Author Topic: Pro-life atheists  (Read 692 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2014, 09:06:56 AM »
how seeing an embryo as a person could (is) get in the way of healthier people
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/03/pre_implantation_genetic_testing_with_ivf_it_won_t_create_designer_babies.html

Interesting article.  I'm going to go out on a limb now.  I'll tread carefully, if I can.

Eugenics, I feel, comes with a whole lot of baggage - not least the Nazi version that was tied in with a program of disposing of the people currently alive who had the "problems" that they wanted to eradicate.

We are generally agreed that there are some conditions it is not good to have.  Cancers, for example.  But we also put in place a lot of adjustments for those with disabilities: prosthetics and voiceboxes, for example.  But why are we doing that, if not to remove (as far as possible) the particular detriment caused by that disability?

In other words, we are saying "this person would be better if they did not have this disability".  And so we push hard as we can to restore sight, cure spinal injury, reverse dementia....basically, to make everyone as healthy and abled as possible.

And yet....when we have a chance to eliminate all the defets BEFORE birth, it becomes the Worst Thing Ever.  Suddenly, we WANT as many people as possible born with defects or disabilities, that we will then spend huge amounts of resources trying to correct back to "normal".

To me, it seems bonkers.  And for the vast majority, we're not talking about people who would love their children less for being disabled, or would choose no children at all.  We're talking about people who want the very best for their children healthwise, same as (once born) they would take them to the doctor when they get sick to make them as healthy as possible.

Where it all comes unstuck, of course, is in the contention that to eliminate a week-old embryo in favour of another is just the same as wanting to kill a 40-year old who loses a leg.  To my mind, its not - its nowhere near.  And its only the unproven religious hangovers that we have "souls" that raises the question, so far as I can see.    (Even then, where's the problem?  If the soul is inserted at conception, then god disposes of tens of times more unborn souls than man ever would or could.  What's a few more or less?)

As Jdawg points out, if we're REALLY concerned about the potential lives that die after just a few weeks, then why aren't we pumping billions into making sure that miscarriages never happen?  We aren't - so we're not REALLY concerned with the potential life at all, the real concern is over the humans who sometimes make the choice to do the thing that happens tens of times more often naturally.  It's not about the potential lives, its about the bearers of those lives.

And equally, if its about the potential lives, then we'd see vastly more pumped into education, and social programs, and welfare, so that those poor potential lives can have a far better shot at their ACTUAL lives.  Stop putting your time and money towards anti-abortion, put it all towards the local nursery provisions, or the local child protection agencies.  On balance, it'll make the world a far better place.

Hmmm.  My stream of consiousness has taken me all over the shop there.  Hope you found it interesting even if you disagreed with every word.  Thanks for staying on board. 
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2014, 09:35:10 AM »
how seeing an embryo as a person could (is) get in the way of healthier people
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/03/pre_implantation_genetic_testing_with_ivf_it_won_t_create_designer_babies.html

From the article:
Quote
Consider this quote from one of the ethicists in the Times: “Eliminating embryos with such [GSS] genes is essentially saying someone like Ms. Kalinsky should never have been born,” said David Wasserman, an ethicist at Yeshiva University and consultant to the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Wasserman (who works at a university known for its religiously conservative positions) is basically equating genetic screening with abortion.

I read that paragraph and imagined myself in Ms. Kalinsky's shoes.  I imagined that the little voice in her head was saying something like "thank you, Mr. Wasserman, for associating the value of my personhood with my genes - with my skin color, my race, my gender, my height.  I'm glad that all of the value as a person you see in me - that the person I am - is all about my genetics and all of the things I can't control."
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2014, 11:03:47 AM »
^ yeah.  the guy cannot seem to separate the defect from the person.


And for Anfauglir's post, I agree.  Eliminate the defects before they happen.  That is the gold standard for quality.  I'd even go a step further and say, I have no problem with designer babies, particularly if we can find a "rational" gene and eliminate every embryo that lacks it.  If that is eugenics, so be it.  I'm on board.

People like to say that is "playing god".  As if that's a bad thing.  Pretty much everything we do to alter our environment, ourselves, the outcomes of our errors, is "playing god", isn't it?  Did god intend us to sleep in houses made of processed gypsum, and organic plastics?  In what way is vaccinating our children not "playing god"?  Or setting a broken bone?  Or judging and punishing criminals?  We play god all the time and consider it to be a great thing.  Why the exceptions?

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Offline wright

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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2014, 11:29:14 AM »
As Jdawg points out, if we're REALLY concerned about the potential lives that die after just a few weeks, then why aren't we pumping billions into making sure that miscarriages never happen?  We aren't - so we're not REALLY concerned with the potential life at all, the real concern is over the humans who sometimes make the choice to do the thing that happens tens of times more often naturally.  It's not about the potential lives, its about the bearers of those lives.

Precisely. It's about control. Specifically, controlling women's ability to choose whether or not to have children. That idea is utterly terrifying to a very vocal minority; it goes against so much they've been taught to value.

Quote
And equally, if its about the potential lives, then we'd see vastly more pumped into education, and social programs, and welfare, so that those poor potential lives can have a far better shot at their ACTUAL lives.  Stop putting your time and money towards anti-abortion, put it all towards the local nursery provisions, or the local child protection agencies.  On balance, it'll make the world a far better place.

Hmmm.  My stream of consiousness has taken me all over the shop there.  Hope you found it interesting even if you disagreed with every word.  Thanks for staying on board.

BAM! on the target. We need better provision for the people who are already born. Education and raising people's standard of living are proven methods of reducing family size, overall. Aberrations like the Duggars and Quiverfull movements notably occur in places like the US, where many of those infrastructures are already in place.

And yet many of those hypocrites who rail against abortion and contraception also declare that better provision for expectant mothers and young children is immoral or a drain on society...
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2014, 02:31:50 PM »
^ yeah.  the guy cannot seem to separate the defect from the person.


And for Anfauglir's post, I agree.  Eliminate the defects before they happen.  That is the gold standard for quality.  I'd even go a step further and say, I have no problem with designer babies, particularly if we can find a "rational" gene and eliminate every embryo that lacks it.  If that is eugenics, so be it.  I'm on board.

People like to say that is "playing god".  As if that's a bad thing.  Pretty much everything we do to alter our environment, ourselves, the outcomes of our errors, is "playing god", isn't it?  Did god intend us to sleep in houses made of processed gypsum, and organic plastics?  In what way is vaccinating our children not "playing god"?  Or setting a broken bone?  Or judging and punishing criminals?  We play god all the time and consider it to be a great thing.  Why the exceptions?

Feh.

Exactly.

Everything humans have done to make life better over the past oh, 100,000 years has been "playing god": agriculture, settled communities, inventing writing, animal domestication, cooking food, building shelter, treating illness,  industrialization, literacy, public sanitation. Clearly, god did not finish the job, or even leave behind the plans--he started the game and then just walked off the field, so there has been an awful lot of "playing" to do.

Of course when people start tinkering with fertility there will be outcomes some people don't like. I am not sure we should use expensive medical technology to help wealthy privileged folks have designer babies when there are so many "regular" babies neglected and in need worldwide. But that's just me.

If we are going to do high tech fertility treatments, it makes perfect sense to select the embryos with fewer problems and therefore the best chance of survival.  Will there someday be a way to select for or against religious tendencies, heterosexuality, conservative values? Where it ends, who knows? For every overall improvement, there will been unintended negative consequences that we have to deal with.[1]
 1. Writing and literacy are good but people use them to harass, libel and commit fraud. Should we not have writing, then?
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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2014, 02:59:12 AM »
I think it's a misnomer to even call it pro-life. It's not pro-life, it's pro-existence. Would these people rather someone's entire existence be in a vegetative state? Are these people also against euthanasia?

Again, it's people sticking their noses in, attempting to take away the freedoms of an individual and what they do with their own body. I have the right to not allow you to use my body to keep you alive, and that goes for pregnant women too who aren't ready to bring a new life into the world. I mean, are we to start reattaching babies to their mothers if, when they are born, they can't survive by themselves? Are we to start teathering healthy people to those dying on their death beds, as a means to sustain their suffering existence and keep them fuelled? Where do you draw the line? Why is it that a soup of cells has more of a right to life and the use of another persons body than the 110 year old grey, grandad Ernie with tubes sticking out of every orifice?

Pro-lifers are people who, when you follow the reasoning and get down to the nitty-gritty, are those who want to turn people into batteries. As has already been stated, instead of concentrating on over-populating the planet with Duracel bunnies, focus on how you would sustain all of these people, or the education of safe sex and contraception so that women aren't getting pregnant in the first place. But no, such people are too caught up in busybodying and sticking their unwanted oar in, without realising the consequences of their worldview.
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Offline Backspace

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Re: Pro-life atheists
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2014, 07:58:50 AM »
People like to say that is "playing god".  As if that's a bad thing.

Indeed.

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