian. Love the thought of coercing people to die in war. Love the thought of women being compelled to pee on a stick (privately, of course). Love the idea that (actually, you don’t. You’d never truly put up with anything that interfered with your menzeness like what you’d have for women) the state could compel someone to take an unnecessary medical procedure monthly because it might have a health benefit.

    Classic authoritarian.

  386. Brownian says

    I find it telling though that you reject this flat out.

    You would, because you’re stupid.

    As I’ve already noted, I made no such claim. If you think I’ve rejected anything out of hand, it’s because you’re shit at reading.

    What I wrote, and you might want to find an adult to read it to you to be sure, is that Jadehawk is right that forcing someone to die for the lives of others is still a form of enslavement, no matter how implausibly beneficial you consider the outcome, which was your point in bring up the Nazis.

    Now you’re claiming I rejected giving blood donations in order to cure cancer? Why don’t you just put my grandmother’s life on the line and ask if I’d stop at an ATM on my way home from the bar to save her while you’re busy emotionally grandstanding?

    Would you like my help in shoving those moving goalposts up your ass, fuckhead?

  387. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    I’m probably monopolizing the thread, so I’ll stop now before someone gets pissy. One last post though before I go work on my DnD campaign.

    @Jadehawk, cascadeuse féministe
    Why do you think that compulsion to labor e.g. taxes is ok, but compulsion to defend the culture and state is not? Of course taxes are justified only to a non-tyranny. Are you going to say taxes are immoral because the government might be a tyranny? No. The argument rests on the assertion that somehow to be compelled to labor is somehow different than to be compelled to go to war. There is a chance of death, yes, but compelled to labor is taking part of your life away for good, just as death does. I fail to see any sufficient distinction on your part. I see merely some not well thought through bullshit.

  388. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m probably monopolizing the thread, so I’ll stop now before someone gets pissy

    Too late fucker. We’re real pissed and you’ve got a reputation here now.

  389. Amphiox says

    Never in the entire history of human conflict has there EVER been any instance of a war wherein a forced draft was the one decisive factor that determined victory or defeat, where instituting a forced draft was the ONLY option available that would GUARANTEE victory, and ALL other options were certain to result in defeat.

    Never. Forced drafts have either been implemented as a desperation measure by a losing side that goes on to lose anyways, wherein the forced draft fails anyways, and only succeeds in extending the conflict and resulting in more carnage (and the proper moral choice for the losing side would have been surrender), or it is just one small part of a multi-faceted winning strategy, whose ultimate contribution to victory was minor at best.

    This argument is a completely unrealistic and irrelevant one. It is hypothetical wanking of the highest level of rhetorical dishonesty to even bring it up.

  390. Amphiox says

    Why do you think that compulsion to labor e.g. taxes is ok, but compulsion to defend the culture and state is not?

    If you cannot see the enormous, gaping difference between these two, then ethically there is no hope for you.

  391. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, nobody has come up with a time other than birth that totally defines the change from fetus to baby/personhood. I’m not changing my mind on that without new evidence. Mental wanking is irrelevant.

    Those still talking about third trimester “convenience” abortions, even theoretically, show that they actually exist and are a problem. Otherwise, what I see happening in the third trimester is abortions to save the life of the woman, or those with fetal deformities, which isn’t what you are trying to talk about, making your mental wanking irrelevant. And it isn’t my place to make life-long decisions for those who will be involved with such fetal abnormality situations. It is theirs to make, and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. I got close enough after the Redhead’s stroke, and had to consider possibility of DNR orders if something else happened (fortunately it didn’t). If you haven’t been there, shut the fuck up about theoretical and irrelevant considerations.

  392. says

    You can fuck off too if you are defending your right to not be drafted if that’s the deciding factor between Nazis ruling the world vs not.

    Jesus ass fucking Christ. Nazis aren’t your fucking trump card, you spineless -fucking- wonder. Using Nazis to justify anything shows how fucking intellectually lazy you are.

    I’m still of the mind that perhaps it’s not too much of an onus to require monthly pregnancy tests.

    What the fuck is this?

    All women are pregnant unless they can prove otherwise? Sorry, but I prefer living in a non-fascist state.

    Again, we are talking about ending the life of what may be a fully conscious human being. I don’t take these matters that lightly.

    Uh, no. A fetus, at any point of gestation is not fully conscious, by any definition.

    And even if it were, it does not have the use of a woman’s body without her permission. Pregnancy isn’t all sunshine and unicorn farts, cupcake. Even in the best of circumstances, it is a living hell.

    Do I need to describe the shit that I’m going through at this very moment again?

  393. says

    Why do you think that compulsion to labor e.g. taxes is ok, but compulsion to defend the culture and state is not?

    Nice slippery wordplay there. I’d say it was weaselly, but I actually like mustelids.

    compulsion to labor e.g. taxes

    Since when to taxes compel you to labor? They compel you to donate a fraction of the wages which you earn by laboring to the state, which maintains the superstructure that allows for the continuation of the business that pays your wages.

    compulsion to defend the culture and state

    No, being forced against your will to assume a very high risk of death or serious injury is definitely not on the same level as garnishing wages, paying taxes, or even imprisonment. Usually only dumb-ass liberatarians make asinine comparisons like these, because they mistake their wallets for body parts. Are you a libertarian? If not, you should think about it. You’d have so much in common with those pathetic asswipes.

    Also, “the culture”? WTF. Could you possibly sound more creepily fascist?

  394. Eris says

    To all of those who insist that a fetus must be as conscious as an infant:

    Please define “conscious” and inform us as to how you determine the difference between that which is conscious and that which is not. Finally, explain how this consciousness would allow for the killing of farm animals/rats/etc but not fetuses.

    Because I’m guessing that your definition of “consciousness” is vague and ill defined to the point of being meaningless.

  395. says

    I fail to see any sufficient distinction on your part.

    yes, I’m quite aware that a lot of people (overwhelmingly dudes) can’t grok the very basic fact that violation of one’s body is a different category of harm than violation of one’s stuff.

    though it should be noted that I’m a supporter of a Grundeinkommen (translates to “basic income”; fuck if I know what it’s actually called in English), that covers all essential needs and thus removes the coercive aspect of economics. Still, economic coercion != bodily coercion. and forced death (PTSD, maiming, and forced into becoming a murderer aside) is rather something else from having to show up to work a bit more often, either. I’d be protesting against people being drafted to do the most dangerous jobs in civil society, too.

  396. Just_A_Lurker says

    LFAAPM

    I’m still of the mind that perhaps it’s not too much of an onus to require monthly pregnancy tests. Again, we are talking about ending the life of what may be a fully conscious human being. I don’t take these matters that lightly.

    Potential. Why is it that people get hung up on the potential human part.
    I think its all this stupid American dream crap about you can be the best if you only tried, any thing is possible crap. No, everything is not possible asshat, society is fucked up. Putting the fault, blame and responsibility on the poor to fix it themselves while being put down is fucked up. This pairs so well with the forced-birth right-wing poor supporting the rich crap so well.

    Oh, and you think you have the right to make women take a piss test every month? You fucking bastard.

    The example used else-thread is that I would be for forced blood donations of everyone if it could stop all cancer. I fail to see a marked difference between this and what appears to be a rather weak and trifling requirement of a monthly pregnancy test. Of course, one has to weigh the harms vs the benefits, and I haven’t even began to do that. I find it telling though that you reject this flat out.

    I’m guessing you think its okay to make people on welfare to take drug tests too, don’t you? I mean that’s okay right? Since everyone knows that some poor people have drug problems and don’t want taxes to support the habit right? It’s not like that’s a harmful stereotype and that all they plan to do is punish people for being people. ‘Cause you know it’s soooo easy to be homeless and not get high to feel just a little better. Not to mention the people who do harmless weed in their own apartment. There are so many goddamn problems with this damn attitude of yours I am fuming and fumbling all over the place. Fucking asshole. >.<
    Yes, we reject it flat out because a person’s health is their own. We need universal health care to take care of people and better society. If a woman wants to spend her money every month taking over the counter one, that’s her business. Or going to her doctor every month for a check up. Forcing all women to take a test every month? That is wrong. You know why its wrong? Because it is an unwarranted and unnecessary. The mere suggestion of this alone reeks of right-wing-women-are-baby-factors crap. Do you realize their is a bill in AZ to let employers fire women on birth control, simply because they disagree with the little sluts taking it? And you really think this is a good suggestion? WTF is wrong with you? Do you not see the way this would be used and exploited? Do you not see the problem here making women do something simply to make you feel better that there are no late term abortions in your fantasy land?
    Stop “helping”. You are just making it worse.

    Josh

    JAL: You’re right, and I’m sorry I got sucked in to this stupid debate. It is all just a planned trap. Now I feel filthy.

    Thank you. I do accept your apology and I know you are actually helping. I get it and I’m so glad you do too.

    See, LFAAPN, apologies are worthless unless you are sincere and follow up on it. You contract yourself in your own little paragraph. I do not except your apology because you are not helping. I don’t buy your* bullshit for a second.

    —-
    I mean LFAAPN here. I’m sorry to use you in this way Josh, but it was the best way I could find to get the point across. I’m a bit incoherent at the moment. Sorry.

  397. Amphiox says

    The example used else-thread is that I would be for forced blood donations of everyone if it could stop all cancer. I fail to see a marked difference between this and what appears to be a rather weak and trifling requirement of a monthly pregnancy test.

    There is no difference. Both are morally reprehensible and should never be allowed, not even for the sake of something like curing cancer.

    And in fact we already have a direct analogy – vaccination. Universally compelled vaccination is equally morally unacceptable. Vast public education campaigns, even propaganda if you wish to call it so, to convince as many as possible to voluntarily accept the procedure is fine (and was what was done), but compelling, requiring, mandating, is NOT.

    So if you want to invest some time into a campaign to try and convince women to voluntarily choose to get pregnancy tests monthly, go right ahead. If you want to have some of your tax dollars devoted to offering free monthly pregnancy tests to all women who ask for them (to incentivise participation), go right ahead. But the moment you go to REQUIRING it be done, you cross the line.

  398. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Jadehawk,

    (translates to “basic income”; fuck if I know what it’s actually called in English)

    I don’t think English has one, closest would be ‘dole’.

  399. A. R says

    Sally @434: And that’s why I’ve added some Singer to my Anything But Church reading session this Sunday. I’ve read some before, but I intend to read some of the pieces more relevant to this discussion.

    Republican: Well, taxes don’t generally involve a substantial risk of death or psychological trauma…

  400. Amphiox says

    Pregnancy isn’t all sunshine and unicorn farts, cupcake. Even in the best of circumstances, it is a living hell.

    Physiologically it is equivalent to suffering from a self-limiting, but rapidly growing tumor, that maxes out at over 20lbs in weight.

  401. Amphiox says

    Quite frankly, NEITHER a 9 month old fetus OR a newborn baby are conscious to the same degree as an adult human being is conscious.

    The personhood of the baby and the non-personhood of the fetus have nothing at all to do with level or degree of consciousness.

    In fact, consciousness is NEVER, in any situation, the defining characteristic of personhood. Brain death is the criteria for individual death NOT because it is the cessation of consciousness, but because it is irreversible.

  402. Amphiox says

    unpossible; haven’t you read his comments? he’s against the Nazis! in fact, he’s againster-the-Nazis-than-thou.

    There’s a trope for that of course. He who fights monsters….

  403. Eris says

    You know, as someone who got a bachelors in philosophy, I understand that thought experiments are sometimes necessary.

    But if you find yourself arguing, “Well, it would be fine to force someone to give up a tiny shard of their fingernail to cure all disease, so it’s okay to kill people in a dubious attempt to do something that’s probably going to be good!” then you have a problem.

  404. says

    Jadehawk:

    he’s against the Nazis!

    Of course! That proves it! Looking has to be the most awesomest, most not fascist person EVAR!

    in fact, he’s againster-the-Nazis-than-thou.

    To be fair, everyone’s pretty much againster than I am in Looking’s estimation– I’m one of those evil, evil pacifists, after all.

  405. consciousness razor says

    One last post though before I go work on my DnD campaign

    Spoiler alert: The main opponents will be high-level Nazi sorcerers. You’ll have to draft a bunch of lvl 1 paladins and abort a few hobgoblins in the dungeons.

  406. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I’m still of the mind that perhaps it’s not too much of an onus to require monthly pregnancy tests.

    In the US with all of the chatter of tax cuts by the social conservatives, this could be the ideal solution for making sure that funds for crumbling infrastructure can be made. All adult women should be required to pay for this monthly exam. Think of the funds that can be raised without a tax.

    You would be making sure that slutty women (Ah but I am being redundant here.) know that they are pregnant and have to act accordingly, you know, carry to full term.

    Shit, this way, the proper authorities can know when a life ends, even if it is a spontaneous ending. The women have to be kept inline.

  407. Just_A_Lurker says

    Janine

    Shit, this way, the proper authorities can know when a life ends, even if it is a spontaneous ending. The women have to be kept inline.

    There we go! That’s one thing I couldn’t put my finger on to express correctly. Thank you.

  408. Jean-Renee says

    @ Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    To use an example else-thread. Suppose you voluntarily decide to do a kidney transplant for a friend. You are right that in my world view you can legally, and to some extent partially morally, decide at the very last minute to not go through with it, even if that means the recipient is going to die because there’s no time to find another donor. I say legal, but morally this is dubious at best. In fact, I’m tempted to characterize this hypothetical not-donor as an asshole.

    Here’s the thing: I agree to provide a kidney to my darling little sister who will certainly die without it. I love my darling little sister and I desperately want her to live. However, I fall ill at the very last moment, when it’s too late to find another donor. If I don’t donate the kidney to my darling little sister, she will die. If I do donate the kidney to my darling little sister, I will die and there’s a chance she will still die because, hey, sickly kidney.

    I am neither legally nor morally required to risk my own life by donating my (possibly sickly) kidney to my darling little sister, no matter how much I want her to live. I will grieve if my darling little sister dies, but everyone we know will grieve even more if both of us die. What ever shall I do? I will keep my sickly kidney to myself, of course.

    Substitution time! Kidney = womb. Darling little sister = much-wanted offspring. Yes, some women do want babies. Yes, some women who want babies fall ill during pregnancy. (Or lose their jobs/homes/significant others/support systems/etc.) Yes, some women, in the absence of health/income/homes/etc., do choose to abort even though they had already chosen to carry to term. Because circumstances can change and they no longer have the means to care for that much-wanted baby.

    Do we call them assholes for making that choice? No, we do not. We call you an asshole for passing judgment, you asshole.

    Shorter: You have not thought this through, you asshole.

  409. says

    I’m still of the mind that perhaps it’s not too much of an onus to require monthly pregnancy tests.

    Wait.

    How would the government determine which women are sexually active with men? Or would all women have to do a monthly test, regardless if pregnancy was even possible? ‘Cos that sounds not only really fucking intrusive, but really fucking wasteful, as well.

  410. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Don’t be silly Audley, all women should go through this. After all, we are really all the same, made to have babies.

  411. Just_A_Lurker says

    Jean-Renee

    Yes, some women, in the absence of health/income/homes/etc., do choose to abort even though they had already chosen to carry to term. Because circumstances can change and they no longer have the means to care for that much-wanted baby.

    Do we call them assholes for making that choice? No, we do not. We call you an asshole for passing judgment, you asshole.

    Shorter: You have not thought this through, you asshole.

    And there’s another concept I couldn’t get across correctly. Thank you! I love this place.

  412. doktorzoom says

    Late to the discussion as usual, but thought I might mention an outstanding essay I came across in last year’s Best American Essays, Bridget Potter’s “Lucky Girl.” It’s an account of the author’s illegal abortion in 1962, and it gives a very matter-of-fact view of the world that the anti-choice faction would like us to return to.

  413. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Just_A_Lurker

    Potential. Why is it that people get hung up on the potential human part.

    If you think that has any bearing at all on my arguments, you need to take an introduction to English class.
    @Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies

    What ifs like this are nothing more than philosophical wanking. They’re tedious and they serve no fucking purpose.

    Well, I don’t need hypotheticals anymore. Amphiox volunteered a great one here:

    And in fact we already have a direct analogy – vaccination. Universally compelled vaccination is equally morally unacceptable. Vast public education campaigns, even propaganda if you wish to call it so, to convince as many as possible to voluntarily accept the procedure is fine (and was what was done), but compelling, requiring, mandating, is NOT.

    I don’t even know how to respond to this. And you call me libertarian.

  414. Brownian says

    he’s against the Nazis! in fact, he’s againster-the-Nazis-than-thou.

    He was only against the Nazis as a rhetorical ploy. When I asked why he is not fighting current monsters, he waffled (false dilemma? Hardly. Perhaps a tu quoque, but justifiable in this case, I think. In any case, his “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?” was in actuality a false dilemma, but I digress): “Now, if you’re asking why we’re not helping in more countries around the world where there clearly is a right and wrong side, then ‘it depends” and “I don’t know’.”

    It turns out that “Naziism was just a proverbial placeholder”, which we were all supposed to understand because clearly we’re all as ignorant about history as he is.

    The next time you want to make a thought experiment fuckhead, make it fucking clear that it’s a thought experiment, rather than using an actual historical case and assuming that everyone sees it as simply and stupidly as you do.

  415. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And you call me libertarian.

    No, I call you a liberturdian. If the doodoo fits, wear it.

  416. says

    I don’t even know how to respond to this. And you call me libertarian.

    I think that was me, and it was only because you seemed to be suggesting that paying taxes was a violation akin to being drafted to fight in a war.

    I feel like I have to apologize to libertarians now. Apparently you’re just a garden-variety fascist authoritarian.

  417. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @Brownian

    The next time you want to make a thought experiment fuckhead, make it fucking clear that it’s a thought experiment, rather than using an actual historical case and assuming that everyone sees it as simply and stupidly as you do.

    Learn to read:

    I disagree that a drafted force is never morally acceptable – in principle. I am not an adept enough stupid of history to say whether even the prototypical example of WW2, to end Naziism, is a justifiable case. I lean towards “yes the draft was justified in WW2″, but I fear porcupines from all sides for my ignorance of history.

    And

    […] at least let me ask: “What do you prefer? The draft, or Nazis ruling the world?”. Perhaps it’s not a legitimate characterization of the facts of WW2, but that’s not the point. What if it was?

  418. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Apparently you’re just a garden-variety fascist authoritarian.

    Amazing. I’m a fascist, libertarian, and yet a supporter of gun rights, government health care, and an “absolutist” on free speech.

  419. Brownian says

    @fuckhead:

    The only relevant part of that is “but that’s not the point. What if it was?”

  420. says

    You think it’s acceptable to force women to get pregnancy tests every month. You seem shocked that people regard it as an unnecessary invasion to make vaccinations mandatory, rather than strongly encouraged. That sounds like authoritarianism to me, with a definite whiff of fascism when you talked about forcing people to defend “the culture”. So far this is the first time you’ve brought up gun rights or free speech. If you talked about government health care before I missed it, but I did skim a bit in the middle there. Were we supposed to read your mind or something? Maybe you’re just dumb. Whoops, did I just make a false dichotomy?

  421. Brownian says

    Amazing. I’m a fascist, libertarian, and yet a supporter of gun rights, government health care, and an “absolutist” on free speech.

    I don’t know that you’re any of those things. I don’t think you have a clear picture in your mind of anything other than what you would do in ethical absolutes:

    What if the draft was the only thing that could save us from Ultimate Evil™

    and

    What if a blood donation from everyone could cure cancer?

    Hmm, excellent point. Since neither of those things are actually happening (you know, not being sure if military might actually will help or not in places like Syria for instance), what have we learned?

  422. dianne says

    Kidney donation isn’t the best example because if one kidney falls through, the patient goes back on dialysis and simply waits for another. Bone marrow might be a better analogy because cancer doesn’t wait for you to find another donor. Liver would be even better but living liver donation is difficult and really only works for donation to a small child who can make due to with a small part of your liver.

    You may now carry on with the substantial bits of the argument.

  423. Brownian says

    Whoops, did I just make a false dichotomy?

    What if monthly pregnancy tests were the only way we could stop the Nazis from drafting cancer? Didja think of that?

  424. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    And in fact we already have a direct analogy – vaccination. Universally compelled vaccination is equally morally unacceptable. Vast public education campaigns, even propaganda if you wish to call it so, to convince as many as possible to voluntarily accept the procedure is fine (and was what was done), but compelling, requiring, mandating, is NOT.

    I don’t even know how to respond to this. And you call me libertarian.

    My son was on strong immunosuppressants when he fell due for his 4 year old vaccinations. Are you suggesting that he should have been compelled to have them, inspite of the risk he faced?

  425. Brownian says

    And in fact we already have a direct analogy – vaccination. Universally compelled vaccination is equally morally unacceptable. Vast public education campaigns, even propaganda if you wish to call it so, to convince as many as possible to voluntarily accept the procedure is fine (and was what was done), but compelling, requiring, mandating, is NOT.

    I don’t even know how to respond to this.

    It’s easy. You say, “I agree that forcibly compelling people to get vaccinations is wrong” or “I disagree. Giving up such-and-such liberty is less harmful than the benefit of universal vaccination because…” or perhaps the example isn’t relevant, because (though it could hardly be less relevant than “Draft or Nazis”).

  426. Eris says

    What if monthly pregnancy tests were the only way we could stop the Nazis from drafting cancer? Didja think of that?

    This made me giggle.

  427. dianne says

    No, I would not be happy with this. You know why? … It may very well take me 7 fucking months to raise money to get an abortion.

    Ok, “happy” was a bit too far. “Willing to put up with it if it would stop the ongoing harassment and increasing restrictions” is closer to correct. But I think one critical point is that, if I understand correctly, in the Netherlands abortion is paid for by the federal insurance so it’s essentially free. No need to save up. That, to me, is critical for any even vaguely acceptable law restricting abortion in the third trimester: abortion must be readily available to ALL in the first trimester and readily available on need in the second trimester (yes, “need” is determined by the patient).

    It’s giving the fetus privileges that no living person has, but would be at least a little better than the current slew of bills where each state competes to have the most restrictive, most slut shaming, most life endangering anti-abortion law.

  428. Just_A_Lurker says

    LFAAPPN

    If you think that has any bearing at all on my arguments, you need to take an introduction to English class.

    Oh fuck you. Seriously, this is the best you can reply to me? Fail. I’ve taken and passed plenty of classes. I do not have a problem following through on ideas and critical thinking, like you. I also have some fucking empathy. Honestly, considering the personal stuff I’ve shard here, I feel like this is a classist statement but will not call it so because I may be overreacting.

    See? I separated my emotions from my argument and thought it through. You can take you “women having late term abortions makes me feel uncomfortable so I’m going to control your lives” shit and shove it.

    Oh and this?

    And in fact we already have a direct analogy – vaccination. Universally compelled vaccination is equally morally unacceptable. Vast public education campaigns, even propaganda if you wish to call it so, to convince as many as possible to voluntarily accept the procedure is fine (and was what was done), but compelling, requiring, mandating, is NOT.

    Isn’t even close to a valid comparison. Vaccinations stop diseases from killing people. Heard immunity is need so we don’t have another black fucking plague. That is still around you know. You heard of measles, whopping cough and other disease coming back? Yeah, that is because it is dangerous to society as a whole.

    Women getting birth control/having sex/having children/having abortions is not equal to a plague killing people. Understand? One is just personal and should stay that, other is one of those social contract thing to better serve all, like taxes.
    It doesn’t help society in the slightest if you take away women’s rights. Unless of course you are one of those that believe sluts will destroy the world, or just a waffle-y queasy my decision is the best decision assholes.

    It will only destroy lives and take away people’s right to their own bodies , in order for you to feel better. What possibly could be your justification for this? Oh, right, your hang up on potential.

    You had potential to be an ally but I’m not going to applaud you for that fact. Take your wasted, worthless potential and shove it up your ass.

  429. A. R says

    dianne: Not trying to diminish your point, but aren’t there “liver dialysis” protocols in existence?

  430. says

    I’m sure it was an innocent oversight that LFAANP never responded to this, so I’ll just repost it.

    Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    In Canada there are zero legal restrictions on a woman’s right to get an abortion. (There are some logistical/geographical hurdles, but that’s not the same thing.) In Canada, it is perfectly legal to abort your healthy, 8.5 month old fetus.

    Do you know what the difference is between late-term abortion rates in Canada vs. the USA, where such abortions are only allowed for specific reasons, such as severe risk to the mother’s health?

    Do you?