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Elective abortion is murder.

MouthWash
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11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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11/30/2012 7:02:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Summary from a review: "I wish Eliezer Yudkowsky was a full time writer. So many good ideas!

This novella was about humans encountering the alien race of Babyeaters - who are civilized but eat their babies, and the humans, as soon as they learn of this, are morally shocked about the custom that is taken to be natural. Most of them want to wage war to save the babies (so cliche) and relieve them of their pain! But then, another alien race arrives, the Maximum Fun-Fun Ultra Super Happy People. One that thinks even having pain is morally repulsive, and want to rid humans of physical and mental pain, and make them... less human.

Of course there is no right or wrong answer. And that's what makes a philosophical discussion about it so great. If as humans we want take enforce our morality on another race, what's stopping another race from doing so, too?"
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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11/30/2012 7:16:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well, it's not murder because "murder" is a legal term. Abortion is legal, ergo it isn't murder.

Now, you may say that this is a pointless distinction to make as it just forces us to use a different term without affecting the actual state of affairs, such as calling abortion "killing."

But a shift in terms isn't pointless, and does affect the actual state of affairs because there are plenty of instances where we can legally kill people, such as self defense and the death penalty.
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:10:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 7:02:09 AM, Kinesis wrote:
Summary from a review: "I wish Eliezer Yudkowsky was a full time writer. So many good ideas!

This novella was about humans encountering the alien race of Babyeaters - who are civilized but eat their babies, and the humans, as soon as they learn of this, are morally shocked about the custom that is taken to be natural. Most of them want to wage war to save the babies (so cliche) and relieve them of their pain! But then, another alien race arrives, the Maximum Fun-Fun Ultra Super Happy People. One that thinks even having pain is morally repulsive, and want to rid humans of physical and mental pain, and make them... less human.

Of course there is no right or wrong answer. And that's what makes a philosophical discussion about it so great. If as humans we want take enforce our morality on another race, what's stopping another race from doing so, too?"

You need to read the full thing. It's brilliant.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
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11/30/2012 8:11:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 7:16:50 AM, drafterman wrote:
Well, it's not murder because "murder" is a legal term. Abortion is legal, ergo it isn't murder.
Now, you may say that this is a pointless distinction to make as it just forces us to use a different term without affecting the actual state of affairs, such as calling abortion "killing."

But a shift in terms isn't pointless, and does affect the actual state of affairs because there are plenty of instances where we can legally kill people, such as self defense and the death penalty.

I use "murder" in a moral context, obviously.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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11/30/2012 8:17:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:11:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 7:16:50 AM, drafterman wrote:
Well, it's not murder because "murder" is a legal term. Abortion is legal, ergo it isn't murder.
Now, you may say that this is a pointless distinction to make as it just forces us to use a different term without affecting the actual state of affairs, such as calling abortion "killing."

But a shift in terms isn't pointless, and does affect the actual state of affairs because there are plenty of instances where we can legally kill people, such as self defense and the death penalty.

I use "murder" in a moral context, obviously.

You'll have to elaborate, then.
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:19:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
And part of what I think is so interesting is that, much like the Babyeaters, our biology and psychology is often fundamentally incongruent with moral imperatives that are almost axiomatic when examined rationally. Part of the reason why I'm considering nihilism more and more- what we call "ethics" simply don't seem to be woven into reality.

It's also quite sad to observe how many reputedly brilliant intellectuals support and create arguments to permit this incessant insanity. Quite a study in human bias.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:20:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:19:13 AM, MouthWash wrote:
And part of what I think is so interesting is that, much like the Babyeaters, our biology and psychology is often fundamentally incongruent with moral imperatives that are almost axiomatic when examined rationally. Part of the reason why I'm considering nihilism more and more- what we call "ethics" simply don't seem to be woven into reality.

It's also quite sad to observe how many reputedly brilliant intellectuals support and create arguments to permit this incessant insanity. Quite a study in human bias.

Explain this more:

"Part of the reason why I'm considering nihilism more and more- what we call "ethics" simply don't seem to be woven into reality."
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:20:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:17:14 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:11:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 7:16:50 AM, drafterman wrote:
Well, it's not murder because "murder" is a legal term. Abortion is legal, ergo it isn't murder.
Now, you may say that this is a pointless distinction to make as it just forces us to use a different term without affecting the actual state of affairs, such as calling abortion "killing."

But a shift in terms isn't pointless, and does affect the actual state of affairs because there are plenty of instances where we can legally kill people, such as self defense and the death penalty.

I use "murder" in a moral context, obviously.

You'll have to elaborate, then.

Unjust premeditated killing of a human being. Is that good enough?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms? People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:26:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:20:13 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:19:13 AM, MouthWash wrote:
And part of what I think is so interesting is that, much like the Babyeaters, our biology and psychology is often fundamentally incongruent with moral imperatives that are almost axiomatic when examined rationally. Part of the reason why I'm considering nihilism more and more- what we call "ethics" simply don't seem to be woven into reality.

It's also quite sad to observe how many reputedly brilliant intellectuals support and create arguments to permit this incessant insanity. Quite a study in human bias.

Explain this more:

"Part of the reason why I'm considering nihilism more and more- what we call "ethics" simply don't seem to be woven into reality."

Murder, assuming ethics are valid, is wrong. However, a species like the Babyeaters that brutally kills its own intelligent offspring and then digests the brains (which are not organic) over a period of months with them remaining semiconscious and suffering the whole way is committing immense evil by simply fulfilling its teleological function. It doesn't matter if Babyeaters don't exist- simply the fact that they are possible proves the point.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:31:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
If I used your reasoning, I could conclude that any animal fetus that could survive on its own has moral value. You're neglecting intelligence, here.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:32:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:31:11 AM, MouthWash wrote:
If I used your reasoning, I could conclude that any animal fetus that could survive on its own has moral value. You're neglecting intelligence, here.

I'm not entirely sure that animals do not have moral worth, but that's another issue. Let's stick with what makes people valuable right now.
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:40:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?

Nothing, assuming nihilism is correct (as I suspect it is). I take a constructivist viewpoint, though.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:40:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I follow ethics out of pragmatism, not belief.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:45:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:40:00 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?

Nothing, assuming nihilism is correct (as I suspect it is). I take a constructivist viewpoint, though.

Well, let's not assume anything. Let's try to ground our beliefs in reasons... sound like a plan?
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 8:48:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:45:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:40:00 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?

Nothing, assuming nihilism is correct (as I suspect it is). I take a constructivist viewpoint, though.

Well, let's not assume anything. Let's try to ground our beliefs in reasons... sound like a plan?

What are you talking about?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 8:57:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:48:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:45:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:40:00 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?

Nothing, assuming nihilism is correct (as I suspect it is). I take a constructivist viewpoint, though.

Well, let's not assume anything. Let's try to ground our beliefs in reasons... sound like a plan?

What are you talking about?

Tell me more about (1) what you think makes humans valuable, (2) what role you think pragmatism plays in ethics and (3) more on why you're leaning towards nihilism.

Also, have you ever read The Republic?
Tsar of DDO
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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11/30/2012 9:10:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:20:31 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:14 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:11:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 7:16:50 AM, drafterman wrote:
Well, it's not murder because "murder" is a legal term. Abortion is legal, ergo it isn't murder.
Now, you may say that this is a pointless distinction to make as it just forces us to use a different term without affecting the actual state of affairs, such as calling abortion "killing."

But a shift in terms isn't pointless, and does affect the actual state of affairs because there are plenty of instances where we can legally kill people, such as self defense and the death penalty.

I use "murder" in a moral context, obviously.

You'll have to elaborate, then.

Unjust premeditated killing of a human being. Is that good enough?

It's a starting point, for sure. Let's restate the proposition, then:
Elective abortion is the unjust premeditated killing of a human being.

Then, we will break down the terms and define them (please replace any definitions with those that are more appropriate, since this is your proposition).

Elective abortion - the willful and deliberate termination of an unborn human.
Unjust - (See below)
Premeditated - taken with deliberate action and aforethought
Killing - The permanent cessation of life
Human being - a member of the homo genus.

Now, all of these (save unjust, discussed further below) are pretty much inarguable. So that just leaves whether or not it is unjust. This is a potentially sticky situation.

Upon seeing the word, I equate it with immoral, or evil, or wrong. Yet this is not necessarily the case. Consider:

"Not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair."
https://www.google.com...

This distinction is important is because there are plenty of actions which are neutral: neither good nor bad. If abortion was, say, neutral, then, given my initial interpretation, it wouldn't be unjust. However, given the googled definition, it would.

But, I think at this point we need more information. Whether or not the abortion is just or unjust could very well depend on the circumstances. I could certainly think of scenarios where it is just from a utilitarian perspective. So he answer is either: "it depends on the scenario" or "not necessarily so."
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 9:12:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 8:57:00 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:48:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:45:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:40:00 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?

Nothing, assuming nihilism is correct (as I suspect it is). I take a constructivist viewpoint, though.

Well, let's not assume anything. Let's try to ground our beliefs in reasons... sound like a plan?

What are you talking about?

Tell me more about (1) what you think makes humans valuable, (2) what role you think pragmatism plays in ethics and (3) more on why you're leaning towards nihilism.

Also, have you ever read The Republic?

1. Nothing, obviously.

2. Ethics don't exist. I follow ethics out of pragmatism. How complicated is it?

3. I see no convincing objections to infinite regress, the entire thing sounds like something people make up in order to suit their ideological frameworks, and because of why ethics sometimes make no sense when applied to the real world (as I pointed out with the Babyeater analogy).

I have never read the Republic. I like modern philosophers such as Nietzsche and Kant more. Should I have?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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11/30/2012 9:14:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 9:10:38 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:20:31 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:14 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:11:22 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 7:16:50 AM, drafterman wrote:
Well, it's not murder because "murder" is a legal term. Abortion is legal, ergo it isn't murder.
Now, you may say that this is a pointless distinction to make as it just forces us to use a different term without affecting the actual state of affairs, such as calling abortion "killing."

But a shift in terms isn't pointless, and does affect the actual state of affairs because there are plenty of instances where we can legally kill people, such as self defense and the death penalty.

I use "murder" in a moral context, obviously.

You'll have to elaborate, then.

Unjust premeditated killing of a human being. Is that good enough?

It's a starting point, for sure. Let's restate the proposition, then:
Elective abortion is the unjust premeditated killing of a human being.

Then, we will break down the terms and define them (please replace any definitions with those that are more appropriate, since this is your proposition).

Elective abortion - the willful and deliberate termination of an unborn human.
Unjust - (See below)
Premeditated - taken with deliberate action and aforethought
Killing - The permanent cessation of life
Human being - a member of the homo genus.

Now, all of these (save unjust, discussed further below) are pretty much inarguable. So that just leaves whether or not it is unjust. This is a potentially sticky situation.

Upon seeing the word, I equate it with immoral, or evil, or wrong. Yet this is not necessarily the case. Consider:

"Not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair."
https://www.google.com...

This distinction is important is because there are plenty of actions which are neutral: neither good nor bad. If abortion was, say, neutral, then, given my initial interpretation, it wouldn't be unjust. However, given the googled definition, it would.

But, I think at this point we need more information. Whether or not the abortion is just or unjust could very well depend on the circumstances. I could certainly think of scenarios where it is just from a utilitarian perspective. So he answer is either: "it depends on the scenario" or "not necessarily so."

A) you are screwing with me and B) killing a fetus is wrong for the same reason killing you is wrong.

Why is this so hard?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,286
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11/30/2012 9:14:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/30/2012 9:12:48 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:57:00 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:48:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:45:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:40:00 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:37:32 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:34:47 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:31:17 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:29:46 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:23:41 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:21:41 AM, MouthWash wrote:
At 11/30/2012 8:17:16 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/30/2012 6:38:53 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Are there any arguments against this position or can we safely conclude that we do not see fetuses as human due to psychological factors that have no basis in logic (much like the "Babyeater" aliens from Three Worlds Collide, who evolved to murder part of their offspring when they reach adolescence)?

Here's something to think about:

In terms of determining wether or not abortion is murder, we first have to determine at what point a fetus becomes a child. Some argue that a fetus is a child from the point of conception. Others -like the Supreme Court of the United States- locate that difference at the point of viability -that is the point at which the child could live on its own. Right now with current medical technology, that's about 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Why? Because if the child/fetus would die of it's own accord were it not supported by the mother, it stands to reason that it is not a person, where to be a person means to be able to sustain life independently of another. If, then, viability is used as the metric of personhood, equally then is it the case that abortions performed after 22 weeks are murder, whereas before about 22 weeks are not -wether the abortion is elective or otherwise.

I'm talking about morality, here. Who cares about legal terms?

I don't think that in this case there is a distinction between the legal and the moral. Ideally, the two should correspond.

People do not have value simply because they can survive on their own.

Oh? Then why?

Babies and fetuses have the inherent capacity for intelligence and thus have full moral value for the same reason a man under amnesia has moral value. If you refuse to place moral value based on what they will grow to be, then you must concede that babies, having lower brain function than many animals, should not be considered humans and should be given no human rights. We'd solve overpopulation very effectively that way.

So intelligence -or the potentiality to be intelligent- is your metric of moral worth?

No. Humans are only morally valuable because we have opposable thumbs.

/endsarcasm

Really though, what do you think makes humans valuable -morally or ethically?

Nothing, assuming nihilism is correct (as I suspect it is). I take a constructivist viewpoint, though.

Well, let's not assume anything. Let's try to ground our beliefs in reasons... sound like a plan?

What are you talking about?

Tell me more about (1) what you think makes humans valuable, (2) what role you think pragmatism plays in ethics and (3) more on why you're leaning towards nihilism.

Also, have you ever read The Republic?

1. Nothing, obviously.

2. Ethics don't exist. I follow ethics out of pragmatism. How complicated is it?

3. I see no convincing objections to infinite regress, the entire thing sounds like something people make up in order to suit their ideological frameworks, and because of why ethics sometimes make no sense when applied to the real world (as I pointed out with the Babyeater analogy).

I have never read the Republic. I like modern philosophers such as Nietzsche and Kant more. Should I have?

You like both Nietzsche AND Kant? Interesting. Ever read Levinas? How about Foucault? Butler?
Tsar of DDO