September 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Subscribe

« Clearing Up Some Confusion | Main | Tough Teaching »

April 06, 2006

Comments

"Roe v. Wade not only takes the life of the unborn child, but it also tempts the natural father to kill off his instinct to protect and provide for his children,"

This is absurd, men were running out on their families long before Roe. The phrase "shotgun marriage" is very old and the concept is older. There is no link here.

i agree, if anything i can see that r v. w may have been a feminist attempt at making the playfield even after millenia of men running off on pregnant women.

this is, of course, a bad idea to put into law. but it certainly would be consistent in light of the r v. w society we're in.

Aron, I think you missed an important point. RvW didn't say that women could now abort their children. No, they had been doing that for centuries in one manner or another, but there was often social stigma attached to it. RvW says that they have the RIGHT to do this and it is something that society ought to endorse and support in one manner or another (financially, morally, etc.)

The Roe for Men is similar. Yes, some men have abandoned their responsibilities for centuries, but their is social stigma attached to it. If this case were to be the imputus for a law, the "dead beat dad" would be a thing of the past in many cases.

So there is in fact a very strong link, not because of the simple action, which you focused on, but because of the moral implications behind it.

Of course Roe for men is a bad idea. But if Roe v. Wade is valid, it is merely the logical next step. In spite of how misguided and wrong it is, this case perfectly illustrates many of the fallacies of Roe. Why should men be excluded from the basic "rights" that women have under Roe? RVW supporters who oppose Roe for Men have to twist themselves into a logical pretzel to defend their position.

I agree with JJ. It is a sort of schafferian response which pushes someone towards the logical conclusion of their position in order to get them to finally reason how dumb their position is.

Guts, this isn't going to happen - no privacy issue, assumption of risk, etc. The notion that there is a logical connection is just strange.

As for stigma, it is easy to have an abortion without it becoming public knowledge - more so when it was illegal. Hiding an abandoned kid is another matter. The dynamics are totally different here and running out on ones children will always garner disapproval

Heck, I don't see how sending money to your kid once a month turns you from a deadbeat dad into a responsible father.

I am not a lawyer but as I understand it, to the extent that the decision is constitutionaly grounded at all, Roe v. Wade is based on a right to privacy not choice.

It seems to me that the commonality between exercising the "right" to abortion and the "right" to decide to support or not support your child, is the desire to avoid the natural outcome of sexual intercourse.

Hi Alan

Why should a man be forced to support a child when the women isn't forced to have that child?

sincerely,
Todd

Hi alan again,

Maybe this is a clearer way of putting it:

If the mother gets to choose whether she wants to be a parent or not, why shouldn't the father be able to choose if he wants to be a parent or not?

(of course the mother and father by definition are already parents but that is another story)

sincerely,
Todd

Because Todd, as JFK once said, "life is not fair." One of the shortcomings of the STR approach is that you folks often get the notion that societies should be governed by a sort of relentless consistency. There is a name for the type of societies to which that sort of thinking usually leads, to wit: "Twentieth Century Totalitarianism".

Real life, especially real life in a free and democratic society, is and always will (and should) be messier than that.

As I have asserted before, abortion is often the best of a number of bad options - life is like that sometimes. A society that compels women to carry a pregnancy to term from the moment of conception would be as totalitarian as a society that compels a woman to have an abortion. Likewise I don't believe that a society in which a man could compel a woman to have an abortion because he didn't want to be financially responsible for the child or one in which a woman who was otherwise fit to be a mother would be compelled to give up a child for adoption would be a desirable one in which to live.

On the other hand, requiring a man who has fathered a child to support that child is far less intrusive. We do not, after all, send the gut off to a workhouse for eighteen years and support payments are based on income. That is, the man has considerably more freedom (and usually resources) then the woman raising the child on her qwn.

Also if you believe that there is a parity between impregnation and pregnancy, you really need to think a little harder. Ask any woman who has gone through a pregnancy and you will find out that those nine months don't come close to being balanced by eighteen years of support payments.

There are at least two points that will sink this suit: One is a general agreement that there is a compelling state interest in parents supporting their children and that fatherhood (at minimum defined as financial support) is an obligation that cannot be privately bargained away.

The other is the assumption of risk undertaken by both parties. It seems to be held on your side that the aftereffects of abortion are often traumatic. Giving a child up for adoption can likewise be traumatic and certainly keeping and raising a child is a life changing decision and one not always for the better. These are the risks a woman assumes.

Your position seems to be that a male should be able to avoid all risks by the equivalent of simply crossing his fingers.

BTW, while we are on the subject of abortion, here is a little tidbit relating to an "opponent" of domestic abortion:

http://vaguenihilism.blogspot.com/2006/04/republican-leadership-tolerating.html

Remember this the next time you see him and the others like him that you support invoking Jesus.

Hi Alan

Previously you had said that "the notion that there is a logical connection is just strange."

Apparently, you now see the logical connection.

BTW Alan I don't support a canidate because he or she invokes the name of Jesus. (do you not vote for one if he or she does?) I vote for a canidate that I believe will best protect innocent human beings from being killed.
Maybe you should take some of that energy of yours and use it to help protect them.

sincerely,
Todd

I think you misunderstood me Todd, or perhaps I wasn't clear. I just don't see a connection between Roe and any men's issues. Conception is a private matter; birth is a public one. We don't issue conception certificates

I don't care if a candidate is a Christian; I certainly wouldn't base my vote on it. My point was that so called pro-life candidates usually have an agenda that trumps all others including the "life " one and that you pro-life folks are being played.

Hi Alan

Fair enough, if I understand you correctly, you don't see any legal connection between Roe and men issues, but you do see the logical connection between a "choice" for the mother and one for the father. I think you accurately point out that the "choices" are different in nature.

Anyway, do you really think abortion is an issue of privacy and only involves a women and her doctor? Isn't there a third party involved? You know, the one that dies.

In regard to us folks being played. Do you mean not everyone I vote for is going to be entirely upstanding? I'm shocked! I really appreciate your concern, I know that you are only worried about me being mislead (that was a joke).

Anyway, are you saying that there is no difference between the two political parties in regard to abortion. I think planned parenthood would differ.

Hey, wait a minute, don't I, as a man, get to plan my parenthood too?

take it easy
sincerely,
Todd

"Anyway, do you really think abortion is an issue of privacy and only involves a women and her doctor? Isn't there a third party involved? You know, the one that dies."

Yes I do because I can't think of a better way to handle it. This is the problem: Either we will have a law that is relatively meaningless - folks of means will simply go to a jurisdiction that permits abortion and those of lesser means will resort to more problematic solutions or will bear unwanted children. The proposal to open abortion-available facilities on an Indian reservation in South Dakota may well make abortion more available (think "Indian gaming"). Draconian laws (El Salvador) simply won't be tolerated in this country.

At the heart of your argument is the assumption that an ensouled person exists from the moment of conception. There is, however, absolutely no objective evidence for the soul nor will there ever be such evidence. It is a religious belief, one to which you are free to choose for yourself but are not free to impose upon others. Personhood itself is an arbitrary distinction that is wholly an artifact of the society that creates it.

All decisions granting rights and imposing duties and responsibilities bear costs. Ideally all of those costs will be identified and weighed in making those decisions. Defining abortion as being about "the one that dies" is an appeal to emotion that reflects an unwarranted presupposition, one that prevents you from seeing the problems and costs of moving personhood back to conception.

There is a bit of a discussion of this here:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/04/beckwiths_tenure_decision.php#commentsArea

BTW, could one term the creation of a sentient being with free will and an autonomic reproductive system a design error?

"In regard to us folks being played. Do you mean not everyone I vote for is going to be entirely upstanding? I'm shocked! I really appreciate your concern, I know that you are only worried about me being mislead (that was a joke)."

My concern is for the Republic we had and that hopefully will be re-established.

"Anyway, are you saying that there is no difference between the two political parties in regard to abortion. I think planned parenthood would differ."

Of course, there are sincere anti-abortion office holders in the Republican Party however they are backbenchers not the current leadership who will always put power and profit first (that was the point of my link - if turning a blind eye to forced protitution and forced abortion doesn't catch your attention...).

This would not be a problem if we had business as usual. There always has been and always will be a certain tension between issue-driven folks and politicians, be they cynical or merely practical. However this is not business as usual. Unfortunately the current Republican Party has morphed into a criminal enterprise at the top and your passion for your issue has greatly enabled this process. At some point I would hope that ones dedication to the Constitution and the Republic would trump your dedication to your issue.

I will agree that many Dems need to grow up on this issue. There is currently a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania who is opposed to abortion. His candidacy will be a test of the maturity of that State's Democratic voters. Single issue voting is almost always politically unhealthy.

Hope this helps

Re; the above these might be of interest.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/opinion/09wills.html?ex=1144728000&en=0aa355a687f70653&ei=5087

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/04/christianism_a_.html

Hi Alan

You stated: "At the heart of your argument is the assumption that an ensouled person exists from the moment of conception."

Actually, my argument goes like this:

It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
Abortion kills an innocent human being
Therefore abortion is wrong.

BTW you are the one with an assumption,
you assume the unborn are not human beings.

You went on to state:
"There is, however, absolutely no objective evidence for the soul nor will there ever be such evidence. It is a religious belief, one to which you are free to choose for yourself but are not free to impose upon others. Personhood itself is an arbitrary distinction that is wholly an artifact of the society that creates it."

If being human/person is arbitrary, then killing or enslaving any human being at any level of development can be justified. Hence you have just justified things like genocide and slavery.

Additionally, you certainly are imposing your philosophical/religious views on the unborn. You are saying it is o.k. to kill them.

Side Note: Tony if you are reading this, take your hands off the keyboard and slowly back away from the computer.

Finally you stated:
"Defining abortion as being about "the one that dies" is an appeal to emotion that reflects an unwarranted presupposition, one that prevents you from seeing the problems and costs of moving personhood back to conception."

Actually I have reasons for believing the unborn are human.
When two human beings reproduce they do not create a different type of being then themsevles. Hence if the unborns parents were human then the unborn is human also.

take care
sincerely,
Todd


"If being human/person is arbitrary, then killing or enslaving any human being at any level of development can be justified. Hence you have just justified things like genocide and slavery."

Describing reality isn't justifying and creating fictional just so stories isn't proof of or against anything. Human institutions are human inventions - some are just more pleasant to live under then others.

Our Founders reflected on what religious strife had done to England and Europe in the sixteenth century and, taking their cue from Locke and the 1688 Revolution in England, created a secular nation.

We will simply have to disagree on this. Your way of putting things is just another way of putting what I wrote.

At this point one need not produce a detailed critique of communism; one only needs to point out the societies it created. Likewise a few thought experiments and this
(http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_digbysblog_archive.html#114467898527905233)
are enough to convince me that a rigorous implementation of the anti-abortion agenda would result is a most unpleasant place in which to live.

Alan et al
Two questions.
1. what is the difference between a three month old ineutero fetus and a three month old exeutero (is there such a word?)

2. How do you know?

Thanks

Alan said: "Personhood itself is an arbitrary distinction that is wholly an artifact of the society that creates it."

Agreed. The only question is, whose distinction is to be used, and why?

If we are going to decide who is and who is not worthy of being called a person, should we not say as our default position that any offspring of a human being (whether unborn, born, aged, insane or depressed) is a person from the moment of conception?

How can we answer the question "Is a fetus a person?" based solely on whether its mother says it is?

One woman says, "Yes, it is", and medical attention (including surgery) will be used to try to ensure its well-being. And the law will prosecute anyone who tries to harm it.

Another womans says, "No, it's not", and she is allowed to unilaterally terminate it.

(The father has no say in the matter, which, your comments notwithstanding, strikes me as inconsistent and nonsensical. I don't support "Roe for men", but it is the logical next step. Why don't men have equal rights -- to choose not to be responsible for an unwanted pregnancy?)

Religion or emotion aside, it seems to me that the woman's feelings on this matter do not change what the fetus IS. It is either human or it is not. It is protected as a human being or it is not. It merits medical attention or it does not.

In some societies it is considered ethical to allow babies to die if they are deformed or otherwise undesirable. Thus, as you say, "personhood itself is an arbitrary distinction that is wholly an artifact of the society that creates it."

I think it is entirely healthy, then, to debate what the distinction will be and the underlying philosophy on which such a distinction is based.

Hi Alan

I was left a little confused by your last comments. You seem to be o.k. with killing innocent human beings. Am I right about that?

I think your thoughts center on this idea.
You stated
"Human institutions are human inventions - some are just more pleasant to live under then others."

More pleasant for whom?
Yours is not more pleasant for the unborn that is for sure.

think about it
sincerely,
Todd

P.S. Tony if your are reading this, thank you for your restraint.

sincerely,
Todd

Alan,

Are you saying that abortion is justified because the unborn is not a person?

For someone to advocate abortion (whether on demand or as a last resort), I assume they hold one of two opinions:

1. The unborn is not a person and thus is not protected as such.
2. There are classes of persons, some of whom (e.g., women carrying the unborn, relatives of the terminally ill) are entitled to decide whether members of other classes (e.g., the unborn, the terminally ill) should be allowed to live.

If my assumptions are inaccurate, can someone please tell me, and explain why?

Most of you seem to have so deeply internalized the notion that we only have quantitative changes from the moment of conception that you find it impossible to understand any other position.

What most of you seem to not get is that there are limits to what we should try to do about a given situation. Perhaps an analogy will help. Let us imagine a child whose parents believe he should not be taught to read. Now let us imagine a child being home schooled and being taught to believe in Intelligent Design. I happen to believe that both cases are examples of child abuse but while I would advocate state intervention in the former I would oppose it in the latter as the downside in intervention in the latter is too great.

I no more advocate abortion than I do dumbing down children; I just see limits. I have no problem with anyones efforts to persuade others that abortion is wrong. I just have problems with those who would invoke the power of the state in doing it.

Arguments on the nature of an embryo or fetus are simply besides the point. A society that would compel a woman to bear a child from conception to viability has simply over-reached.

If one is terminally ill, it would seem the issue isn't being allowed to live but allowed to die in a manner that one chooses.

I am glad you have admitted to methodological naturalism, it explains the holes in your thinking. Your comment about intelligent design is already outdated. Darwininan evolution explains nothing reagrding speciation, and intelligence is an emprically observable phenomena. To call that dumbing down is to deliberately avoid the laughable ignorance that leaves aside the question of design because you don't like it. Your epistemology is not derived form the empirical data, and what's frightening is that you know it and proceed anyway.

You also avoided evreyones question, which was inevitable given the cult of naturalism within which you suffer. Your statements are offered as brute fact with no explanatory force at all.

Naturalsim is losing its grip on science, and once it finally does, we will legislate in accordance with reality and women will not have legal abortions. Your arguement is a a mess - abortion is okay because women should not have to carry to term, and you simlpy ditch the bigger question as to what the unborn is, assuming it is not human and demanding everyone agree. Brute force may work well with Islamic conversion by the sword, but not in a nation where it is still free to think.

Alan believes that "a child being home schooled and being taught to believe in Intelligent Design [is an] example of child abuse".

Interesting, since I would think that a child who is NOT taught ID is being done an intellectual disservice, though I would stop short of accusing the parents of child abuse.

I imply from your opinion that any parent who takes his child to church and actually believes in the Biblical creation story would face a similar charge.

I further assume that said parent should actually be charged with child abuse and/or be declared mentally unfit, since they are either knowingly teaching (and "believing") a lie, or they are too stupid to realize it.

I know you would not pursue that, but if you did, it would certainly make an interesting society.

"I no more advocate abortion than I do dumbing down children; I just see limits. I have no problem with anyones efforts to persuade others that abortion is wrong. I just have problems with those who would invoke the power of the state in doing it."

I agree, but why do you have problems? If I think something is morally wrong, isn't it at least worth CONSIDERING laws to prevent it? I do understand that this can be taken too far -- I would not want to see adulterers stoned. I guess you have to prioritize, and if the fetus is indeed a person, abortion is murder, and belongs high on the list.

(Similarly, someone who thinks the war in Iraq is immoral, and the fact that people are dying as a result, makes it a very important issue to them.)

"Arguments on the nature of an embryo or fetus are simply besides the point. A society that would compel a woman to bear a child from conception to viability has simply over-reached."

I know you disagree, but I contend that the nature of the fetus IS THE POINT and trumps all others. If the fetus is a person, abortion is murder and nothing justifies it. If the fetus is NOT a person, there is no reason NOT to advocate abortion. It should be considered as no more significant than having a rotten tooth pulled.

Alan, you think that I "find it impossible to understand any other position", but that is not true. I understand (I think). I simply don't agree, because I place my emphasis on different places. You emphasize the mother's rights; I emphasize the unborn child's.

As a side note, I would like to say that I find your posts generally respectful, challenging and worth reading, and I learn a lot from them. There are many people on both sides of this debate (and others) about whom such things cannot be said.

Once we presume the right to judge someone else's moral value and right to continued existence, whether one lives or dies depends on who has the power to decide. And that leads to tyranny against the weak.

-Wesley J. Smith

Alan, you never commented on the absurdity (in my opinion) of allowing "what the mother says it is" to determine the status of the fetus.

Hi Alan

"Most of you seem to have so deeply internalized the notion that we only have quantitative changes from the moment of conception that you find it impossible to understand any other position."

Alan, I got to tell you, that seems like the way it really is. That is, the type of being we are 'is' actually determined by the type of parents we have. And we all change quantitatively, but we don't change the type of being we are. In fact the quantifiable changes are based on the type of being we already are.

It's not that it is impossible to understand any other position (I used to hold to a position similar to yours), I just really think your position (and my old one) don't make sense. (Note Gravis' last post)

Later you stated:
"Arguments on the nature of an embryo or fetus are simply besides the point. A society that would compel a woman to bear a child from conception to viability has simply over-reached."

Alan, are you serious? How could arguments on the nature of an embryo or fetus be besides the point? It's totally the point.

You seem to be telling me that it is o.k. to kill an innocent human being because the damage done "compelling" a women to bear her child is greater then the damage done in killing that child. I'm sorry bro, but that just doesn't make sense.

Then at the same time you seem to imply that you would be for "compelling" a woman to bear a child after viability.
Do I understand that correctly?

So you see it 'is' all about the nature of the unborn. Prior to viability you seem to be saying it is o.k. to kill the unborn, after viability you are saying it is not o.k. to kill the unborn. And hence you would, I presume, use the law to prevent the mother from having an abortion.

I've also got to comment on this "compelling", and "force" stuff. Remember it is the abortion that is compelled and forced. The birth is what would occur naturally. The child will continue to naturally flourish in the mothers womb unless it is forced to stop.

take care,
sincerely,
Todd

Hi all, we are getting to the end of this thread so we will have to continue it on another, which opportunity will probably soon present itself.

Read the article on El Salvador. I have a problem with laws that are essentially class based. A ban on abortion inconveniences those with the price of a plane ticket and criminalizes those without - i.e. you cannot devise an abortion law that is effective and compatible with a free society. If any of you have a way around that feel free to address it.

BTW, none of you chose to address the total incompetence involved in the design of the human reproductive system.

Alan, I did not see you mention "the total incompetence involved in the design of the human reproductive system". Was it in one of your links? I did not read them all.

And what does it have to do with the topic at hand?

Hi Alan

Alan, I am further confused by your last post. Have you abanded your previous position? Because you didn't resond at all to my last post.

Now your concern is with a "class based law."

So your worried that rich people will be able to kill their unborn child and poor people won't?

So you want keep it legal to kill an innocent human being because some people may be able to get around the law and kill an innocent human being?

BTW if your are against abortions after the child is viable that "class based" problem would still exist.

sincerely,
Todd

The comments to this entry are closed.