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this is a discussion within the NOLA Community Forum; Unfortunately, I\'m going to be away for about two weeks, so I won\'t be able to keep up with this (though it is fun). Here are some parting thoughts: (1) Good example for \"responsibility\". Of course, that illustrates the way ...

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Old 07-23-2004, 03:06 AM   #51
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Unfortunately, I\'m going to be away for about two weeks, so I won\'t be able to keep up with this (though it is fun). Here are some parting thoughts:

(1) Good example for \"responsibility\". Of course, that illustrates the way in which it is vague - there are different degrees and kinds of \"responsibility\". My first concern is that without a better idea of what kind (and degree) of responsibility a woman has to the baby, it is hard to agree with arguments of the following kind: the woman chose to take an action that might result in a child (even if she did not intend to make a child); therefore, she is responsible for it. It is not clear what the connection between choice-intention-responsibility is, especially when (as we have argued) intention is not clear and responsibility is not clear. I think the burden of proof is not on the anti-abortionists (who seem to think that it is PERMISSABLE to get an abortion under certain circumstances).

(2) I think that one way of talking about the debate generates an interesting argument. When we start talking about the child as a \"sentence\", as a \"consequence\", or a \"responsibility because of a \"bad\" choice\" - we\'ve already done an interesting harm to the baby: it is viewed negatively. It is folk wisdom that having a negative attidue toward a child will lead to self fulfilling prophesies. I just thought I\'d try this argument out, since I just thought it up - what do you think?

(3) Whether or not a nine month \"sentence\" is cruel depends on the situation the woman is in when she becomes pregnant. It could cause her to lose a job (or job potential), burden a job search, damage her body and possibily self esteem, create emotional distress (depending on the circumstances of the pregnancy this could be permanently and deeply damaging), and so on. I guess, I think you\'re right in general that it shouldn\'t be a big deal, but I do think that there are cases where the \"sentence\" could be quite cruel.

(4) On the cow argument, which is still in the works: if you think that it is ok to terminate the life of a living thing years before it would die naturally, merely to eat it, why is the termination of a different kind of living thing (separated only by its place in the chain of being) for other, perhaps much better, reasons, wrong? I think the idea is this: what is it that makes human babies so special - cows feel pain, belong to a social structure, have relatives, and so on? (More to follow, but your thoughts are appreciated.)

Cheers.

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Old 07-23-2004, 03:12 AM   #52
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PS

(1) Great discussion!

(2) On the cow thing, I think that I was asking for a MORAL difference - a genetic one is probably not sufficient (children with Down\'s or other chromosomal differences from you or I still have moral standing - even if there is a somewhat dramatic difference in how our DNA is set up). That is, even if I am from an entirely different Order or Genus, it is not clear that I shouldn\'t have the same moral standing as a human.

For example, imagine a race of Aliens just as intelligent as us but with an entirely different DNA structure - we wouldn\'t think it was ok to abuse them just because there DNA is not the same.

Intelligence won\'t do as a criterion either, since there are some humans who are not as smart as some cows.

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Old 07-23-2004, 10:25 AM   #53
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What\'s wrong with erring on the side of saving the child - just in case it is alive?
Nothing is wrong with erring on the side of the child. Nothing is wrong with erring on the side of choice. It is a PERSONAL decision until it can be otherwise objectively decided in fact and law. Thus, in one instance you remove choice. In the other you give it. Thus the latter is the better option. Giving choice does not equate to condoning any action, it means you have a choice.


I decide as a gag to shoot you in the leg. There is no intent to kill and, being a good marksman, I take every precaution to make sure that hit you in a place not likely to kill you. You consent to this action. Unfortunately, you die from the wound anyway. Am I not responsible for your death? It may not be first degree murder but I think it qualifies as scond (no matter what I might be able to plead it down to). Thus, I will have to take responsibility for your death by going to jail.
Come on Johnny Law, you should know that this example is not analogous with pregnancy/sex. Using a firearm has inherent danger, and deciding to shoot someone is irresponsible whether that person consents or not. That is very different than sex, which is not done with any immediate intent of causing some degree of harm.

I mean, what you\'re saying suggests that the following two scenarios are equal:

Scenario 1:
I am walking my 700 pet tiger on a lease. I know that the tiger is untrained, highly aggressive, and doesn\'t like being around people. I see you and approach. You tell me it would be full to be mauled by a tiger. I tell you to scream at the beast and make wild gestures. I take the tiger off the leash and let it at you. It attacks and kills you, even though my intent was only for it to mame you.

Scenario 2:
I am walking down the street and happen to touch a door handle on which a person with a terminal illness has just directly sneezed. I see you, approach and offer my hand. You gladly take it an we shake. You contract the illness and die. My intent here was to shake your hand not get you sick, just like the woman\'s intent in yor example was to have sex, not to get pregnant.

C\'mon Scotty - you know there is a difference in these cases. You cannot apply criminal intent here. Seriously, do you think women go out looking for sex with the intention of getting pregnant so that they can abort the child? Maybe you can make some argument for some degree of negligence if no birth control method is used but you still have to show a life was taken, which you cannot do.

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Old 07-23-2004, 12:46 PM   #54
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I am fisically conservative, but socially liberal.

This election needs to reach out to the people who are TRULY moderates.
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Old 07-23-2004, 01:13 PM   #55
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This election needs to reach out to the people who are TRULY moderates
Very true. I don\'t think that there are many people out there who believe that a right wing nut job, or a left wing pinky commie is the best way to go. However I\'m sure that you will also find that there is probably a good sum of people who believe that both Bush and Kerry are moderates. Personally I don\'t know if Bush or Kerry are as extreme as a lot of media make them out to be.

Back to the matter at hand... or at least the matter that started this friendly debate. (and thanks for keeping it friendly)
In essence, it seems to me that you\'re saying that it is OK to take one life in order to fulfill a perception that others will be saved or made better as a result.
Does this mean the people who murder physicians who perform abortions are justified?
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Old 07-23-2004, 03:34 PM   #56
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Come on Johnny Law, you should know that this example is not analogous with pregnancy/sex.
Right. Obviously, one is criminal and the other is not. There is an inherent danger in becomeing pregnant following sexual activity so they are also a bit similar. The woman who chooses to have sex is aware that regardless of the precautions she may become pregnant. It is foreseeable result of her choice just as using a dangerous weapon on someone creates a situation where the victim\'s death is foreseeable. Both actors should have a responsibility placed on them for the act.

All I\'m trying to assert here is that she should be accountable for her actions - not the conceived child. I\'m not advocating criminal liability for becoming pregnant.

If you can come up with retorts as good as this on your feet, think Trial Attorney for your career path.

Does this mean the people who murder physicians who perform abortions are justified?
It may be in certain circumstances. Since abortion is legal, I do not think so. If abortion were illegal, then it\'d still depend on the circumstances.

If I were the father of the child and my wife went to a doctor to perform the abortion, the killing of the doctor may be justified if I do it as he is performing the abortion. Thus, I acted in defense of a third party. This would require that the law sees the unborn child as a person. I still don\'t think this would make it, but it is the best example of when it might that I can come up with.

All of the cases I have heard about involve completely different circumstances than what I mentioned above. The killers in those cases are murderers, in my opinion, and deserve whatever sentence they get.
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Old 07-23-2004, 05:34 PM   #57
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Yeah, I can be kind of quick on my feet every now and then.

I still think your point lacks merit. For example: if a woman intends on engaging in sexual activity, and does so with full knowledge that she is using the birth control pill, shot, IUD, or even a condom, she can reasonably conclude that her odds at getting pregnant are less than 1%. If you get in your car, put on your seat belt, follow all applicable trafffic laws, your odds of injuring yourself or someone else are probably that high. In other words, a person must then also know that an accident may well be the result of choosing to drive. If I hit you in a motor vehicle accident, I used every safety feature that I know of, should I be HELD RESPONSIBLE for your death? I won\'t be tried criminally, I\'ll tell you that.

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Old 07-23-2004, 07:03 PM   #58
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Yeah, I can be kind of quick on my feet every now and then.

I still think your point lacks merit. For example: if a woman intends on engaging in sexual activity, and does so with full knowledge that she is using the birth control pill, shot, IUD, or even a condom, she can reasonably conclude that her odds at getting pregnant are less than 1%. If you get in your car, put on your seat belt, follow all applicable trafffic laws, your odds of injuring yourself or someone else are probably that high. In other words, a person must then also know that an accident may well be the result of choosing to drive. If I hit you in a motor vehicle accident, I used every safety feature that I know of, should I be HELD RESPONSIBLE for your death? I won\'t be tried criminally, I\'ll tell you that.
No, you wont be found criminally liable absent something else.

In this instance one of us is going to have some civil liability. Since you hit me, my wife is going to file a wrongful death and damage to property suit against you and your insurer, if any. She\'ll likely win to some measure whether you settle out or not since you admit that you hit me. Thus, your insurer at least is going to bear part the burden of your responsibility to my wife. Without the insurance you have to pay it yourself. You accepted all of this even though the chance of it occuring was miniscule because it is a foreseeable occurence even though you took every possible precaution to prevent it.

The abortion equivalent to this would be that you would get to choose whether or not to kill my wife in order to block the lawsuit and avoid responsibility. (There is a fictitous law that makes this legal for this discussion.)

Let\'s go ahead and tackle the other side...We both took every precaution as above. We\'re driving and I hit you. I become a quadraplegic as a result. Didn\'t I accept this as a possible outcome of driving even though the chances were miniscule? You sue my insurer/estate and recover an award or settlement based on property damage.

The abortion equivalent to this is that I get to choose whether or not to hire a hit man to rub you out before you file suit to avoid the award having to be paid.

In the first example you got the CHOICE so it shouldn\'t matter that my wife died so you could avoid the responsibility. In the second I got the CHOICE. We\'re erring on the side of choice right? JK says we\'re not different than cows which are killed everyday so this must be ok.

JKool brought up a point about discussing the pregnancy is negative terms. My response to that is that we\'re talking about abortion which, it seems to me, presumes that the pregnancy was not a good thing or the woman would not be considering aborting the pregnancy. Thus, to the woman who did not want to be pregnant it is a negative thing - the pregnancy is a sentence, so to speak, to her anyway.
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Old 07-24-2004, 11:54 AM   #59
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Forgive the lack of \"leagle ease\" here, but the underlying thing for me is that regardless of whether or not humans and cows are on the same level and regardless of all the hypothetical stuff going on here the FACT remains that:

(a) when life actually begins is debatable.
...and
(b) anti-abortion folks aren\'t given permission by society or the government or God to tell someone else whether they can have an abortion or not.

***It is my opinion that those folks that think God gives \'em the right to make such decisions for other people are livin on the wrong side of the Atlantic***

Those are facts. Everything is debatable, which remains the point. One person\'s opinion of when life begins does not equal everyone else\'s. A condom prevents \"potential\" life does it not? Is preventing that life (potentialy) wrong ethically, spiritually, morally, or politicaly? And who gets to decide?

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Old 07-24-2004, 03:50 PM   #60
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Alright, so I found a computer this fine afternoon.

ScottyRo,

This is a good point:
JKool brought up a point about discussing the pregnancy is negative terms. My response to that is that we\'re talking about abortion which, it seems to me, presumes that the pregnancy was not a good thing or the woman would not be considering aborting the pregnancy. Thus, to the woman who did not want to be pregnant it is a negative thing - the pregnancy is a sentence, so to speak, to her anyway.
I thought, though, that my point was that this alone is a reason to consider allowing for an abortion.

I don\'t remember saying this:
JK says we\'re not different than cows which are killed everyday so this must be ok.
I thought my point was this: if we think that abortion is impermissable on the grounds that \"right to use\" never outweighs \"right to life\", then we shouldn\'t eat cows - since they don\'t seem to have any different MORAL standing than a person, they should have a right to life that outweighs our right to use. I didn\'t mean to imply that there is NO difference between us and the cows - I was merely asking what the MORAL difference is (as ScottyRo had provided a quite valid Metaphysical difference - namely our DNA).

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