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A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
#1

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
Another religious-oriented thread I was participating in has moved off-topic to the arguments for and against abortion. It was hard to organize all the responses there so I have endeavored to list a more formal case against abortion from a secular perspective. I have included rebuttals to the most common counterarguments so you can have my complete thoughts on a variety of related topics.

I look forward to the discussion.

P1. It is morally wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being because human life has inherent dignity and value based on the capacity of the species

In support of Premise 1:
• Natural Law concepts of rights are based on the unique rational and moral capacities that distinguish humans from other forms of life. Humans possess the innate ability to discern moral truths and make choices that reflect an understanding of good and evil, justice and injustice, in a way that other species cannot. It is this capacity for moral reasoning and the pursuit of higher ethical goods that sets humanity apart, imbuing human life with inherent dignity and value.

P2. Human life begins at conception (scientifically established)

In Support of Premise 2:
• At the moment of conception, a unique genetic identity is formed, combining DNA from both the egg and sperm, creating a distinct human organism with its own individual and unrepeatable genetic code, separate from both the mother and father. Scientifically, conception marks the beginning of a continuous developmental process; the zygote, the earliest stage of human development, fulfills the basic biological criteria for life, including the ability to grow, metabolize, respond to stimuli, and reproduce cells. The zygote, formed at conception, is the initial stage of a human being's life cycle, initiating a complex process of development that, if uninterrupted by natural or external factors, will lead to the birth of a human child.

P3. Starting at conception, human life has inherent dignity and value. from (P1) (P2)

In support of Premise 3:
• In the context of the continuous nature of human development from conception to natural death, setting an arbitrary developmental threshold for when rights are earned (such as viability, birth, or development of certain physical or cognitive abilities) is problematic because human development is a gradual and unbroken process. No clear, non-arbitrary point after conception at which one can definitively say a human being starts deserving rights.
• If society accepts the intrinsic value of human life after birth, it should logically also accept the value of human life before birth, since the difference between a pre-born and newborn is largely one of location and developmental stage, not of inherent worth or dignity.
• There is a confusion of 'functioning' as a human with 'being' a human. These are not the same concepts and to confuse them can lead to a slippery slope (ethically speaking).

P4. Abortion is the killing of a human life

C. Therefore abortion is morally wrong.



ADDRESSING COUNTERARGUMENTS:

Bodily Autonomy
The argument of bodily autonomy (the woman has a right to control what happens or does not happen to her body), while significant in many areas of ethics and law, faces limitations when considered against the right to life of the unborn. One major contention is the uniqueness of pregnancy as it involves two interconnected lives - the mother and the unborn child. The principle of bodily autonomy asserts an individual’s right to self-governance over their own body without coercion or interference. However, this principle becomes complex when one's autonomous decisions directly impact another life. In the case of pregnancy, the unborn child is uniquely dependent on the mother's body, creating a scenario where the rights of two individuals are deeply intertwined. Unlike other situations where bodily autonomy is invoked, pregnancy represents a unique biological relationship where the decisions of one individual (the mother) directly affect the survival of another (the unborn child). Pro-life advocates argue that the right to life of the unborn child should take precedence, as the right to life is a fundamental right from which all other rights emanate. Without life, no subsequent rights can exist, making it a primary right that should be protected.

Furthermore, the argument for bodily autonomy often overlooks the inherent responsibility that comes with the capacity to create life. The pro-life perspective emphasizes that engaging in actions that can result in creating a new human life carries with it a responsibility to that life. This is particularly significant in the context of human reproduction, which inherently involves the potential for creating a dependent life that requires protection and care. The right to life argument suggests that once a new human life is conceived, it possesses its own rights, including the fundamental right to life. The contention is that the unborn child's right to life cannot be overridden by the mother's right to bodily autonomy because the right to life is more fundamental and should be given priority in ethical considerations, especially when the unborn child is considered an innocent and defenseless being. This line of reasoning sees the right to bodily autonomy as not absolute but rather as one that must be balanced against the rights of the unborn, particularly in situations where exercising bodily autonomy means ending a life.

Quality of Life (of Child)
The "quality of life" argument against the pro-life position, which posits that a child should not be brought into the world if their quality of life is expected to be poor, encounters several ethical challenges. Firstly, this argument inherently assumes the ability to accurately predict and judge the future quality of life of an unborn child, which is fraught with uncertainties and subjective biases. Life circumstances, medical advancements, and personal resilience play significant roles in determining one's quality of life, and these factors can change unpredictably. Moreover, the premise that a lower quality of life justifies ending a life before birth is ethically problematic, as it implies a valuation of human lives based on external conditions or abilities, rather than on inherent human dignity. Such a stance risks devaluing the lives of individuals living with disabilities or in challenging circumstances, promoting a potentially discriminatory view of human worth. The pro-life counterargument emphasizes the inherent value of every human life, regardless of the predicted quality of life, advocating for a societal responsibility to support and improve the lives of all, rather than preemptively ending them based on presumed future hardships.

Furthermore, the quality of life argument often overlooks the potential for positive outcomes and societal contributions that can arise from lives initially perceived as disadvantaged. History is replete with examples of individuals who, despite significant adversities, have not only lived meaningful lives but have also enriched the lives of others. This perspective advocates for a more inclusive and hopeful view of human potential, one that recognizes the unpredictability of life trajectories and the capacity for growth, resilience, and contribution in even the most challenging circumstances. It also calls for a broader societal commitment to improving conditions for all lives, rather than selectively deeming some lives as unworthy of a chance to begin. This approach is consistent with the principle that every human life has value and potential, and that society should work towards creating supportive environments and opportunities for all individuals to thrive, regardless of the challenges they may face from the outset.

Needed for Equality with Men
The argument that abortion is necessary to ensure equality between men and women is counter to the ideas of classical feminism, which emphasizes the empowerment and value of women's unique biological and social roles, rather than seeking parity through negating these roles. Classical feminism advocates for recognizing and celebrating the distinct capabilities of women, including their potential for motherhood, as a source of strength and not as a hindrance to equality. This perspective suggests that true equality is not achieved by enabling women to imitate men or by downplaying uniquely female experiences, such as pregnancy and childbirth, but by valuing these experiences and ensuring that society accommodates and supports women in these roles. By insisting that women must have the option to terminate a pregnancy to compete with men on an equal footing, there's an implicit suggestion that the natural biological functions of women are a disadvantage or an impediment. Classical feminism would argue for a society where women's reproductive capabilities are not seen as a barrier to their success but are respected and supported, enabling women to thrive both in their professional and personal lives without having to sacrifice one for the other.

Furthermore, the notion that abortion is necessary for women's equality can be seen as a capitulation to a societal structure that fails to adequately support women, particularly in the realms of maternity leave, childcare, and workplace flexibility. Instead of advocating for the right to opt out of motherhood through abortion, classical feminism would call for systemic changes that genuinely level the playing field – such as robust parental leave policies, affordable child care, and workplace accommodations for pregnant and parenting women. This approach lifts women up by addressing the root of the inequality, rather than accepting a societal framework that inherently disadvantages them for their reproductive capabilities. Classical feminism seeks to empower women to embrace their womanhood in all its facets, advocating for societal shifts that honor and support women's roles as both bearers and nurturers of life, thereby promoting true equality that celebrates, rather than diminishes, what it means to be a woman.

Hypocrisy
This usually takes the form of "pro-life" people only care about the unborn and not about what comes after they are here and really need help.

First, using the fact that some people are hypocrites as an argument against an idea only tangentially related is known as a "Tu quoque" fallacy, also called an appeal to hypocrisy. This logical fallacy occurs when someone attempts to discredit an opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently with that position, rather than addressing the merit of the position itself. It's a form of ad hominem attack that focuses on the perceived hypocrisy of the arguer instead of the argument they are making. Essentially, it's arguing, "You don't follow your own advice, so your advice must not be valid," which does not logically address the actual argument or idea being presented.

Second, most pro-life organizations have support for mothers and fathers long after the baby is born. The local crisis pregnancy center we support has postpartum food, clothing, medical assistance, counseling, support groups, group activities, and now no-cost college degree program (with local college) designed especially for single mothers.

Hard Cases
Cases of rape and incest have special trauma associated with them. However, this is usually a red herring because if the reply were "Let's grant the exception in the case of rape or incest. Will you join us in opposing all other abortion?" the answer will most likely be no. While I would be willing to compromise to bring more people together against the vast majority of abortions, I do not see how these exceptions overcome the larger argument I have laid out above.
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#2

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-19-2024, 10:10 PM)Mathilda Wrote:
(01-19-2024, 05:23 PM)SteveII Wrote: Natural Law concepts of rights are based on the unique rational and moral capacities that distinguish humans from other forms of life. Humans possess the innate ability to discern moral truths and make choices that reflect an understanding of good and evil, justice and injustice, in a way that other species cannot.

Incorrect. We're not the only species of animal with an innate sense of fairness, and right and wrong.


(01-19-2024, 05:23 PM)SteveII Wrote: On the idea of a woman's bodily autonomy trumping the unborn she conceived, how do you ground that exactly?

On the idea of the non-, or semi- sentient unborn's rights trumping the woman's bodily autonomy, how do you ground that exactly?

I answered this and several related just above. Please respond to one of my paragraphs.
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#3

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-20-2024, 02:16 AM)Aliza Wrote:
(01-19-2024, 05:52 PM)SteveII Wrote: I would argue that dying trumps subjective ideas of 'suffering' though a finite pregnancy's that was a result of a woman's choices.

I'm sorry, was that meant to elicit an emotional reaction from me other than contempt for people who think a woman chooses to be raped or chooses to carry a fetus with serious medical complications that will make it a burden on society?

I'm just confused here.

Maybe you think ovulation is a choice? Like uh... Like I consciously chose to ovulate that month, so I'm just asking to get knocked up? Or my spouse and I spend 10's of thousands of dollars on IVF only to learn that our baby will live it's life in a vegetative state and we'll have to sink every penny we make into its care and feed and change its diapers for the rest of ours days?

Like I said in my last point above, if I grant the exception in the case of rape or incest (and I'll add vegetative conditions), will you join me in opposing all other abortion? If no, then you are presenting a bit of a red herring there aren't you?
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#4

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
So many words when you could simply be honest and say that you want to control women. But honesty is something that worshippers of Space Hitler are simply incapable of, except perhaps by accident.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#5

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
Its (almost) laughable how serious Steve is taking himself. In his usual fashion of COMPLETELY overestimating his knowledge and abilities he is trying to set up a formal argument with premises and conclusions. Yet the actual content is utterly lacking, starting right with the title of his first premise: "innocent" is already trying to poison the well. As if anybody would argue that killing a "not innocent human being" could be justified....oh, wait thats exactly what his religion teaches in the OT. The conclusion can already be seen in the very beginning of his first premise. Babies are sooooo innocent, how could anyone argue that killing them is justified!? Hello Mr. Motivated Reasoning.

All this wall of text demonstrates is, that he has not understood the topic.at.all.
R.I.P. Hannes
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#6

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
Stupid is as stupid does!
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#7

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
Take up all those unborn dead babies with your worthless god. Remember, it murdered every last one when it had its little temper tantrum.
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#8

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
I do not agree with P 1 thru 4. My position is that it's pointless to engage with a religious pro-birther. You do not possess the moral authority over others no matter what you believe.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#9

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-22-2024, 03:14 PM)epronovost Wrote:
(01-22-2024, 02:38 PM)SteveII Wrote: Men? I know more pro-life women than men!  Gallup reports only 55% of women consider themselves pro-choice while 41% consider themselves pro-life. That is not that far off. Men are more evenly split. So who are these men that are telling women what they can and can't decide?

Dude, do you know math? That's a gap of 14%. This is enormous in politics. If it weren't for men the idea of running on a "pro-life" idea would be considered complete political suicide. It's even worst if you add people who think it should be legal under certain circumstances and under any circumstances. That raises the number to 85% of women. Only a tiny minority of rabid women are opposed to abortions and if you look at men it's about the same percentage. The only difference is that men favor much more heavily restrictions on abortion. Very few people think that abortions should be illegal or illegal in most circumstances.

I personally think that these category are fundamentally flawed since "under certain circumstances" could equally mean very restrictive circumstances like only in case of danger to the mother's health and no other reason to the highly discussed, but completely useless restriction like "until the 21st week of gestation or in case of danger to the mother's health".

I do understand how math works and perhaps you should pay attention to what I am replying to. PattyIt characterized abortions as a men-driven issue: "Why are men trying to tell women what they can and can’t do to their bodies? This should be entirely in a woman’s sphere. I’d love to have women decide mens autonomy…wouldn’t that be fun!"

I think that the fact that there are 54,000,000 adult women in the US who say they are pro-life undercuts her characterization.

Regarding your second point, the case get's stronger: If you combine the women with say "Illegal in all" with the women who say "Legal only Under Certain Circumstances", you get 60%--a substantial majority. That's 78,000,000 women who think there should be restrictions on abortion. How does that square with "Why are men trying to tell women what they can and can’t do to their bodies".
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#10

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-22-2024, 07:39 PM)brewerb Wrote: I do not agree with P 1 thru 4. My position is that it's pointless to engage with a religious pro-birther. You do not possess the moral authority over others no matter what you believe.

What specifically do you disagree with? There is no mention or reliance on religion in any of my points.
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#11

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
I believe it's already been pointed out to you that as you define the terms, premise 1 is not necessarily true. Thus your syllogism is inconclusive.

And no, it's not been determined scientifically that human life begins at conception as there is no consensus on the definition of life, much less human life. It has been scientifically proven that post-conception the organism is human life as you have chosen to define it, but that's a non-sequitur as it involves both arbitrary choices and equivocation.

Moreover, natural law theory is not an objective fact and so the whole argument is speculation. I would suggest other issues with your foundation of rights, such as conflating potentialities with actualities, but there is no point as natural law conjectures have no standing to begin with.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#12

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
While I hate syllogism because they are so complex and difficult to make here is my half assed attempt at establishing an argument for the morality of abortion and the immorality of it's prohibition.

The "No Harm" and principle of human worth (AKA the Golden Rule)

P1: Human life has special value because of it's sentient nature. Humans have emotions, desires, senses, thoughts, etc.
P2: Human life has special value to other humans because humans are gregarious by nature and need one another to thrive.
P3: To cause harm to humans is to directly provoke negative emotions, sensations and thoughts in other humans and going against their most important desires.
P4: Humans coming into conflict cause harm to one another and often to themselves.
P5: Conflict between humans due to opposed desires, emotions and thoughts is inevitable.
P6: Some harms are greater than others
C1: Humans should seek to minimize harm against one another to maintain gregarious predisposition and maximize their happiness.


The "Unconscious argument".

P1: To cause harm to humans is to directly provoke negative emotions, sensations and thoughts in other humans and going against their most important desires.
P2: Fetuses prior to the 24 week of gestation do not have desires nor emotions as other humans can perceive them.
C2: Fetuses prior the the 24th week of gestation cannot be harmed only damaged or destroyed


The argument "For the Morality of Abortion and the Immorality of it's Denial'.

P1: An unwanted pregnancy can cause tremendous physical, psychological, financial and social harm to a woman.
P2: Fetuses prior the the 24th week of gestation cannot be harmed
P3: Humans should seek to minimize harm against one another to maintain gregarious predispositions and maximize their happiness.
C3: Women should be able to choose to carry pregnancy to term or not.


Onto some of your pseudo refutations:

The argument for bodily autonomy: You don't address the fact that humans are not obliged to put themselves at risk to save one another. You are not obliged to give blood or organs nor to come at the rescue of someone (especially if this entail risks to yourself). You are simply obliged to provide some resources to help volunteers to such things and not endanger people. Considering this, it would be rather strange to oblige women to sacrifice themselves for another (if one was to accept that a fetus deprived of consciousness and emotions was equivalent in worth and dignity to a women).

Hard cases: If you consider the cases of rape, incest, child-mothers, danger to a woman's life, severe fetal anomalies as worthy of abortion for the incredible harm they cause to women. Are you willing to join us in allowing more abortions to make sure no women is harmed in such ways? Basically me flipping your rhetoric and asking the opposite question. I suspect you would say no.

Needed for Equality with Men: To make a long story short. Please actually read and listen to feminists discussing abortion, maternity and the women's condition instead of making an approximation of it. It shows that you have only a very cursory knowledge on the subject and on the argument of equality as well on feminism in general (classical feminism is not a thing btw; it describes neither a school of feminism nor a trend either). Your entire argument on motherhood as a source of strength for example completely ignores the fact that abortion rights actually strengthen this characteristic by putting women fully in control of it and making motherhood an actual vocation instead of a potentially accident. The idea that abortions imply that pregnancy can be an impediment is indeed correct because this is how some women experience it; a 13 years girl who fell pregnant during her first sexual intercourse with her boyfriend will most likely perceive a pregnancy as a disaster for herself. Of course, it's an impediment also because of how our society is structured too in other contexts. Some women also have no interest in motherhood and feminists of all stripes have long defended the idea that a woman without children and who doesn't want any is not any lesser for it. Pregnancy is not a silver bullet. It's not fundamentally good. It can be a moment of great joy or of great disaster in someone's life. What will affect this is choice and circumstances. Access to abortion insures there will always be a choice to make it a great joy and not a disaster.

Quality of Life: the quality of life argument is not only about the child, but also the mother's which you conveniently ignores. It also avoids the biggest problem with your own position. Anti-abortion laws and stances do not reduce the number of abortions. Countries with prohibition or extensive restriction on abortions do not have less abortions than country with some restrictions or no restrictions at all. What those countries have though is more women dying due to botched black market abortions, dying in childbirth due to more dangerous pregnancies being carried to term and more child poverty. The consequences of outlawing abortions is to damage the quality of life of women, families and children in such a ways that it increases the demand and need for abortions hence why despite being illegal and dangerous, abortions remain about as popular in countries where it's heavily restricted or forbidden then where it's not.

The question is then what do you truly value? If you truly value the life of fetuses and mothers, you will demand abortion services and find some scheme to make abortion less needed like better sex ed., easier access to contraceptives, better healthcare, better pay for women, welfare for children, better schools, healthier environment, lower workload for both parents, etc. But, if you value your personal righteousness more than the lives of fetus and women, you will continue to defend a prohibition of abortion, but then what is the worth of your argument for the dignity of human life if you are willing to sacrifice that dignity for your own personal ego? Denying abortions doesn't save lives (fetus or mothers). To refuse to engage with the idea of elective abortion is to commit to a nirvana fallacy; you cannot morally deny a good for the sake of an unachievable perfection.
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#13

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
The thing is, for those who are pro-choice, the emphasis is on the woman's life over the life of the embryo or the fetus. If you look at each of your arguments, they're based on preserving the life of the child (who is technically an embryo or a fetus), so each of your positions or points are unlikely to land with someone who is pro-choice, where the emphasis is on preserving the life, free will, and inherent dignity of the woman; who is a fully formed human being with inherent dignity and value, without question.
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#14

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-22-2024, 07:06 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(01-19-2024, 10:10 PM)Mathilda Wrote: Incorrect. We're not the only species of animal with an innate sense of fairness, and right and wrong.



On the idea of the non-, or semi- sentient unborn's rights trumping the woman's bodily autonomy, how do you ground that exactly?

I answered this and several related just above. Please respond to one of my paragraphs.

No, you didn't.

Feel free to quote where you answered and why it applies.

Your assumption of human morality being unique is wrong.

You have never once explained why a human has more rights as a foetus than at any time in it's life. Nor why a non-, or semi- sentient unborn's rights trumps a woman's bodily autonomy,
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#15

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-22-2024, 08:01 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(01-22-2024, 07:39 PM)brewerb Wrote: I do not agree with P 1 thru 4. My position is that it's pointless to engage with a religious pro-birther. You do not possess the moral authority over others no matter what you believe.

What specifically do you disagree with? There is no mention or reliance on religion in any of my points.

Got a reading comprehension defect? I'm not going to engage because I consider it pointless, except to maybe tell you that I'm not going to engage because I consider it pointless.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#16

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
Quote:the woman; who is a fully formed human being with inherent dignity and value, without question.


Fundies of all stripes would vigorously deny that assumption.  They still blame "Eve" for the fall of man.

You can't reason with morons.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#17

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
I’d also like to point out that assuming human life has more value than other animal life is only true to humans. Religions like to argue how valuable we are because we are a higher level of intelligence. I don’t agree…I think all life has value and it’s only our selfishness that places us on some arbitrary higher level.

And honestly, except for the small percentage of infertile people, babies are easy to make and not in short supply. Nature has her own system for dealing with overpopulation which I doubt any of us would prefer.

Again…conception isn’t a moment in time. It’s approximately a three day process before the unique DNA is expressed and several months before true brain activity occurs.

I understand that you consider the rights of the fetus takes precedence over the right to bodily autonomy. I, and millions of others think the opposite. I have no problem if you decide to carry a fetus whether you want it or not if you’ll grant me the right to decide my own fate. Fix all the problems in society that make a child a detriment to the mother first and I’ll reconsider my position.
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#18

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
Quote:several months before true brain activity occurs.


Or never at all in the case of Trumptards.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#19

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-23-2024, 12:02 AM)pattylt Wrote: I’d also like to point out that assuming human life has more value than other animal life is only true to humans.  Religions like to argue how valuable we are because we are a higher level of intelligence.  I don’t agree…I think all life has value and it’s only our selfishness that places us on some arbitrary higher level.

And honestly, except for the small percentage of infertile people, babies are easy to make and not in short supply.  Nature has her own system for dealing with overpopulation which I doubt any of us would prefer.

Again…conception isn’t a moment in time.  It’s approximately a three day process before the unique DNA is expressed and several months before true brain activity occurs.  

I understand that you consider the rights of the fetus takes precedence over the right to bodily autonomy.  I, and millions of others think the opposite.  I have no problem if you decide to carry a fetus whether you want it or not if you’ll grant me the right to decide my own fate.  Fix all the problems in society that make a child a detriment to the mother first and I’ll reconsider my position.

This idea that life start at conception also strikes another problem. It basically makes the argument that your DNA is you which basically means an endorsement of the widely rejected genetical essentialism philosophy. It also accept the fact that if one cell is a human that if I were to preserve one drop of your blood and then throw the rest of you in a woodchipper and then incinerate the remains that you are still alive. I did not murder you. I just caused you grievous permanent injuries since one of your cell is still alive. It could also mean that twins are one person since they have the same DNA or, alternatively, it could mean that each of my living cells that is separated from my body is now a whole new human being that needs to be saved and protected. It turns out that in such a case men can reproduce by pseudo-mitosis. Considering a cell as a human with rights and dignity is complete insanity.
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#20

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-23-2024, 12:51 AM)epronovost Wrote:
(01-23-2024, 12:02 AM)pattylt Wrote: I’d also like to point out that assuming human life has more value than other animal life is only true to humans.  Religions like to argue how valuable we are because we are a higher level of intelligence.  I don’t agree…I think all life has value and it’s only our selfishness that places us on some arbitrary higher level.

And honestly, except for the small percentage of infertile people, babies are easy to make and not in short supply.  Nature has her own system for dealing with overpopulation which I doubt any of us would prefer.

Again…conception isn’t a moment in time.  It’s approximately a three day process before the unique DNA is expressed and several months before true brain activity occurs.  

I understand that you consider the rights of the fetus takes precedence over the right to bodily autonomy.  I, and millions of others think the opposite.  I have no problem if you decide to carry a fetus whether you want it or not if you’ll grant me the right to decide my own fate.  Fix all the problems in society that make a child a detriment to the mother first and I’ll reconsider my position.

This idea that life start at conception also strikes another problem. It basically makes the argument that your DNA is you which basically means an endorsement of the widely rejected genetical essentialism philosophy. It also accept the fact that if one cell is a human that if I were to preserve one drop of your blood and then throw the rest of you in a woodchipper and then incinerate the remains that you are still alive. I did not murder you. I just caused you grievous permanent injuries since one of your cell is still alive. It could also mean that twins are one person since they have the same DNA or, alternatively, it could mean that each of my living cells that is separated from my body is now a whole new human being that needs to be saved and protected. It turns out that in such a case men can reproduce by pseudo-mitosis.  Considering a cell as a human with rights and dignity is complete insanity.

The one flaw in your otherwise excellent logic is that none of those cells (barring un-Godly scientific interference Dodgy) is that those cells don't have the nature of becoming an actual human being.  It is only the seeds that need to be protected with laws to protect the natural order of God's Plan.  Facepalm
“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. 
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
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#21

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-23-2024, 04:05 AM)Chas Wrote:
(01-23-2024, 12:51 AM)epronovost Wrote: This idea that life start at conception also strikes another problem. It basically makes the argument that your DNA is you which basically means an endorsement of the widely rejected genetical essentialism philosophy. It also accept the fact that if one cell is a human that if I were to preserve one drop of your blood and then throw the rest of you in a woodchipper and then incinerate the remains that you are still alive. I did not murder you. I just caused you grievous permanent injuries since one of your cell is still alive. It could also mean that twins are one person since they have the same DNA or, alternatively, it could mean that each of my living cells that is separated from my body is now a whole new human being that needs to be saved and protected. It turns out that in such a case men can reproduce by pseudo-mitosis.  Considering a cell as a human with rights and dignity is complete insanity.

The one flaw in your otherwise excellent logic is that none of those cells (barring un-Godly scientific interference Dodgy) is that those cells don't have the nature of becoming an actual human being.  It is only the seeds that need to be protected with laws to protect the natural order of God's Plan.  Facepalm

I'm not sure if it's pertinent to Steve's argument. Steve considers that a single cell is human and thus deserves protection since it's alive and belongs to our species; at least that's what his first two propositions suggest. He does not make the argument that since it could become a human that it has value now which makes sense since most embryo do not turn into humans anyway and there is no guaranty that a child will be born when someone is pregnant. So many things can go wrong. That's why prenatal care is so important.
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#22

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-23-2024, 04:27 AM)epronovost Wrote:
(01-23-2024, 04:05 AM)Chas Wrote: The one flaw in your otherwise excellent logic is that none of those cells (barring un-Godly scientific interference Dodgy) is that those cells don't have the nature of becoming an actual human being.  It is only the seeds that need to be protected with laws to protect the natural order of God's Plan.  Facepalm

I'm not sure if it's pertinent to Steve's argument. Steve considers that a single cell is human and thus deserves protection; at least that's what his first two proposition suggest. He does not make the argument that since it could become a human that it has value now which makes sense since most embryo do not turn into humans anyway and there is no guaranty that a child will be born when someone is pregnant. So many things can go wrong. That's why prenatal care is so important.

The only '"single cell" he is talking about is the fertilized egg.
“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. 
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
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#23

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-22-2024, 07:00 PM)SteveII Wrote: P2. Human life begins at conception (scientifically established)

Sorry, but the science says that human beings are complex composites developed over time.  We are systems with certain attributes.  Because of that developing complexity, assigning any specific point when a human being begins to exist is arbitrary, though it becomes less arbitrary as it approaches completion.

What you are trying to do is shoehorn the concept of a discrete and unified human soul into the scientific information.  Forced-birthers are therefore also trying to force their religious definition of what a human being is on other people who don't share that assumption.  That's why the religious should use their assumption to guide their own behaviors but not to try to control others who disagree with them.  

Religious freedom also means freedom from religion for individuals who choose it.
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#24

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
(01-23-2024, 11:01 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(01-22-2024, 07:00 PM)SteveII Wrote: P2. Human life begins at conception (scientifically established)

Sorry, but the science says that human beings are complex composites developed over time.  We are systems with certain attributes.  Because of that developing complexity, assigning any specific point when a human being begins to exist is arbitrary, though it becomes less arbitrary as it approaches completion.

Excellent point. If we're being scientific about it, human life has no beginning point at all. We each individually grew out of our mothers and as a species we evolved from apes.
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#25

A Non-Religious Case Against Abortion
I forgot how funny it is when theists do pseudo philosophy by listing everything P1, ... Pn and finishing with C.


(01-22-2024, 07:00 PM)SteveII Wrote: P1. It is morally wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being because human life has inherent dignity and value based on the capacity of the species

They also love dictionary definitions they apply like immutable rules of the universe rather than how language is commonly used. So googling the word 'inherent' I get:

Quote:inherent /ĭn-hîr′ənt, -hĕr′-/
adjective
  •    Existing as an essential constituent or characteristic; intrinsic.
       "the dangers inherent in the surgery; the inherent instability of financial markets."
  •     Permanently existing in something; inseparably attached or connected; naturally pertaining to; innate; inalienable.
       "polarity is an inherent quality of the magnet; the inherent right of men to life, liberty, and protection."
  •     Similar: innate inalienable Naturally a part or consequence of something.

How is dignity inherent in humans? Dignity is a subjective value perceived by a third party.




(01-22-2024, 07:00 PM)SteveII Wrote: In support of Premise 1:
• Natural Law concepts of rights are based on the unique rational and moral capacities that distinguish humans from other forms of life. Humans possess the innate ability to discern moral truths and make choices that reflect an understanding of good and evil, justice and injustice, in a way that other species cannot. It is this capacity for moral reasoning and the pursuit of higher ethical goods that sets humanity apart, imbuing human life with inherent dignity and value.

As mentioned before, science has shown us this to also be incorrect. Animals can also have a sense of fairness. So your conclusion relies on two premises that are both incorrect.
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