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 7049 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #174 on: March 14, 2012, 10:25:51 AM »
It projects my self onto something that is not really a person.
But the issue of who/what is or is not "really a person" is part of what is in question here, is it not?

No.   "Do I wanna...?", does not in any way answer whether a fetus is a person.  It takes it for granted as an unspoken assumption, a hidden presumption. Which, I find pretty sneaky.  Same with old Ronnie's quote.

Look, try the question this way - "Do I wanna have my burned out light bulb changed?"  That question forces me to project my self onto a table lamp.  "Well, of course I want my light bulb changed!  I wouldn't want to be sitting around useless with a burned out bulb in me." 

The question is only useful in some situations.  Those situations demand that you are speaking as a person from the same culture and background with the same tastes.  "Do I wanna wear a burka?"  For me the answer is "absolutely not".  But that has a lot to do with the culture in which I was raised.  For many muslim women raised in cultures very different than mine, the answer is a resounding "yes!" So "do I wanna" is completely useless in that situation.

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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #175 on: March 14, 2012, 07:41:15 PM »
No.   "Do I wanna...?", does not in any way answer whether a fetus is a person.  It takes it for granted as an unspoken assumption, a hidden presumption. Which, I find pretty sneaky.  Same with old Ronnie's quote.

I didn't say it answers the question of whether or not a fetus is a person. I realize that it presupposes the "personhood" of the fetus at some point. That is a question on which many do not agree, but I think several people here have cited some compelling facts about the development of a fetus to indicate that there is a least a possibility that it might fit the definition of a "person" at some point during the pregnancy. I approach the issue from the point of view of giving a fetus with a fully developed neural system the benefit of a doubt.

As I pointed out to Azdgari, there are two basic starting points from which people approach this issue - giving the fully developed unborn the benefit of a doubt and placing one's priorities there or placing the possible personhood status of the unborn below the priority of a woman's right to choose. When two people disagree on the basic starting point, they will probably never see eye to eye on the issue.

I understand the analogies you presented, but they are not directly related to life or bodily harm, although, presumably, in some Muslim counties, a woman might be killed for not wearing a burka in public. Asking the question of what style of clothing do I prefer is very different from asking the question of do I want someone to kill me. Again, I realize that this presupposes the personhood of the fetus. Hence we go around and around and around the same issue with no real resolution, because we disagree on where the priority should be placed in the first place.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #176 on: March 14, 2012, 08:30:03 PM »
If you start from the premise that some particular kinds of abortion are murder, then it is not particularly impressive when you use that premise to come to the conclusion that those particular kinds of abortion are murder.

Ho. Hum.
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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #177 on: March 14, 2012, 08:45:23 PM »
If you start from the premise that some particular kinds of abortion are murder, then it is not particularly impressive when you use that premise to come to the conclusion that those particular kinds of abortion are murder.

I think you should read back over my previous posts, Azdgari. I mentioned plenty of biological evidence.

Ho. Hum.

Agreed, this discussion is getting old.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #178 on: March 14, 2012, 08:48:28 PM »
For the idea that your definition of personhood is "true"?

I didn't think so.  You've picked your definition.  You did so with a purpose.  What purpose did you pick it for, GH?
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Offline kindred

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #179 on: March 14, 2012, 08:50:33 PM »
No.   "Do I wanna...?", does not in any way answer whether a fetus is a person.  It takes it for granted as an unspoken assumption, a hidden presumption. Which, I find pretty sneaky.  Same with old Ronnie's quote.

I didn't say it answers the question of whether or not a fetus is a person. I realize that it presupposes the "personhood" of the fetus at some point. That is a question on which many do not agree, but I think several people here have cited some compelling facts about the development of a fetus to indicate that there is a least a possibility that it might fit the definition of a "person" at some point during the pregnancy. I approach the issue from the point of view of giving a fetus with a fully developed neural system the benefit of a doubt.

As I pointed out to Azdgari, there are two basic starting points from which people approach this issue - giving the fully developed unborn the benefit of a doubt and placing one's priorities there or placing the possible personhood status of the unborn below the priority of a woman's right to choose. When two people disagree on the basic starting point, they will probably never see eye to eye on the issue.

I understand the analogies you presented, but they are not directly related to life or bodily harm, although, presumably, in some Muslim counties, a woman might be killed for not wearing a burka in public. Asking the question of what style of clothing do I prefer is very different from asking the question of do I want someone to kill me. Again, I realize that this presupposes the personhood of the fetus. Hence we go around and around and around the same issue with no real resolution, because we disagree on where the priority should be placed in the first place.

How could a fetus be a person? A fetus isn't even self-aware. It takes months-years for a baby to develop the understanding of self. A 2 month old baby can't even account for his own weight and physical body in the world. IT can't even understand the concept of "others". For a 2 month old baby, there is no such things as "other" people. Its why they take stuff willy-nilly because they can't comprehend the fact that there is another person that might own it. Heck, a baby can't even feel love in the way we do. They have to develop those emotions. Babies are born with a like and dislike feeling not the complicated emotions we have as adults.

If babies themselves aren't human the way we understand what humanity is than how can a fetus be human/person?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #180 on: March 14, 2012, 08:53:38 PM »
^^ Which shows that for practical reasons, "personhood" shouldn't depend on self-awareness.  If it does, then raping an unconscious woman becomes morally neutral, as might infanticide.  And that's not how the idea of personhood actually functions in society in the first place.

But it's a useful definition for people who want to oppress women.  I've yet to see another reason to adopt it.
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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #181 on: March 14, 2012, 08:55:46 PM »
For the idea that your definition of personhood is "true"?

I didn't think so.  You've picked your definition.  You did so with a purpose.  What purpose did you pick it for, GH?

I did not "pick" my definition. I based the evidence I presented on the development of a fetus and explained that I prefer to start from the premise of giving the unborn the benefit of a doubt when those biological features start to appear.

On the other hand, you present "social evidence," which means very little to a critical thinking atheist in terms of defining something that is based in complex neurological patterns combined together.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 08:59:32 PM by GodlessHeathen »
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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #182 on: March 14, 2012, 08:57:36 PM »
How could a fetus be a person? A fetus isn't even self-aware. It takes months-years for a baby to develop the understanding of self. A 2 month old baby can't even account for his own weight and physical body in the world. IT can't even understand the concept of "others". For a 2 month old baby, there is no such things as "other" people. Its why they take stuff willy-nilly because they can't comprehend the fact that there is another person that might own it. Heck, a baby can't even feel love in the way we do. They have to develop those emotions. Babies are born with a like and dislike feeling not the complicated emotions we have as adults.

If babies themselves aren't human the way we understand what humanity is than how can a fetus be human/person?

This is exactly where this line of thinking leads. Eventually some bleeding heart is going to legalize infanticide.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #183 on: March 14, 2012, 08:59:52 PM »
I did not "pick" my definition.

Then where did you get it from?  Word-definitions are arbitrary.  They are tools of language.  If you didn't decide on it, then who did?

I based the evidence I presented on the development of a fetus and explained that I prefer to start from the premise of giving the unborn the benefit of a doubt when those biological features start to appear.

You presuppose that "personhood" has to do with those biological features.  Justify that presupposition: it's not necessarily shared.

On the other hand, you present "social evidence," which means very little to a critical thinking atheist.

Observations of human behaviour don't mean anything when talking about human behaviour?  Whaaa?

Are you some sort of atheist Poe?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #184 on: March 14, 2012, 09:02:20 PM »
This is exactly where this line of thinking leads. Eventually some bleeding heart is going to legalize infanticide.

Only if we define personhood as a measure of self-awareness, rather than by some more reasonable standard.  And your approach may not only lead to legalizing infanticide (depending on how "self aware" infants really are) but also logically leads to the legalization of date-rape.  Which, incidentally, may lead to an unwanted pregnancy that she isn't even expecting/aware of.  Which, in turn, helps oppress women.

Very coherent.

EDIT:  Only some kinds of date rape, to be fair.  The kinds where the woman is rendered unconscious and thus not self-aware, and therefore - by your standard - not a person until she wakes.



Regarding the -1 you just gave me:  You are now outright lying.  Why?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:07:45 PM by Azdgari »
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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #185 on: March 14, 2012, 09:07:21 PM »
This is exactly where this line of thinking leads. Eventually some bleeding heart is going to legalize infanticide.

Only if we define personhood as a measure of self-awareness, rather than by some more reasonable standard.  And your approach may not only lead to legalizing infanticide (depending on how "self aware" infants really are) but also logically leads to the legalization of date-rape.  Which, incidentally, may lead to an unwanted pregnancy that she isn't even expecting/aware of.  Which, in turn, helps oppress women.

Very coherent.



Regarding the -1 you just gave me:  You are now outright lying.  Why?

Apparently you are not capable of reading your own posts. Also I noticed that others have docked your karma for the same thing. Shall I go back and note every post in which you have resorted to personal attacks?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #186 on: March 14, 2012, 09:09:25 PM »
I was referring to the "not sticking to the facts" part, obviously; that part is a lie.

The "personal attacks" are merely comments on your own actions.  If you don't wish your actions to be commented on, then you should not engage in them.

Specifically, you have engaged in defining "personhood" by self-awareness, without any kind of stated justification for doing so.  Defining personhood in such a way is destructive to human well-being, hence my speculation as to your motives for doing so.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #187 on: March 14, 2012, 09:12:40 PM »
Actually, looking over my three previous -1s, I can't see where any of them have been for personal attacks.[1]  So that one's a lie, too.

Why do you feel the need to lie?
 1. One was for using a hypothetical that supposedly was too personal, as it included the person I was talking to.  Another was for calling someone's belief "religious".  And the other one was for disagreeing with Joebowers.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:16:20 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #188 on: March 14, 2012, 09:20:16 PM »
I was referring to the "not sticking to the facts" part, obviously; that part is a lie.

The "personal attacks" are merely comments on your own actions.  If you don't wish your actions to be commented on, then you should not engage in them.

Specifically, you have engaged in defining "personhood" by self-awareness, without any kind of stated justification for doing so.  Defining personhood in such a way is destructive to human well-being, hence my speculation as to your motives for doing so.

You have apparently failed to take into account all of the arguments for personhood I have proposed. I don't have to defend my character to you or anyone else. I am done with this conversation.
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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #189 on: March 14, 2012, 09:23:19 PM »
Actually, looking over my three previous -1s, I can't see where any of them have been for personal attacks.[1]  So that one's a lie, too.

Why do you feel the need to lie?
 1. One was for using a hypothetical that supposedly was too personal, as it included the person I was talking to.  Another was for calling someone's belief "religious".  And the other one was for disagreeing with Joebowers.

A rhetorical question implying that a poster is a pedophile???? If that is not a personal attack, then (pardon the irony of this question, but) what in God's name is????
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #190 on: March 14, 2012, 09:42:30 PM »
A rhetorical question implying that a poster is a pedophile???? If that is not a personal attack, then (pardon the irony of this question, but) what in God's name is????

Oh, absolutely, if I had done what you describe then that would have been a personal attack.

Now, where did I do so?  Because my point in that post would have been utterly defeated, had I actually been implying that he was a pedophile.  I was using "you are not a pedophile" as a standard for what constitutes a reasonable default position.  I was requiring that he was not a pedophile, in order for it to work.

Maybe you're not a liar.  Maybe you just have trouble reading.  Hell, even Ricky (the guy who gave the -1) didn't call it a personal attackHe understood that much.  Why didn't you?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #191 on: March 14, 2012, 09:47:14 PM »
You have apparently failed to take into account all of the arguments for personhood I have proposed.

Which ones?  The only one I've seen is your argument that failing to define personhood as a measure of personal awareness opens the door to infanticide.  I've addressed that one, as it's a piss-poor argument that not only fails to take into account other standards of defining personhood that achieve the same thing, but also has awful side-effects like legalizing the rape or killing (or whatever) of totally-unconscious people.

Were there others I've missed?  I'm talking about arguments for defining personhood the way you've defined it, not for placing fetuses within your chosen definition of personhood.  The former is a necessary logical step before one proceeds to the latter.

I don't have to defend my character to you or anyone else. I am done with this conversation.

*shrug*  You bailed on critically examining your position before, and you're bailing on it this time.  I'm seeing a pattern.

EDIT:  No clue what a "stabdard" is.  A "stabdart" does sound pretty cool though.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:53:48 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline GodlessHeathen

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #192 on: March 14, 2012, 09:51:18 PM »
A rhetorical question implying that a poster is a pedophile???? If that is not a personal attack, then (pardon the irony of this question, but) what in God's name is????

Oh, absolutely, if I had done what you describe then that would have been a personal attack.

Now, where did I do so?  Because my point in that post would have been utterly defeated, had I actually been implying that he was a pedophile.  I was using "you are not a pedophile" as a standard for what constitutes a reasonable default position.  I was requiring that he was not a pedophile, in order for it to work.

Maybe you're not a liar.  Maybe you just have trouble reading.  Hell, even Ricky (the guy who gave the -1) didn't call it a personal attackHe understood that much.  Why didn't you?

Ok. I stand corrected. I should have read the entire conversation. I will apologize for that and retract my statement.

I still stand by the -1, though, for personal attacks on this thread. You have presented some valid arguments (although I do not agree with all of them), but I do not see the necessity of continuously comparing me to religious wackjobs who regard women as their property. You can even ask my girlfriend. She would tell you that that is as far from the truth as can be.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #193 on: March 14, 2012, 09:52:51 PM »
I'm keeping it up because you're playing right into their hands, and you deserve to be held responsible for doing so.  If you don't agree, then my comments on your character, with respect to your priorities, stand.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 09:54:25 PM by Azdgari »
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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #194 on: March 14, 2012, 09:54:15 PM »
I'm keeping it up because you're playing right into their hands, and you deserve to be held responsible for doing so.  If you don't agree, then my comments on your character stand.
.
If I don't agree with Azdgari, then I'm a woman-oppressing fundie Christian. Bullshit
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #195 on: March 14, 2012, 09:54:46 PM »
Not at all what I said.  Maybe the "liar" thing was closer to the mark...
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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #196 on: March 14, 2012, 09:55:58 PM »
Not at all what I said.  Maybe the "liar" thing was closer to the mark...

Ok if I don't agree with Azdgari then I'm like a woman-oppressing fundie Christian. Again, I say, bullshit

I'm keeping it up because you're playing right into their hands, and you deserve to be held responsible for doing so.  If you don't agree, then my comments on your character stand.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 10:04:46 PM by GodlessHeathen »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #197 on: March 14, 2012, 10:06:06 PM »
I'll spell it out for you.  We have, at hand, two possible definitions of personhood.

1. A self-aware human being.
2. A born human being.

#1 avoids infanticide and allows abortion in the third trimester.
#2 either allows abortion in the third trimester and allows infanticide, or doesn't allow abortion in the third trimester and doesn't allow infanticide, depending on the biology of self-awareness and when it begins.[1]

#1 is anathema to the pro-life movement.
#2 is disagreeable to the pro-life movement, but could be adopted as a useful legal wedge in order to eventually outlaw abortion.

You have picked #1.  I have picked #2.  My reasons for picking #2 should be fairly obvious.  Your reasons for picking #1 are not.  I fail to see the benefits of it.  It's dangerous, and either restricts/criminalizes women who desire ends to their late pregnancies for whatever reason, or doesn't but allows some latitude for early infanticide.  Further, it plays into the hands of anti-abortion activists, giving them legitimate leeway to impose intrusive laws affecting a woman's body in order to verify stuff about her pregnancy, etc.  Hell, that crap already happens, but often gets struck down.  Why do you want it to be even easier to impose that shit?

You're operating under a harmful paradigm.  Whether you actively picked it or not, you are responsible for the ramifications of your own paradigm.  Hence, comments about your character and priorities are in-line.  That's the necessary starting point.  You've made a decision, and that decision is under discussion.
 1. I get that you've made a good case for the latter of these.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 10:08:54 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #198 on: March 14, 2012, 10:07:25 PM »
Ok if I don't agree with Azdgari then I'm like a woman-oppressing fundie Christian. Again, I say, bullshit

Nope.  If you don't agree with me on this specific issue, then you are enabling woman-oppressing fundie Christians, for reasons I have outlined before and which I outline more simply and explicitly in the post above this one.  You're either ignorant of that, or you're comfy with that.  I'm having trouble giving credit to the former by this point in the discussion.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #199 on: March 15, 2012, 08:07:42 AM »
Eventually some bleeding heart is going to legalize infanticide.

Yes, because that's what bleeding hearts do.

You realize, that would be the exact opposite of what a bleeding heart means?  They are called that because they are considered to be overly sypmathetic.

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #200 on: March 15, 2012, 09:16:45 AM »
1. A self-aware human being.
2. A born human being.

I meant to swap these #s.  My bad.  When I refer to #1 in the rest of that post, I am talking about #2 above, and vice versa.
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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #201 on: March 15, 2012, 01:05:43 PM »
Eventually some bleeding heart is going to legalize infanticide.

Yes, because that's what bleeding hearts do.

You realize, that would be the exact opposite of what a bleeding heart means?  They are called that because they are considered to be overly sypmathetic.

Dude, it can work in the other direction, too. I have seen it happen.
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Re: Atheists and Agnostics - Pro-choice / Opposed to Abortion
« Reply #202 on: March 15, 2012, 02:38:56 PM »
Eventually some bleeding heart is going to legalize infanticide.

Yes, because that's what bleeding hearts do.

You realize, that would be the exact opposite of what a bleeding heart means?  They are called that because they are considered to be overly sypmathetic.

Dude, it can work in the other direction, too. I have seen it happen.

What. Ever.
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