ztmario wrote: Diadem wrote:
ztmario wrote: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.
No I don't. And if I do, you are going to have to show that. You're only arguing half the debate. You said somewhere else in this thread that you are not interested in the rest of the debate, that people make up their own minds about that, that you are just arguing 'fetus = person'. But you are't. Your essay is called "On Abortion" not "On fetuses". The final conclusion of your essay is not "fetuses are persons" but rather "abortion is wrong". So, no, you are not just arguing that a fetus is a person without being interested in the rest of your debate. You are arguing that abortion is wrong. But to show that you have to:
1) Successfully argue that a fetus is a person and has rights [Theoretically you could argue that it has rights despite not being a person. I don't see how though]
2) Succesfully argue that those rights override all over concerns, including:
a) The damage not allowing abortion does to the woman in question.
b) The damage not allowing abortion does to women in general.
c) The damage not allowing abortion does to society.
d) The damage not allowing abortion does to the fetus.
You're just declaring all opposing arguments irrelevant, and then claim to have won the argument. Debating does not work like that.
Diadem wrote: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.
Exactly. That is the vital point that you have to show.
Diadem wrote: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.)
Ok. If that is how you define human, than yes, a fetus is a human.
But in that case you are being extremely disingenuous. Because if you define human as "being part of the life cycle of humans" then yes, a fetus is a human. And I have no problem with that definition. But in the entire rest of your essay, you talk about human as if it is the same as 'person'.
So what you are doing is:
a) I define anything to be a star that is part of the natural life cycle of stars. So a main sequence star is a star, clearly, but so is a red giant, a white dwarf or a neutron star.
b) As everybody knows, stars fuel themselves by fusing hydrogen into helium in their cores.
c) White dwarfs are stars, as by the definition I gave in a).
d) From b) and c) it follows that white dwarfs have hydrogen-fusion in their cores.
Do you see the flaw with this argument? What you are doing is the exact same thing. You're expanding your definition of 'human' [star] beyond how it is used in every-day life. There is nothing inherently flawed with that. But than you take a property that every-day-humans [main sequence stars] have, namely personhood [hydrogen fusion], and conclude it must apply to all humans [stars]. That's a major logical error.
NO MATTER WHAT DEFINITIONS YOU USE, what you actually have to show is that a fetus has the rights associated with personhood. Whether you call this 'human' or 'person' or 'canned water bottle' is ultimately irrelevant.
But your essay doesn't address that point anywhere. You're completely and utterly ignoring it. You don't mention anywhere what properties one must have be a person. One generally accepted necessary condition is 'having higher brain functions'. Your essay doesn't even mention brains, brain development, consciousness, emotions, etc, etc. Not a single mention.
ztmario wrote: Diadem wrote:
ztmario wrote: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?
ztmario wrote: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.
When I said "you can't do just do that" I did not mean it was wrong to do that, or that I thought you shouldn't do that. I meant that it is a logical error to do that: "I am going to proof A. Think about it, do you think not A? I don't. Therefore A". That's not a proof. That's restating your opinion in a obfuscated way. Sure you can have your opinions. But your stated goal was a logical proof. You are not giving one.
You are begging the question. Continuously, throughout your entire essay. You start out by assuming that a fetus is a person with human rights. Then you answer questions as "Does being a person depend on where the person is" or "Does being a person depend on what the law says" or "Does being a person depend on how other people treat them" (Bonus points for invoking the holocaust by the way) or "Does being a person depend on being dependent on others" or "Does being a person depend on being born or not". But all of that is utterly irrelevant as long as you have not shown that a fetus is, in fact, a person. And you have utterly and completed ignored that point throughout your entire essay
Diadem wrote: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.
That would be a valid way of going about it. Except that you haven't actually looked at any of the properties that define personhood. Your working your way backwards shouting 'this is a person! this is also a person! this is also a person!' without actually looking into the claim, at all.
Also, you didn't start at the 'earliest point where a human is agreed to be a person', since it is in fact not clear that a newborn baby is a person. And the last bit is just wrong. Once you have proven personhood, you have only 1/5th done, as I explained somewhere at the start of this post.