Would you assist in abortions? - page 27

I am just curious. Would you ever work in an abortion clinic? Would you give pills that would cause an abortion? Thanks... Read More

  1. by   Laura2000mi
    Quote from tntrn
    However, Laura, I still do not see why viability must be absolute at "twenty weeks or whatever" when you've pretty much admitted that it can't be proven at fertilization. To me, those who believe that the fertilized egg is now a person, and therefore are opposed to abortion from that point forward for that reason, have just taken on the burden of proving to the rest of us that viability is possible from that point forward.
    It is not a question of "if this fetus survives to adulthood, will it become a person?". (Any fetus that survives to adulthood WILL become a person.)

    The question, and similarly, the burden of proof lay in proving the fetus NOT to be a person, because left to it's own devices, the fetus will always become a person.

    So the pivot point MUST be viability, then, not non-viability. You cannot prove that something is not going to become something in the future because it is not that thing right now.

    Since the fetus will definately become a person at some point, there must be a moment of transition (from human tissue to human being).

    A worm is non-viable in terms of becoming a person. A dog is non-viable in terms of becoming a person. A dog and a worm will NEVER be viable to become people. So at what point does the fetus become a person?

    Saying that the burden of proof is on proving that "fetuses become people" is the same as saying "murder, rape, and slavery are always moral because it is unprovable when we become people."

    Quote from tntrn
    I think it's obvious to those of us who've worked in settings where we've seen middle trimester births that some of those babies are not viable. I'm of the opinion that just because we can doesn't automatically mean we should.
    So does that mean that it would be ok to abort a mid trimester fetus? Sometimes they aren't viable.

    Quote from tntrn
    It is the pro-lifers who insist that life begins at conception. It is some of them who insist that that "life" is also a person. So prove it, please.
    "Life" (meaning existence of a human being) obviously begins sometime between the moment before conception, and the moment after birth.

    Arguably, life is the moment an organism that, allowed to follow a natural course of developement, would be capable of becoming a person. If left in the womb, all fetuses without defect from the moment of conception are viable, meaning capable of developing adulthood.

    You probably say "no, only fetuses that have reached the clinical definition of viability are considered viable". Then tell me IF fetuses BEFORE the clinical definition are inviable, then how do viable fetuses exist between the moment of conception and this "moment of viability" (23 weeks)?

    You cannot use the definition of viability to be "ability of fetal survival outside of the womb" because it is not specific enough. Fertilized eggs do indeed survive outside of the womb (for a short time) also, fetuses with the gestational age of 23 weeks also can survive outside of the womb (for a short time). BOTH can survive indefinately with outside assistance, with the assistance of another "womb" (artificial or biological).

    Without an artificial "womb" (an incubator) the "viable" fetus is no more likely to survive than the "inviable" fetus.

    Therefore, at the moment of conception, the fetus is just as viable as it is at any other time in the gestational cycle with the exception of the last two months (or so). During the last two months, you can birth the baby and it may survive TOTALLY unassisted by artificial womb (incubator).
  2. by   fergus51
    undefined[quote=laura2000mi]fergus-
    .......
    i say that morality is absolute. you say that it is relative. you are wrong.

    the argument “abortion is moral and abortion is immoral” is a contradiction. it is absolutely 100% impossible. it is the same as saying “x = 1 and x does not = 1”.

    no, i am not saying abortion is immoral and moral at the same time. i am saying circumstances and time affect it. you conceded that murder is not murder if it isn't a person being killed (like the tapeworm). if a fetus is not a person before a certain point, like i think, then it isn't wrong to abort it before then and is wrong to abort it after when it becomes a person.

    in post #331, i said: “so rape then can be right and wrong, and is acceptable in some circumstances. what are these circumstances?”

    you ignored this question, leaving it out of your reply back to me. you cannot prove that morality is relative, but i can prove a priori that it is absolute. if you accidentally overlooked my question, that is one thing, but if you intentionally didn’t respond because you knew you were wrong, this makes me question whether arguing with you is productive (not productive meaning someday i will change your mind and make you believe what i believe, but productive in that we are both exploring our arguments openly and in a logical, fair way). if you logically prove an argument to me, i will concede to it. likewise, you should do the same.

    sorry, i was just trying to keep it brief. you've also left out some words of mine for the same reason i'm sure or this thread would be looooooonnnnnnnggggg (like why the need for outside interference is the determining factor in negating my right to control my reproductive system). since i already gave examples of when stealing and killing are moral, i thought that was enough to say that there are instances where morality is affected by circumstances. i didn't think i needed to find a possible justification for every immoral act to prove that they can sometimes be justified and thus morally ok ... rape, i don't know. i don't have a hypothetical for every immoral act off the top of my head.


    if you still insist that morality is relative, even though i have provided you with an a priori argument which proves the contrary, i must conclude that you are not using sound logic when formulating your arguments. if we both aren’t using the same method to prove our arguments true or false, then there is no point in continuing the conversation, and both our time has been wasted. you are a smart person. i do not understand how you can possibly conclude anything other than morality must be absolute, given my argument. i have given you everything you need to come to this conclusion.

    the reason arguing a moral issue is so intriguing to me is because i know for a fact that it must be either moral or immoral. there is a right and a wrong answer every time. we may not be able to prove the issue to be moral or immoral right now, but the correct answer exists nonetheless. it is like searching for a treasure that you know must exist. you just need to find it. likewise, the correct answer to our argument “is abortion moral or immoral?” does exist, we just need to find it.

    i have already given examples of situations where i believe morality depends on circumstances. but really, i still don't think "is morality absolute or not?" is even important to the question of "is abortion immoral or not?". we're being sidetracked.

    as a hypothetical, let's say morality is absolute, you've convinced me that an act can only be 100% moral or 100% immoral all the time regardless of circumstances. even if i agree that morality is absolute, the moral question we are dealing with is murder. murder is wrong. that's an absolute moral certainty, i'll go along with that. murder is the intentional killing of another human being right (that's why killing the tapeworm wasn't wrong)? i'll agree with you there too. your real argument is murder is wrong. abortion is murder. so by extension, abortion is wrong. (like the x+z, x=y so y=z thing right?). correct me if i am wrong. that's a perfectly logical argument consistent with your beliefs and i understand why you would believe it.

    my problem with that is the belief or assumption that abortion is murder, since murder involves the killing of a person and a zygote or embryo is not a person from conception, but rather becomes a person at a certain point (admitedly, i can't tell you absolutely when that point is, you got me there. but i can tell you when it isn't a person yet). and if abortion occurs when it isn't a person yet, it can't be murder, so it can be morally ok. if x (abortion) doesn't in fact = z (murder), then we can't prove that y = z by extension. do you understand what i mean? i don't always explain my thoughts well.

    can you acknowledge that if a fetus isn't a person, it isn't murder and by extension isn't immoral? to me, that means the real question relates to a fetus being a person or not. i have my reasons for thinking it isn't a person (until a certain point), you have your reasons for thinking it is. nothing wrong with either of those positions where i sit.

    if you agree to use logic as a means of proving or disproving your/my arguments, then i will happily answer your questions regarding viability and absoluteness. if not, then i must respectfully end our argument here. fair-well and good luck.

    feel free to respond or not if you don't want. i don't mean to offend in any way and certainly hope you continue to enjoy the bb. i've enjoyed the discussion and think you are an eloquent poster
    Last edit by fergus51 on May 6, '04
  3. by   fergus51
    Laura, I think you answered some of my questions in your post to tntrn. It's helped me to understand some of your beliefs.

    Viability to me (the NICU nurse) means the fetus can be born and have a chance of surviving thanks to our technology and medical care (not for a few seconds, like a man underwater, but really surviving and living). Since a 12 week embryo can't, it is different than a 23 weeker. Medical advances may one day push clinical viability waaaaaaaayyyy back and my beliefs on when abortion is murder would have to change as well, but I don't feel threatenned by it.
  4. by   PegRNBSN
    I have enjoyed reading the above debate. I would like to ask both of you where the concept of a soul fits in your idea of when a fetus becomes a person. As a religious person, I believe we all have a soul. If you believe that humans have souls, when does that soul come into existence?
    Thanks
  5. by   fergus51
    Quote from PegRNBSN
    I have enjoyed reading the above debate. I would like to ask both of you where the concept of a soul fits in your idea of when a fetus becomes a person. As a religious person, I believe we all have a soul. If you believe that humans have souls, when does that soul come into existence?
    Thanks
    Well, speaking as a lapsed catholic... I don't know. I don't know if we have souls or not. I hope we do. I know the church used to teach that the soul didn't enter the body until a certain point in pregnancy. I can't remember exactly when it was supposed to happen (40 days or something?) but if I remember correctly it happened earlier for boys than girls, so abortion before that point was ok.

    I guess to me, that's a personal belief, a personal struggle, a personal debate. It can't be proven one way or the other, so I am content in knowing that I'll never know and so it doesn't really affect my beliefs on abortion. If I knew they existed and when we got them, I would have to reexamine my beliefs for sure. I've always been able to separate my beliefs on certain topics from my personal feelings. For instance, I wouldn't have an abortion, but I don't think they are immoral. Go figure
    Last edit by fergus51 on May 6, '04
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Peg, I too have enjoyed this debate.

    My answer to the soul question is that the soul comes into existence when the sperm and egg come together. So as a person who believes that, I must believe that when you have an abortion, that unique soul (person) is lost.

    Having said that I also believe that God welcomes all children who die into heaven - no questions asked.

    As Fergus and Laura and others have said, there is no way to prove what I believe or what they believe. You cannot place an electrode onto a newly formed human being and measure "soulness" or lack of a soul. It is simply faith.

    If that is my belief, then is stands to reason that I would consider abortion to be the death of a human being with a soul. And that would naturally be something I would consider wrong.

    Of course the way I manifest that belief must be with compassion and I would hope to be able to counsel women, especially teenagers, that they need to consider all the consequences of having a sex life and one of those, regardless of what kind of birth control you use, is the chance that you could create a child. And are you ready for the consequences of that? Are you ready to make a choice to abort, put up for adoption or raise a child?

    My belief is that we've made sex too easy. There are NO consequences anymore for boys with the easy answer to abort.

    It is a complicated subject and I just heard my son turn on a hair dryer so gotta go . . . . .

    steph
  7. by   fergus51
    Quote from stevielynn
    Of course the way I manifest that belief must be with compassion....
    I just think that is the smartest, best, most reasonable, thoughtful thing said on this whole bb. If only we could all do that in our daily lives without exception!
  8. by   sbic56
    fergus, laura

    Thank you both so much for allowing us to be spectators to such a respectful, effective debate. I know I have learned much from you both on the ways of proper debate, not that I think for a minute I could replicate it as yet. Obviously, both of you have done this more than once or twice! I have never seen it done better, kinder or more longwindedly , especially with a topic that can evoke so many feelings. Bravo!!
  9. by   suzieq8907
    Quote from stevielynn
    Peg, I too have enjoyed this debate.

    My answer to the soul question is that the soul comes into existence when the sperm and egg come together. So as a person who believes that, I must believe that when you have an abortion, that unique soul (person) is lost.

    Having said that I also believe that God welcomes all children who die into heaven - no questions asked.

    As Fergus and Laura and others have said, there is no way to prove what I believe or what they believe. You cannot place an electrode onto a newly formed human being and measure "soulness" or lack of a soul. It is simply faith.

    If that is my belief, then is stands to reason that I would consider abortion to be the death of a human being with a soul. And that would naturally be something I would consider wrong.

    Of course the way I manifest that belief must be with compassion and I would hope to be able to counsel women, especially teenagers, that they need to consider all the consequences of having a sex life and one of those, regardless of what kind of birth control you use, is the chance that you could create a child. And are you ready for the consequences of that? Are you ready to make a choice to abort, put up for adoption or raise a child?

    My belief is that we've made sex too easy. There are NO consequences anymore for boys with the easy answer to abort.

    It is a complicated subject and I just heard my son turn on a hair dryer so gotta go . . . . .

    steph
    Wow, I completly agree with you. I have said this before, when you have intercourse you might as well at that point be thinking, "Are we ready for a child?" If your answer is no, why take that chance. Birth control does not always work. In fact, my sister got pregant with both of her children while on bc. Anyways, I still stick with my opinion that aborions are irresponsibe.
  10. by   Laura2000mi
    Quote from sbic56
    fergus, laura

    Thank you both so much for allowing us to be spectators to such a respectful, effective debate. I know I have learned much from you both on the ways of proper debate, not that I think for a minute I could replicate it as yet. Obviously, both of you have done this more than once or twice! I have never seen it done better, kinder or more longwindedly , especially with a topic that can evoke so many feelings. Bravo!!
    Thank you in return. I will admit, I was really worried that I would be flamed on the spot, as some of my beliefs could be considered "close minded". But, no flames came, and every one was respectful of each other, either by silently looking on, or by engaging me head to head in a respectful debate. And fergus: just so you know (and can feel guilty) this debate kept me up half the night tossing and turning.
  11. by   Laura2000mi
    Quote from PegRNBSN
    I have enjoyed reading the above debate. I would like to ask both of you where the concept of a soul fits in your idea of when a fetus becomes a person. As a religious person, I believe we all have a soul. If you believe that humans have souls, when does that soul come into existence?
    Thanks
    Well, I would argue that there are two sides to us as persons: the animalistic part, and the eternal (soul) part. The animalistic part is our bodies, and the eternal part of us could also be referred to as our free will, the ability to chose between moral and immoral actions, our consience.

    We are the only beings on earth with a free will (animals can not make moral decisions, as they are totally animalistic), and therefore, the only beings on earth with a soul. Since to be a person means you have an animamilstic side (our bodies) and an eternal side (our soul), then as soon as a fetus becomes a person, they have a soul.


    I am a religious person too, and take great pride and joy in the fact that so far, every aspect of my religion/beliefs that I have questioned has proven to be sound using logic. (I would go a step further and say that it is impossible for the Bible [and therefore God] to be illogical, but that is an argument for another day. Besides...I haven't gone through ALL the arguments yet. )
  12. by   Laura2000mi
    Fergus-

    I would like to continue our debate if you are willing, but I might need a day or so (or maybe just a few hours...) to "catch my breath". I was up last night at 4:00 am having all of this stuff race though my head.

    I feel alot better about our argument now, and I hope you did not take any offense to my post. I do not challenge your intelligence in any way.

    A suggestion: I think it would be best (at least for me) if we kept our posts shorter, and our arguments/questions of each other more defined/specific [does this make sense? I having trouble findig the right words]. When we were replyng back and forth using gigantic posts, it seems some of what you were asking me went unanswered and vice versa.

    Ready for round two?
  13. by   Laura2000mi
    Quote from stevielynn
    I must believe that when you have an abortion, that unique soul (person) is lost.

    Having said that I also believe that God welcomes all children who die into heaven - no questions asked.

    steph
    Steph- what do you mean the the unique soul (person) is lost? Isn't the soul eternal? If not, how do the childen get to heaven?

    I am just curious what you mean when you say the soul is lost, I am not disagreeing with you. Usually I hear people say a "soul is lost", they mean that it is going to hell.

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