Open thread for episode 22.37: Tracie and Jen


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  1. flipbowry says

    Hi, I’d like to contribute to the blog occasionally. My name is Flip, I’m an atheist and a libertarian and have been for the better part of my adult life. I’m 64. I am curious about other atheists’ thoughts about the importance of conflating debates/arguments/discussions about politics with their non-belief in the supernatural. Thanks. Be safe.

  2. fullyladenswallow says

    A great show, Jen and Tracie!
    Kudos to Fiora for being so resilient in the the face of her depression and rejection by her family. That really has to be devastating. Her thoughts about indoctrination by her church certainly hit home with me. I think one of the reasons I resent my Catholic upbringing so much is this feeling of guilt I tend to experience when I want to do something to please myself; whether it be (as Tracie illustrated) a new purchase or room addition (which I’m also contemplating).

    I can also relate to Fiora’s feelings of “is this all there is?”, (although in my case it seems to be more of, “so what?”…another discussion) and also the feeling of ruminating. Tracie is exactly right when she describes misconceptions about antidepressants, because having been on Prozac / Paxil for years I can say that (in my own case), antidepressants of the SSRI variety helped me from falling into a deeper depression but also limited access to my emotions at the same time.
    I really loved Tracie’s clay analogy + pep talk at the end!
    Thanks, Tracie! That made my day!

  3. Theisntist says

    Thanks Jen for putting 9/11 truther in their place! They think of themselves as the ultimate skeptics but don’t know the first thing about applying skepticism appropriately.

  4. Fred Brewer says

    I’ve never been a believer because even as a small child I was always noticing inconsistencies in anything I was exposed to and it has served me well working in law enforcement and the medical field. That said I understand the power of indoctrination and I have family and friends I know are smart people yet they choose to believe. Contrary to what Matt says I thing people can choose to believe something in that when they can convince themselves they believe if they want to believe badly enough. Whether they would have the same degree of belief as those who would die for their religion only such an event would tell but few people in life have their faith tested to that level. Finally, as a military veteran I can say that there are atheists in foxholes but I saw constant discrimination of those who didn’t keep that on the down low. I only pushed the issue when I was getting my dog tags prior to Desert Storm and the wouldn’t let me list atheist as my religious preference or even my alternative choice of infidel.

  5. Infidel from the foxhole says

    I’ve never posted to a blog before so I’m not sure how this works but my previous post was just o get “vetted”.

  6. RationalismRules says

    @Tracie
    I think the ‘responsibility’ counter-argument you presented is seriously flawed.

    When we undertake activities with a known possible outcome, we are considered to share responsibility if that outcome eventuates, whether or not we intend that outcome. The responsibility is proportional to other factors – who else is involved, how directly the outcome can be attributed to either party, how foreseeable the risks are etc..

    If the outcome results directly from some person’s deliberate or negligent action, they are assigned the full proportion of the responsibility. This is the ‘home invasion’ scenario. This is not analogous to two people having consensual sex.

    Pregnancy may be an unintended consequence, but it is a foreseeable risk. If a skateboarder doing tricks next to a road loses control of their board, which shoots onto the road and causes a car accident, they are, at least partially, responsible for that accident, because the risk was foreseeable.

    Also, the “it’s nature” argument doesn’t absolve you of responsibility. If J. Doe stays at home with a typhoon approaching, in defiance of all advice / warnings to evacuate, their subsequent death is a direct consequence of their choice. Would you not agree they are at least partially responsible for their own death in that scenario?

    Rather than arguing that you aren’t responsible, it seems to me that real point is that accepting responsibility (shared, obviously) for the pregnancy only requires that you also accept responsibility for the consequences, it does not dictate what those consequences should be. In this case you would accept responsibility for the pregnancy, and accept responsibility for the choice to terminate the pregnancy.

  7. III says

    @RationalismRules – agreed. If I drop a penny off the top of the Empire State Building, did I consent to…?
    I prefer the argument: “if I get cancer from exposure to the sun, are you arguing that I have already consented to grow and nurture those cancerous cells? Do I have no right to remove those cells?”

  8. louis cyfer says

    jen is wrong. there are parental requirements before birth. women who neglect their pregnancy, abuse their bodies, deink heavily or take drugs can be held accountable. i know a case where a woman who recevied zero prenatal care until giving birth was charged with negligence and endangering a child.

  9. louis cyfer says

    rationalism rules, so how much responsibility do you assign to the woman who gets raped at home? how about the woman who walked down a dark alley? if they didn’t make those choices, the rape wouldn’t have occured.

  10. III says

    Why do many people who believe in the sanctity of (unborn) life draw a line at life conceived through an act of rape? Does the (unborn) life become less sanctified? Does the rape award a woman sudden, special rights to her own body?

  11. Paul Money says

    @ No 5. It’s called consent. Consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy, consent to pregnancy isn’t consent to continuing with it.

  12. RationalismRules says

    @Paul Money
    I don’t have any issue with consent arguments, but responsibility is not dependent on consent.
    Did the skateboarder ‘consent’ to the car accident they caused? Did J. Doe consent to die in the typhoon?

  13. III says

    @Paul Money – agreed, but the way the responsibility argument is presented blurs the line between consent and responsibility unnecessarily, especially when consent is the stronger and simpler argument, as consent is associated with rights most civilized people agree with, no matter what they think about abortion.
    Using the responsibility argument is confusing to theists because they automatically link the word responsibility with blame/punishment (for the “sin” of having sex, natch) rather than with ownership of one’s rightful choices.

  14. says

    last week we got the “just look at the atrocities!” argument for satan (thomas); this week’s the first time i’ve heard someone use that argument to prove god (levi) …

  15. Paul Money says

    Having sex, for women, invariably carries a risk of pregnancy. If she gets pregnant, it’s her body, so she has the right to terminate the pregnancy. That in itself isn’t free from physical and mental risk, but a termination is her taking responsibility.
    What do you want “responsibility” to mean? That she shouldn’t have sex unless she is prepared to carry any conception to full term? Get out of here!

  16. DanDare2050 says

    Why don’t women ever phone in to argue the morality of abortion? I’m so fed up with these guys pussy footing around the issue of autonomy. I have never worked out why they care so much about these unborns and get so worked up over it. Millions of just starting pregnancies spontaneously abort every week.

  17. RationalismRules says

    @Paul Money

    What do you want “responsibility” to mean? That she shouldn’t have sex unless she is prepared to carry any conception to full term? Get out of here!

    Did you even read my original post?

  18. Theisntist says

    Kamala Harris made a version of the body autonomy argument at the Kavanaugh hearing, which seemed to confound Kavanaugh. You’d thing a supreme Court nominee would have a grasp of the concept.

  19. Paul Money says

    @ RR.
    I did read your original post. Unfortunately, even on re-reading it is somewhat opaque! Sorry if I have misunderstood you.

  20. Bryan Thalhammer says

    Hi,

    I have been listening to your recent YT editions of shows for a few months. Totally unrelated (or totally related, one or the other), I found a page with some skeptic poems by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, with whom you all might be familiar. All rather short, but with killer tag lines, and to the point of “who made God”. Nice.

    http://yipharburg.com/resources/poems/

    He wrote music for several musicals and musical films, notably Finian’s Rainbow, Wizard of Oz and others. While searching for the background for this song, “Ain’t it the Truth”, I found out that Harburg was a committed atheist, anti-racist and anti-misogyny. A man whom I now admire more than I ever knew how to before:

    “Life is short, short, brother,
    Ain’t it the truth?
    And there is NO OTHER,
    Ain’t it the truth?
    If you don’t love livin’ you is slightly uncouth,
    Ain’t it the dignified truth?”
    From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMSyXuvNpeM (sung by Lena Horne)

    His bio is here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yip_Harburg

    This is a little payback and a first-time saying of “hello” to you all.

    I welcome any replies.

    –Bry.

  21. Morodo says

    Its a bit of a void discussion..

    For me it’s her right to make an abortion but it does not change the fact she’s and the father are acting irresponsibly if they have sex without any attempt to use contraceptives.

    She and he might decide to have an abortion but that’s still not very responsible.

    Best
    Regards

  22. Bluestar says

    As a human being I would love to see every effort made to adopt an unwanted baby. But at the end of the day it is none of my business what that woman who became pregnant decides what is best for her life

  23. Serge Rubinstein says

    @ DanDare : Yes, because for a woman to have consensual sex, it is necessary to have a man who asked her.
    So the person ultimately responsible for a pregnancy is the man ! 😉

  24. thundergod says

    I wanted to login and sound off because I have always been pro-choice but from the perspective of “Your Body Your Choice” and not really worried about why the choice is made. While I often tire of the callers wanting to discuss choice issues becuase it’s not explicitly an atheist position I do appreciate the new perspective I have gained hearing you ladies talk about it in this show.

    I am a father of four and my ex-wife went through four uneventful pregnancies and came out the other side essentially unscathed so I never really put as much thought into just how dangerous pregnancy can be and how that can effect the decisions made by a woman who, regardless of any other consideration, finds herself pregnant. Of course I intellectually always knew it was dangerous but listening to you discuss this matter lately it suddenly clicked for me in a way it had not before.

  25. Clint says

    Morality is situational. It might be morally permissible for a starving person to steal food, but it is not moral for a person with plenty of food to go steal more. That situational consideration also applies when thinking about risks and responsibilities. A parent may not be morally obligated to run into a burning building for their child, but they do have a moral obligation to rescue their drowning child from the bathtub. The situations and risks are different. The risk of dying in a burning building are high. The risks of a deadly slip and fall rescuing a child from the bath are not.

    The risks of giving blood in a hospital are very low, so yes, a father does have a moral obligation to give blood to save his child. The father does not have an obligation to donate his heart, which will certainly kill him. The situations and risks determine the morality.

    How low does the risk have to be before taking it on becomes a moral responsibility? I don’t know. Morality is hard, we have to talk about it and figure it out. But the hosts seemed to be arguing that parents never have a responsibility to take on risks to save their child. I don’t see how that position can be defended.

    I think abortion is morally permissible because I’m not convinced a fetus is a person. But parental responsibilities exist, and if a fetus is a person, then the people who conceived it are parents and they have those responsibilities.

  26. paxoll says

    @RR
    Responsibility is not Tracies argument, it is the christians argument. Her argument is simple, she has the same responsibility for sex as any action that has foreseeable risks. It is not to say she has NO responsibility, only that her responsibility is equal to being in a car accident, which is obviously proportional to many factors, but in the end does not change what rights and legal consequences should be placed on her. Going out in the sun causes skin cancer, they are “responsible” for getting skin cancer, we don’t force people with skin cancer to live with the cancer because they chose to risk it by going out in the sun. It is not a good argument for abortion, it is a good rebuttal to the christians argument against it.

  27. Steve Ayres says

    I couldn’t stand watching the Atheist Experience this week; I stopped after a few minutes. If some of what I’m talking about was addressed I am sorry, it was too painful to keep watching.

    Consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy.

    I think the word ‘consent’ is the issue here, and I’m thinking that Jen and Tracie are denying basic human biology here.

    I don’t know how much study has been performed on the question, but I read about one European study where couples were monitored. The peak time for pregnancies seemed to occur two days before ovulation, with a 25% chance of pregnancy, outside those times the chances seemed around 5%.

    Although consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy, I’d suggest that – like ignorance of the law not being an excuse – ignorance of basic biology doesn’t excuse you from the consequences, and so if you consent to sex, UNLESS YOU USE BIRTH CONTROLS MEASURES, you are accepting that the sex act may result in pregnancy; and so, if you do not want to become pregnant, or you do not want you partner to become pregnant, you should always use birth control.

    Jen made a comparison about driving a car and having an accident, and Tracie about a home invasion rape, and I’ll get to those later. What I will say now is, what is with these women? I was under the impression, from women I know, that motherhood was a wonderful thing; they talk about ‘starting a family’; or for women approaching or now in their 30s they use phrases like ‘before it’s too late’. I thought this was supposed to be a wonderful thing for women, but we have Jen comparing pregnancy to a car accident and Tracie to a home invasion rape?

    Consent to becoming pregnant isn’t consent to staying pregnant.

    Not a very well thought out argument. We have a pregnant woman. She’s been happily pregnant for some time now. Three months in fact. Then she suddenly decides she wants an abortion. We give her an abortion. Another woman has been pregnant for 8 months, and she suddenly decides she wants an abortion. Do we give her the abortion? As far as the law stands in the US and Europe, we certainly do not. So, while you could argue that consent to becoming pregnant isn’t consent to remaining pregnant, consent to being pregnant past a certain point is consent to remaining pregnant until childbirth.

    On to the car accident comparison. When you drive a car, you accept there is a certain element of risk involved. When I lived in California, the only requirement for my vehicle was a smog test once every two years, In the UK, my car has a yearly test of over 100 points, including brakes, suspension, tyres, windscreen and so on. When you drive your car, there’s a slight chance you could be involved in an accident. It’s not nearly as likely as a woman becoming pregnant after having sex with a man. If you don’t want to become pregnant, use birth control. If you don’t want to be in a car accident, you can make sure your car has proper maintenance, good tyres, brakes, suspension, and other components and functions. You can choose to avoid the busiest roads, the busiest times of day. You can choose to own a car that has a great safety rating. You take responsibility for your actions and your choices.

    On to Tracie and the home invasion rape. Tracie said (before I’d had enough) that she could have slept somewhere else. Dumb argument. Would sleeping somewhere else have lower the statistical possibility of being raped in a home invasion is a better question.

    If you want to avoid a home invasion rape. Did you look at the crime data for the neighbourhood when you bought your home? Do you leave your doors and windows unlocked, or open? Are you actually inviting a home invasion? Did you post of facebook that your husband has just departed on a week long business trip and you will be all alone, and could someone find your address from all those cutsie posts? Again, are you taking responsibility? If you’re alone, would I be safer to sleep at a friends, or could it be worse? If you are concerned about home invasion, have you taken steps to prevent it? Could you perhaps ask a friend to stay with you if it makes you feel better (and if, by inviting them over, would you make things worse, perhaps because they accidentally leave a door or window open/unlocked?).

    I’m fully in favour of abortion, but I think that it would be far less of an issue if people acted responsibly. Use birth control. By all means, give a woman an abortion at 8 months if you like; but then she should pay all the costs associated with medical care for foetus that is almost certainly viable, and also all the costs involved in finding an adoptive family. To me, the arguments Jen and Tracie put forward seemed to underscore an extreme sense of entitlement and made about as much sense as a Christian apologist arguing for Intelligent Design. The most disappointing show I’ve ever seen.

  28. Jeremy X says

    Great show, as usual. There was one sort of offhand comment that caught my attention. “Babylonians weren’t telling the story of Edam and Eve.”

    I’d say that is true, but only to a point. The Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish, has remarkable similarities to Genesis. The characters of the god Enki and goddess Ninti are very similar to Adam and Eve in many ways.

    The god Enki, out of curiosity, eats 8 plants in the paradise of Dilmun, just as Eve eating the forbidden fruit. The goddess Ninhrsag considers this a sin, so she causes 8 of Enki’s body parts (notably the last being his rib) to suffer and he is on the brink of death, just as Eve’s actions bring death into the world.

    The one to heal Enki is Ninti, who’s name is a pun. The word Ti is a Babylonian homonym, meaning life or rib. So, Ninti is both, lady of life and lady of the rib. Eve’s name in Hebrew, Hawwa, also means lady of life. But, this pun is lost in translation. Rib is a separate word in Hebrew, so Hawwa is not, by name, the lady of rib. However, that aspect still is there, as she is made from rib.

    It makes a lot of sense as an evolution of the same myths and oral traditions of neighboring societies, with a pun lost in translation, slowly changing over time as different groups took them to different regions like a game of telephone, until they were set in stone (literally written on stone tablets).

  29. bluestar says

    @Jeremy #21.- Adam. Eve. Paul, Timothy, Bartholomew, Andrew, James, Philip. There were not men with these names living in 1st century Palestine. This comes from our Anglo-Saxon roots when Christianity was organized after the Fall of the Roman Empire. Adam. Very similar to the Egyptian Atum, the Greek Atomos. The First. The self created. A rib taken from Adam to make the ying to his yang, Eve. When an electron moves from one atom to another, the result are 2 atoms with opposite polarities, known as an ionic bond. An electron (rib) taken from Adam (atom) used to create Eve (negative charge) “and the two became as one flesh” (ionic bond). Life started with the splitting of an atom. The Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hamadi, the Hindu Vedas were all written allegorically. They should never be taken literally by “believers”, atheists, or anyone else. The Ancient Writings are not literal stories. They have become this way by religions over time.

  30. Jinj Divine says

    Thank you so much Jen and Tracie. You gave me loads to think about and work out. And hopefully I will be able to drop my misplaced beliefs. Thanks for everything.

  31. deityfreedee says

    Not sure why the Muslim caller would bother trying to instruct Jenn and Tracie, being that they are mere women and therefore inferior according to his cult.

    And if the gospels (bible) is also evidence, according to the Quran, that just confirms that Islam is as much complete BS as Christianity is.

  32. DiMo says

    To add to the abortion debate. What I think the most responsible thing to do in a particular situation may not be the same as what the next guy believes. Every situation is unique. It’s not a black and white issue. The right to self determine is not contingent on subjective moral opinions of strangers’. An embryo or nonviable fetus is NOT a full fledged, autonomous “person” nor is it guaranteed to ever become one, even if the pregnancy is wanted and continued. A fetus is not an individual equal to or greater than its would be incubator, not medically or legally. To grant it that “right” would require that you remove constitutionally protected rights from the pregnant person thereby making them property of the state. If you are not ok with forcing any other adult to donate organs or tissue to sustain the life of an already born individual but find it perfectly acceptable to impose those terms on a pregnant person who you may personally perceive to be “irresponsible” (as punishment) then you are the one with the “flawed” logic and a glaring double standard. Personally I dont care why a pregnant person wants an abortion or how they got pregnant. It’s irrelevant and none of my business. Unless you are the pregnant one, it’s none of yours either.

  33. RationalismRules says

    @Paxoll
    Sigh… Here I am preparing to respond to your thoughtful arguments with thoughtful responses, and I made the mistake of taking a moment to read the comment following yours…
    It’s hard to make a strong case about clean sheets when somebody has seen fit to drop a giant turd into the bed.

    I’ll get back to you when I’ve calmed down.

  34. Michael Grumbach says

    Great show Jen and Tracie.
    I think you ladies do a great job.
    I thought the stoner poetic philosophy of the cosmos was hysterical.
    Funniest conversation on this show ever.
    And you let him keep going again and again.
    Very professional and kind as well.
    Thanks for all you do.

  35. gshelley says

    the abortion conversation was interesting enough, if a little frustrating, and I am not sure there was any point – I don’t think either side learned anything or gained any understanding of the other
    The “attacked at home” argument was poor, so I think the caller has an excuse for not understanding. It was almost rescued with the “and what if I don’t lock my door”, but even then, doesn’t work. Pregnancy may result from sex, but it doesn’t result from no sex. In this case, someone could be raped in their home, but they can also be raped out of the home. Maybe if the condition was that there was a known home invader rapist and someone chose to stay at home and not lock their door.
    The “should a parent be forced to give over their liver” was much better, and its a shame the caller didn’t try and answer. Dismissing it as “extreme” was irrelevant, as the hosts pointed out, this was his position with pregnant women. If he wanted to argue that a parent shouldn’t have to give their body for the child, he needed to say why not, given he thought that a pregnant woman should be forced to do so.

  36. Monocle Smile says

    @Steve Ayres
    There’s so much wrong here.

    Although consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy, I’d suggest that – like ignorance of the law not being an excuse – ignorance of basic biology doesn’t excuse you from the consequences, and so if you consent to sex, UNLESS YOU USE BIRTH CONTROLS MEASURES, you are accepting that the sex act may result in pregnancy; and so, if you do not want to become pregnant, or you do not want you partner to become pregnant, you should always use birth control.

    Uh…do you have any clue how atrocious sex ed in the US truly is? Or how difficult it is to acquire birth control? Or how utterly irrelevant this is? We’re talking exclusively about LEGAL consequences, not whether or not someone can be described as being “irresponsible.”

    What I will say now is, what is with these women? I was under the impression, from women I know, that motherhood was a wonderful thing; they talk about ‘starting a family’; or for women approaching or now in their 30s they use phrases like ‘before it’s too late’. I thought this was supposed to be a wonderful thing for women, but we have Jen comparing pregnancy to a car accident and Tracie to a home invasion rape?

    Did you warp in from the ’50s? This is rather embarrassing for you.

    If you don’t want to be in a car accident, you can make sure your car has proper maintenance, good tyres, brakes, suspension, and other components and functions

    This won’t stop a drunk driver from T-boning your ass anytime, anywhere. This is victim-blaming, pure and simple. And if this does happen, do we simply let you die? No, an ambulance is called. And it doesn’t matter who was at fault or what happened. That ambulance is still called. That’s how Jen was framing the abortion argument; the risk is irrelevant and it’s better that people still have rights and freedom if the risk has certain consequences.

    If you want to avoid a home invasion rape. Did you look at the crime data for the neighbourhood when you bought your home? Do you leave your doors and windows unlocked, or open? Are you actually inviting a home invasion? Did you post of facebook that your husband has just departed on a week long business trip and you will be all alone, and could someone find your address from all those cutsie posts? Again, are you taking responsibility? If you’re alone, would I be safer to sleep at a friends, or could it be worse? If you are concerned about home invasion, have you taken steps to prevent it? Could you perhaps ask a friend to stay with you if it makes you feel better (and if, by inviting them over, would you make things worse, perhaps because they accidentally leave a door or window open/unlocked?).

    She was totally asking for it, huh? Fuck you. Go play in traffic.

    I’m fully in favour of abortion, but I think that it would be far less of an issue if people acted responsibly

    This is total bullshit. The countries with the lowest abortion rates don’t have “more responsible” populations. They have well-educated people with easy access to contraception. The state makes a major effort to ensure this. You seem totally in the dark about what things are like in the US despite living in California for a while.

  37. Lamont Cranston says

    I watched The Abortion Experience… uh, I mean The Atheist Experience on Sunday. I must admit that when not just A call, but the 1st call was yet another call about abortion, I made a trip to the kitchen due to lack of interest. When I came back I just heard all the same points from both sides that were heard before. It is not that the subject is not important, it’s just that its all been said so many times recently. Fortunately the whole show did not end up revolving around that subject.

    I am not sure how this contributes to whether, or for what reason, someone might believe in a God or gods. It seems that people tend to make some rational and not so rational arguments on either side of the issue that have nothing to do with belief in a God or gods. Each side in turn thinks the other’s position is irrational. Of course both sides think I am wrong because I am not declaring a “winner” in the debate.

    I think one of the more compelling arguments is the one where, after birth, a parent cannot be forced to put his/her own life at risk to potentially save the life of their own child.

    The one question that still bothers me is with regard to consenting to carrying a pregnancy to full term.

    In most situations in life one is required to make a concrete decision at some point and failure to do so is seen as having made a decision by default. No analogy is perfect, but buying a house, buying a car, signing a contract, joining the military, are some examples. In most cases failure to exercise a decision by a certain point results in a default decision to the contrary.

    As someone pointed out several weeks ago, terminating a pregnancy at 9 months is called giving birth. So is there a point between a woman recognizing she is pregnant and birth that the failure to exercise a decision to abort the pregnancy is a default decision to carry the pregnancy to term.

    Most medical doctors would not normally perform an abortion after 12 weeks (maybe 13) unless it was directly necessary to save the life of the mother (i.e., not just a in-determinant potential risk). So is 12 weeks a line in the sand where failure to select the abortion option is a default selection (i.e., consent) to carry to term?

    Please understand, I am not recommending anything, just trying to understand how the idea of “consent” works in practice. I believe people need to do what they think is right for reasons that they think are right.

    Lamont Cranston

  38. Monocle Smile says

    @The Shadow

    Most medical doctors would not normally perform an abortion after 12 weeks (maybe 13) unless it was directly necessary to save the life of the mother (i.e., not just a in-determinant potential risk). So is 12 weeks a line in the sand where failure to select the abortion option is a default selection (i.e., consent) to carry to term?

    Can you cite a source here? Because this seems absurd. Quite a few women don’t even know they’re pregnant at 12 weeks. The EEG brain wave (which is how we medically determine death, BTW) doesn’t fire up until 24-26 weeks. 98.5% of all abortions occur before 20 weeks. Viability of the fetus outside the womb seems like a pretty conclusive line to draw in the sand, as “abortions” after this period are merely forms of birth.
    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm

    I am not sure how this contributes to whether, or for what reason, someone might believe in a God or gods. It seems that people tend to make some rational and not so rational arguments on either side of the issue that have nothing to do with belief in a God or gods

    I’m completely baffled as to how you missed the fact that abortion is a scorching hot topic when it comes to religious belief. Basically all anti-choice arguments come down to “a fertilized egg is a person because baby Jesus says so.” This is often dishonestly disguised as something else, but it all stems from religion.
    Also, I tend to roll my eyes at this “both sides” talk.

    Each side in turn thinks the other’s position is irrational. Of course both sides think I am wrong because I am not declaring a “winner” in the debate.

    This comes across as self-aggrandizement. Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard.

  39. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #41:

    a line in the sand where failure to select the abortion option is a default selection

    What would you have them *do* in light of the (withdrawal of) consent? You can’t coerce someone with bureaucratic delays into ‘consenting’ to a default proposal. You merely leave them no practical application of revoking consent.

  40. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll

    Responsibility is not Tracies argument, it is the christians argument.

    Yes, that’s why I referred to Tracie’s as ‘counter-argument’.
     

    Her argument is simple, she has the same responsibility for sex as any action that has foreseeable risks.

    If that is Tracie’s argument then I have no issue with that. But I would reiterate my point that the home-invader scenario is a poor example to demonstrate that, because it is a situation where we would ascribe full responsibility to the home invader because their deliberate action is the direct cause of the event. That is not analogous to two people choosing to have consensual sex.

    However, I’ve re-listened to the call, and I don’t agree with you that that is Tracie’s argument. In fact, the caller specifically asks the question at 12:25
    “So basically what you’re saying is that you make the choice to have sex, and if you happen to get pregnant you’re not responsible for that pregnancy?”

    Tracie’s response is:
    “Right. I’m saying that when a natural event occurs… Women don’t control their physiology to that level. We don’t make the decision to become or not become pregnant. Plenty of women who want to become pregnant can’t. Plenty of women who don’t want to become pregnant, do. Women just don’t have that level of control over their physiology.”

    That is an argument that we are only responsible for outcomes over which we have full discretionary control. Which is not at all how responsibility is allocated in other areas.

  41. RationalismRules says

    @SkyCaptain

    You can’t coerce someone with bureaucratic delays into ‘consenting’ to a default proposal. You merely leave them no practical application of revoking consent.

    Are you by any chance thinking of Kavanaugh’s recent ruling on the young detainee who was being denied her legal right to an abortion by being refused permission to leave her incarceration facility in order to travel to the doctor to get her procedure?

  42. RationalismRules says

    @Morodo #24

    For me it’s her right to make an abortion but it does not change the fact she’s and the father are acting irresponsibly if they have sex without any attempt to use contraceptives.

    She and he might decide to have an abortion but that’s still not very responsible.

    What is the basis for this value judgement? If abortion is safe and accessible, and no more physically invasive than contraceptives, why would one choice be more irresponsible than the alternative?

    If I’m painting a window-frame and I don’t want paint on the glass I can either choose to put masking tape on the glass (contraception) or I can go ahead and paint the frame, and clean off any paint from the glass afterwards (abortion). Why is one approach inherently less responsible than the other?

  43. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @RationalismRules #45:

    thinking of Kavanaugh’s recent ruling on the young detainee […]?

    Not specifically. Fitting though.

  44. says

    Seems like virtually all the comments above are related to the appropriateness of abortion as birth control. The ” every sperm is sacred” notion comes from a Bible story where, in those days, if a man’s brother died, the widow would marry the living brother, and the first child they have together would be considered the heir of the deceased brother. In the story, the living brother used the withdrawal method to , basically, spite his dead brother and widow and was hit by lightning or something.

    That being said, I do consider abortion murder, but I accept the first trimester rule- before neural activity begins.

    A late term abortion does cause an extreme amount of suffering to a nearly developed fetus, and is just cruel; however I understand that pregnancy doesn’t always happen when we are ready for parental responsibilities, nor is intercourse always consentual. As it stands federally, 1st trimester abortions, before neural activity (the possibility of sentience/ conciousness) are what are permissible by Rowe VS Wade, and do not cause suffering to the fetus. A later term abortion, however, causes great pain as the fetus brain is injected with a deadly saline solution, and may cause deep emotional harm to the mother, as well.

    To those who consider abortion as minimally invasive as any other form of birth control- I hope you are referring to first trimester procedures.

    Just because a birth certificate hasn’t yet been issued, a late term fetus is comparable to a prematurely born infant- it has self-awareness and feels pain, like you or I. To any man or woman- don’t procrastinate with birth control, please.

  45. says

    I’m sorry to appear to spam post, but this was a 2 hour video. Abortion debates always come down to women’s rights. Taoism teaches that it is most efficient to adjust our actions to nature, as opposed of forcing nature to bend to our will. In my worthless opinion, couples that know of genetic defects should take the proper steps to avoid having children. Abortion should be thought of as a last resort, as it discredits the rights of unborn humans. Understandingly, as a male, I have no skin in the game, I have nothing to lose but financial freedom, not health and life; however, I don’t see how a birth certificate, or lack thereof, should be used to Trump the rights of late term fetuses. If one is sexually active and misses 2 menstral cycles, please have a pregnancy test and make a decision BEFORE that lump of tissue develops sentience.

    100 years ago, there was a great need for women’s liberation- they lacked equal rights to men which they very much deserved; However, at what point does a grown woman rights Trump an infants rights? What is legal is not always what is ethical, so I cannot accept that human rights only come with a birth certificate. I would just hope that missing 2 cycles while being sexually active would be enough to have an abortion before the fetus begins to exhibit neural activity- the source of conciousness. I will state the preamble to the us constitution- “all people are created( not born, but created pre-birth) equal” . Our constitution is based on inherent natural rights- the underpinnings of our notion of human rights. I am all for women’s rights- just as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of other groups or classes of people. A birth certificate is a legal construct- not a biological or moral construct .

  46. paxoll says

    @acheleg
    Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy, not the ending of a baby/fetus. That is a side effect, an extreme late term abortion is called birth. To force a woman to donate her body to another person no matter if that person is born yet or not is called slavery. When any persons body is being violated against their will, whatever force necessary to end that violation is reasonable, and should be legal, up to and including killing. If you don’t agree with these than you believe slavery is ok, and that self defense is wrong. But hey, christians believe we are all little god slaves and have no rights at all except those which god chooses to give us. If that is what you believe, I suggest you leave because no one here cares about your crazy irrational beliefs.

  47. says

    Acheleg, if you believe the fetus has rights that are on par with an infant, and not on par with a sperm cell, then you need to present an argument to that effect. It’s not as easy as you would think, so take your time, and good luck.

  48. RationalismRules says

    @louis cyfer #11

    so how much responsibility do you assign to the woman who gets raped at home? how about the woman who walked down a dark alley? if they didn’t make those choices, the rape wouldn’t have occured

    I already addressed that issue in the post you are responding to:

    If the outcome results directly from some person’s deliberate or negligent action, they are assigned the full proportion of the responsibility. This is the ‘home invasion’ scenario.

    We don’t assign responsibility to someone who is simply going about their lives, and whose involvement in an outcome is entirely the result of someone else’s choices/actions, especially when those choices/actions violate the social contract.

    If you are driving safely and in accordance with the law and someone rams into the back of your car, you are not held responsible for that accident, despite the fact that it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been there.

  49. says

    @RR:
    >When we undertake activities with a known possible outcome, we are considered to share responsibility if that outcome eventuates, whether or not we intend that outcome.

    Then, if I go to sleep at night and a home invader breaks in and kills me, I am partly responsible for my own death, because I know it’s a risk.

    > The responsibility is proportional to other factors – who else is involved, how directly the outcome can be attributed to either party, how foreseeable the risks are etc.

    By this argument, I could suggest that a couple who births a child with defects should be criminally charged with negligence or recklessness.

    In the case of a sex act, however, there are only the consenting people involved. I don’t hold anyone criminally negligent for consensual, legal, non violating acts, that occurred prior to any “victim” even existing. And certainly a 9-month-long sentence of what amounts to a continuous slave rape wouldn’t be a sentence I’d support for any *crime*, let alone for someone who has not violated any laws at all.

    >If the outcome results directly from some person’s deliberate or negligent action, they are assigned the full proportion of the responsibility. This is the ‘home invasion’ scenario. This is not analogous to two people having consensual sex.

    The point to this was to say that “knowledge of a risk does not mean responsibility for the risk event.” And that is true, as demonstrated by my home invasion scenario.

    Two people having sex is actually *less* problematic, because literally no laws are broken and there is no victim. No one is violated by this act. Each person is acting within the law. Neither person is doing harm to any other person. It’s 100% two people exercising legal rights and liberties and harming absolutely no one else that actually exists. The “victim” in this case—does not exist. And, more importantly, may never exist. You’re treating this like someone has been harmed. And no one has.

    >Pregnancy may be an unintended consequence, but it is a foreseeable risk.

    Which is irrelevant, per below.

    >If a skateboarder doing tricks next to a road loses control of their board, which shoots onto the road and causes a car accident, they are, at least partially, responsible for that accident, because the risk was foreseeable.

    Actually it’s not because it’s a foreseeable risk. It’s because it’s illegal to toss an obstruction into on-coming traffic—on purpose or on accident–whether you could foresee it or not. However, it is not illegal to skateboard, to lose control of the board, or to have your board shoot into the road. It’s only a crime if there is oncoming traffic. If there is no vehicle there at the time of the event, it’s not illegal. What would a cop arrest him for? Who would sue him civilly? For what damages?

    If the kid’s board goes into the road when there is *no* car around, he is not criminally liable for anything. A cop may issue him a warning to be more cautious—but he’s not committed anything that should involve the law, because there was *no victim*. And his “responsibility” is tied to the legality of the actions.

    >Also, the “it’s nature” argument doesn’t absolve you of responsibility. If J. Doe stays at home with a typhoon approaching, in defiance of all advice / warnings to evacuate, their subsequent death is a direct consequence of their choice. Would you not agree they are at least partially responsible for their own death in that scenario?

    You seem to be confusing prudence with responsibility. He is not obligated to leave. He has no “responsibility” to leave. But if he doesn’t leave, and he doesn’t die—let’s say he is trapped in his home by debris, I would not say he can’t take steps to protect himself against the harm he’s confronted with, because he thought he could safely ride out a storm, and it’s your personal assessment that he could have been more prudent.

    >Rather than arguing that you aren’t responsible, it seems to me that real point is that accepting responsibility (shared, obviously) for the pregnancy only requires that you also accept responsibility for the consequences, it does not dictate what those consequences should be.

    Still birth is a known consequence we are all aware of. It’s the result of some chains of events that begin with sexual reproduction. How much responsibility do the parents of a still born child share for the death of their infant?

    Once people are presented with a pregnancy, NOW we have another human life involved. NOW it becomes relevant. And now it’s a biological reality that it’s existence violates the body of another person without consent, which is not legal whether it’s done wittingly or unwittingly. It’s generally referred to as either enslavement, rape or assault–unless it’s perpetrated upon a pregnant woman, in which case it’s often labeled “what she deserves.”

  50. says

    @RR:

    >If that is Tracie’s argument then I have no issue with that. But I would reiterate my point that the home-invader scenario is a poor example to demonstrate that, because it is a situation where we would ascribe full responsibility to the home invader because their deliberate action is the direct cause of the event. That is not analogous to two people choosing to have consensual sex.

    It wasn’t a poor example. I was making the point that awareness of risk does not equal being responsible for the outcome–which is what the caller erroneously claimed. And by your very description above it’s a great example to show a situation where I am aware of a risk and nobody holds me at all responsible for an outcome. My point is that it’s not correct that merely knowing risk could occur = culpability. And you’re admitting that’s true when you say I’m 0% responsible in that example, even though I’m 100% aware of the risk.

    If you want to assign responsibility you need to explain what causes responsibility, because “awareness of risk” doesn’t cut it. I even said during the call–what if I don’t lock my door?

    What if I sleep naked with my windows wide open? Etc. At what point am I responsible? Never.

    So it’s not “awareness” of risk that makes a person responsible. And the caller, and you, have to figure out what actually does create responsibility because it’s not “awareness of a risk.”

  51. says

    >Morality is situational. It might be morally permissible for a starving person to steal food, but it is not moral for a person with plenty of food to go steal more. That situational consideration also applies when thinking about risks and responsibilities. A parent may not be morally obligated to run into a burning building for their child, but they do have a moral obligation to rescue their drowning child from the bathtub. The situations and risks are different. The risk of dying in a burning building are high. The risks of a deadly slip and fall rescuing a child from the bath are not.

    I actually agree with this. I would categorize the pregnancy as somewhat more dangerous than lifting an infant from a bathtub, but in general I have agreed that as risk to self goes up, obligation to other goes down.

    >The risks of giving blood in a hospital are very low, so yes, a father does have a moral obligation to give blood to save his child.

    That’s a judgement, but OK. I have a friend who ended up in an ER after a blood donation gone wrong (I’m a regular donor–who often has difficulty donating), and he would probably never donate blood again. But I do accept that people can judge. I also note that moral and legal are two different things, and while I support blood donations, I would never mandate them–because consent and bodily autonomy are the bedrock of “human.”

    >The father does not have an obligation to donate his heart, which will certainly kill him. The situations and risks determine the morality.

    Right. People judge based on perceptions of how much/little they assess the sacrifice. My concern in abortion discussions is that a lot of people tend to down play the risks of pregnancy and child birth to the point that it’s often erroneously viewed as some sort of minor inconvenience on a woman, and so why should her consent even matter? When the discussion moves into legality, it can end up putting people at risk of mild harm, permanent harm, and even death, because people don’t really understand the risks involved–and are therefore more likely to judge the woman harshly for a refusal to undertake this effort, and more likely to start thinking legal coercion to do so really is a small thing.

    >How low does the risk have to be before taking it on becomes a moral responsibility? I don’t know. Morality is hard, we have to talk about it and figure it out. But the hosts seemed to be arguing that parents never have a responsibility to take on risks to save their child. I don’t see how that position can be defended.

    I believe we did acknowledge that parents have obligations. When a child is born, and people agree to be legal guardians or caregivers, of course there is obligation–it’s legal, whether it’s moral or not. So, as an example, a woman here in Texas, recently her child was found wandering a highway at night, and she’s already had a situation where he was found wandering a parking lot on another night. He’s 2, in diapers, and the events happened in the middle of the night. Clearly that’s not meeting the legal responsibilities parents are compelled to meet.

    But a pregnant woman is not a parent, and can’t even consent to a pregnancy until a pregnancy occurs. She hasn’t adopted the rights and responsibilities that consenting parents (on a birth certificate or adoptions papers) have. She has no such responsibilities until she consents and a child is born.

    >I think abortion is morally permissible because I’m not convinced a fetus is a person.

    But the courts have determined that at some point that unborn is capable of autonomous existence, and at that point, they want to ban abortion–which is an odd argument. They seem to be saying that if I would die without using your body, I have no right to it. If I would survive without using your body, I can do so, even if you don’t consent, and the law should not allow you to defend yourself against me violating you in that way.

    >But parental responsibilities exist, and if a fetus is a person, then the people who conceived it are parents and they have those responsibilities.

    No, parents exist after a child is born. There is no “child” until it’s born. And you’re not parents until a successful birth. A pregnancy is not considered a child.

  52. Jeremy X says

    @bluestar Yes, I know these aren’t Hebrew names. Perhaps you missed the part of my post where I was talking about Eve’s name in Hebrew, Hawwa. I just didn’t bother with the actual Hebrew character set, because that’s a bit problematic posting on my phone.

    And, yes, these clearly are not literal stories. However, once a believer start trying to dismiss them as allegory, they are left with a host of other theological problems they have to deal with as well. For example, if your creation wasn’t a week, but millions of years, do you remember the sabbath millionth year to keep it holy?

    If death existed long before the sins of man, then wages of sin aren’t death. Death is just the status quo.

    If Adam wasn’t real, was Seth? If Seth wasn’t real, was Enosh? Where does the story start being real, and for what reason can you say that? Because the bible puts forth a long genealogy pointing back to Adam, and once you knock down that first domino, a long line of others follow suit.

  53. says

    @Steve

    >I think the word ‘consent’ is the issue here, and I’m thinking that Jen and Tracie are denying basic human biology here.

    Consent is expressing your agreement to do a thing. Either a person agrees to let someone else use their body or they don’t. Anyone who finds that confusing should probably not be sexually active until they’re sure they grasp why rape is wrong. Hint: Consent is huge.

    >I don’t know how much study has been performed on the question, but I read about one European study where couples were monitored. The peak time for pregnancies seemed to occur two days before ovulation, with a 25% chance of pregnancy, outside those times the chances seemed around 5%.

    OK—so small risk of pregnancy even in the most fertile times. 365 days each year, with cycles ranging from 21 to 40 days on average—so a dozen or less days out of 365, when a pregnancy can occur and 75% chance at the most fertile times, that pregnancy still won’t occur. Sounds pretty safe.

    For the record, here is the information I was referring to. 3,000 women trying to conceive, 104 sex acts on average—about 6 months of sex, 4 times a week—to successfully make a baby—for folks trying hard to make a baby:

    https://nypost.com/2010/08/16/average-couple-has-sex-104-times-before-getting-pregnant-uk-study-finds/

    At any rate—we seem to agree human beings are very poor breeders. Additionally, humans no longer have recognizable estrus and also have concealed ovulation—I think some people believe women have a magical way of knowing when they’re fertile—they don’t. And other things impact fertility as well—being heavy, being thin, age, hormonal variation, genetics, cysts or blockages. Some of these things a woman may be aware of, some not. And about 10% of couples can’t conceive, and we just don’t know why.

    >Although consent to sex isn’t consent to pregnancy, I’d suggest that – like ignorance of the law not being an excuse – ignorance of basic biology doesn’t excuse you from the consequences, and so if you consent to sex, UNLESS YOU USE BIRTH CONTROLS MEASURES, you are accepting that the sex act may result in pregnancy; and so, if you do not want to become pregnant, or you do not want you partner to become pregnant, you should always use birth control.

    Birth control is not the law. And it’s actually my knowledge of biology that leads me to suggest women aren’t in full control of their fertility, and that odds of pregnancy aren’t high to begin with. Your stats earlier testify to that. Slapping on a condom won’t end unwanted pregnancy. I support condom use, but I also know it’s not a magic cure. Most people with a penis I’ve asked admit they have had sex without a condom during their sex life, even when they weren’t trying to conceive. I find that for such a common event, people can get very judgmental toward someone else for doing *exactly what they’ve also done. If a person is engaging in behavior that is common for people to engage in, then they’re doing what a “reasonable person” would do. You mention law, and that’s the basis for most laws “what would a reasonable person do?” And reasonable people will admit, they sometimes have sex without precautions. That’s actually a common event.

    For folks who want to promote birth control use, feel free to get people more access and to make it safer. Currently a woman, if she wants access to the most reliable methods, she has to see a doctor, has to get a prescription, has to take the medication and associated risks that you only she can assess she’s willing to take. I don’t get to tell her how willing she needs to be to risk a lethal blood clot. In the U.S. we even have initiatives that want to strip requirements that all insurance packages to cover this—so depending on her situation, she may incur both medical and prescriptions costs to be as responsible as you’d like her to be.

    >Whether or not a behavior is reasonable for a person to engage in should be determined by a number of factors:

    First being—is it common for human beings to do it? If so, then we should expect it and plan for it.

    >Jen made a comparison about driving a car and having an accident, and Tracie about a home invasion rape, and I’ll get to those later. What I will say now is, what is with these women? I was under the impression, from women I know, that motherhood was a wonderful thing; they talk about ‘starting a family’; or for women approaching or now in their 30s they use phrases like ‘before it’s too late’. I thought this was supposed to be a wonderful thing for women, but we have Jen comparing pregnancy to a car accident and Tracie to a home invasion rape?

    For the record, people are individuals. And not all people born with a uterus want to have babies. And that isn’t a bad thing. Your prejudice is unwarranted.

    And you missed the point of the analogies.

    My home invasion story was to show the caller that “awareness of a risk does not make a person responsible if the risk occurs.” That was it.

    Jen’s car scenario was to demonstrate that awareness of a risk does not bar a person from seeking help to counteract the risk event should it occur.

    These were general scenarios aimed at addressing general claims that are erroneous, and trying to explain to the caller that these particular arguments aren’t good—that he should use other arguments that might actually be more reality based.

    >Consent to becoming pregnant isn’t consent to staying pregnant.

    Correct.

    >Not a very well thought out argument.

    It’s not an argument. It’s a fact. You can consent to a thing and later withdraw consent—especially when it comes to someone else using your body. This is why, if you start to have consensual sex with a person, and during that act, they say “I want to stop this, I don’t want to keep doing this,” that’s a requirement to stop. If you keep having sex, you’re now raping the person. Consent is about wanting to do a thing. And people, can/do stop wanting to do things they start.

    >We have a pregnant woman. She’s been happily pregnant for some time now. Three months in fact. Then she suddenly decides she wants an abortion. We give her an abortion. Another woman has been pregnant for 8 months, and she suddenly decides she wants an abortion. Do we give her the abortion? As far as the law stands in the US and Europe, we certainly do not.

    Canada has zero laws regulating abortion—how much of a problem is this there? The assumption that women who have planned and tried for a pregnancy will willy-nilly rush for abortions if we don’t have laws stopping them, and, further, that medically board certified doctors will do them on demand, without regard to situation, is simply not demonstrated to be a problem in locations where laws are not what regulates pregnancies.

    But we do allow abortions close to term. It’s called C-section or labor induction. Not only is it legal, but most doctors who deliver have done both. It interrupts the natural birth process, and is intended to result in a live infant, although it can sometimes fail. But women can even schedule them at a regular hospital.

    > So, while you could argue that consent to becoming pregnant isn’t consent to remaining pregnant, consent to being pregnant past a certain point is consent to remaining pregnant until childbirth.

    You don’t know what “consent” means. If you are forcing someone to do a thing, that’s not “consent.” Saying the law will compel a person to remain pregnant absolutely is NOT saying that the person is continuing “to consent.” In fact, forcing someone is the *opposite* of consent.

    >On to the car accident comparison. When you drive a car, you accept there is a certain element of risk involved. When I lived in California, the only requirement for my vehicle was a smog test once every two years, In the UK, my car has a yearly test of over 100 points, including brakes, suspension, tyres, windscreen and so on. When you drive your car, there’s a slight chance you could be involved in an accident.

    And as Jen was illustrating–if you have an accident, you can seek remedy for that. The law doesn’t stop you from calling an ambulance just because you didn’t go beyond road requirements for your car care.

    > It’s not nearly as likely as a woman becoming pregnant after having sex with a man. If you don’t want to become pregnant, use birth control.

    I actually agree that birth control is prudent. I promote using it for those who can. I’d love to see it passed out like candy, for free, to anyone who wants it. But it’s not risk free, and not all women can be on it. It’s not cost free for everyone. It isn’t something you can always be prescribed, or just go buy off the shelf. Some methods you can, but they aren’t as reliable. Is that going to be enough prudence to meet your approval?

    There are other risk factors involved that can actually get a doctor to refuse to prescribe it. And there are other barriers as well, mentioned above. But you also seem to be under the impression that anyone who becomes pregnant did not employ birth control. And that’s a false assumption. What if they use hormonal birth control but don’t also use a condom? What if they missed a pill? Are they still being irresponsible? What if they use a condom, but not any other form of control? Responsible/not responsible? What is your metric? Condoms every time? 90% of the time? Where do those irresponsible people start, and where do the responsible people end?

    > If you don’t want to be in a car accident, you can make sure your car has proper maintenance, good tyres, brakes, suspension, and other components and functions.

    And you can still be involved in an accident. But to Jen’s point: You can still call an ambulance and get help for injuries–whether you did these things or not.

    >You can choose to avoid the busiest roads, the busiest times of day. You can choose to own a car that has a great safety rating. You take responsibility for your actions and your choices.

    And Jen is still right: Whether you do all that or you don’t–you can still mitigate the effects of harm to yourself by accessing help after the accident happens. You aren’t really addressing what she was saying.

    But to your point: If I avoid pregnancy in order to not produce a child with birth defects, that’s up to me. But I would not say that women who do get pregnant are selfish monsters who don’t care if they produce babies with all sorts of problems.

    >On to Tracie and the home invasion rape. Tracie said (before I’d had enough) that she could have slept somewhere else. Dumb argument. Would sleeping somewhere else have lower the statistical possibility of being raped in a home invasion is a better question.

    Yes. In fact, sleeping in a hotel would lower the risk to 0%. Sleeping in my car also lowers it to 0%.

    >If you want to avoid a home invasion rape. Did you look at the crime data for the neighbourhood when you bought your home?

    Many people don’t have the luxury to choose their neighborhood. Now I’m responsible for being raped because I’m too poor to live in a more affluent location?

    > Do you leave your doors and windows unlocked, or open?

    This is called “victim blaming”. If I leave every door and window of my house open, and I get robbed—you know who is 100% responsible? The robber.

    If I go to a frat party and get blind drunk and gang raped—you know who is 100% responsible? The rapists.

    You really need to do some reading on victim blaming and sexual consent.

    And I see you’re just digging the hole deeper as you go on. I cut that part out, because it’s just more victim blaming.

    >I’m fully in favour of abortion, but I think that it would be far less of an issue if people acted responsibly. Use birth control. By all means, give a woman an abortion at 8 months if you like; but then she should pay all the costs associated with medical care for foetus that is almost certainly viable, and also all the costs involved in finding an adoptive family.

    That’s actually how it’s handled. Again—look up C-section and induction.

    >To me, the arguments Jen and Tracie put forward seemed to underscore an extreme sense of entitlement and made about as much sense as a Christian apologist arguing for Intelligent Design. The most disappointing show I’ve ever seen.

    It’s interesting you call other people entitled after basically saying that your personal level of prudence is the stick by which all others human beings should be judged.

    Is it enough to shut doors and windows? To lock them? To put bars on the windows? To get a guard dog? To keep a pistol by the bed? Do YOU do all these things or just some? Is that “responsible” enough? Is there really nothing more you could do that you’re not doing? Because someone who does more may come along and judge you as an irresponsible person.

    Where does it end? And why is YOUR personal level of prudence the metric for everyone else?

    If you think it should be required—then get with a legislator and force everyone to use condoms or go to prison. If you aren’t going to require it, then stop saying people need to do it or suffer legal consequences. We don’t impose legal punishments upon people acting completely within the law. We certainly don’t sentence them to a damaging, 9-month-long, physical violation and tell them their consent isn’t necessary. But then, you don’t seem to really grasp the importance of consent–how it’s actually foundational to being respected and regarded as a human being, rather than a chair.

    Again, I’m all in favor of birth control. But it’s actually the Christians who preach that if you aren’t living up to their standards of “personal responsibility” – you deserve punishment. It’s really not *me* who sounds like that.

  54. rectorsquid says

    I thought that this was one of Tracie’s best arguments for abortion rights: A woman should have no legal requirements to protect her embryo, fetus, etc., that is more restrictive than the legal requirement to protect her child after it is born. Can’t force her to give blood when the baby is a month old? Then you can’t force her to give blood when the baby is not yet born.

    So what about when the mother keeps her 1 month old child in a closet and doesn’t give it medical care, or even food, that it needs? Is she legally guilty of neglect or manslaughter if the baby dies? If so, then how come she is not held accountable at that same legal level before the baby is born?

    If the law, or even just morals and ethics, are going to be applied the same before and after birth then it will be the argument of the anti-choice people that other laws, etc., should also be applied the same before and after birth. It’s something to consider when making this argument. Of course, the viability of the fetus is not to be taken lightly in this discussion.

    The “I consent to drive the car but don’t consent to the car accident” argument was also a great one. I could find no easy way to argue against it.

  55. bluestar says

    @ Jeremy X – The Bible and other ancient writings contain information. This information is extremely beneficial, but not vital to humans even in the 21st century. Things will and are happening despite whether or not we are ‘on board’. These writings have all to do with the connection between the Cosmos, our planet, our brains (mind) and our bodies, and nothing else. Over the centuries there have been countless additions/alterations to these texts, most from powerful people seeking to solidify their position(s) in their respective cultures. An unfortunate result was Religion(s). The difficulty is now, the discernment of the messages…sifting through the years of religious and political garbage that has been mixed in with these messages. Theists and unfortunately, most atheists look at these writings as spawned from a primitive mind and culture and the literal sense of these writings is either Gods word, or plain absurd, depending on which side of the coin one is on. We have a great advantage today that people of just 100 years ago did not….science. The discoveries that have taken place within the last 50 years or so, the development of deep space exploration, devices like the Hubble telescope allow us to reach back and compare what we KNOW now, with what was written then, in some cases over 7,000 years ago. It is a remarkable and fascinating study. I am not a “believer (theist i suppose?) trying to dismiss the bible as allegory”. I will be the first to state…about 90% of the bible, Hindu texts, Egyptian, Greek, Asian, Norse, mythology and others are bullshit. However, within all of them is a thread…something that survived. This something having nothing to do with an external entity but that which is reality within our universe and within ourselves.

  56. Lady Lockhart says

    @El Indio My novel is not published. It’s the first of nine, and the first draft of the manuscript was finished in mid August. I am waiting on a few first time readers to provide feedback before I decide if it’s even worth trying to publish it somehow.
    – F.

  57. Honey Tone says

    recotorsquid #62

    > So what about when the mother keeps her 1 month old child in a closet and doesn’t give it medical care, or even food, that it needs? Is she legally guilty of neglect or manslaughter if the baby dies? If so, then how come she is not held accountable at that same legal level before the baby is born?

    I can’t tell if your questions are posed seriously or not, but on the off chance they are: depending on location, pregnant women can be prosecuted and convicted of fetal harm for certain actions, such as substance abuse during pregnancy. I’m not sure what other actions could be directed at a mother involving fetal care issues that don’t also affect her, such as denial of food, shelter, medical care? In the USA, I think most state laws that criminalize fetal abuse, injury or death specifically exempt actions incident to legal abortions.

    More importantly, I think a rather significant fact that can be and is used to distinguish pre-birth accountability from post-birth accountability is… the birth. That’s a process that is rarely easy and isn’t necessarily safe – getting a 6-to-9-pound (on average?) human out from inside of a person without killing or seriously hurting the host. This isn’t relatively simple amoebic binary fission, we’re growing a whole human inside a human, for 9 months and then hoping a space opens wide enough at the right time to separate the two fairly successfully.

    Yes, human reproduction is common as dirt because it generally works well enough in the overall population to ensure survival of the species. That’s why we can be glib about it in forums like this. But that doesn’t mean each case isn’t unique and doesn’t involve significant risks; it doesn’t mean each birth leaves us with a perfectly healthy baby and a perfectly healthy mother.

    If, when and how to give birth should be up to the woman and her doctor.

  58. Tuatara says

    The topic of abortion has come up on quite a few occasions when Tracie has been on lately. Her answers have been so spot on. Many of the things she has brought up (and Jen in this latest episode) have hit points that I never thought to use in my arguments with those who oppose it. Great arguments, wonderfully expressed. Thank you.

  59. Jeremy X says

    @bluestar You say that “something having nothing to do with an external entity,” survived and “90% of the bible, Hindu texts, Egyptian, Greek, Asian, Norse, mythology and others are bullshit.” Okay, so what? If these ideas have nothing to do with any supernatural beings, I don’t really see a point here. I’m perfectly fine with the idea our ancestors came up with a book with 10% good ideas and 90% garbage, that says to love your neighbors, stone witches, and beat your slaves (but no so much they can’t walk after two days). Modern religion likes to glom onto the love your neighbor bits. They survived, agreed. But, the idea an ancient civilization came up with a few ideas that weren’t completely reprehensible in no way demonstrates some extremely beneficial grand connection to the cosmos or profound insight into the human condition.

  60. says

    I tried posting something yesterday, but it seems it didn’t go through. I’m trying again with a few more thoughts added and probably tl;dr.

    For consent to be meaningful it has to be given voluntarily and with an understanding of the risk and benefits of both giving and not giving consent. Consent is active (non-consent is the resting state) and can be stopped/withdrawn at any time (though not retroactively). Consent is specific to the event/situation/etc and does not apply beyond to any other event/situation/etc. I think most people understand these concepts and have no trouble applying them to situations that haven’t been morally fraught. A good illustration for the concepts around consent is someone borrowing a car from another. If someone threatens another to get them to hand over the car keys, even if no actual force was involved, it isn’t meaningful consent. If the person agreeing to hand over the keys has been misled about the what the borrowed car is going to be used for or the competency of the borrowing driver, their consent is less meaningful. The owner of the car can at anytime after handing over the keys demand them back. Consenting to having someone borrow a car to drive around town for an evening, does not grant consent for borrowing it a 2nd evening, or for using it to drag race.

    Not accepting a person’s consent or non-consent is inherently immoral (though situationally it may be moral). The morality of giving consent, withholding consent or withdrawing consent is situational.

    These concepts should be easy to apply to sex, reproduction and abortion, but so often aren’t, as exemplified by the caller. The hang ups people have, usually from religions it seems, short circuits their reasoning. Consenting to sex may be meaningfully consenting to risking becoming pregnant (depending on persons understanding of the situation and willingness in giving consent), but that is not consent to remaining pregnant. Likewise specifically trying to become pregnant and consenting to being pregnant, still allows consent to be stopped.

    If someone held the belief that an embryo/fetus was a full person (a view I find absurd), then I do think some hypothetical circumstances where someone withdrew their consent to being pregnant and aborted the pregnancy would be immoral (and maybe even in some hypothetical cases illegal, but mayby not any real cases).

    The discussion about responsibility is a little confusing to me. I don’t know if that’s because people are using it to mean different things or what. In the context, I understand “being responsible” to best mean “being the cause of and accountable for”. If someone means something else, clarification would be appreciated. Any agent that causes an event may be accountable for it. Whether they are accountable and to what extent will depend upon a number of factors. Were their actions willing? Did they know, or should they have reasonable known the effects of their actions? etc. Someone having willing sex is the cause of a resulting pregnancy. The extent which they are then responsible for the pregnancy can be accessed on the specifics. To me, this holds as much weight as saying someone is responsible for contracting herpes or someone is responsible for growing a volunteer tomato plant in the compost (“Hey, are you the one responsible for the tomato plant in the compost?” “Yeah, I’m responsible.” “Cool. Maybe we’ll be able to make some nice salsa.”). To someone who thinks a fetus is a full person (again, a view I find absurd) it would hold more weight.

    With the above view, the analogy about a rapist home invader fails. The rapist is the causal agent, not the victim. So again, really confused about that discussion.

    Segueing into abortion analogies in general, pregnancy is such a unique situation that I find most analogies being used to talk about it fundamentally fail. Some can be good for specific concepts or points, but when used more broadly don’t stand up for me. Saying that, I do like the parent donating an organ analogy, but to make it closer would have to add the constraints that the parent would have to have had reasonable foreknowledge that the transplant would be required of them.

  61. Bluestar says

    @Jeremy X – you appear to be a literalist when it comes to these things. As such you are never going to see what I am seeing.

  62. Monocle Smile says

    @bluestar

    These writings have all to do with the connection between the Cosmos, our planet, our brains (mind) and our bodies, and nothing else

    If this isn’t meant to be taken literally, that is YOUR fault for failing at communication. Don’t blame Jeremy for your own shortcomings.
    This is bong-induced woo anyway. Our brains are not connected to the “cosmos” or the planet in any nontrivial sense, so far as we can tell. And it’s preposterous to claim that all religions have this “thread” in common. You’re seeing ghosts.

  63. Bluestar says

    So sayeth the ever angry monocle. I don’t blame jeremy, he can think any way he wants. But you are both wrong on the issue jeremy and I were discussing anyway. In my own opinion of course. I see the connections and evidence that science provides.

  64. says

    @33

    The morality of abortion is exclusively about bodily autonomy.

    A woman has the same rights as her unborn child. All humans have the same rights. We don’t grant additional rights to the unborn that we fenybto the born

    A born person has no right to use a person’s body absent that person’s consent. An unborn person similarly has no such right.

    A woman’s body is hers to deny to whomever she wants. Weather we’re talking about donating her blood to a born person or donating her whole body to sustain an unborn person does not matter.

    A baby requires the mother’s continued (revocable) consent to remain in her body. The child has no undeniable claim to the mother’s body by virtue of being her child.

  65. leontiev says

    Just curious: Does anybody ever actually read those million line walls of words that some people feel compelled to post here?

  66. Robink says

    Anyone want to talk about anything OTHER than yet another circular abortion debate?

    How about the guy who said he believed because of sin, spent ten minutes agreeing with the hosts that people doing bad things isn’t proof of anything and then finished with “I mean I believe because I know there’s sin in the world”… *facepalm*

    Fiora’s call was interesting. One way I’d consider approaching it, and I don’t know tactful this is, is to question whether they have any recollection of thoughts/feelings before birth and whether they expect to have any after death. If not the question of “is this all there is?” becomes kind of moot. If the window of consciousness/experience/feeling only applies to our lives then what does it matter if things only have meaning within that window? How could it possibly be different? Would it be *more* meaningful to never have existed at all?

    I’d also question this presupposition people always make that “objective” must be synonymous with “external”. It’s obvious where this inference comes from as this is something religions have been pounding into minds for millennia but there’s nothing definitional or inherent that says “worth” can’t be both objective and personal. Personally I don’t understand the fixation on these vague concepts at all but if you’re someone who is, at least consider whether the definitions you hold to have any basis.

  67. shamanatdawn says

    Listening to Fiora’s call, I felt such a connection to her. Being trans, and a nihilist myself (existential), I can completely relate. I am not a satanist, but rather a pagan. I think discovering my nihilism helped me realize no one or nothing can give me purpose, except myself. I have to take joy in the little things I do. Writing, my art, gaming, my kitties, etc. I have been lucky, however, that my family fully accepts me (well my father struggles with the pagan thing)- I was brought up in a devout catholic home, 13 years of catholic schools, but I was lucky that the brain washing didn’t stick. As the late great George Carlin said “I was raised Irish Catholic…until i reached the age of reason.”

    Anyway, I wanted to say I hope (not that she likely comes here) that Fiora finds what she is looking for, and gives herself meaning. Because, in the end, we can only rely on ourselves.

  68. Monocle Smile says

    @bluestar

    I see the connections and evidence that science provides.

    Were this true, you would have presented this evidence instead of merely insisting like a conspiracy theorist that your pet idea is real.

  69. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Theodore (1:14:20, 1:16:15):

    I can’t recall any past lives, and anything that is born after me won’t recall my life. […] the experiences of like say for instance a baby lamb being born, and that first person experience will be eventually something that will be experienced by a future organism that happens to be the primary first person experience… so imagine being torn to shreds eventually, having your head ripped off by a praying mantis who you’re trying to mate with

    I fear Theodore was suggesting a solipsism of serial avatars where *the* first person experience of the cosmos switches its perspective from host to host, with its memory/personality discarded as part of the old body.

  70. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Hm, scratch that. He said his “view gives very good reason for the golden rule”, so any alternate perspectives would have to co-exist within overlapping lifetimes.

  71. Raz says

    Ok, obviously, I find christian fanatics to be intolerable planks. But somehow, I find muslims to be even more annoying with their zeal. It could be the language barrier that prevents them from being able to understand the solid reasoning of the hosts rebuttals, and yet I suspect that were there no language barrier at all, they’d still reject- out of hand- said reasoning in favour of their own fantasies, the very same way that christians often do.

    And yet, I find their blind zeal to be more annoying than that of the christians. Anyone else get that?

  72. Dawid Chemloul says

    I am honestly tired of the first caller (and he is repeated caller).
    He does not seem to understand what he is said to. does not get analogy.

    I admire you Tracy that you were patient enough to try to bring the same points to this guy again and again when he still does not seem to be able to listen or understand. My suggestion to him would be to ignore changing law, but rather focus on biological science and make research where he can make Man carry pregnancy instead of women.

  73. Clint says

    @heicart

    > I support blood donations, I would never mandate them–because consent and bodily autonomy are the bedrock of “human.”

    I agree on the legal point. I find the moral discussion more important as secular humanists than the legal one. Not everything that is immoral should be illegal. My question to you is would you consider it immoral for a person to refuse to give blood to their dying child, especially if that person has no reasons to expect complications? I have no problem judging that person as immoral.

    > But a pregnant woman is not a parent

    I don’t understand why you make this argument, it seems to undercut the rest of your argument. As I understand it, your primary argument is this: “A fetus has the same (no more) rights as a child, and a pregnant person has the same (no fewer) rights as a parent. If we don’t recognize the right of a child to put a parent at great bodily risk without consent, then we should not recognize the right of a fetus to put a pregnant person at great bodily risk without consent.” Given this, your argument depends on an equivocation of parents and pregnant people. But when someone who disagrees with you uses the word “parent” to describe a pregnant person you shift and claim that pregnant people don’t have the same responsibilities as parents. Which is it?

    > can’t even consent to a pregnancy until a pregnancy occurs.

    I don’t follow. Why is this? It seems to me that consent can only be given before something takes place. When I consent to sell something I own, I consent before I give over the item and take the money, I don’t wait until after the deal is done to consent to it. When I consent to sex, I consent before sex begins. Continuing consent is consenting to having more sex beyond this instant in time. Consent is always given for things that have not yet happened.

  74. ironchops says

    Morality and abortion is a boring subject to us atheist. Morality is mostly subjective however any 2 people, group of people or entire society can collectively decide on what is moral.
    The video below shows a woman hitting herself in the stomach to abort her unwanted pregnancy. I doubt that the risk for her to carry the baby to full term is greater than the risk of injury caused by hitting herself with a hammer. I am sure she has a good reason.
    Question, Moral or not??

    https://www.nationalenquirer.com/videos/pregnant-woman-hammer-abortion-video/

  75. says

    On the issue of abortion it’s the same old same old. The issue being that people with certain beliefs not only want to live by them but also make other people live by their beliefs.

    SO for you religious people, one more time:

    I can’t do that because my religious beliefs don’t allow it – OK

    You can’t do that because my religious beliefs don’t allow it – NOT OK.

    Learn the difference between those two statements.

  76. Lamont Cranston says

    Monocle Smile says with regard to the 12 week point for abortions:

    Can you cite a source here? Because this seems absurd. Quite a few women don’t even know they’re pregnant at 12 weeks. The EEG brain wave (which is how we medically determine death, BTW) doesn’t fire up until 24-26 weeks. 98.5% of all abortions occur before 20 weeks. Viability of the fetus outside the womb seems like a pretty conclusive line to draw in the sand, as “abortions” after this period are merely forms of birth.
    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm

    Yes there is definitely a range of somewhere between 12 and 24 weeks for almost all abortions that result in the termination of the fetus. Indeed 12 weeks may be absurd, I am not advocating that as a limit. I am not stuck on any particular number, but there do seem to be various justifications for a number. I think the “viability” limit you suggest has merit. Also, I agree that some women do not realize they are pregnant at 12 weeks. While I find it rather extraordinary, there are women who carry pregnancies to full term and their first awareness is when they go into labor.

    I am just exploring the practical side of the “consent” model. I am just trying to determine if “consent” might have a default time limit after which consent would be (should be?) assumed in the absence of having made a decision to the contrary. Are you saying you think 24-26 (there is a weird 2 week issue with regard to how gestation is counted), is potentially a default limit after which abortion with termination of the fetus would be potentially changed to some form of induced birth or just carrying the pregnancy to term in the absence of extenuating circumstances? What would happen with the woman who doesn’t even know she is pregnant at 24 weeks? Or is her only option then induced labor if she choses to remove consent (assuming she can do so)?

    Monocle Smile says

    I’m completely baffled as to how you missed the fact that abortion is a scorching hot topic when it comes to religious belief.

    Oh I have not missed that at all. I just don’t see how a person’s belief about abortion informs their belief about God or a god. It’s the other way around (belief about God/gods leads to their belief about abortion). With regard to theism, I would rather hear discussions of what people believe about God/gods and why rather than dealing with the symptoms of their belief (abortion, non-evolution, young earth, creationism, etc.). That’s like dealing with the symptoms of a disease (which admittedly is done) rather than dealing with the cause of a disease (which is preferable).

    Lamont Cranston

  77. Lamont Cranston says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says:

    @Lamont Cranston #41:

    a line in the sand where failure to select the abortion option is a default selection

    What would you have them *do* in light of the (withdrawal of) consent? You can’t coerce someone with bureaucratic delays into ‘consenting’ to a default proposal. You merely leave them no practical application of revoking consent.

    I would not “have them “do”” anything. I am not advocating anything. I am just asking questions. Clearly there is no “consent” form anywhere that is signed. I am just asking how would “consent” actually work in practice. If no one knows what constitutes “consent” or the limitations on “consent” (if there are any) then the idea of depending on consent has some practical issues.

    How is consent given? How is consent withdrawn? Are there time limits with regard to consent? Are there limits on the types of pregnancy termination relative to when consent is withdrawn (12 weeks, 24 weeks, 36 weeks, other)?

    Again, to be perfectly clear, I am not advocating anything. The “consent”/”withdrawal of consent” idea is not mine. I am just trying to see if this leads to a rational practical application or not.

    Lamont Cranston

  78. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #85:

    @CA7746 #46:

    What would you have them *do* in light of the (withdrawal of) consent? You can’t coerce someone with bureaucratic delays into ‘consenting’ to a default proposal. You merely leave them no practical application of revoking consent.

     
    I would not “have them “do”” anything. I am not advocating anything.

    That was a rhetorical question.
     

    how would “consent” actually work in practice.

    Consent is a personal disposition, subject to voluntary change. Communicating that status is “giving” or “withdrawing”. Attempting to honor others’ consent is a fundamental part of ethical behavior. If no means are available to honor (changes in) that status, whatever follows, follows, potentially done against their will. Coersion precludes consent.
     
    In this case, the application of revoking consent is seeking medical intervention. Changing one’s mind after digesting a pill would be moot (nothing could be done). Available interventions vary as time passes, due to ineffectiveness, legal restrictions, logistics, location, cost, etc. On a delivery due date, there is no alternative that could respect contrary wishes of the patient.
     
    Considerable political effort has been put into coercing women to give birth against their will, through misinformation, emotional abuse, and denial of care. Positing a “timed default” would result in lying about patients who were stalled into missing the window – literally suggesting “they asked for it”.

  79. Theisntist says

    I think the primary relevance of the abortion topic is how religion causes irrational thinking. That being said it has been address plenty of late. I’m glad that I now actually understand the body autonomy issue much better, if anyone still doesn’t get it they probably never will.

    A topic that hasn’t been fully explored is the right to die issue. Like abortion, our religious indoctrination inhibits an honest look at the ethics of allowing people to choose the time and manner of their own death, and it goes back to body autonomy. But that is perhaps a discussion for another day…

  80. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #84:

    With regard to theism, I would rather hear discussions of what people believe about God/gods and why rather than dealing with the symptoms of their belief (abortion, non-evolution, young earth, creationism, etc.).

    The confidently ignorant absurd things adherents conditioned to say about theology are also a symptom, just as with biology, geology, etc. Any propaganda that gets successfully dismantled erodes the group’s influence over them.

  81. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Twitter Thread: ThatMandyNicole – Reflecting on abortion activism

    Something that most ex-evangelicals go through is a stunning realization that the vast majority of what you have been told by evangelical leaders regarding abortion and Planned Parenthood in general is just simply not true.
    […]
    Discovering you don’t subscribe to “life begins at conception” is like spending most your life fighting to free victims from violence and then waking up one day to discover that you’ve been waging war against a mannequin factory. They aren’t actually people, so what now?
     
    What do you do when you have once screamed “murderer” from a sidewalk to a woman leaving an abortion clinic, but now have to hold your friend’s hand as she chooses between her own life and her future with her husband and two living children, and the fetus she currently carries?
     
    How do you walk with her into a Planned Parenthood to do something that will allow her to continue living, raising her kids, being there for her husband, and see people screaming the same obscenities at her that you once would have?
    […]
    If you walk up to your average anti-abortion protester, and ask them simple questions about what Planned Parenthood provides and does, they will not know the correct answers. They have never been told the correct answers. To be told would undermine the mission.
     
    If you approach your average evangelical pastor who’s just finished ranting about late-term abortion from the pulpit to ask him simple questions about what late-term abortion actually entails and where it is legal, he won’t be able to tell you the truth. He doesn’t know.
     
    So the Exvangelical struggle when confronting this issue post-Christianity is not just about separating fact from fiction but reconciling the reality that you lived in a fictional world on this topic for most of your life.
     
    Not to mention that many of your friends and family might still live in that fiction, and probably have no idea that they believe lies. They’ll see your support of Planned Parenthood as support of a baby-killing organization. They’ll approach you with the same venom now.

     
    Someone replied:

    I think the thing that rocked my world most as an Exvangelical was learning that all but the most conservative Jews define life as beginning with breath, not at conception. It is only potential life. An abortion in Judaism is *required* if the mother’s life is at risk.

  82. RationalismRules says

    @Heicart
    The responsibility I’m talking about is the one that we are taught as children: “take responsibility for your own actions”. I’m not sure what the correct term is, so I’m just going to call it ‘personal responsibility’.

    Whatever it’s called, it is not the same as legal responsibility. The skateboarder is responsible for the accident he caused, whether or not his actions were illegal. Legal responsibility arises from the concept of personal responsibility, not the other way around.

    Not only does personal responsibility not require a crime, it doesn’t even require a negative outcome – you can equally be responsible for a positive outcome. So, no, I’m not “treating this like someone has been harmed”, because harm is an entirely separate issue.

    The other thing that is a completely separate issue is consequences. This has been my argument all along, that the fact of responsibility does not dictate what the consequences should be.
    Of course I agree that someone being responsible for a car accident does not mean that they cannot seek medical help, or get their car repaired.
    Of course I agree that a couple being responsible for conception does not mean that the woman has to carry the pregnancy through to birth.
     

    If you want to assign responsibility you need to explain what causes responsibility, because “awareness of risk” doesn’t cut it.

    After giving it some thought, here’s my take on it:

    The main factor in responsibility is causality. If your actions cause something to happen, you are prima facie responsible for that outcome. But wait, there are some other factors to consider …
     
    One modifier is agency. If your action was non-volitional (ie. either accidental or forced) you are less likely to be held responsible.
    If you trip and bump into something, a breakage that results would tend to be considered accidental, rather than your responsibility. However, if the trip resulted from you ‘goofing off’, then we’d be back to responsibility, because your volitional action caused the accident which caused the ultimate outcome.
    If your action was forced, eg. your family is held hostage to force you to rob a bank, then you are also less likely to be assigned responsibility for that action.
     
    Home invasion (also the ‘dark alley’ scenario) fails on both the above points.
    First, the homeowner does not cause the invasion. Merely being in proximity to an event does not make you a cause of that event, even if the event involves you.
    Second, the homeowner has no agency in the matter – the invasion is imposed on them by another agent.

    The stillbirth and birth defects examples also fail on the above counts. The stillbirth of a baby is not generally caused by any volitional action by the parents. Of the common causes I found, the only one that was tied to a volitional action was alcohol / drug use. If a baby is stillborn due to alcohol/drug use by the parents, I would say they carry some responsibility. Wouldn’t you?
     
    Another modifier is foreseeability. (This is where awareness of risk comes in.) I think you would likely be assigned more responsibility for an outcome that you could reasonably foresee than for one that was totally unexpected. (Note I’m saying ‘more responsible’, it’s not an all or nothing proposition.)
    I think this is borne out by how we generally attribute a higher level of responsibility to adults than to children. I would argue it’s because adults’ experience gives us a clearer understanding of possible outcomes.
     
    So that’s my take on it. I’m not proposing the above are some sort of immutable laws, or revealed truth – it’s just how I make sense of the issue. I think it’s a pretty good starting point.

    Even with those principles to work from, it remains a complex and nuanced issue for me. I’m still pondering why I see a difference in responsibility between J. Doe, who imprudently remained in the path of a hurricane and died, vs Dark Alley Victim, who imprudently walked down a dark alley known to be a hangout spot for muggers and rapists, and got assaulted. I do consider J Doe to have some level of responsibility for his own death, but I do not consider Dark Alley Victim to have any responsibility for his mugging, despite the fact that they both knew of the risks and chose to ignore them.
    I think the difference is rooted in self-determination – Dark Alley Victim’s self-determination was violated by another agent, whereas J Doe’s was not. I’m still pondering this one.
     
    You’ve given me a few “using your argument, I could argue this…”, so let me try one on you. Using your argument – that you are not responsible for the conception that resulted from the sex you had, because you don’t have that level of control over your body – I could argue that if I push someone into a tiger cage I’m not responsible for their death because I don’t have control over the tiger. Does that make any sense to you?

  83. bluestar says

    @ Theisntist #87 – It is ironic that this post appears today. 4 years ago this day cancer took the life of my beautiful 25 year old daughter. She was asymptomatic until the day of her Dx when a vague abdominal pain revealed she had an endometrial tumor that had metastasized throughout her body. Specialist from MSK and other cancer centers in the U.S. got involved, yet nothing was effective. 120 days from that day she died in my arms. She was just beginning her adult life…solid career, In love and engaged to her best friend, looking for her own house. Fucking tragic. During this time a 29 yr old woman named Brittany Maynard was in the news. She had metastatic brain cancer and had relocated to Washington state where she would be allowed to control her own departure and she did. My daughter and I spoke of this when we realized that the end of her young life was approaching. It was an extremely painful conversation for me, yet my daughter was stoic and most certainly understood a terminal patient’s perspective. She said she wished that this option was available to her. She was not sure if she would use it, but would take great comfort in it’s availability. The last month she was in home Hospice care. And the humorously sad part of this argument is that most people don’t realize, few with terminal illnesses die “naturally”. If they are in Hospice, morphine is administered slowly, gradually increasing. At a time when the supervising MD decides based on input from Hospice nurses, they order the morphine pump to be turned to a lethal level. I know this. My daughters nurse stepped out of my house to confer with the MD on her phone. She came back in in tears (she was only several years older than my daughter) and hugged my wife and I and made an adjustment to the pump. 10 hrs later, it was over. I thought I would hear this argument debated on AXP and other atheist channels I view, but it has never come up. I strongly believe there is no valid argument against it. I have heard some people claim it would be a “slippery slope” and would lead to people putting down their aging parents and the like. 7 out of 10 Americans believe this option should be available. Why isn’t it? I have joined advocacy groups and I am vocal with my local reps about it. There has been a Right to Die bill in the NJ legislature for 6 years, moving nowhere. Much information can be found here: https://www.deathwithdignity.org/. We need support on an activist level. The problem is, unless one has experience either personally or with someone they love, it’s a back-burner issue.

  84. Theisntist says

    Thank you RR for sharing your personal story. As the husband of a woman with stage 2 cancer, I have had to think about this subject from a personal perspective as well. I’ve held off on calling the show since I find atheist callers kinda boring, but next time Tracie hosts and I’m free I just might call in to address this topic.

  85. drtj says

    Rolando keeps using the word “responsible”. What does the word “responsible” mean in a car accident? It means you have to have insurance to pay for it or be wealthy enough that you can pay for any damages or harm that you do. So if a woman has health insurance that pays for the abortion or is able to afford the abortion without insurance, isn’t she being responsible for the abortion? Seems that she would be and I think this would have ended the discussion. That being said, I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative, so I agree with a woman being able to control her own body but I’m against the government paying for abortions.

  86. paxoll says

    @RR Why would anyone push another into a tiger cage? Why not stick to the same analogy. A woman getting pregnant during voluntary sex is as much her choice as getting raped in a dark alley. Her responsibility for choosing to have sex is the same as her responsibility for choosing to walk down the dark alley. What you are doing is saying that there is a level of foreknowledge and risk that on one side you become “responsible” for the outcome. The biggest problem is the implication that the term ‘responsible’ implies a moral judgement and negative social or legal consequences related to the issue. You are responsible for an accident, or rescuing someone from an accident, but you don’t say someone is responsible for making you happy, or winning the lottery. So where is this imaginary “responsibility” line where walking down a dark alley is not responsible for getting raped, but having sex is responsible for getting pregnant? I do not see a difference. I see a difference when there is an intent to get pregnant, which just pushes the argument down to what level of responsibility requires societal or legal consequences beyond the causal effects. Because regardless if you consider a woman “responsible” for getting pregnant, she is pregnant and it is her responsibility to decide what to do about it.

  87. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @drtj #93:

    I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative, so I agree with a woman being able to control her own body but I’m against the government paying for abortions.

    Do you not recognize the knock-on economic effects on society from people being unable to afford to control their own bodies? People in poverty don’t live in isolation.

  88. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll

    Why would anyone push another into a tiger cage? Why not stick to the same analogy.

    Why would anyone choose to walk down a dark alley known to be a popular hangout for muggers and rapists?
    Instead of simply waving away my analogy because you don’t like it, why don’t you consider the point it raises? If you pushed someone into a tiger cage, would you consider yourself responsible for their death? Even though the tiger actually does the killing? Even though it wasn’t a certainty that the tiger would kill them? Give me an honest answer to that question and let’s see where it leads.
     

    A woman getting pregnant during voluntary sex is as much her choice as getting raped in a dark alley.

    Correct, but we’re exploring responsibility, not choice. The question is not ‘did she choose the outcome?’, it’s ‘is she responsible for the outcome?’.
     

    Her responsibility for choosing to have sex is the same as her responsibility for choosing to walk down the dark alley.

    Correct, and in both cases she is equally responsible for the choice. That doesn’t mean she is equally responsible for the outcome. In the dark alley, someone else is responsible for the attack. In the conception, there is no other agent involved.
     

    What you are doing is saying that there is a level of foreknowledge and risk that on one side you become “responsible” for the outcome.

    No, I’m not saying that. There is a level of foreknowledge and risk in both scenarios. The difference between the scenarios is causality. Walking down an alley does not cause someone to attack you. Sex does cause conception.
     

    The biggest problem is the implication that the term ‘responsible’ implies a moral judgement and negative social or legal consequences related to the issue.

    a. Not to me it doesn’t. As I already noted, you can equally be responsible for a good outcome. The dictionary meaning that helped my to clarify my thoughts for the previous post was “Being the primary cause of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it”.
    b. It’s irrelevant. How you feel about the term doesn’t change the fact that we have a concept of responsibility.
    c. What consequences apply is a separate issue. (how many times….?)
     

    You are responsible for an accident, or rescuing someone from an accident, but you don’t say someone is responsible for making you happy, or winning the lottery.

    Unless you consider ‘rescuing someone from an accident’ to be a negative outcome, you just refuted your own argument.

    Re: ‘happiness’ – I agree that the word is unusual in that context, but the concept is not – we often credit someone else for our happiness. In fact, here’s an example where the word might arise: “You seem really happy today!” “Yeah, my sister is responsible – she gave me a puppy”.

    I had to think hard to see the flaw in the ‘lottery’ example. It’s causality. Your purchase of a lottery ticket does not cause those particular numbers to come up. You are responsible for the fact that you get to take the money home, but those numbers would have come up whether or not you bought a ticket, so you can’t be considered responsible for the win.
     

    So where is this imaginary “responsibility” line where walking down a dark alley is not responsible for getting raped, but having sex is responsible for getting pregnant?

    I already addressed this in the previous post. There is a clear difference. The rape is caused by the rapist, not by the person being in that place. That fact alone removes responsibility.
    Sex is the cause of conception. There is no other agent involved.
     

    I do not see a difference. I see a difference when there is an intent to get pregnant

    So when you push that unfortunate bystander into the tiger cage, you are only responsible for their death if you intend them to die?
     

    Because regardless if you consider a woman “responsible” for getting pregnant, she is pregnant and it is her responsibility to decide what to do about it.

    Clearly. But what about the father’s responsibility? Assuming that neither parent wants the child and the woman chooses to have an abortion, do you consider the father has any responsibility to share the cost of the abortion, or to help/support the woman in that process?
     
    Bottom line, I think you’re applying a different standard to pregnancy than you do in other areas, and I don’t think there’s any rational justification for that. That’s the point of the tiger analogy. I’m keen to hear whether or not you accept responsibility in that scenario.

  89. RationalismRules says

    @Theisntist #92
    Thanks for the thanks, but it was bluestar, not me. 🙂

    I too am interested in the topic, but also from the point of view of old age. A friend’s mother grew very tired of life in her 90s. She had no terminal illness, so the only way she could choose her own end was to starve herself (which her physician could have legally overridden if he so chose). She had no option to choose a ‘good death’.
     
    (I like your name. It took me a while to figure it out, but I got there eventually.)

  90. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Just curious: Does anybody ever actually read those million line walls of words that some people feel compelled to post here?

    I usually do in threads that I’m participating in.

  91. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I think the thing that rocked my world most as an Exvangelical was learning that all but the most conservative Jews define life as beginning with breath, not at conception. It is only potential life. An abortion in Judaism is *required* if the mother’s life is at risk.

    Remember that the only actual direct reference to abortion in the Bible is in the Jewish old testament, book of Numbers, ordeal of the bitter water, and that it is instructions on when abortion may be done, plus instructions on how to do it. The anti abortion movement on Christianity has its origins in Catholic dogma, and somehow circa 1970 the Catholics and Republicans tricked the Protestants into believing that the Bible says abortion is bad. Before that, most Protestants would say that abortion is a Catholic issue.

  92. paxoll says

    @RR wow…sigh

    Instead of simply waving away my analogy because you don’t like it, why don’t you consider the point it raises? If you pushed someone into a tiger cage, would you consider yourself responsible for their death? Even though the tiger actually does the killing? Even though it wasn’t a certainty that the tiger would kill them? Give me an honest answer to that question and let’s see where it leads.

    First the analogy of walking down the alley and being raped was your analogy, so why did you switch analogies? The point of the question was to point out that pushing someone into a tiger cage is completely different in intention. What if the person who pushed someone in was a small child who caused someone to lose their balance and fall in, is the child “responsible”?

    we’re exploring responsibility, not choice. The question is not ‘did she choose the outcome?’, it’s ‘is she responsible for the outcome?’

    she is equally responsible for the choice. That doesn’t mean she is equally responsible for the outcome. In the dark alley, someone else is responsible for the attack. In the conception, there is no other agent involved.

    So she is responsible for the choice of both actions, and she has no choice in either outcomes, but she is responsible for one outcome but not the other? That makes absolutely no sense. I’m not the one with different “standards”.

    Sex does cause conception.

    hmmm…no it doesn’t. Sex leads to the condition where conception can occur, just like driving leads to the condition where a car accident can occur, or putting yourself in a dark alley leads to the condition where a rape can occur.

    But what about the father’s responsibility?

    so apparently you also see responsibility as proportional to how many people the “cause” can be pinned on. A person is driving a car, and someone T-bone’s them vs. the same person is driving and there is a mechanical failure and they crash into a tree. In your reasoning, even though the person has the same amount of control over the outcome, since there is no one else to pin the responsibility on it falls onto the driver.

    Unless you consider ‘rescuing someone from an accident’ to be a negative outcome, you just refuted your own argument.

    Hmm… thats not what I said, I said

    moral judgement and negative social or legal consequences related to the issue

    Not helping someone in an accident would lead to moral judgement with negative social consequences would it not?

    “Yeah, my sister is responsible – she gave me a puppy”.

    hmm…yea that is not how people use the term. It maybe implied but that is not how we use the term, and is one of the reasons why your “causality” approach to defining responsibility is not reasonable, and why that dictionary term uses the word “blame” to differentiate between good and bad responsibility. If we are talking about becoming pregnant we blame the woman, we don’t credit the woman do we? Using a simple causality perspective to responsibility makes someone responsible for everything that happens to them, because if they didn’t exist than it wouldn’t have happened, and that is not how we use the term. We DON’T consider a child accidentally knocking someone into a tiger cage “responsible” even if they are the ’cause’.

    Even our laws express the difference in responsibility, a toddler who knocks someone into a tiger cage is not held responsible, while an adult would be, while an accident would be one level of responsibility while an intent to kill would be another. I’m not saying the law is the standard to understand responsibility, I’m saying that we have standards that are not being consistently applied by you or the people that use it as an argument against abortion.

  93. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll
    I’ll respond to all your points shortly, but in the meantime I want to point out that I’ve asked you a couple of direct non-rhetorical questions which you’ve danced all around instead of answering.

    – If you pushed someone into a tiger cage, would you consider yourself responsible for their death? Even though the tiger actually does the killing? Even though it wasn’t a certainty that the tiger would kill them?

    – Assuming that neither parent wants the child and the woman chooses to have an abortion, do you consider the father has any responsibility to share the cost of the abortion, or to help/support the woman in that process?

    Neither of these should be unanswerable. If you don’t like what the answers show, then make an argument about why, rather than just ignoring / avoiding the question.

  94. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll
    So I’m working on my response, but I’ve reached a point where I’m not sure whether we’re talking about the same thing, because what I’m arguing is the presence or absence of responsibility, not the degree, whereas you are making a bunch of arguments about degree. You do understand that ‘less responsible’ is different from ‘not responsible’, don’t you? I’m unsure at this point.

    So what I want to clear up, in order to respond properly, is exactly where we both stand on the two main scenarios:
    – Do you consider the dark alley victim to have no responsibility, or some responsibility?
    I consider them to have no responsibility in that situation, because I ascribe all responsibility to the attacker.
    – Do you consider the couple who conceive through consensual sex to have no responsibility, or some responsibility?
    I consider them to have some responsibility.
     
    I’ll wait for your response before I continue. Cheers.

  95. paxoll says

    @RR
    I haven’t been presenting any of my positions, only pointing out why Tracie’s analogy was valid and your objections were wrong.

    If you pushed someone into a tiger cage, would you consider yourself responsible for their death? Even though the tiger actually does the killing? Even though it wasn’t a certainty that the tiger would kill them?

    I didn’t bother answering this question because it is very irrelevant. I would feel some responsibility if I pushed them intentionally. I asked YOU the question “Why would anyone push another into a tiger cage?” to point out how ridiculous this question is to the original topic because if someone intentionally pushed someone into a cage with a tiger than there is such a surety of that person being killed, and there is no other reason to do so, that the intent would appear to be to kill the person. Imagine if the person pushed the person out of the way of a rampaging elephant and they fell into the tiger cage, would I consider the person “responsible”? No. To make this remotely similar to pregnancy you could say, is the woman who has 3 invitro fetuses placed into her uterus by a doctor “responsible’ even if the she didn’t control whether they would successfully implant and become a pregnancy. Pretty fucken big difference.

    Assuming that neither parent wants the child and the woman chooses to have an abortion, do you consider the father has any responsibility to share the cost of the abortion, or to help/support the woman in that process?

    In my point of view the man would have the same amount of responsibility as he had choice in the decision. He wants and abortion and she wants to keep the child, he gives up his rights as a father and it is the responsibility of the woman to provide. If they both want an abortion, than he gets to split the expense. If she wants an abortion and he doesn’t than its her responsibility to cover it. Its her body she gets to do whatever she wants with her body. I guess it is even possible for her to not want the child, but carry the pregnancy and give it to him to adopt and I would say it is his responsibility to pay all the expenses for that pregnancy. Than again I don’t think there is any specific “responsibility” inherent in the pregnancy itself, since neither were having sex for that purpose, and the woman has no responsibility to even allow him to accept any responsibility.

    Regardless of my answer to your “questions” it is you that is saying Tracies arguments are false analogies and you who have demonstrated inconsistent “responsibility” applications.

  96. Honey Tone says

    WTF are you guys talking about? What’s the relevance of this responsibility discussion (and particularly the weird analogies proposed) to abortion, abortion laws and female bodily autonomy?

    A woman has consensual sex with a man. She becomes pregnant as a result. Yes, both parties have some varying degree of what-ever-you-mean-by “responsibility” for causing that situation.

    Now what?

    This is the point at which I say: how the pregnancy is dealt with is up to the woman and her doctor. Leave it at that.

    BTW: there’s no need to construct analogies whose application to “voluntary pregnancies” are strained at best. You can use actual, real life situations. For instance, just consider how these few factors inform any discussion about responsibility, options and autonomy:
    – the “woman” could be as old as 65 or as young as 12;
    – the mother might already have, or she might develop, physical impairments, some mild, some more severe, and/or her impairments might change during and/or because of the pregnancy;
    – the mother might already have, or she might develop, mental impairments, some mild, some more severe, and/or her impairments might change during and/or because of the pregnancy;
    – sex and sexual activity are subject to an instinct to reproduce, a sex drive so to speak, that is much stronger in some than in others, and which is generally thought to be necessary to satisfy for mental health and stability reasons and regardless of whether contraception is available, affordable or effective;
    – the woman or the man may have a well-documented history of inability to conceive and be medically advised that conception is impossible – and end up pregnant.
    – the economic situation of the woman might be affected by the pregnancy in ways completely unexpected.

    The best way to deal with any and all pregnancy situations is to give the woman power over her own body and for her to be well-informed about all her medical options.

  97. paxoll says

    Well Honey, the point is that a very large amount of the population consider it a valid argument that a woman is responsible for her pregnancy which means to them remaining pregnant as how she accepts responsibility and getting an abortion is rejecting that responsibility, which is her rejecting obvious facts. In their mind it is the same as a criminal getting caught and expecting not to go to jail. Equating sex with crime. So there is pretty good reason to hash out what is a logical and consistent understanding and use of the word “responsible”.

  98. Honey Tone says

    Sorry, Paxoll, but you and RR aren’t going to change the minds of a “a very large amount of the population” on what it means to take or accept responsibility for a resulting pregnancy by hashing out in this forum some understanding between you two of what the word supposedly means. That target population ties responsibility to the belief that any fertilized egg is a human being, and that the mother can only kill that human being in ways or under circumstances that population finds acceptable.

    In their minds, the sex act was done, and the pregnancy resulted; thus, the baby must be preserved and protected, unless … their reasons.

  99. paxoll says

    @Honey, That is true for 100% of every post in this forum. Is it better to deal with an issue that lots of people believe and hardly any will change their mind, or deal with some abstract argument that no one but the caller believes that wont make anyone change their mind? Since it made up like 20 minutes of the show, I guess Tracie should have just hung up on that caller?

  100. Honey Tone says

    Pax – did you catch the end of that call with Rolando where Tracie & Jen terminated the call because it had become obvious after 20 minutes he wasn’t interested in a discussion about responsibility and morality? He kept insisting throughout the call that there was some way to know ahead of time that a particular pregnancy was going to be “normal” and that made the choice to abort in his mind per se immoral or irresponsible.

    Anti-abortionists simply do not accept that a woman can choose to kill the baby being nurtured inside her which is discovered 2 to 8 weeks after consenual sex. In their minds, the fact of the baby erases choice and with it the woman’s bodily autonomy. That’s the only “responsibility” they understand.

  101. Rothendry says

    I believe in the holy spirit. The holy spirit as I have come to know claims to be an entity, which while I am not completely convinced of, I am presented with evidence for the claims. Most of all the holy spirit is a sensation I achieve in prayer and hymn towards one of the entities two forms, Jesus. The sensation is warmth without external heat, euphoria, slight tingling in upper extremities, a strong present mindedness. These things I am presented with in a repeatable and controllable manner. I have come to label this sensation, because it comes with a voice and visage. Each time I have the sensation, I hear the voice and see the visage. Others have told me they hear and see almost exactly the same thing, I have read of many more who have had the same experiences. The voice identifies itself as God, the creator of all. I call it the holy spirit because from the descriptions of those who share the experience, they label it as being visited by the holy spirit most consistently.

  102. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll
    You seem hung up on the idea that the term responsibility is an inherently negative term. I don’t seem to be able to make any inroad with you on this, despite the fact that the dictionary doesn’t agree with you, and all the examples you’ve attempted to use in support have failed.
     
    In fact, you yourself gave an example of positive responsibility:

    “You are responsible for an accident, or rescuing someone from an accident”.

    That’s a clear demonstration of two situations, one positive and one negative, where the concept of responsibility applies.

    If you would simply consider the implications of what you’ve written there, it could show you that you need to adjust your thinking on this. Instead, your response is to attempt to argue that you were actually talking about not rescuing someone – which is the complete opposite from what you wrote.
     
    Here’s your latest attempt at this argument:

    If we are talking about becoming pregnant we blame the woman, we don’t credit the woman do we?

    I don’t know what sadly negative world you inhabit that you have never heard anyone praise a woman for getting pregnant, but where I come from “well done!” is a common response to pregnancy.
     
    I’m going to try one last example to illustrate the point that responsibility can be positive. It’s one that any atheist should be familiar with.
    Christian: “I aced my exams. Praise Jesus!”
    Atheist: “Who is responsible for your exam results – you or Jesus?”

    If you can’t see that that is an example of responsibility for a positive outcome, or if you try to hand-wave it away with “hmm…yea that is not how people use the term” then you’re a lost cause.
    ___________________
     
    You also keep making arguments about degree of responsibility. The problem is, that’s not the issue under debate. We are debating presence vs. absence of responsibility, not degree. As I said in the previous comment, I’m unsure whether you understand the difference between ‘less responsible’ vs ‘not responsible’. I’m also unsure whether you understand the difference between ‘responsible’ vs ’fully responsible’.

    ‘Responsible’ is not an all or nothing proposition, there are many degrees/levels/nuances. However, ‘not responsible’ is an all or nothing proposition, because you cannot be ‘not responsible’ and still have some degree of responsibility. That’s the law of non-contradiction: you can’t both be and not be at the same time.
     
    You also keep arguing ‘intention’. Intention is relevant to degree, and to consideration of consequences, but it does not demonstrate non-responsibility, because we can be responsible for outcomes that we do not intend.
     
    So, yes, a small child who causes someone to lose their balance and fall into a tiger cage is responsible for that fall, and yes, someone who pushes another person out of the way of a rampaging elephant, over the barrier and into the tiger cage, is responsible for that fall. What level of responsibility, and what consequences, if any, should follow, are entirely separate issues to the question of responsible vs not responsible.
    ___________________
     
    Now let’s talk about consistency.

    I’m saying that we have standards that are not being consistently applied by you or the people that use it as an argument against abortion.

     
    I have provided the criteria I use to determine responsibility. I did that in post #90, in response to Tracie. Prior to that post I hadn’t formalized my thinking into a set of criteria. Since that post I have used those criteria to assess every question/scenario that has been put to me. Not only have I used the same set of criteria, but I have applied them in the same way to each case presented. That is consistency.
     
    For example, this:

    RR: we’re exploring responsibility, not choice. The question is not ‘did she choose the outcome?’, it’s ‘is she responsible for the outcome?’

    RR: she is equally responsible for the choice. That doesn’t mean she is equally responsible for the outcome. In the dark alley, someone else is responsible for the attack. In the conception, there is no other agent involved.

    Px: So she is responsible for the choice of both actions, and she has no choice in either outcomes, but she is responsible for one outcome but not the other? That makes absolutely no sense.

    Actually, it makes total sense when you assess it against my criteria. The difference between the two situations is causality.
     
    And this:

    A person is driving a car, and someone T-bone’s them vs. the same person is driving and there is a mechanical failure and they crash into a tree. In your reasoning, even though the person has the same amount of control over the outcome, since there is no one else to pin the responsibility on it falls onto the driver.

    Based on my criteria the driver is not the cause of the accident in either case, so no responsibility falls on them.
    NONE of my criteria is “responsibility must be pinned on someone”, nor have I ever said anything to that effect or with that implication. I can’t even begin to understand why you would resort to such an absurd strawman.
     
    Until somebody else puts up an alternative to my criteria, they are what I will continue to use. I’m afraid your “we have standards” doesn’t function as a set of criteria, it just functions as hand-waving.
    ___________________
     
    What about my criteria, then? It’s certainly possible that they are wrong, or incomplete, or need adjustment. So presumably you’ve had a lot to say about them…? Not so much. Only two things:
     
    Here’s the first:
    (Referring to my use of the word ‘responsible’ in relation to happiness)

    that is not how we use the term, and is one of the reasons why your “causality” approach to defining responsibility is not reasonable, and why that dictionary term uses the word “blame” to differentiate between good and bad responsibility.

    I’m struggling to even parse this – even if you were correct that the term ‘responsible’ is not used in relation to happiness, how does that show anything about whether or not it is reasonable to base the concept of responsibility on causality? Seems like a non-sequitur to me.
    And do you understand that the same dictionary definition that you are citing here in the second part of your sentence (which I am also unable to understand) specifically refers to ‘cause’?
    If causality is not the basis of responsibility, then what is?
     
    Here’s the second:

    Using a simple causality perspective to responsibility makes someone responsible for everything that happens to them, because if they didn’t exist than it wouldn’t have happened, and that is not how we use the term.

    To cause something is to ‘make it happen’. How does simply existing ‘make something happen’?
    This is mind-bogglingly asinine.
    ___________________
     
    Here are the rest of your points which haven’t been addressed by the above.
     

    RR: Sex does cause conception.

    Px: hmmm…no it doesn’t. Sex leads to the condition where conception can occur, just like driving leads to the condition where a car accident can occur, or putting yourself in a dark alley leads to the condition where a rape can occur.

    So if I mixed two unstable chemicals together and they exploded, you would say I didn’t cause the explosion? I just ‘created the condition where the explosion could occur’?

    If I set a glue-trap with tasty bait, and caught two spiders and a cockroach instead of the mouse I was hoping for, I didn’t cause the death of any of them? I just ‘created the condition where death could occur’?

    And if a mining company stored its toxic effluent in rusty drums which ruptured and contaminated the groundwater, the company didn’t cause the contamination, it just ‘created the condition where the contamination could occur’?

    Good luck with that argument.
     

    To make this remotely similar to pregnancy you could say, is the woman who has 3 invitro fetuses placed into her uterus by a doctor “responsible’ even if the she didn’t control whether they would successfully implant and become a pregnancy.

    Yes, she is responsible for the pregnancy outcome. She acted through another agent, a doctor, who is also responsible. That’s a causal chain.

    If I hire a sniper to assassinate someone, am I not responsible for their death? What if the day of the assassination turns out to be very windy, thus reducing the probability of a successful outcome? Does the lack of certainty of success remove my responsibility for the death if the sniper succeeds?

    What if I set a car bomb for a particular time, but I have no control over which people, if any, will be near the car when the bomb goes off. Am I responsible for their deaths despite having no control over their whereabouts?
     

    RR:Assuming that neither parent wants the child and the woman chooses to have an abortion, do you consider the father has any responsibility to share the cost of the abortion, or to help/support the woman in that process?

    Px: In my point of view the man would have the same amount of responsibility as he had choice in the decision. He wants and abortion and she wants to keep the child, he gives up his rights as a father and it is the responsibility of the woman to provide. If they both want an abortion, than he gets to split the expense. If she wants an abortion and he doesn’t than its her responsibility to cover it.

    Now this is very interesting…

    First of all, he has no choice in the decision – her body, her decision. He can agree or disagree with her decision, he can even attempt to persuade her to reach a particular decision. But he doesn’t have any agency in the decision. Her body, her decision.

    You’ve ascribed responsibility to both of them, proportional to their relative position on the decision – if they both want the abortion, he should share the cost.

    Why?

    It makes sense under my model. They are both responsible for the conception event, so they should share responsibility for the consequences arising. He should share the cost of the abortion.

    But under your model it doesn’t make sense. Neither of them is responsible for the conception/pregnancy. The woman takes on responsibility by deciding to have an abortion – that’s her autonomous act. Where does the man’s responsibility come from? All he’s doing is agreeing with her choice.

    If I tell my neighbor I’m going to rip out all the MAGA signs in our neighborhood, and she says “That’s a great idea. I would love those shitty signs to disappear. You should totally do it!”, and I go out sign-stealing while she’s at home watching tv, should she share my fine if I’m caught? My decision, my action, no prior responsibility for either of us. Does she now share responsibility because she agreed with my choice?

    For me, the outcome in the two cases is different because one has prior responsibility, the other doesn’t. For me, consistent application of my model leads to responsibility for the man in the abortion scenario, but no responsibility for the neighbor in the MAGA scenario.
    For you, consistency demands that you hold the same position in both those cases. I bet you don’t, though.
    ___________________
     
    I’m pretty much done with this, Paxoll. So far you’ve not put forward any compelling arguments that my criteria are faulty, and although you’ve repeatedly claimed that I’m being inconsistent, you’ve been completely unable to demonstrate it. I’ve had to put some solid thought into a couple of points, which is valuable, but I’m happy with where I stand on the issue.

    If you’re prepared to take the risk of putting your own position up for scrutiny we can keep talking, otherwise I’m done with this one.

  103. RationalismRules says

    @Honey Tone

    A woman has consensual sex with a man. She becomes pregnant as a result. Yes, both parties have some varying degree of what-ever-you-mean-by “responsibility” for causing that situation.

    Now what?

    Exactly!
     

    What’s the relevance of this responsibility discussion (and particularly the weird analogies proposed) to abortion, abortion laws and female bodily autonomy?

    Not much at this point, I suspect – that doesn’t mean it’s not worth having the discussion, though. I’ve clarified a lot of my thinking as a result of this debate – mostly from Tracie’s challenge to me to identify what makes responsibility.

    I’m not expecting to change anyone’s mind at this point. If anybody’s bothering to read this increasingly drawn-out debate I would hope they find my arguments more convincing than Paxoll’s – that’s about the most I can hope for. The rest is really for my own benefit.
     

    BTW: there’s no need to construct analogies whose application to “voluntary pregnancies” are strained at best.

    It’s often easier to bring key points into prominence through a constructed analogy than through a real-world example. Tracie’s home invasion scenario, for example, is constructed to highlight the point that awareness of risk does not equate to responsibility for that risk.

  104. RationalismRules says

    @leontiv #73
    I’ve just dropped in another wall of words for you.

    You’re very welcome! 😉

  105. drtj says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain #95

    “Do you not recognize the knock-on economic effects on society from people being unable to afford to control their own bodies? People in poverty don’t live in isolation.”

    I should clarify my statement. I’m not in favor of the government paying for abortions within the current health care system we have in the U.S. for people who do not have health insurance. I would be in favor of abortions being included in a single payer, universal health care system.

    Also, you said people in poverty don’t live in isolation. That is true, so if a woman living in poverty gets pregnant without health insurance that covers abortions and she wants an abortion, she should look to the man she had sex with, family, and friends to help pay for the abortion and not rely on others in society who she does not know and have no desire to pay for her actions.

  106. Monocle Smile says

    @drtj

    Also, you said people in poverty don’t live in isolation. That is true, so if a woman living in poverty gets pregnant without health insurance that covers abortions and she wants an abortion, she should look to the man she had sex with, family, and friends to help pay for the abortion and not rely on others in society who she does not know and have no desire to pay for her actions.

    Clearly we don’t live on the same planet. This is libertarian trash. This is no different from saying welfare isn’t necessary because the churches can take care of the poor, and we all know how well that’s working out.

  107. paxoll says

    @RR

    If you can’t see that that is an example of responsibility for a positive outcome, or if you try to hand-wave it away with “hmm…yea that is not how people use the term” then you’re a lost cause.

    This is my last post on this because you seem intent on being obtuse. Just like the term accident or accidentally, responsible and responsibility is used the majority of the time, ESPECIALLY with regard to pregnancy, to imply a negative situation. Someone who is in a car accident is in a negative situation, and we use the term responsible in relationship to that negative situation to imply a moral judgement on peoples actions (whether or not the actions result in a negative or positive outcome).

    I don’t know what sadly negative world you inhabit that you have never heard anyone praise a woman for getting pregnant, but where I come from “well done!” is a common response to pregnancy.

    this is fucken ridiculous. If someone says they are pregnant you do not tell them “well done!” that is the dumbest shit I’ve heard you say. People say “congratulations”, which is NOT an implication of any kind of responsibility.

    You also keep making arguments about degree of responsibility. The problem is, that’s not the issue under debate. We are debating presence vs. absence of responsibility, not degree.

    My response is..

    Using a simple causality perspective to responsibility makes someone responsible for everything that happens to them, because if they didn’t exist than it wouldn’t have happened,

    If you are not driving you cannot be in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible, you driving is by your definition part of the “causal chain” of the accident.

    So if I mixed two unstable chemicals together and they exploded, you would say I didn’t cause the explosion? I just ‘created the condition where the explosion could occur’?

    A woman puts chemicals together, a woman puts herself into a dark alley…

    If I set a glue-trap with tasty bait, and caught two spiders and a cockroach instead of the mouse I was hoping for, I didn’t cause the death of any of them? I just ‘created the condition where death could occur’?

    And if a mining company stored its toxic effluent in rusty drums which ruptured and contaminated the groundwater, the company didn’t cause the contamination, it just ‘created the condition where the contamination could occur’?

    Technically correct and why cause and responsible are not interchangeable and why technically existing causes everything that happens to you. So either cause equals responsibility by your definition and you have to say a woman walking down a dark alley is responsible for being raped (good luck with that), and you are saying a child who accidentally knocks a man into a tiger cage is responsible. You can have that definition, but

    hmm…yea that is not how people use the term

    .

    But under your model it doesn’t make sense. Neither of them is responsible for the conception/pregnancy. The woman takes on responsibility by deciding to have an abortion – that’s her autonomous act. Where does the man’s responsibility come from?

    I have never put forth a model of responsibility, so please don’t strawman me. This is my opinion of what should happen, not what mine or societies definition of responsibility requires. The woman has the responsibility of making a decision on her pregnancy regardless of if she is responsible for her pregnancy, the man accepts responsibility if she chooses to share that responsibility because he is not a shitty person and wants to live in a fair society.
    Yea, and fuck the Trump sign analogy because I wont entertain your strawman.

    Again, I am pointing how your definition is inadequate to describe how we use the term responsibility, and it is a loaded word with implied moral judgements, and pointing out that the inconsistent manner in which you use it allows religious people to abuse it. By using it to mean simple causation in one hand and moral obligation due to negative outcomes on another. Parents are “responsible” for their children. This means they have a moral duty to take care of the child, it also means they have an obligation to take/’accept “responsibility” for things their child (causes), these are both different and contradictory to your inconsistent “causal” definition of responsibility.

  108. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Rothendry #112:

    a sensation I achieve in prayer and hymn towards one of the entities two forms, Jesus. The sensation is warmth without external heat, euphoria, slight tingling in upper extremities, a strong present mindedness. These things I am presented with in a repeatable and controllable manner.

    I hear that makes Jesus cry.

  109. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll
    I like to take responsibility when I screw up, so it turns out I’m not quite finished with this thread after all.

    I have never put forth a model of responsibility, so please don’t strawman me.

    Yes, I apologize. I was wrong to refer to it as ‘your’ model. I should have referred to it as the ‘non-responsibility’ model.
    Under the ‘non-responsibility’ model, consistency would require that the man would not share responsibility for the abortion costs unless than the MAGA neighbor shares responsibility for the fine.

    Since you ascribe responsibility to the man, presumably you don’t subscribe to the non-responsibility model.*

    *(Based on the assumption that you wouldn’t allocate a share in the fine to the MAGA neighbor, and the assumption that you wouldn’t want to be inconsistent. Both of these may be incorrect assumptions)
    ________________
     
    You’ve also raised a new point, which deserves consideration:

    Parents are “responsible” for their children. This means they have a moral duty to take care of the child, it also means they have an obligation to take/’accept “responsibility” for things their child (causes), these are both different and contradictory to your inconsistent “causal” definition of responsibility.

    That is a good point. I need to adjust my criteria to add prior responsibility as a factor.

    There is danger of conflating two different, but related, concepts here, so I’ll take a moment to differentiate between responsibility for a past event (the meaning that relates to blame or credit) vs ongoing responsibility (related to ‘onus’ or ‘duty’).

    So, where someone has ongoing responsibility in a situation (eg. a parent, an employer, a city official) they may be considered to share responsibility for a past event, if they have ongoing responsibility for whatever/whoever caused the past event.
    Criteria updated!

  110. RationalismRules says

    @Rothendry #112
    Looks like your post was briefly held back for moderation, so I’m hoping you’ll check back in, because I’m keen to ask a couple of questions about your experiences.
     

    The sensation is warmth without external heat, euphoria, slight tingling in upper extremities, a strong present mindedness.

    All of those sensations can also be experienced from other forms of group singing unrelated to religion. Some of the factors that contribute are increased oxygen consumption, release of endorphins, focus (present mindedness), resonance, and social engagement.
    Which doesn’t prove that there isn’t a spirit involved in your case – maybe there is. But the fact that the activity in which you are participating already leads to those sensations tells us that those sensations don’t actually point to anything extra, like a holy spirit.
    (BTW, they can also be experienced through yoga and other forms of exercise and/or meditation)
    ______________
     

    it comes with a voice and visage. Each time I have the sensation, I hear the voice and see the visage.

    This is the bit I’m really interested in. Are you able to describe the voice in detail, as you would the voice of another person?

    For example:
    What sort of timbre does it have? eg. Is it thin and reedy, or rich and resonant?
    Is it deep or high-pitched?
    Is it rich in overtones like Morgan Freeman’s voice, or is it pure and clear like a boy soprano?
    Is it breathy, or nasal at all? Is there any hint of vibrato?
    Is it identifiable as male or female?
     
    Does the voice speak to you in words? I guess it must, because you said:

    The voice identifies itself as God, the creator of all.

    What language is it speaking? Is it a ‘pure’ form of the language, or a dialect of some sort?
    Does it exactly correspond to the way you yourself use language, or does it use words you don’t know, or expressions that you wouldn’t tend to use?
    Does it have an accent of any sort? Any idiosyncratic pronunciation, like a lisp or sibilance?
     
    Similarly, can you tell us more about the ‘visage’?

    For example:
    What is it that you’re actually seeing? A face? A full body? A nebulous glowing shape?
    Can you describe any of the characteristics? eg. If it’s a face, does it have an aquiline nose, or sticking-out ears, for example? Does it have any presumptive ethnicity eg. caucasian, asian?
    If it’s a body, is it thin or fat? Male or female? Tall or short? etc.
     
    Please be assured that these questions are not an attempt to make you look foolish, they are an encouragement to deeply consider what you’re describing. My experience with believers who say ‘I hear god’s voice’ or ‘god speaks to me’, is that they most often are simply using metaphor – what they’re calling a ‘voice’ is actually just thoughts that have arisen in their mind. That doesn’t seem to be the case with you, from the way you describe the combination of voice and visage.
     
    After that bombardment of example questions, here’s an actual question that I’d love an answer to:
    Do the voice and the visage present as the same each time, or do they change?
     

    Others have told me they hear and see almost exactly the same thing.

    Does that mean you’ve discussed the sort of characteristics I’m asking about?

  111. says

    Rothendry & RationalismRules:

    the most important question of course is: can this claim be physically demonstrated reliably and repeatedly under lab conditions for the benefit of unbiased experts credentialed in the relevant fields?

  112. Dr Dave Johnson PhD says

    I renounce all loyalty to Jen Peeples. I pledge full allegiance and full loyalty to Tracie Harris. I recognise that Tracie Harris is the true and legitimate host of The Atheist Experience.

  113. suedoenimm3 says

    @Heicart, #61, September 18, 2018 at 3:55 pm
    .
    (Heicart was responding to @Steve.)
    .
    >Hint: Consent is huge.
    .
    In the real world consent is not the ideological absolute you are trying to insinuate.
    .
    Suppose you are in a normal pregnancy at the 11 week point. You go to your doctor and courageously announce that you do not “consent” to the pregnancy. The doctor might respond, “Does that mean you want an abortion? We can do that.”
    .
    Now suppose instead that it was in the 30th week. You go to your doctor (in Texas) and courageously announce that you do not “consent” to the pregnancy. The doctor might respond, “It’s fine and dandy that you don’t consent but I’m not going to perform an abortion on you. I would lose my medical license.”
    .
    Your “consent” in the second case is basically irrelevant. (It’s kind of irrelevant in the first case too.)
    .
    >My home invasion story was to show the caller that “awareness of a risk does not make a person responsible if the risk occurs.” That was it.
    .
    Responsibility is not a black and white dichotomy. Sometimes there is shared or apportioned responsibility.
    .
    If the night watchman at the Louvre one night doesn’t lock the doors and some paintings get stolen, does the watchman have zero responsibility?
    .
    >Jen’s car scenario was to demonstrate that awareness of a risk does not bar a person from seeking help to counteract the risk event should it occur.
    .
    Ya know, funny thing about that scenario. It doesn’t include a second party who’s life is at risk. (Which seems to be a recurring aspect of your views.)
    .
    >>We have a pregnant woman. She’s been happily pregnant for some time now. Three months in fact. Then she suddenly decides she wants an abortion. We give her an abortion. Another woman has been pregnant for 8 months, and she suddenly decides she wants an abortion. Do we give her the abortion? As far as the law stands in the US and Europe, we certainly do not.
    .
    The above is from poster Steve. It seems that he beat me to the punch.
    .
    >Canada has zero laws regulating abortion—how much of a problem is this there? The assumption that women who have planned and tried for a pregnancy will willy-nilly rush for abortions if we don’t have laws stopping them, and, further, that medically board certified doctors will do them on demand, without regard to situation, is simply not demonstrated to be a problem in locations where laws are not what regulates pregnancies.
    .
    That is an assertion. I don’t accept that assertion.
    .
    >But we do allow abortions close to term. It’s called C-section or labor induction. Not only is it legal, but most doctors who deliver have done both. It interrupts the natural birth process, and is intended to result in a live infant, although it can sometimes fail. But women can even schedule them at a regular hospital.
    .
    Sorry but that looks like equivocation to me. Who, when they think of the term “abortion”, is thinking about live delivery? We didn’t need Roe v. Wade to permit that. If that were really, and all, that abortion is there would be no issue. Nobody would be talking about that. That’s not what we are talking about here.
    .
    >You don’t know what “consent” means. If you are forcing someone to do a thing, that’s not “consent.” Saying the law will compel a person to remain pregnant absolutely is NOT saying that the person is continuing “to consent.” In fact, forcing someone is the *opposite* of consent.
    .
    I don’t agree to scope and extension of applicability of “consent” you are trying to insinuate. Consent is certainly applicable to adult humans negotiating sexual activity. But proclaiming “consent” to give the woman absolute authority regardless of the second life intimately tied to her doesn’t fly. That was decided in Roe v. Wade and retained in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
    .
    The court also opined, “it might be said that a woman who fails to act before viability has consented to the State’s intervention on behalf of the developing child.“
    .
    Overall, the right of consent that you are asserting is not a right.
    .
    >This is called “victim blaming”. If I leave every door and window of my house open, and I get robbed—you know who is 100% responsible? The robber.
    .
    The robber has 100% of the criminal responsibility.
    .
    Tell me, do you leave all your doors and windows open because you know that if you get robbed its the robber’s fault?
    .
    >You really need to do some reading on victim blaming and sexual consent.
    .
    Burden shifting and ad hom.
    .
    I imagine Steve has read plenty. I’ve read plenty. Sometimes victims are unfairly blamed. Sometimes victims share part of the blame.
    .
    >That’s actually how it’s handled. Again—look up C-section and induction.
    .
    Texas law:
    ‘”Abortion” means the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant. ‘
    .
    >>To me, the arguments Jen and Tracie put forward seemed to underscore an extreme sense of entitlement and made about as much sense as a Christian apologist arguing for Intelligent Design. The most disappointing show I’ve ever seen.
    .
    Oopsie. Steve said that not me.
    But then I may have said things similarly “challenging” in my video on my YouTube channel (SueDoeNimm3).
    .
    >Is it enough to shut doors and windows?
    .
    But you are saying you are not responsible for even that, right?
    .
    >We certainly don’t sentence them to a damaging, 9-month-long, physical violation and tell them their consent isn’t necessary.
    .
    Violation???
    .
    >But then, you don’t seem to really grasp the importance of consent–how it’s actually foundational to being respected and regarded as a human being, rather than a chair.
    .
    I imagine you grasp the idea that a fetus a few weeks before natural birth is pretty darn close to the same as a full term baby, in terms of development and viability. You seem to want to ignore, deny, discount, disregard that. Do you grasp that an atheist might be against killing something that is darn close to a baby?
    .
    .
    SueDoeNimm3
    ,
    (Also see my YouTube channel for comments on this subject.)

  114. Monocle Smile says

    I see Sue is still blatantly lying about stuff

    Sorry but that looks like equivocation to me. Who, when they think of the term “abortion”, is thinking about live delivery? We didn’t need Roe v. Wade to permit that. If that were really, and all, that abortion is there would be no issue. Nobody would be talking about that. That’s not what we are talking about here.

    This is either exceptional stupidity or appalling dishonesty. I’m going with the latter. This has been explained to you half a dozen times and you’re still lying. Literally nobody is advocating for killing a 30-week old fetus and you’re either too stupid or too dishonest to make the distinction.

    Tell me, do you leave all your doors and windows open because you know that if you get robbed its the robber’s fault?

    You can’t seriously be this dense. Why do you insist on being dishonest?

    That is an assertion. I don’t accept that assertion.

    Oh, if you’re going to reject reality and replace it with your own, you should just state that up front. That way we can all just ignore you like the bullshit artist you are.

  115. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @suedoenimm3 #124:

    > Canada has zero laws regulating abortion […] simply not demonstrated to be a problem in locations where laws are not what regulates pregnancies.
    […]
    I don’t accept that assertion.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Abortion in Canada

    [In 1988, an existing law had been rendered moot.] The majority of the Court held that “the structure of the system regulating access to therapeutic abortions is manifestly unfair. It contains so many potential barriers to its own operation that the [exception] it creates will in many circumstances be practically unavailable to women who would prima facie qualify.”
    […]
    [A bill, proposed in 1989 to replace that law, failed in the Senate.]
     
    The fact that no subsequent government has re-visited this decision has been what has led to the unique situation of Canada having no abortion law whatsoever. Abortion was now treated like any other medical procedure, governed by provincial and medical regulations.
    […]
    Abortions in Canada are provided on request and funded by Medicare […] (as with most medical procedures) […] One-third of hospitals perform abortions, and these perform two-thirds of abortions in the country. The remaining abortions are performed by public and private-for-profit clinics.
    […]
    Although the issue of abortion rights has popped up from time to time in Federal elections as a wedge issue, the issue is consistently rated as a low priority for most Canadians.

  116. suedoenimm3 says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain
    #126
    .
    You have brought facts to the discussion.
    .
    Perhaps this clarification is necessary. The asserted problem I did not accept was not that late term abortions are not available in Canada. What I do not accept that the allowed late term abortions do not result in the death of perfectly good late term fetuses (i.e. near babies) for arbitrary reasons (and no extraordinary risk to the mother).
    .
    Your citations refer to “therapeutic abortion”. There are no prohibition on _therapeutic_ abortions in Texas either.

  117. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @suedoenimm3 #127:

    I do not accept that the allowed late term abortions do not result in the death of perfectly good late term fetuses

     
    Monocle Smile #125:

    Literally nobody is advocating for killing a 30-week old fetus and you’re either too stupid or too dishonest to make the distinction.

  118. drtj says

    @Monocle Smile #117

    “Clearly we don’t live on the same planet. This is libertarian trash. This is no different from saying welfare isn’t necessary because the churches can take care of the poor, and we all know how well that’s working out.”

    Not the same at all. Welfare is a temporary support system for people who have lost their jobs, often due to no fault of their own. This means there is often a societal component such as a bad economy that leads to needing to be on welfare. Getting pregnant without using protection and not wanting to keep the child is clearly an individual decision with no societal component, at least under our current health care system. If we had universal health care which included paying for abortions, this would introduce a societal component to abortions because abortions would then be available to all women. I feel somewhat bad for you that you don’t understand the difference and call my statements “trash”. Clearly, you haven’t thought your arguments through very well.

  119. Monocle Smile says

    @drtj

    Getting pregnant without using protection and not wanting to keep the child is clearly an individual decision with no societal component

    Given the atrocious state of sex education and access to contraception (for women) in the US, this is a nonsense statement.

    If we had universal health care which included paying for abortions, this would introduce a societal component to abortions because abortions would then be available to all women

    …so what? Also, you’re deliberately ignoring every single abortion case that doesn’t fall into your neat little description.

  120. Monocle Smile says

    It’s actually pretty silly. You pretend that every last welfare case is due to factors beyond the individual’s control while every abortion case is determined purely by factors within the individual’s control. Neither of those are true. Who’s thinking poorly now?

  121. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    drtj #116:

    I’m not in favor of the government paying for abortions within the current health care system we have in the U.S. for people who do not have health insurance.
    […]
    she should […] not rely on others in society who she does not know and have no desire to pay for her actions.

    drtj #129:

    Getting pregnant without using protection and not wanting to keep the child is clearly an individual decision with no societal component, at least under our current health care system.

    So pregnancy and delivery shouldn’t be covered either?
    Why specifically exclude abortion?
     
     
    Article: TheGuardian – Why does it cost $32,093 just to give birth in America?

    America is the most expensive nation in the world to give birth. When things go wrong – from pre-eclampsia to premature birth – costs can quickly spiral into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    […]
    one 2013 study […] found that, on average, hospitals charged $32,093 for an uncomplicated vaginal birth and newborn care, and $51,125 for a standard caesarean section and newborn care.
    […]
    Nearly half of American mothers are covered by Medicaid
    […]
    patients have no way of knowing whether an ambulance company, emergency room physician, anesthesiologist, [or neonatologists] are members of the patient’s insurance plan.
    […]
    as many as 56,000 families each year still go bankrupt from adding a new family member through birth or adoption.
     
    “Why any society should let anyone be bankrupted by medical bills is beyond me, frankly,” said [Dr] Woolhandler. “It just doesn’t happen in other western democracies.”

  122. drtj says

    @Monocle Smile #130

    “Given the atrocious state of sex education and access to contraception (for women) in the US, this is a nonsense statement.”

    Really, you think that most people (including teenagers) who have sex don’t know the consequences? Preposterous. And there’s more than contraception for women as well. You make incomplete statements and expect others to believe you? Preposterous as well.

    “…so what? Also, you’re deliberately ignoring every single abortion case that doesn’t fall into your neat little description.”

    So what? So it’s the single biggest point in my argument. We don’t have universal health care that covers abortions, therefore it’s still an individual responsibility (not a societal one) for someone to pay for their own abortion if they don’t have health care that covers it. Simple as that. If you were smart, you’d take my statement to mean that we need universal health care, not as a statement against women having abortions.

  123. drtj says

    @Monocle Smile #131

    “You pretend that every last welfare case is due to factors beyond the individual’s control”

    Apparently you are having trouble with reading comprehension. I said “often due to no fault of their own”. If you take a statement of mine and repeat it back as something different then you are being willfully dishonest. Your credibility is completely gone.

  124. drtj says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says #132

    “So pregnancy and delivery shouldn’t be covered either?”

    Correct. And they aren’t “covered” now. The costs of giving birth without health insurance or other means to pay are donated by hospitals and passed on to others in the form of higher costs. Thanks for confirming that with your statistics about the cost of giving birth.

    All your other statements about the cost of giving birth support the need for universal health care, which I’m in favor of.

  125. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @drtj #116:

    I’m not in favor of the government paying […] within the current health care system we have in the U.S. for people who do not have health insurance.
    […]
    she should […] not rely on others in society who she does not know and have no desire to pay for her actions.

    @drtj #135:

    “So pregnancy and delivery shouldn’t be covered either?”

    Correct.

    Since it’s one of the most common medical procedures (w/ half the mothers on Medicaid), you’re left arguing (“within the current health care system”) that a huge portion of the country *should* suffer bankruptcy, denial of care… and/or a population crash. And you think (short of universal health care) that society would be more stable and prosperous to live in than now? And that creating that situation would be ethical?

  126. Monocle Smile says

    @drtj
    You’re talking out both sides of your mouth. Your arguments literally depend on the absolutes I outlined, but now you’re shying away without backing down from the same argument.

    I find it naive and ludicrous to wait until we have some grand monolithic solution like universal health care before things like prenatal care and abortions are covered. We are simply better of as a society by doing that, especially given that we’re not likely to get universal health care anytime soon.

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