Poll

Which of the following applies to you?

I am an atheist/agnostic and am pro-choice.
21 (80.8%)
I am an atheist/agnostic and am opposed to abortion.
1 (3.8%)
I am an atheist/agnostic and am opposed to abortion during and after the second trimester.
3 (11.5%)
I am an atheist/agnostic and am opposed to abortion during and after the third trimester.
1 (3.8%)

Total Members Voted: 26

Voting closed: May 30, 2012, 06:49:32 PM

Author Topic: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion  (Read 6778 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6879
  • Darwins +925/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #116 on: March 05, 2012, 11:50:17 AM »
One male fantasy conversation that really needs publicly exposed for the insanity of it, and I've heard it more than a few times and it goes something like this: Women talking among selves. "Hey girlfriend...you know what? I'm horny so let's go pick up some men so we can get pregnant then go have us some abortions!"
There are actually men walking around who think this is a regular occurrence and typical female tactic. Take that idiot shitthink off the table and the IQ of the entire planet goes up overnight.

Soooo the idea is that women have abortions because they have an extra couple hundred bucks, think it's a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon-- and the clinic is just a three hour drive and a 24 waiting period away? I guess the same kind of person thinks people get unnecessary root canals just because it is covered by the insurance.  :o
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #117 on: March 05, 2012, 12:43:00 PM »
It's pedantic because science agrees, by consensus, that the mirror test is valid and thus not flawed.

False dichotomy. Something can be valid and flawed. One of the best examples I can think of are scientific theories.

Again, pedantry.  If a test is flawed enough to make the outcome uncertain or demonstrably incorrect then it is not valid.  You're arguing that there are minor degrees of imperfection that don't invalidate a test or theory in general.  While that is true, it's not germane to this discussion.  Like Newton's laws of motion.   While discussing the non-relativistic interaction of objects you might state "But Newton's laws of motion are flawed!"  And you would be 100% (pedantically) correct,  it's still not meaningful.

Quote
That's not evidence and thus it does not help us decide, in general, if newborns are self-aware.  Given that there is no evidence of self-awareness and that we don't assume self-awareness by default that means that we must consider newborns to not have self-awareness.

I know it's not evidence. My point is that if I cannot even conceive of an experiment to determine that, how am I supposed to provide evidence for it?

I don't know, I didn't make the assertion, I don't have to provide evidence.  I suggest that until you can present such evidence you must conceded that newborns are, as far as we know, not self-aware.

Quote
The reason I don't want to get into the details of the test is because you have rejected its validity.  What is the point, with respect to the argument at hand, of continuing down this particular road which cannot possibly move the discussion forward?

I have rejected its validity due to my understanding of how it works. If my understanding is flawed, then I will change my mind. I said that here:
I will perform the research if you really don't feel like discussing the details, merely because my view may be flawed because I simply don't understand the implications of the mirror test.

Well sure, but you said this after I had stated that I didn't care to discuss the mirror test in detail.  I was explaining to you why I said that in the first place.  Even if we were to have a discussion of the mirror test, seeing as I have already conceded the point and agreed not to use the mirror test based on your aforementioned rejection of validity, what is the point?  You've already "won" the point by way of me agreeing to discard the test.

Quote
Perceive reality.  No spiders can see the full EM spectrum, you don't appear to understand electromagnetism.

Sorry. I got a little carried away there with the hyperbole. IIRC they can see from infrared to ultraviolet and everything in between.


Most spiders have relatively poor eyesight.  There are species that react to low-frequency UV, whether they are "seeing" or not is debatable.  The entire band of low IR to hard UV is quite large (many times the size of the visible spectrum), there is no species that can image all of that with one organ.  I suspect there is no species that can even image both high frequency IR and low frequency UV with the same sensory organ.

Quote
Besides, perception isn't sensory input, it's the processing of said input in an intelligent fashion.

That doesn't change much and now hinges on your definition of "intelligent fashion". I think you're just putting humans above everything else in evolutionary terms[1] when you shouldn't be.
 1. And treating evolution as if it were an absolute thing, since it is the only way that that can make sense.

Even if I am placing humans above other species on an intelligence scale[2] that doesn't imply that humans are either evolutionarily superior or that evolution is some sort of static tree.  There are absolutely environments where humans are significantly less fit for survival than other species.

In terms of perception, I'm not sure what else to say.  Synonyms for perception are words like awareness, consciousness, appreciation and realization.  None of those are absolute and I contend that they are all somewhere on a spectrum (and I'm not assuming humans are the ultimate high point of said spectrum).

 2. However, I'm not sure there exists a more deterministic way of measuring intelligence.

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11139
  • Darwins +294/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #118 on: March 05, 2012, 12:54:09 PM »
Again, pedantry.  If a test is flawed enough to make the outcome uncertain or demonstrably incorrect then it is not valid.  You're arguing that there are minor degrees of imperfection that don't invalidate a test or theory in general.  While that is true, it's not germane to this discussion.

It's the reason I reject the mirror test; how is that not relevant?

I don't know, I didn't make the assertion, I don't have to provide evidence.  I suggest that until you can present such evidence you must conceded that newborns are, as far as we know, not self-aware.

Uh... No. I concede that there is no objective evidence either way, but that babies' self-awareness is as obvious to me as the fact that they're alive.

Well sure, but you said this after I had stated that I didn't care to discuss the mirror test in detail.

If this is an accusation of intellectual dishonesty, I suggest you state it plainly or retract your statement. Preferably the latter.

Even if we were to have a discussion of the mirror test, seeing as I have already conceded the point and agreed not to use the mirror test based on your aforementioned rejection of validity, what is the point?  You've already "won" the point by way of me agreeing to discard the test.

If my understanding of the mirror test is flawed, then it would mean that my view is also flawed. Ergo I would have to concede that the mirror test is an acceptable test for self-awareness and you would have "won".
I've said this three times now.

Most spiders have relatively poor eyesight.  There are species that react to low-frequency UV, whether they are "seeing" or not is debatable.  The entire band of low IR to hard UV is quite large (many times the size of the visible spectrum), there is no species that can image all of that with one organ.  I suspect there is no species that can even image both high frequency IR and low frequency UV with the same sensory organ.

Wow, I'm a fucking retard.[1] Never mind the IR/UV thing. However, (some) spiders do have tetrachromatic[2] vision. They can see more colors than we can. By your definition of sentience, they are "more" sentient than us, as they can perceive more than we can.

In terms of perception, I'm not sure what else to say.  Synonyms for perception are words like awareness, consciousness, appreciation and realization.  None of those are absolute and I contend that they are all somewhere on a spectrum (and I'm not assuming humans are the ultimate high point of said spectrum).

You are conceding to a point that's not my own. :S
I don't think any of those are on a spectrum. Either something is conscious or it's not. Either something has realized something or it hasn't. Black and white.
 1. Not kidding.
 2. Is that even a word?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #119 on: March 05, 2012, 01:37:10 PM »

I don't know, I didn't make the assertion, I don't have to provide evidence.  I suggest that until you can present such evidence you must conceded that newborns are, as far as we know, not self-aware.

Uh... No. I concede that there is no objective evidence either way, but that babies' self-awareness is as obvious to me as the fact that they're alive.


Wow, you sound just like a theist.  "God's existence is as obvious to me as the fact that the universe exists."  It's obvious that you believe that newborns[1] are self aware.  Your belief does not make this so.  In the absence of evidence the logical conclusion differs from your "intuition".

Quote
Well sure, but you said this after I had stated that I didn't care to discuss the mirror test in detail.

If this is an accusation of intellectual dishonesty, I suggest you state it plainly or retract your statement. Preferably the latter.

 1. Notice how you keep using the label "babies"?

It's not an accusation of anything.  It's a statement of the order in which events transpired.

Quote
Even if we were to have a discussion of the mirror test, seeing as I have already conceded the point and agreed not to use the mirror test based on your aforementioned rejection of validity, what is the point?  You've already "won" the point by way of me agreeing to discard the test.

If my understanding of the mirror test is flawed, then it would mean that my view is also flawed. Ergo I would have to concede that the mirror test is an acceptable test for self-awareness and you would have "won".
I've said this three times now.

Have you?  I didn't notice until you finally emboldened it!  Surely you can see this line of discussion is rapidly approach silliness.  At this point, I don't care what you think about the mirror test.  It's no longer part of the discussion.

Quote
Most spiders have relatively poor eyesight.  There are species that react to low-frequency UV, whether they are "seeing" or not is debatable.  The entire band of low IR to hard UV is quite large (many times the size of the visible spectrum), there is no species that can image all of that with one organ.  I suspect there is no species that can even image both high frequency IR and low frequency UV with the same sensory organ.

Wow, I'm a fucking retard.[2] Never mind the IR/UV thing. However, (some) spiders do have tetrachromatic[3] vision. They can see more colors than we can. By your definition of sentience, they are "more" sentient than us, as they can perceive more than we can.
 2. Not kidding.
 3. Is that even a word?

Yes, spiders have tetrachromatic vision.

You're putting words in my mouth by claiming I have defined sentience in this fashion. I have never claimed that sentience is in anyway linked to visual acuity (if I had then birds of prey would obviously be much more aware than humans).  I said perception and then I went on to state that perception is not the same thing as sight.

Quote
In terms of perception, I'm not sure what else to say.  Synonyms for perception are words like awareness, consciousness, appreciation and realization.  None of those are absolute and I contend that they are all somewhere on a spectrum (and I'm not assuming humans are the ultimate high point of said spectrum).

You are conceding to a point that's not my own. :S
I don't think any of those are on a spectrum. Either something is conscious or it's not. Either something has realized something or it hasn't. Black and white.

You don't think dogs are more perceptive than frogs?  Or that tool-using bonobos are more aware than fish?  You think that all people are capable of the same level of awareness and appreciation?

Are you aware that medical science measures consciousness on a curve (from alert and awake to persistent vegetative state)?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 01:39:29 PM by jss »

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11139
  • Darwins +294/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #120 on: March 05, 2012, 01:54:53 PM »
Wow, you sound just like a theist.  "God's existence is as obvious to me as the fact that the universe exists."  It's obvious that you believe that newborns[1] are self aware.  Your belief does not make this so.  In the absence of evidence the logical conclusion differs from your "intuition".
 1. Notice how you keep using the label "babies"?

Ah, the old "you sound like a theist" card. Sorry, false analogy. A god (to the theist) is defined in clear and concise terms. Self-awareness is not defined in objective terms, which is why I compared it to life. We know when something is alive and when something is dead, but we can't define either one.
As for calling newborns babies, I'm just shortening it. The actual term is "newborn baby", AFAIK.

Surely you can see this line of discussion is rapidly approach silliness.  At this point, I don't care what you think about the mirror test.  It's no longer part of the discussion.

It certainly is. I explained why I rejected the mirror test; something you do not agree with. However, you rejected the mirror test as well, rather than attempting to explain why the only piece of evidence for self-awareness is valid.

You're putting words in my mouth by claiming I have defined sentience in this fashion. I have never claimed that sentience is in anyway linked to visual acuity (if I had then birds of prey would obviously be much more aware than humans).  I said perception and then I went on to state that perception is not the same thing as sight.

Perception is not sight, but sight is perception. I also mentioned their sensitivity to vibrations.

You don't think dogs are more perceptive than frogs?  Or that tool-using bonobos are more aware than fish?  You think that all people are capable of the same level of awareness and appreciation?

Note that I didn't mention perception because once we go into the realm of whether something is capable of perception or not, there are varying degrees of it.

EDIT: How about this? Babies cry when they're lonely to get attention. Would you categorize that as a recognition of self as being separate from everything else?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 02:38:45 PM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5072
  • Darwins +585/-18
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #121 on: March 06, 2012, 08:35:53 AM »
I think it's worth pointing out that I'm completely in favor of the parents making the decision on whether to have an abortion.  In many cases, that just means the mother, if the guy is not involved aside from the sex part.  That being said, I have to ask, isn't five months plenty of time for a woman to decide that she wants an abortion?  To me, once the fetus can reasonably survive outside the womb (which is at about 21), that crosses a line - it's no longer a "potential" human life if it can survive without the support systems of the womb.  So my feeling is that if a woman could get an abortion within those first five months without having to jump through hoops, in other words she could get it without insane restrictions solely crafted to try to browbeat her into choosing not to get one, there'd be no reasonable justification for getting one after 21 weeks short of issues relating to health (including potentially dying).

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6879
  • Darwins +925/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #122 on: March 06, 2012, 04:35:41 PM »
I think it's worth pointing out that I'm completely in favor of the parents making the decision on whether to have an abortion.  In many cases, that just means the mother, if the guy is not involved aside from the sex part.  That being said, I have to ask, isn't five months plenty of time for a woman to decide that she wants an abortion?  To me, once the fetus can reasonably survive outside the womb (which is at about 21), that crosses a line - it's no longer a "potential" human life if it can survive without the support systems of the womb.  So my feeling is that if a woman could get an abortion within those first five months without having to jump through hoops, in other words she could get it without insane restrictions solely crafted to try to browbeat her into choosing not to get one, there'd be no reasonable justification for getting one after 21 weeks short of issues relating to health (including potentially dying).

It is extremely unlikely that a woman would frivolously "change her mind" and suddenly want an abortion at 6+ months.  By then she presumably is aware that she is pregnant, the morning sickness has gotten better, she has come to terms with the idea of having a baby and started making whatever arrangements she needs. I think the stats show that around 1% of abortions are after 24 months, and it is pretty hard to get one for non-health related reasons.

But suppose she did decide to terminate at that late date--she was on drugs and did not know she was pregnant and is now sober and does not want the baby, or her husband has left her for another woman, or she has lost her job and insurance, or she is being deported to Sudan, or it took her several months to save up the money.  Or maybe she is just silly, immature and a bad decision maker. Or maybe she is wacked out insane.

What do you do, then? You have to let her go on with the abortion, assuming she has the money and can find a qualified doctor willing to do it--two pretty major hurdles.[1]  Or you have to imprison her somehow and force her to carry the pregnancy to term. And then take the baby away at birth and find other people to raise it.
 1. It's riskier to her health, more painful, more involved, more expensive, and requires a doctor with more skill.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline GodlessHeathen

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Darwins +9/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence.
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #123 on: March 06, 2012, 04:51:03 PM »
Some very interesting discussion. I have ducked out of the conversation a bit since obviously I need to give my position on this issue some more thought.
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" (Christopher Hitchens).

Offline Truth OT

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1452
  • Darwins +88/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #124 on: March 06, 2012, 05:25:47 PM »
But suppose she did decide to terminate at that late date--she was on drugs and did not know she was pregnant and is now sober and does not want the baby, or her husband has left her for another woman, or she has lost her job and insurance, or she is being deported to Sudan, or it took her several months to save up the money.  Or maybe she is just silly, immature and a bad decision maker. Or maybe she is wacked out insane.

What do you do, then? You have to let her go on with the abortion, assuming she has the money and can find a qualified doctor willing to do it--two pretty major hurdles.[1]  Or you have to imprison her somehow and force her to carry the pregnancy to term. And then take the baby away at birth and find other people to raise it.
 1. It's riskier to her health, more painful, more involved, more expensive, and requires a doctor with more skill.

Assuming the baby is viable and projected to live reasonably healthy with a life expectancy beyond early childhood and her life is not threatened by the pregnancy; in that situation the baby deserves a chance to live. If mommy doesn't want to the child then she can give it up at birth. If she is unemployed and thus uninsured there's the CHIPs program that will take care of her delivery related expenses. If she's being deported to Sudan, then ......damn, I don't know. If she's insane, then she should not be permitted to keep the baby seeing as the baby is a human being and not her property.

At this point in the pregnancy I would argue that the mother is no longer the only party with rights, though her rights should logically trump the rights of the life that is dependant upon her. Abortion in the circumstance when the child has become viable is just vile and should be reserved ONLY for situations where the mother's life is threatened or the child's health situation is such that euthanizing the child is best.
Being that the mother still has rights it can even be argued that inducing labor and leaving the child to the care of the hospital = the state = us tax payers is within the realm of her rights. It's some self-serving BS, but her human right nonetheless.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5072
  • Darwins +585/-18
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #125 on: March 06, 2012, 05:31:20 PM »
But suppose she did decide to terminate at that late date--she was on drugs and did not know she was pregnant and is now sober and does not want the baby, or her husband has left her for another woman, or she has lost her job and insurance, or she is being deported to Sudan, or it took her several months to save up the money.  Or maybe she is just silly, immature and a bad decision maker. Or maybe she is wacked out insane.

What do you do, then? You have to let her go on with the abortion, assuming she has the money and can find a qualified doctor willing to do it--two pretty major hurdles.[1]  Or you have to imprison her somehow and force her to carry the pregnancy to term. And then take the baby away at birth and find other people to raise it.
 1. It's riskier to her health, more painful, more involved, more expensive, and requires a doctor with more skill.
I believe there are other alternatives to "let her have the abortion" and "imprison her".  The only one I can think of offhand is inducing birth and then keeping the infant on life support, but I imagine there would be other possibilities as well.

The thing is, we wouldn't countenance killing an infant, even if it was only one day old, for any of those reasons.  And while a fetus is not an infant, it is developed enough to be recognizable as human and to be able to survive outside the womb.  That fact has to be taken into account for a reasonable decision to be made.  We have to draw the line for when a fetus should have legal protections somewhere, and I would rather draw it somewhere that makes sense (like at 21-24 weeks, for the reasons I mentioned), than let the "personhood" fanatics try to draw it at conception, or even before.

Offline Jake

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 210
  • Darwins +9/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • I see what you do there.
    • Pat Condel's Godless Comedy
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #126 on: March 06, 2012, 10:19:18 PM »
Despite having been quite vocal on the subject for years and across numerous platforms, I still feel like a fish remarking on wings on the subject of abortion, and I will probably never feel like my perspective could possibly be as relevant as a woman's upon the matter when it comes right down to the nitty-gritty of it where factors such as demonstrated thought and education upon the topic are elsewise equal.    And even where they're not equal, I'm still violently opposed to it being men deciding what shall and shall not pass across this sociopolitical bridge of Kazad-Dum.

That said as a form of apologetic disclaimer, I agree with jaimehlers' position aforstated and quoted here for clarity's sake --

I believe there are other alternatives to "let her have the abortion" and "imprison her".  The only one I can think of offhand is inducing birth and then keeping the infant on life support, but I imagine there would be other possibilities as well.

The thing is, we wouldn't countenance killing an infant, even if it was only one day old, for any of those reasons.  And while a fetus is not an infant, it is developed enough to be recognizable as human and to be able to survive outside the womb.  That fact has to be taken into account for a reasonable decision to be made.  We have to draw the line for when a fetus should have legal protections somewhere, and I would rather draw it somewhere that makes sense (like at 21-24 weeks, for the reasons I mentioned), than let the "personhood" fanatics try to draw it at conception, or even before.


--  wherein which I have bolded the specific portion I concur absolutely with.   

From a rational standpoint, I agree with him on this because if it is regulated in a manner conducive to the interests of women, it will benefit not only women; it will benefit everybody in addition to, particularly, allowing for equally regulated and quality-assured practices to be normalized in address of the abortion process as well as the psychological and emotional well-being of those affected.

Beyond the strictly rational, I believe that it would very well best be brought to a woman's concensus on the matter to be determined.     I very well do believe that upon this particular subject, the male gender does not and ultimately cannot make a fully informed decision upon what laws and regulations should and should not be put in action upon it.

I do not think our thoughts or our expressed feelings should be discounted entirely, but we really are the peanut gallery on this one at the end of the matter; we will never be pregnant.   We will never, no matter how compelling our imaginations might be in trying to put ourselves in a pregnant woman's position, have that perspective, and it will not be we men that have to live firsthand with the shapes and natures of the regulations because it will not be our bodies being regulated upon.

No amount of being a husband, a father or a son changes this; we are not qualified, and cannot become qualified, to arbitrate upon this in one absolutely critical aspect.   

We can learn everything there is to know about it as that can be read about or observed.    We can study it from every angle and by every discipline of science right on over to outright fabrication, but we will never BE a pregnant woman.   

We will never BE a pregnant woman facing these decisions and whatever limitations of options regulations apply to them.    Not today, not tomorrow and not on this side of fantastical realizations of science-fiction biomedical practices will we EVER be a pregnant woman.   

It flies in the face of how governance tends to go most anywhere in the world to actually call for a certain degree of segregation based on gender.    I've argued my position and attending beliefs with a whole lot of people, and not always in a conversational dinner-table fashion with pedestrian speculators.    There are a lot of good points that can and have elsewhere, to me, been made about how doing something like excluding men based on being of the male gender from the process of codifying such regulations would, even if it went well in its own consideration, set a terrible precedent for future and reciprocative segregations by gender in the process and codification of law making.

Those points are absolutely valid, and so I wish to make it very plain that that would not be what I would call for on a topic like this.

Rather, I would ask men to temper their own opinions, beliefs and perspectives with this information, and yes, to accept on a personal level that we are not women; we will never be women, pregnant or otherwise, and no matter how strongly we feel, or how educated we are upon all relevant topics, we lack a vital point of capability to be informed upon a critical aspect of the matter in absolute terms.

We are not women.  So, for those that find this position compelling that are also of the male gender, please, support the women in your life with your input and feedback; share your thoughts and express your feelings, but don't try to take an authoritative position beyond the terms of your relevant input.     And realize that there is one very important aspect of the matter on which you will never this side of dreamland have relevant input to give.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 10:24:32 PM by Jake »
"I don't respect your religious beliefs and I don't care if this offends you." - Pat Condel and myself along with him.   I do respect intelligence, rationality and logical consideration, however.    Humor's always good too.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6879
  • Darwins +925/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #127 on: March 06, 2012, 10:38:54 PM »
I love babies. I love baby anything. I would knit booties for baby spinach if they would let me. But I live in the real world, not fantasy land. And in the real world, a pregnant woman who does not want to be pregnant should not have to give birth. Not even if she is six months pregnant.

If a woman comes into a hospital six months pregnant and says she wants an abortion, what is the next step? A mandatory mental evaluation? A knockout shot and handcuff her to the bed? Arrest her for child endangerment?

If she suspects that will happen, why should she come to the hospital? Some women and girls end up trying to abort old school[1]. Or the back alley. Lose the woman and the baby.

Suppose the hospital takes custody of the woman somehow and induces labor. Taxpayers foot the bill. The baby is born and is turned over to social services. Taxpayers foot the bill. The baby goes into the foster care system, especially if not white or if the woman had been on drugs or is in jail. Taxpayers foot the bill.

But the taxpayers are not very generous these days, so that kid is not going to get much in terms of resources. The prospects for that kid are not good. Children in this scenario rarely get adopted, and as they get older, the chances are lower and lower. Foster families usually can't afford to adopt, because then they lose the state payments.

At 18 the kid has been in several different homes, has likely been abused and has emotional problems. The kid is cut loose from the system and is on the street. Now law enforcement takes over. Jail becomes the catch-all social service of last resort.

If people were more willing to generously fund health care, child care, counseling, social services, group homes and family allowances, I might find restrictions on abortion more acceptable. But society expects the pregnant woman to be completely responsible--she made her bed, now she can lie in it, the slut-- and is not going to give her much help. As a society, we are not committed to help care for the child. We would rather pay for prisons.

I stand by my abortion stance: if the woman does not want to be pregnant, she should be able to get an abortion under legal, safe, clean conditions. Hopefully as soon as possible.

I say this as a mom, a teacher of young people, a former social worker, and someone who adores babies.
 1. falling down flights of stairs, drinking bleach, the drain cleaner douche, the coat hanger
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #128 on: March 06, 2012, 10:58:20 PM »
Suppose the hospital takes custody of the woman somehow and induces labor. Taxpayers foot the bill. The baby is born and is turned over to social services. Taxpayers foot the bill. The baby goes into the foster care system, especially if not white or if the woman had been on drugs or is in jail. Taxpayers foot the bill.

Apparently, there is a huge demand for babies by adopted parents and this includes non-white babies as far as I know.

 :o
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6879
  • Darwins +925/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #129 on: March 06, 2012, 11:01:54 PM »
Suppose the hospital takes custody of the woman somehow and induces labor. Taxpayers foot the bill. The baby is born and is turned over to social services. Taxpayers foot the bill. The baby goes into the foster care system, especially if not white or if the woman had been on drugs or is in jail. Taxpayers foot the bill.

Apparently, there is a huge demand for babies by adopted parents and this includes non-white babies as far as I know.

 :o

I also favor greatly expanding opportunities for adoption--gays, singles, atheists.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #130 on: March 06, 2012, 11:09:25 PM »
I agree in cases where those people are denied an opportunity and where they are suitable.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #131 on: March 07, 2012, 11:02:50 AM »
Snipped a bunch because, frankly, I just don't have the time.

You're putting words in my mouth by claiming I have defined sentience in this fashion. I have never claimed that sentience is in anyway linked to visual acuity (if I had then birds of prey would obviously be much more aware than humans).  I said perception and then I went on to state that perception is not the same thing as sight.

Perception is not sight, but sight is perception. I also mentioned their sensitivity to vibrations.

Sight isn't perception.  Like I said before, sight is awareness (or consciousness, or realization, or understanding, or comprehension) of reality as informed by the senses.  If sight were perception then everything that can see well would be able to perceive well.

If you have a different definition of the word 'perception', then I would be willing to amend my statement about sentience to something using a synonym for perception.  Say: Sentience is consciousness and awareness of one's environment.

Quote
You don't think dogs are more perceptive than frogs?  Or that tool-using bonobos are more aware than fish?  You think that all people are capable of the same level of awareness and appreciation?

Note that I didn't mention perception because once we go into the realm of whether something is capable of perception or not, there are varying degrees of it.

If we define sentience as perception/awareness/consciousness (as I did previously) then sentience likewise has varying degrees.

Quote
EDIT: How about this? Babies cry when they're lonely to get attention. Would you categorize that as a recognition of self as being separate from everything else?

Crying is an instinctual reaction that higher-order mammals exhibit when very young (cats, puppies, monkeys, etc).  Beyond that, it's entirely possible to desire the company of others without being self-aware.  Dogs for example act lonely if deprived of necessary socialization.

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11139
  • Darwins +294/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #132 on: March 07, 2012, 01:03:32 PM »
Snipped a bunch because, frankly, I just don't have the time.

I have the time, but not the patience.

Crying is an instinctual reaction that higher-order mammals exhibit when very young (cats, puppies, monkeys, etc).  Beyond that, it's entirely possible to desire the company of others without being self-aware.  Dogs for example act lonely if deprived of necessary socialization.

Actually it's not possible to desire company of others without being self-aware. Self-awareness is defined as recognizing that one is separate from everything else. To recognize that one is lonely and that others are not oneself should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that one is self-aware.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #133 on: March 07, 2012, 01:43:46 PM »
Crying is an instinctual reaction that higher-order mammals exhibit when very young (cats, puppies, monkeys, etc).  Beyond that, it's entirely possible to desire the company of others without being self-aware.  Dogs for example act lonely if deprived of necessary socialization.

Actually it's not possible to desire company of others without being self-aware. Self-awareness is defined as recognizing that one is separate from everything else. To recognize that one is lonely and that others are not oneself should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that one is self-aware.

Sure it is!  It's possible to feel any emotion without even being consciously aware of the cause.  Further more, I suggest that a great deal of humanity does exactly that.

So you believe that animals, like dogs, are self-aware then?

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11139
  • Darwins +294/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #134 on: March 07, 2012, 01:52:02 PM »
Sure it is!  It's possible to feel any emotion without even being consciously aware of the cause.

So what if the baby isn't consciously aware that it misses interacting with other people (which is the cause for loneliness)? It still knows that other people exist and that it is not other people, but a separate being.

So you believe that animals, like dogs, are self-aware then?

Some animals, yes. I would say all of them, but I have not studied every species in existence.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline Truth OT

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1452
  • Darwins +88/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #135 on: March 07, 2012, 01:57:08 PM »
What is sentience beyond that of having a will and being aware of own's own will? If more is required, how much? Should one be able to express and communicate their will in order to be considered as sentient?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 02:00:14 PM by Truth OT »

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #136 on: March 07, 2012, 02:11:24 PM »
Sure it is!  It's possible to feel any emotion without even being consciously aware of the cause.

So what if the baby isn't consciously aware that it misses interacting with other people (which is the cause for loneliness)? It still knows that other people exist and that it is not other people, but a separate being.

My point was that the thought process (I exist and others exist) is not necessary in order to feel loneliness.  In fact, I would argue that no thought process at all is necessary to experience loneliness.

Quote
So you believe that animals, like dogs, are self-aware then?

Some animals, yes. I would say all of them, but I have not studied every species in existence.

Okay then, so to tie this back into its origin: Does that mean that killing a dog is as wrong as killing a newborn?  After all, I did equate late-term abortion with "putting down" a puppy.

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #137 on: March 07, 2012, 02:13:30 PM »
What is sentience beyond that of having a will and being aware of own's own will? If more is required, how much? Should one be able to express and communicate their will in order to be considered as sentient?

If a being is completely unable to express or communicate their will, how do we know that sentience is present (in the absence of a similarity test)?

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11139
  • Darwins +294/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #138 on: March 07, 2012, 02:18:46 PM »
My point was that the thought process (I exist and others exist) is not necessary in order to feel loneliness.  In fact, I would argue that no thought process at all is necessary to experience loneliness.

What is your reasoning for that?

Okay then, so to tie this back into its origin: Does that mean that killing a dog is as wrong as killing a newborn?  After all, I did equate late-term abortion with "putting down" a puppy.

I would say yes, although I don't agree with you equating late-term abortion with putting down a puppy.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline jss

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 52
  • Darwins +2/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #139 on: March 07, 2012, 02:37:02 PM »
My point was that the thought process (I exist and others exist) is not necessary in order to feel loneliness.  In fact, I would argue that no thought process at all is necessary to experience loneliness.

What is your reasoning for that?

Personal experience and shared experience with others as well as time spent with animals who probably don't have what we think of as "thought processes", but certainly do express emotional states.  Essentially, I don't believe that "feeling" implies "thinking".

Quote
Okay then, so to tie this back into its origin: Does that mean that killing a dog is as wrong as killing a newborn?  After all, I did equate late-term abortion with "putting down" a puppy.

I would say yes, although I don't agree with you equating late-term abortion with putting down a puppy.

Well, we ostensibly agree then.  I think I originally equated abortion, in general, with putting down a puppy but I only meant that from a very narrow moral perspective -- i.e. the abortion issue is more complex.   If you think that both are wrong then that is at least consistent.  I don't think either is "wrong" within certain guidelines (lack of cruelty, purposefulness, etc).

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11139
  • Darwins +294/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #140 on: March 07, 2012, 02:45:13 PM »
Personal experience and shared experience with others as well as time spent with animals who probably don't have what we think of as "thought processes", but certainly do express emotional states.  Essentially, I don't believe that "feeling" implies "thinking".

Think of it this way:
You feel angry. You try to figure out why, but you just can't. You don't know the cause. However, you do something to try to fix it. Even if you're not aware of it, there are a lot of assumptions that you're making in order to take action.
Likewise, if a baby is unaware of why it's feeling lonely but does something (crying) to try to fix it, does that not indicate that it's aware (or at least assumes) that there are other beings besides itself (and therefore that it is an individual)?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline Samothec

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
  • Darwins +49/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #141 on: March 08, 2012, 07:19:24 PM »
If people were more willing to generously fund health care, child care, counseling, social services, group homes and family allowances, I might find restrictions on abortion more acceptable. But society expects the pregnant woman to be completely responsible--she made her bed, now she can lie in it, the slut-- and is not going to give her much help. As a society, we are not committed to help care for the child. We would rather pay for prisons.
Thank you for the whole post this is snipped from. I was not able to voice this earlier when I wimped out of the discussion of late term abortions.

American society is indeed very messed up preferring a schadenfreude society where we love imprisoning the downtrodden. And doing everything possible to increase the numbers of the downtrodden. There are times I want to agree that America is Xian and immediately point out things like this.

While I might agree to counseling of women in their third trimester before an abortion, I would require those counselors to be non-religious in their counseling and only present a "soft-sell". Ideally we would arrange for an adoption immediately if the woman was even considering it so she could meet the prospective parents – hopefully being reassured by them. And if those "best match" parents cement her decision to abort, so be it – because it is her potential child.

Hopefully the father would also be brought in at such a time but I also have the unreasonable (in our society) idea that biological and adoptive parents could work together to make the child's life a good one. Mom & Dad (adoptive) and Uncle Dad & Aunty Mom (biological) all co-operating even if they don't get along.

Yes, I realize we will probably have the technology to implant the fetus into a man before we fix our society enough to have the previous paragraph occur. I can still hope – however unreasonably.


... I still feel like a fish remarking on wings on the subject of abortion, ...
Excellent line.     :)
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6879
  • Darwins +925/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #142 on: March 08, 2012, 11:01:36 PM »
^^^I can't wait! When have the technology to put wombs into men, we will see how many single anti-abortion men line up to have unwanted fetuses implanted...

I bet the clinic would be full to bursting with men willing to endure the risks and discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth. They can put their jobs or careers on hold and go on welfare.  Or it could be a nifty stay-at-home second career for retired guys on pensions. 

I see a hit reality show in our future, watching a group of diverse guys try to raise their kids on very little money and with very little help....."Welfare King"? "My Baby Daddy"? "Where's Momma"? "Full Metal Diaper"?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jaimehlers

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5072
  • Darwins +585/-18
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #143 on: March 09, 2012, 10:49:59 AM »
nogodsforme:

Note what I said earlier:  We have to draw the line somewhere, at a point where most people can agree with it being drawn.

For example, I assume you would be okay with a woman, 39 weeks pregnant, who decides that she no longer wants to be pregnant[1] getting an abortion, based on the following statement:  "if the woman does not want to be pregnant, she should be able to get an abortion under legal, safe, clean conditions".  Yes, you followed it up with "hopefully as soon as possible", but nonetheless, the fact remains that this situation could happen.  There is no question of the fetus's viability; if a doctor induced birth, it would be able to survive on its own.

Yet, how many people would be outraged or infuriated or horrified at hearing news of this, and not just the anti-abortion fanatics?  For all practical purposes, it would have been murdered just as surely as if you put a pillow over a one-day-old newborn's face, regardless of the fact that it hadn't technically been born yet.  Most people would not be willing to support the right to have an abortion in this case.  How many people would be willing to support abortion at 36 weeks, or 32, or 28, or even 24, during all of which the fetus is viable and can survive outside the womb?  My guess is, not many, even of those who are pro-choice.  Yet we should freely allow abortions during all of those times if a woman decides she no longer wants to be pregnant?

And that doesn't even touch on the argument that this unwanted child, put up for adoption, might end up in exactly the same situation as the one you describe.  It might turn out to be a bad apple, eighteen years down the road, therefore...we should support abortion at any time and for any reason?  I agree with you that we need to support health care and all the other things you mentioned, and that it would go a long way towards reducing abortions, but I don't agree that we should have abortions just because we don't have health care and those other things.

That's why I argue for full access to contraception.  Push contraception the way it should be pushed, and most of the abortion problem goes away entirely.
 1. say for the sake of argument she was drugged and kept unconscious for all those weeks

Offline GodlessHeathen

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
  • Darwins +9/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence.
Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #144 on: March 13, 2012, 12:34:26 PM »
I know I may be putting myself at risk of getting flamed for this, but one of the questions posed concerning morality on our sister site, DecidingToBeBetter.com is: "Do I want to be ....?" Questions are posed like "Do I want to be murdered?" or "Do I want to be stolen from?" This is the only way that I have found that can produce any sort of consistent moral behavior on a global scale (even for theists, although they would claim that their morals come from "God").

Concerning the abortion issue, as a sentient human being, I would have to ask myself, "Would I want to be aborted?" Now some will probably retort that that is a ludicrous or irrelevant question to ask since we are "already born," but to pose the "already born" rebuttal simply begs the question and assumes the conclusion that "personhood begins at birth". Is the question, "Do I want to be enslaved" irrelevant simply because we live in a society where slavery is illegal? The question, "Would I want to be aborted?" is relevant, because the question implies the additional qualification of "If I were a sentient unborn human being, would I want to be aborted?" just as the question "Do I want to be enslaved" implies the additional qualification of "If I lived in a society where slavery was legal, would I want to be enslaved?"

In more tongue in cheek terms, it could be summed up in the statement "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born" (Ronald Reagan, cited in www.notable-quotes.com/r/reagan_ronald.html). Perhaps it is a "sin" to quote Ronald Reagan here, but sometimes a point is best made by stating the obvious.

Source: http://decidingtobebetter.com/morality.htm
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 12:37:21 PM by GodlessHeathen »
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" (Christopher Hitchens).