Diadem wrote:ztmario wrote:It is also important to note that the majority of arguments both for and against the prospect of abortion rely on arguments that are neither logical nor relevant. An example of one such argument against abortion is that it may cause considerable psychological trauma to the former mother at some point farther along in her life. True or not, this is irrelevant.
This is only irrelevant if you believe that a government should never, ever, under any circumstance, pass laws designed to protect people against themselves. Which is a position only a small minority of people hold. For example most people have no problems with the government requiring safety belts. You may say that other arguments are more important, but that doesn't make this one irrelevant.
no, I consider it irrelevant because I'm only interested in arguments that would conceivably justify killing a person. a parent would not be justified in killing their adolescent children, even if they could argue that raising those children has caused them emotional trauma.
An example of irrelevancy on the side of those advocating choice is saying that many teenage mothers face a decreased quality of life with the birth of their child or children. Again, this is not in doubt, but similarly there are any number of activities which humans engage in that may cause a decreased quality of life, and quite often these activities are legal. Furthermore, if abortion is in fact murder, one could hardly find the prevention of a decreased quality of life to be justifiable grounds for homicide. While these arguments may offer some plausible understanding of the merits that stand for or against abortion, they generally do not answer the fundamental questions, which we will attempt to do herein.
You make the same logical error here as in the previous bit I quoted. Just because argument X is more important than argument Y doesn't make Y irrelevant. Besides, the premise that X is more important than Y will first have to be proven. I for one think this particular argument is a very important one.
same as above. if a fetus or zygote is a person, then those arguments are irrelevant. you must set the same standard for killing them as you would for killing any other person.
The first question in our journey towards a logical truth is whether or not a fetus is a life. This is the first question which, if answered in the negative, ends all possible argument on the matter. Luckily enough for the existence of this essay, it is also the easiest question to answer. The fetus is without a doubt very much alive. It represents life and, more so, it represents human life. There is no doubt as to whether the zygote or fetus lives, and there is no confusion as to whether or not it is human. The next part of this question, and the more difficult to answer, is whether or not the fetus is a human being, or if you prefer, a person.
Wait a second, just because something is alive and made up of human-parts doesn't make it human. A severed hand is, at least for a while, alive, and it's made of human-parts as well, but it's not human. Though you are making a distinction between human and person, so I guess we can accept this premise than as a redefinition of what 'human' means. That does mean though that you are going to have to show stronger proof that 'human = person'.
to be honest, I did ignore the whole "a piece of dandruff is made of human cells but it's not a human" argument because my research did not give me the impression that it was actually taken seriously. the argument seems to be not so much if a fetus is a human, but if it is a person, or a human being with rights.
This is an interesting piece in your essay. I could argue with many of the particulars of these paragraphs. For example just because something necessarily will develop into something else doesn't mean it is that something else already. The sun will necessarily develop into a white dwarf. There are no other possibilities (short of collisions with other stellar objects. But the odds of that are astronomically small). It doesn't even require sustenance to do this. But does that mean the sun is already a white dwarf? No it's not.
but you're misstating the argument. we're not trying to determine that the sun is a white dwarf, we're determining that the sun is a STAR. to parallel your argument would be that I'm trying to say that a fetus is a senior citizen. I'm not. there's a distinction between what the thing is (human) and the stages that it goes through (fetus, baby, teenager, adult, etc.)
Imagine that a bean-sized human baby crawls from her womb, grasps and pulls itself along her pubic hair and finally comes to rest in her “pouch,” a pocket of skin that, for the purpose of our thought experiment, all human woman now have along their midsections. Imagine that newborn “fetus” grabbing at its mother’s nipple (now transplanted to the interior of her stomach pouch) and suckling it, as any newborn is apt to do. Now, imagine that mother reaching into her pouch, withdrawing the baby, and promptly squishing it between her fingers. Would you consider her to be within her rights to do this? Would this be substantially different than squishing the head of her other child, a nine month old who just recently emerged from the same pouch?
Interesting question.The answer for most would be no, this is not all right.
Wait, you can't just do that. Pose a problem, then skip right on to whatever answer you like best without giving any argument. That's not reasoning, that's just stating opinions.
the truth is that this is really just entirely about opinions. in the end, the decision to kill something is a matter of opinion, no matter what it is. I'm just drawing parallels.
Which is exactly the position most proponents of abortion take. A fetus is not a person by the nature of being undeveloped. It doesn't matter if it's located in the womb or in a kangaroo-pouch. If it's located in a kangaroo-pouch it's no longer a fetus, agreed, it has been born. That doesn't make it a person!
but does it make it a human being?
From this it follows that either a newborn is, like a a fetus, not a person, or that a fetus just before birth is a person. It doesn't follow that a fetus (zygote) is a person from the moment of conception. Indeed, most abortion advocates will usually not argue for allowing abortions in the last few months of pregnancy, for precisely this reason. Though I'd personally argue the former option. I have no principal objections to infanticide. Though I'm not an expert, so I could be wrong. At the very least though it's a much less grave offense than murder, a newborn baby being an underdeveloped person at best.
now you've picked up on working backwards to determine what a person is, which is an attempt I've made that seems to ruffle a few feathers. everyone wants me to begin by proving what that a fetus is a person. I instead chose to start at the nearest point where a human is undeniably a person (as a newborn) and work backwards from there to try and determine the point where they STOP being a person. if I can find that point, then I've shown how a fetus is not a person. but if I can't find that point, then I have shown a fetus is a person.
In the case of the ward being a child, the mother has the legal and perhaps even moral right to remove all such life support. This is indeed true. However, this is only in such cases where the return of viability is seen as being not likely. For instance, suppose a child is undergoing a heart transplant. At the moment that the diseased heart is removed, that child is no longer viable and is now being kept alive through mechanical means until the healthy heart can be introduced. The mother may decide that this is her chance, run into the operating room, and demand that her child be taken off life support. This will of course, not happen. Likewise, while the fetus is in fact completely dependent on the mother’s life support system, a healthy fetus not only has a “likelihood” of attaining viability, but a certainty of it. Imagine another ill child, solely dependent on a respirator for survival. Her doctor approaches the child’s mother in the waiting room and declares that the child will make a full recovery within nine months. The mother responds that she’d like the child taken off life support and be allowed to die. Now imagine the doctor’s response. He will undoubtedly do no such thing, and it is more than likely that he will place a call to social services. The same applies for the fetus.
You're arguing a strawman here, though most likely unintentionally. The likelihood of a return to viability is NOT the criterium used. A husband is allowed to remove his wife's life support if she is in a persistant vegitative state. He is not allowed to do that if she has terminal cancer, even though in both situations there is no chance of a return to viability.
The relevant distinction is not viability, but personhood. Having higher brain functions.
higher brain functions AND viability. if you lost your higher brain functions, but there was a certain return of viability, the question is then whether or not it is moral to pull the plug, as discussed.
Jane and Jill both have fully developed brains. They are both persons. It's slightly amazing how you keep managing to miss the vital point in the entire debate (Or at least one of the most vital points. The point most people argue over as well. "Fetus != person" is sufficient reason to allow abortion, but not a necessary one. There are several other important arguments in favour of abortion that you also need to address. But you first have to proof that fetus is a person, if you can't argue that starting point your entire case collapses.
I'm going to leave the rest of the essay as it. You make a few more logical errors here and there (for example you're suddenly arguing from existing law while you opened with staying you weren't going to look at that). But it doesn't really matter. I think I've sufficiently demolished your main argument. Or rather, you never even made your argument in the first place. You skipped straight to the conclusion and argued the rest of your essay from there.
what you're reading IS the main argument. as I said before, I started at the earliest point where a human is agreed to be a person, and worked backwards trying to find the determining factor that removes them from personhood. I am actually surprised that you missed the whole premise I was arguing. the bulk of the essay is geared toward answering that question. it's not something I could knock out of the way in the first paragraph. once you come to the conclusion that a fetus is a person, the argument is over. this is what I was trying to determine the entire length of the way.