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Two new stances on big issues today

Diqiucun_Cunmin
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5/13/2015 4:39:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have changed stances on two big issues today. Okay, technically, I didn't change it today - it was more of a long, slow process of mentally shaping, molding my opinion into what it is today.

The first is abortion. I am now pro-life.

I will still make an exception for rape cases and life-threatening situations. Yet, for most cases, I will consider it a crime to abort. My reasoning is as below.

I am not arguing from 'right to life' or anything. I have been increasingly sceptical of the concept of 'rights' itself. What I do believe in is responsibility. I think it is irresponsible to abort a baby who is your own flesh and blood, and watch him/her die. I think it is irresponsible to have a doctor take part in this killing.

It is irresponsible because it is unbenevolent. Empathy is the basis of all morality. In fact, we can say that to act on empathy is the first and foremost responsibility of any human. There is no person, I am sure, who will not feel commiseration at the abortion of an unborn human. 'Not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself' - that was virtue, according to Analects 12.2. In the foetus' place, would you like to be aborted?

It is irresponsible because unwanted pregnancies are, let's face it, usually the result of promiscuity. (This is why I believe rape is an exception.) If a woman is pregnant because of her highly irresponsible choice to have premarital sex, she should bear the responsibility of her immoral act. There is no reason to free herself from this responsibility, as she got into the situation herself.

Now, I know this is unfair towards women because men can get away with it. As such, I believe that in addition to banning abortion, there should be laws that restrict the behaviour of men as well.
-If a woman is caught having an abortion, the father should be tracked down and sentenced to the same jail term as the woman.
-If a woman is has a baby out of wedlock, the father should be tracked down and sentenced to around 10 months of jail. (10 months has symbolic meaning because pregnancies last around 9-10 months.) If he intends to care for the child with the mother, the sentence can be suspended until the child is sufficiently old.

Another thing is that there must be a system set up to ensure that if the mother does not have the means to raise the child (such as in the case of teenage mothers), the child can be adopted and raised by foster parents. That's logical since we don't want to 'punish the child', as pro-choicers say, by having him/her grow up in a household that can barely support him/her.

Finally, although I think abortion should still be a choice for rape victims, I believe there should also be a system set up to psychological support them not to abort the child. Despite the trauma that a rape victim has to go through, abortion is still unbenevolent, so if social workers can convince her to live positively while still having the child, that would be a better option than aborting the child.

========

The second is gay marriage. I am now pro-gay marriage.

First of all, I'd like to respond to the common redefinition argument. Many on DDO say marriage cannot be redefined. I have never bought this argument because marriage has never been between a man and a woman until the spread of individualism in recent decades. Marriage has always been a union of two families, with the goal of serving the ancestors and extending the family bloodline. 'The ceremony of marriage was intended to be a bond of love between two (families of different) surnames, with a view, in its retrospective character, to secure the services in the ancestral temple, and in its prospective character, to secure the continuance of the family line.' (Book of Rites 44.1)

Therefore, the definition of marriage has already been redefined, from a bond of love between a family and another, to one between a man and a woman. It has already been 'weakened' by modern individualism. To claim that a further redefinition will hurt the concept of marriage is, frankly, quite hypocritical in my humble opinion.

Second of all, I'd like to respond to the civil unions argument. I had never heard of civil unions before coming to DDO in 2012. At the time, I was against gay marriage and believed that homosexuality was a choice. (My latter belief was quickly changed after I discovered on DDO that homosexuality does indeed appear in nature and is not a choice. I later found, much to my surprise, that I was quite alone in this ignorance - my dad was well aware of it - but I digress.) I thought civil unions made sense at the time, because it can shut LGBT right groups up without letting them marry.

Yet as I aged, I have slowly come to realise that civil unions are, in a word, immoral. Part of that is because of the Confucian principle of rectifying names. A union without the name of marriage but having the rights and responsibilities of a marriage is a case of unrectified names. Although this principle may sound alien to Westerners, I'm sure many will agree with me once I point out one example: Once people get into this pseudo-marriage and assume the roles of partners, they will do stuff that married couples do... including engaging in a sexual relationship. Therefore, the concept of civil unions is actually condoning sex without marriage, which is extremely unethical and immoral!

Finally, I come to the procreation argument. It is an argument I once supported, and am still sympathetic towards - to a limited extent. I believe that a marriage without biological children is an imperfect one, for the bloodline cannot be extended with people who actually have the same flesh and blood, the same genes as the ancestors. It is a great shame.

Yet we have to accept that not all things are perfect. There are infertile couples, for instance. These people will never get to have biological children, just like gay couples. We should be focusing on figuring out how to get these people children so that they can fulfill their filial duty to have children. Modern technologies are working towards this end goal, such as parthenogenesis. Failing technology, there's always adoption. An adopted child can still be a filial one towards the adoptive parents who worships the ancestors at Qingming (or whatever the Western equivalent is called) and is willing to extend the spirit of the ancestors.

If they are not allowed to marry, we are essentially denying them the chance of having children, which means they are denied the chance of fulfilling their filial duty of having children! Of course, there's the argument that they could just as well marry someone of the opposite sex and have children. That would work if we still had arranged marriages, but not any longer. Some things just can't be forced: Just look at Tchaikovsky's marriage with Antonina Miliukova. Modern individualism has destroyed many things, including arranged marriage... we should strive to retain as much moral ground as possible while accepting that some ground has been forever eroded - gay marriage is the way to ensure as much ground is retained as possible.

To conclude, although gay marriage is not perfect, it is a lesser evil than denying them of marriage or allowing them to have civil unions.

I hope I've convinced you, but that really isn't the point of this post - it's just to tell everyone my new stances and why they've changed.

P.S. Thanks to Tarik, who partially shaped my stance on abortion, as well as a couple of abortion debates on DDO, particularly those with Philocat holding the pro-life stance. Also thanks to whoever posted evidence proving that homosexuality appears in nature, though that was so long ago that I can't remember the details any longer.
P.P.S. I'm going to duck for cover now, since the first half isn't going to be popular with liberals and the second half isn't going to be popular with conservatives...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Cody_Franklin
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5/13/2015 8:49:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I just have a few questions as to the first:

1. You suggest it is "irresponsible" for a woman to have an abortion, and for a doctor to perform the operation. You suggest that responsibility is essentially benevolence, which, you further suggest, is empathy. You relate this to feeling pity for the unborn fetus.

> 1a. If the criterion for responsibility is whether an action is "benevolent", i.e., predicated on empathy, how can you claim that empathy itself is a responsibility? How, in other words, can you include as a moral imperative the criterion by which you decide whether the imperative has been satisfied?

> 1b. There are members of our own species who function in the world, who successfully pursue well-defined goals, who either lack the capacity to empathize or find such ability permanently stunted, all due to what you no doubt would consider a bad draw in the genetic lottery. If there were, somewhere else in the universe, an entire species of such beings, are you suggesting they are completely incapable of developing a functioning system of practical ethics? If not, is it not also true that human non-empaths could do the same, and that, therefore, empathy is not, in fact, the foundation of a good moral theory?

> 1c. Why is seeking to satisfy one's sex drive morally objectionable? Further, some would say that aborting an unwanted pregnancy so as not to increase the net overall burden would be more responsible than adding to an oversupply of adoptable children. Further, how do the "irresponsibility" of premarital sex and the "irresponsibility" of abortion have anything to do with each other under the definition (benevolence, empathy) you've provided? It scarcely seems like empathy is relevant to sexual selection.

> 1d. Why are weddings even relevant? As a historically contingent institution, it hardly seems fair to use such an arbitrary metric to determine the "legitimacy" of sex or birthing (even assuming that consensual sex can be subject to ethical constraints).

> 1e. How can your moral theory possibly allow for rape victims to have abortions? If your argument is that an ordinary empathic individual couldn't do something to a fetus they wouldn't want done to themselves, then in what possible world could a rape victim, who actually understands being forcibly traumatized, be permitted to have the procedure done? Does being a victim get you a free pass over the golden rule? If so, how victimized does someone need to have been? How recently? Most people are bullied or picked on at some point growing up. Some people are beaten up or come from abusive homes. Of these and others who are women, some subset will be pregnant at some point--should they, on your view, be similarly exonerated under condition of "psychological support"?
YYW
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5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.
Tsar of DDO
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,139
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5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.
Cody_Franklin
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5/15/2015 11:05:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.

That's not an argument--that's just a let's-score-some-political-points-go-team jab in the stomach. Try again.
ford_prefect
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5/15/2015 12:50:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 11:05:11 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.

That's not an argument--that's just a let's-score-some-political-points-go-team jab in the stomach. Try again.

I won't waste time convincing a sociopathic killer that their actions are wrong. Similarly, I won't waste my time trying to change the minds of people who believe it's morally acceptable to kill innocent humans. I will take a few seconds to state what you support: legalizing the killing of unborn humans. Why are you so ashamed of it?
Cody_Franklin
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5/15/2015 1:21:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 12:50:37 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 11:05:11 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.

That's not an argument--that's just a let's-score-some-political-points-go-team jab in the stomach. Try again.

I won't waste time convincing a sociopathic killer that their actions are wrong.

I sincerely doubt that the vast majority of women who have abortions performed also happen to have antisocial personalities, since that's a trait less than 5% of the population have, unless you're seriously suggesting that it is only this <5% of the population which self-selects into the set of people comfortable with having abortions (or, conversely, that substantially more than 5% of the population have antisocial personalities, in which case I'm going to need several citations).

It is easier to justify your disagreement with someone if you sincerely believe that they are evil (or even if you think it's good, or if it feels good, to believe that they're evil), but that's all it is--an incredibly unrealistic shortcut used to reinforce one of your existing beliefs.

Similarly, I won't waste my time trying to change the minds of people who believe it's morally acceptable to kill innocent humans.

So, you're openly admitting that you're completely unwilling to consider the possibility that you're mistaken, i.e., that your allegiance isn't to what's true, but actually to whatever it is you already believe?

Do you realize how massive a cognitive error you'd have to be committing to make an assertion like you've made? Not just that you're completely rejecting the possibility of meaningful criticism, but that, even if you're right about the moral status of abortion, refusing to "waste your time" changing others' minds is essentially a refusal to try to correct the perceived problem? The only advantage you get from such an approach is being able to feel morally superior, which is nothing but arrogance.

I will take a few seconds to state what you support: legalizing the killing of unborn humans. Why are you so ashamed of it?

I don't think I ever testified to being ashamed, nor can I presently testify to such a feeling, irrespective of your attempts to contemptuously re-frame the pro-choice position (which, again, attests more to your trying to use hollow rhetorical devices to score political points more than to trying to have an open, meaningful discussion).
ford_prefect
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5/15/2015 2:37:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 1:21:05 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 12:50:37 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 11:05:11 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.

That's not an argument--that's just a let's-score-some-political-points-go-team jab in the stomach. Try again.

I won't waste time convincing a sociopathic killer that their actions are wrong.

I sincerely doubt that the vast majority of women who have abortions performed also happen to have antisocial personalities, since that's a trait less than 5% of the population have, unless you're seriously suggesting that it is only this <5% of the population which self-selects into the set of people comfortable with having abortions (or, conversely, that substantially more than 5% of the population have antisocial personalities, in which case I'm going to need several citations).

Did I say all women who kill their own unborn children have antisocial personalities? No. I was using that sentence as an example illustrating that there are times when you cannot reason with certain kinds of people.

It is easier to justify your disagreement with someone if you sincerely believe that they are evil (or even if you think it's good, or if it feels good, to believe that they're evil), but that's all it is--an incredibly unrealistic shortcut used to reinforce one of your existing beliefs.

The person may not be evil, but the act of killing an innocent defenseless unborn person is certainly evil. Some people don't understand that a fetus is a human being. Others understand it, but don't care. The former are ignorant, the latter are evil. Which are you?

Similarly, I won't waste my time trying to change the minds of people who believe it's morally acceptable to kill innocent humans.

So, you're openly admitting that you're completely unwilling to consider the possibility that you're mistaken, i.e., that your allegiance isn't to what's true, but actually to whatever it is you already believe?

That is correct. I am not willing to consider the possibility that I'm mistaken about some things. For example, that murder is morally wrong, or that 2+2=4.

Do you realize how massive a cognitive error you'd have to be committing to make an assertion like you've made? Not just that you're completely rejecting the possibility of meaningful criticism, but that, even if you're right about the moral status of abortion, refusing to "waste your time" changing others' minds is essentially a refusal to try to correct the perceived problem? The only advantage you get from such an approach is being able to feel morally superior, which is nothing but arrogance.

I won't waste my time in futile attempts to change the mind of those who already have knowingly decided to support legalized murder. Would you try to reason with a serial killer? I am willing to talk to people who are ignorant and don't understand that abortion kills human beings. But it seems to me that you understand it and simply don't care.

I will take a few seconds to state what you support: legalizing the killing of unborn humans. Why are you so ashamed of it?

I don't think I ever testified to being ashamed, nor can I presently testify to such a feeling, irrespective of your attempts to contemptuously re-frame the pro-choice position (which, again, attests more to your trying to use hollow rhetorical devices to score political points more than to trying to have an open, meaningful discussion).

There is no "re-framing" going on here. Abortion supporters want to legalize murdering unborn human beings. Using the term "Pro-choice" is an attempt to obscure the fact that you want to allow people to kill innocent humans with no legal repercussions. You haven't openly testified to being ashamed of it, but the fact that you use this term gives it away. I'm not trying to score political points (after all, what good would that accomplish on this site?) Rather I am pointing out what you really stand for. There is no room for an "open, meaningful discussion" about legalizing murder. Abortion is murder, murder is wrong. End of story.
Cody_Franklin
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5/15/2015 3:23:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 2:37:54 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 1:21:05 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 12:50:37 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
I won't waste time convincing a sociopathic killer that their actions are wrong.

I sincerely doubt that the vast majority of women who have abortions performed also happen to have antisocial personalities, since that's a trait less than 5% of the population have, unless you're seriously suggesting that it is only this <5% of the population which self-selects into the set of people comfortable with having abortions (or, conversely, that substantially more than 5% of the population have antisocial personalities, in which case I'm going to need several citations).

Did I say all women who kill their own unborn children have antisocial personalities? No. I was using that sentence as an example illustrating that there are times when you cannot reason with certain kinds of people.

My mistake. I think it's a poor analogy, but my mistake nevertheless.

It is easier to justify your disagreement with someone if you sincerely believe that they are evil (or even if you think it's good, or if it feels good, to believe that they're evil), but that's all it is--an incredibly unrealistic shortcut used to reinforce one of your existing beliefs.

The person may not be evil, but the act of killing an innocent defenseless unborn person is certainly evil. Some people don't understand that a fetus is a human being. Others understand it, but don't care. The former are ignorant, the latter are evil. Which are you?

The problem, for our purposes, is that the moral status of the thing under discussion is not predetermined, nor can you preclude with absolute certainty the possibility of being mistaken, in some form or fashion, about abortion. This could even be something as far out as "framing the debate in terms of personhood is misguided, so both sides are wrong to the extent that they employ this reasoning in their arguments". There are no beliefs which are untouchable, even if the probability of their being false (e.g., the law of noncontradiction) is infinitesimally, probably-not-even-worth-worrying-about low.

Similarly, I won't waste my time trying to change the minds of people who believe it's morally acceptable to kill innocent humans.

So, you're openly admitting that you're completely unwilling to consider the possibility that you're mistaken, i.e., that your allegiance isn't to what's true, but actually to whatever it is you already believe?

That is correct. I am not willing to consider the possibility that I'm mistaken about some things. For example, that murder is morally wrong, or that 2+2=4.

Unfortunately, that isn't how arguments work. There is a vast difference between behaving as if something is true--say, using arithmetic to give someone what you, not without good reason, believe to be correct change--and pretending to be completely certain about something's being true. The fact that you believe this thing very strongly, and are very emotionally invested in it, should not blind you to the fact that you could still be wrong about the ethics of abortion. Once you've opened the door to your politics being ruled by emotion, rather than by the well-defined rules of reasoning, you're committing to the impossibility of reliably checking your beliefs for accuracy. This point isn't so much about abortion, specifically, but about the way that you arrive at and update your beliefs about the world. I admit, you could absolutely be right in asserting that abortion is unethical, but you have to bear in mind that your argument has to be good, and not merely a rationalization for a predetermined conclusion. You certainly couldn't say "I like tuna, so abortion is evil". A lot of beliefs have consequences--if you're an architect, you can't just believe whatever your intuition tells you about structural integrity and assume that will lead you to build a functioning bridge. If you're a pharmaceutical chemist, you (with near-certainty) cannot rely on the principles of alchemy to find a cure for cancer. Political beliefs scarcely have such salient consequences, so it's easier to just believe whatever you want, as uncompromisingly as you want, and for whatever reasons you want (if you have any good reasons at all), and there's little incentive to keep track of how well-formed the underlying structure of the belief is, since, even if you're wrong, it doesn't cost you anything (except, perhaps, a bit of street cred).

I say all that just to say: don't flinch from the possibility of being wrong. It's a very intellectually healthy habit to keep this possibility at the forefront of your mind, even if it occasionally causes you to reject a belief you held close.

Do you realize how massive a cognitive error you'd have to be committing to make an assertion like you've made? Not just that you're completely rejecting the possibility of meaningful criticism, but that, even if you're right about the moral status of abortion, refusing to "waste your time" changing others' minds is essentially a refusal to try to correct the perceived problem? The only advantage you get from such an approach is being able to feel morally superior, which is nothing but arrogance.

I won't waste my time in futile attempts to change the mind of those who already have knowingly decided to support legalized murder. Would you try to reason with a serial killer?

Actually, I think trying to reason with the person is eminently informative. It doesn't have to be to the extent of trying to convince the person not to be a murderer, but it's definitely useful to try to understand why the person is behaving the way they're behaving. Incentives to murder, what's going on in the brain during the event, etc.

I am willing to talk to people who are ignorant and don't understand that abortion kills human beings. But it seems to me that you understand it and simply don't care.

Well, I think you're sneaking in several assumptions which I dispute (e.g., "the reference class 'fetuses' belongs completely to the attribute class 'entities with recognized political rights'").

I will take a few seconds to state what you support: legalizing the killing of unborn humans. Why are you so ashamed of it?

I don't think I ever testified to being ashamed, nor can I presently testify to such a feeling, irrespective of your attempts to contemptuously re-frame the pro-choice position (which, again, attests more to your trying to use hollow rhetorical devices to score political points more than to trying to have an open, meaningful discussion).

There is no "re-framing" going on here. Abortion supporters want to legalize murdering unborn human beings. Using the term "Pro-choice" is an attempt to obscure the fact that you want to allow people to kill innocent humans with no legal repercussions. You haven't openly testified to being ashamed of it, but the fact that you use this term gives it away. I'm not trying to score political points (after all, what good would that accomplish on this site?) Rather I am pointing out what you really stand for. There is no room for an "open, meaningful discussion" about legalizing murder. Abortion is murder, murder is wrong. End of story.

To be fair, you actually have no idea what I stand for, seeing as I haven't openly declared any allegiances. What I've said could be asserted as something a pro-choice person would say, but the body of my writing here is isomorphic to what would be asserted by a pro-life (or other position) person who has a heavy distaste for bad arguments.
lannan13
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5/15/2015 4:13:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Well that's because of the main change that occured. It was only legal in 8 states when Row V Wade legalized it in all 50. If it would've been like Gay Marriage and slowly worked it's way though the opposition wouldn't have been as bad.
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Topics I want to debate. (http://tinyurl.com...)
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dylancatlow
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5/15/2015 4:13:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/13/2015 8:49:03 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have a few questions as to the first:

1. You suggest it is "irresponsible" for a woman to have an abortion, and for a doctor to perform the operation. You suggest that responsibility is essentially benevolence, which, you further suggest, is empathy. You relate this to feeling pity for the unborn fetus.

> 1a. If the criterion for responsibility is whether an action is "benevolent", i.e., predicated on empathy, how can you claim that empathy itself is a responsibility? How, in other words, can you include as a moral imperative the criterion by which you decide whether the imperative has been satisfied?


The OP was identifying responsibility with benevolence, such that they go hand in hand. Since our responsibility is by definition our responsibility, that which is implied by "responsibility" is a responsibility.
Cody_Franklin
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5/15/2015 6:01:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 4:13:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/13/2015 8:49:03 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have a few questions as to the first:

1. You suggest it is "irresponsible" for a woman to have an abortion, and for a doctor to perform the operation. You suggest that responsibility is essentially benevolence, which, you further suggest, is empathy. You relate this to feeling pity for the unborn fetus.

> 1a. If the criterion for responsibility is whether an action is "benevolent", i.e., predicated on empathy, how can you claim that empathy itself is a responsibility? How, in other words, can you include as a moral imperative the criterion by which you decide whether the imperative has been satisfied?


The OP was identifying responsibility with benevolence, such that they go hand in hand. Since our responsibility is by definition our responsibility, that which is implied by "responsibility" is a responsibility.

Sorry, my formulation of the argument was really dumb. What I was trying to ask is how his theory lets you judge whether someone is being "responsible". He would say "empathy", but I was trying to make the point that he's just replacing one vague thing with another vague thing by defining the former as a function of the latter--I made mention of the fact that he calls premarital sex "irresponsible"--what the blue blazes does premarital sex have to do with empathy? Am I spread to empathize with a hypothetical disapproving God? Or might it be, as I suspect, that the theory is disjointed and ad hoc because it's a poor rationalization of predetermined moral intuitions? More than that, who determines what an empathic response would look like? Is there some kind of empathy Turing Machine we can use modeled on an ideal empath? There are a lot of unanswered questions.
YYW
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5/15/2015 6:07:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.

Troll, much?
Tsar of DDO
Cody_Franklin
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5/15/2015 7:30:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 6:07:31 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/15/2015 10:31:53 AM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

Yes, it is stunning that some people want women and doctors to be legally allowed to kill unborn humans.

Troll, much?

If so, I'm inclined to call it a Poe's Law type of situation.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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5/15/2015 7:43:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Just to say that I haven't abandoned the thread. Cody's points take time to ponder over and respond to, and I want to finish my debate arguments due first.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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Diqiucun_Cunmin
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5/16/2015 9:56:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/13/2015 8:49:03 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have a few questions as to the first:

1. You suggest it is "irresponsible" for a woman to have an abortion, and for a doctor to perform the operation. You suggest that responsibility is essentially benevolence, which, you further suggest, is empathy. You relate this to feeling pity for the unborn fetus.

> 1a. If the criterion for responsibility is whether an action is "benevolent", i.e., predicated on empathy, how can you claim that empathy itself is a responsibility? How, in other words, can you include as a moral imperative the criterion by which you decide whether the imperative has been satisfied?
I think you misunderstood. My opinion is that benevolence is one of the conditions that determines whether an act is responsible, and it is also the most important one.

I think I'll explain in greater detail. In Mencius 3.6, the four important natures of man - benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom - are introduced, and there is a particular emphasis on benevolence, which is derived from the feeling of commiseration. I changed commiseration to empathy because I realise it's the most often-used word on DDO to describe this kind of system of morality. The other three principles are also based on feelings innate to mankind. These four principles must be given full development for us to become virtuous people.

'All men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others. 'The ancient kings had this commiserating mind, and they, as a matter of course, had likewise a commiserating government. When with a commiserating mind was practised a commiserating government, to rule the kingdom was as easy a matter as to make anything go round in the palm. When I say that all men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others, my meaning may be illustrated thus: even now-a-days, if men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they will without exception experience a feeling of alarm and distress. They will feel so, not as a ground on which they may gain the favour of the child's parents, nor as a ground on which they may seek the praise of their neighbours and friends, nor from a dislike to the reputation of having been unmoved by such a thing. From this case we may perceive that the feeling of commiseration is essential to man, that the feeling of shame and dislike is essential to man, that the feeling of modesty and complaisance is essential to man, and that the feeling of approving and disapproving is essential to man. The feeling of commiseration is the principle of benevolence. The feeling of shame and dislike is the principle of righteousness. The feeling of modesty and complaisance is the principle of propriety. The feeling of approving and disapproving is the principle of knowledge. Men have these four principles just as they have their four limbs. When men, having these four principles, yet say of themselves that they cannot develop them, they play the thief with themselves, and he who says of his prince that he cannot develop them plays the thief with his prince. Since all men have these four principles in themselves, let them know to give them all their development and completion, and the issue will be like that of fire which has begun to burn, or that of a spring which has begun to find vent. Let them have their complete development, and they will suffice to love and protect all within the four seas. Let them be denied that development, and they will not suffice for a man to serve his parents with.' (Mencius 3.6)

> 1b. There are members of our own species who function in the world, who successfully pursue well-defined goals, who either lack the capacity to empathize or find such ability permanently stunted, all due to what you no doubt would consider a bad draw in the genetic lottery. If there were, somewhere else in the universe, an entire species of such beings, are you suggesting they are completely incapable of developing a functioning system of practical ethics? If not, is it not also true that human non-empaths could do the same, and that, therefore, empathy is not, in fact, the foundation of a good moral theory?
For those in human society who are incapable of empathy, if they are not given education, they will only be capable of acting on animal desires, which makes them immoral people. However, they can still follow the rules of propriety, which can be learnt from society. This, I think, is how people with this 'bad draw' can still act in a way that is morally good, even if the morality is not driven by their innate feelings.

Honestly, I didn't realise this genetic thing until recently. I assumed all are capable of benevolence, like Mencius 3.6, and basically rejected Xunzi. However, since realising this, I've started to see merit in Xunzi's system of morality based heavily on propriety. I think an entire species of beings without benevolence can adopt this, and still have a functioning ethics system.

> 1c. Why is seeking to satisfy one's sex drive morally objectionable? Further, some would say that aborting an unwanted pregnancy so as not to increase the net overall burden would be more responsible than adding to an oversupply of adoptable children.
'To subdue one's self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue.' (Analects 12.1) According to Zhu Xi's annotations, 'self' here refers to desires. People must be able to rein in their animal desires to satisfy the four moral principles above. In this case, premarital sex violates the principle of propriety, as well as the principle of the rectification of names (I've explained that in the gay marriage section).

As for the second question, I've argued that with my Dad quite a bit (he's pro-choice for this reason). I don't agree with it, however, as I believe utilitarianism is wrong - it was refuted in Mencius 6.1, in which Mencius argued that an action violating the principle of propriety should not be committed, even if it will bring greater good. Likewise, as abortion violates the principle of benevolence, it should not be performed, even if this may reduce overall good.

Further, how do the "irresponsibility" of premarital sex and the "irresponsibility" of abortion have anything to do with each other under the definition (benevolence, empathy) you've provided? It scarcely seems like empathy is relevant to sexual selection.
(See the answer to 1a)

I'll respond to d and e in the next post.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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5/16/2015 10:18:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
> 1d. Why are weddings even relevant? As a historically contingent institution, it hardly seems fair to use such an arbitrary metric to determine the "legitimacy" of sex or birthing (even assuming that consensual sex can be subject to ethical constraints).

I hope you don't mind if I ask you a simple question. A man has just made love with his girlfriend, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. What is the morally correct thing to do?

I'm sure that most will answer marriage. See, we can tell by intuition that the legitimacy of birthing is determined by marriage (even if the legitimacy of sex may be debateable these days). The fact that b*stard is one of the worst insults of the English language is another piece of evidence supporting this.

As for why a wedding determines this legimacy, again, this is a matter of rectifying names. Marriage bestows upon the couple the name of 'married couple'. The man takes of the role of husband, and the woman the role of wife. They It is by this process that they have the right (and responsibility!) to have sex and thus children.

> 1e. How can your moral theory possibly allow for rape victims to have abortions? If your argument is that an ordinary empathic individual couldn't do something to a fetus they wouldn't want done to themselves, then in what possible world could a rape victim, who actually understands being forcibly traumatized, be permitted to have the procedure done? Does being a victim get you a free pass over the golden rule? If so, how victimized does someone need to have been? How recently?
It does not give them a free pass. Having an abortion is still morally unsound. However, if the government forces rape victims not to have an abortion and the victim will be really traumatised once the baby is born, the government is the one violating the principle of benevolence and the 'golden rule'. (I don't completely agree with the golden rule, which is 'do unto others the way you would like others to do unto you', or something along the lines of that. Analects 12.2 advocates 'Not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself', which I think is a superior way to put it.)

Another reason I do not support banning it is, again, that they have not erred in the first place or got themselves into this situation, so the point about premarital sex does not stand, i.e. although abortion is still morally wrong in their situation, it is not as wrong as those who have an abortion because of an accidental pregnancy.

Most people are bullied or picked on at some point growing up. Some people are beaten up or come from abusive homes. Of these and others who are women, some subset will be pregnant at some point--should they, on your view, be similarly exonerated under condition of "psychological support"?
If their abortion was the result of premarital sex, it is still the result of their own wrongdoing, for which they must be responsible.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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5/16/2015 11:15:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

No offence intended, but I do think abortion has a great deal of reasons to be controversial (particularly since it involves a conflict of values - rights of woman vs rights of child, though I'm not particularly concerned about either of these), and the fact that bsh1 recently changed to a pro-life stance is, I think, a good indication that there are good reasons to support the pro-life stance.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Cody_Franklin
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5/16/2015 5:30:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This discussion is already running into serious volume issues, so I hope you don't mind my parsing some of this down a bit.

At 5/16/2015 9:56:15 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 5/13/2015 8:49:03 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

I think I'll explain in greater detail. In Mencius 3.6, the four important natures of man - benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom - are introduced, and there is a particular emphasis on benevolence, which is derived from the feeling of commiseration. I changed commiseration to empathy because I realise it's the most often-used word on DDO to describe this kind of system of morality. The other three principles are also based on feelings innate to mankind. These four principles must be given full development for us to become virtuous people.

'All men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others. 'The ancient kings had this commiserating mind, and they, as a matter of course, had likewise a commiserating government. When with a commiserating mind was practised a commiserating government, to rule the kingdom was as easy a matter as to make anything go round in the palm. When I say that all men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others, my meaning may be illustrated thus: even now-a-days, if men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they will without exception experience a feeling of alarm and distress. They will feel so, not as a ground on which they may gain the favour of the child's parents, nor as a ground on which they may seek the praise of their neighbours and friends, nor from a dislike to the reputation of having been unmoved by such a thing. From this case we may perceive that the feeling of commiseration is essential to man, that the feeling of shame and dislike is essential to man, that the feeling of modesty and complaisance is essential to man, and that the feeling of approving and disapproving is essential to man. The feeling of commiseration is the principle of benevolence. The feeling of shame and dislike is the principle of righteousness. The feeling of modesty and complaisance is the principle of propriety. The feeling of approving and disapproving is the principle of knowledge. Men have these four principles just as they have their four limbs. When men, having these four principles, yet say of themselves that they cannot develop them, they play the thief with themselves, and he who says of his prince that he cannot develop them plays the thief with his prince. Since all men have these four principles in themselves, let them know to give them all their development and completion, and the issue will be like that of fire which has begun to burn, or that of a spring which has begun to find vent. Let them have their complete development, and they will suffice to love and protect all within the four seas. Let them be denied that development, and they will not suffice for a man to serve his parents with.' (Mencius 3.6)

1. Your borrowed assertion from Mencius about these so-called "four natures" is empirically unsupported. Psychologists and philosophers have tried in vain to essentialize human beings quite soon after our ancestors discovered they were capable of reasoning. Talk is cheap, and the "are men inherently good or evil" game has long since been played out. Unfortunately for these oversimplifying stabs at understanding, the human mind is a continuous field of forces in constant flux, quite far from anything so neat and discrete as a small handful of "natures" or essences. It is worth remembering that these seeming pearls of wisdom are from a time wherein very little of significance was known about brain function; everything useful about them--the intuition, for instance, that we would probably all be generally better off treating each other kindly--has been extracted, refined, and improved by painstakingly methodical inquiry. Now that we do have at our disposal much more sophisticated versions of the wise bits, we may recognize the remainder as obsolete theorizing.

2. You admit below to the genetic problem, but all after citing at length these vague "ancients" who were predictably much wiser about governing human affairs. This, too, is empirically unsupported. Who, precisely, were these ancient kings? What percent of them, by whatever standard you like, governed well? If you look at how their respective dominions turned out, did they really do much better than we do today? How much better, if you think so? I certainly don't have that data in front of me, but I'm very skeptical that the outcomes of concentrated political power were really all that much better. Related to the "innately good/evil" problem, it's a popular rhetorical technique to assert either that humanity is constantly progressing from some barbaric Before Time to a hypothesized Peak State, or, conversely, that things are constantly going downhill because we've forgotten some kind of Deep Wisdom from a Long Ago when humanity was closer to perfection or True Virtue. Unfortunately, it is just a rhetorical technique, and, technological and intellectual development notwithstanding, our behavior as a species has, historically, stayed pretty close to the mean (within two standard deviations, certainly).

3. Honestly, I don't want to diminish the historical importance of Confucian work, but virtue ethics is pretty well discredited by the increasing body of literature demonstrating that specific, well-defined character traits have very poor predictive power when it comes to how people will behave in the world. You can't build a good, practical ethic if your model of human motivation is wildly inaccurate.

> 1b. There are members of our own species who function in the world, who successfully pursue well-defined goals, who either lack the capacity to empathize or find such ability permanently stunted, all due to what you no doubt would consider a bad draw in the genetic lottery. If there were, somewhere else in the universe, an entire species of such beings, are you suggesting they are completely incapable of developing a functioning system of practical ethics? If not, is it not also true that human non-empaths could do the same, and that, therefore, empathy is not, in fact, the foundation of a good moral theory?
For those in human society who are incapable of empathy, if they are not given education, they will only be capable of acting on animal desires, which makes them immoral people.

It might make us such if we weren't actually animals. We might be cleverer than our so-called "lower" counterparts, but that hardly puts us in some new, mysterious ontological terra incognita. I mean, what is it that makes "animal desires" so unethical other than satisfying the superiority complex we wield like a club over the other creatures? I like to eat, sleep, have sex, relieve myself after having needed to pee for a long time, etc. Doing those things measurably increases the probability that I'm in "Flourishing" mode at any given time, and forms the brunt of my ethical intuitions. Sure, there are ways to do those things poorly--you can eat only McDonald's, sloth around all the time, catch STDs or have only emotionally unfulfilling sex, "hold it" until you pee your pants, etc., but those are functions of poor judgment, i.e., irrationality, not of the creaturely desires themselves. To deny the ethical gravity of those things seems, to me, like willfully shutting off part of your brain, which is just about as close as it gets to having a death wish, i.e., the opposite of what practical ethics is supposed to accomplish. If that's your account of ethics, what's my motivation to actually listen to it? Any vague future results you might anticipate are pretty weak compared to the actual results I've already observed and which I continue at present to observe.
Cody_Franklin
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5/16/2015 5:31:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
However, they can still follow the rules of propriety, which can be learnt from society. This, I think, is how people with this 'bad draw' can still act in a way that is morally good, even if the morality is not driven by their innate feelings.

So, your response to those people is "Sorry, you can't be thoroughly ethical, but you can keep up appearances to satisfy the rest of us"?

Honestly, I didn't realise this genetic thing until recently. I assumed all are capable of benevolence, like Mencius 3.6, and basically rejected Xunzi. However, since realising this, I've started to see merit in Xunzi's system of morality based heavily on propriety. I think an entire species of beings without benevolence can adopt this, and still have a functioning ethics system.

It's also worth noting that, whereas Mencius relied on shaming people to get them to behave virtuously, Xunzi pretty openly lauded the corrective power of physical punishment. Neither of those seem particularly well-suited to human flourishing (not just in terms of the actions themselves--our good friend empiricism once again demonstrates the long-term ineffectiveness of securing compliance by these rudimentary negative reinforcement schemes), so, again, why, given what we want ethics to do for us, would we possibly be motivated to listen to the Confucians' take on the subject?

> 1c. Why is seeking to satisfy one's sex drive morally objectionable? Further, some would say that aborting an unwanted pregnancy so as not to increase the net overall burden would be more responsible than adding to an oversupply of adoptable children.
'To subdue one's self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue.' (Analects 12.1) According to Zhu Xi's annotations, 'self' here refers to desires. People must be able to rein in their animal desires to satisfy the four moral principles above. In this case, premarital sex violates the principle of propriety, as well as the principle of the rectification of names (I've explained that in the gay marriage section).

See my argument about animal desires in the previous post.

As for the second question, I've argued that with my Dad quite a bit (he's pro-choice for this reason). I don't agree with it, however, as I believe utilitarianism is wrong - it was refuted in Mencius 6.1, in which Mencius argued that an action violating the principle of propriety should not be committed, even if it will bring greater good. Likewise, as abortion violates the principle of benevolence, it should not be performed, even if this may reduce overall good.

I'm afraid that isn't a refutation at all. I'm the last person you'll see promoting utilitarianism, but I have sworn an oath of fealty to Good Argumentation. Mencius is just committing circular reasoning on this one--if you're being asked to defend, say, the principle of propriety, your defense can't invoke the principle as a justification. Or, less formally, if I say "I challenge the moral status of the Principle of Propriety on consequentialist grounds", you can't reply, "I dismiss your concerns because the Principle of Propriety says that they are irrelevant." It may be the case that, yes, in fact, the consequentialist challenge doesn't hold up. But that has to be demonstrated by a separate argument, not a naked re-assertion of whatever principle you already believe.

Further, how do the "irresponsibility" of premarital sex and the "irresponsibility" of abortion have anything to do with each other under the definition (benevolence, empathy) you've provided? It scarcely seems like empathy is relevant to sexual selection.
(See the answer to 1a)

I'll respond to d and e in the next post.
Cody_Franklin
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5/16/2015 5:31:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/16/2015 10:18:38 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
> 1d. Why are weddings even relevant? As a historically contingent institution, it hardly seems fair to use such an arbitrary metric to determine the "legitimacy" of sex or birthing (even assuming that consensual sex can be subject to ethical constraints).

I hope you don't mind if I ask you a simple question. A man has just made love with his girlfriend, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. What is the morally correct thing to do?

In my eyes, that depends on what their respective goals are. If it wasn't wanted, I would have tried to head the problem off at the pass by getting one or both of them on some kind of birth control regimen (guy wears a condom, girl is on the pill with a dose of Plan B ready to go in cases of contingency; I think they're working on experimental birth control for men, though). If all of those precautions fail, we'd discuss our three most obvious options: keep the child and raise it; keep the child and put it up for adoption; don't keep the child. I assume that we're both possessed of sufficiently well-defined goals and sound minds, so I infer we'd have a productive and fruitful conversation that would leave us both more satisfied than if one of us had just taken unilateral action. Keep in mind that I'm a vague consequentialist, so my ethical algorithm goes something like "Given goal X, which n paths to X offer the highest probability of winning (achieving the goal, that is), what evidence do I have to sustain those probabilities, and, of the top contenders, which paths are closest to optimal relative to these predetermined constraints (e.g., lowest number of negative ramifications for all parties involved, least expensive or best value for the money). If you've done a specific thing enough times to know that it will work pretty well, you can phrase it to yourself as a deontological injunction (i.e., just do this thing you are confident works, and do it with zero or minimal conditions), but you can't a priori assert principles without any respect for what's going to happen if you implement them. That's the most reckless/dangerous thing I can imagine.

I'm sure that most will answer marriage.

I'm not all that sure. Would you care to conduct a poll to that effect? Don't structure it as a multiple-choice where people might be primed with an answer, either. Also, make sure to get a large, representative sample. I'd be interested to see how that test turns out, because, to be honest, that thought didn't occur to me at all when I first read the question, but, in all fairness, I could also be a statistical outlier.

See, we can tell by intuition that the legitimacy of birthing is determined by marriage (even if the legitimacy of sex may be debateable these days). The fact that b*stard is one of the worst insults of the English language is another piece of evidence supporting this.

Is it one of the worst insults in the English language? What standard of measurement are you using, exactly?

Further, "intuition" is well-documentedly wrong about what at first was a surprisingly vast set of things. I have references if you're inclined to investigate my claim. If you don't have some well-defined framework for evaluating the quality and nature of your intuitions, I'm sad to say you can't claim to know anything about anything. In this case, given that marriage is a historically-contingent institution (a special case of the bizarre human tendency toward ritual formalism), it seems more plausible to me that it's less of an "intuition" than a conditioned social response, if it actually is as widespread as you suggest, predicated on another human cognitive failing, namely, failing to appreciate contingency in the form of being able to internally simulate alternative possible worlds. For the creative mind, I sincerely doubt "marriage" is the thing that comes to mind when you pose the "What do" question on unwanted pregnancy.

As for why a wedding determines this legimacy, again, this is a matter of rectifying names. Marriage bestows upon the couple the name of 'married couple'. The man takes of the role of husband, and the woman the role of wife. It is by this process that they have the right (and responsibility!) to have sex and thus children.

1. I thought you were skeptical of "rights" theory. That's where the argument came from in the first place, isn't it? You wanted a non-rights justification of the pro-life case?

2. Imagine a world in which marriage, being that it is a contingent institution, does not exist at all, where human mating is not ritually formalized (and this is certainly a possible world, you will have to agree, even if it seems probabilistically distant from our own actual world)--what comment do you think the inhabitants of such a world might be inclined to make if you told them that they had no right to have sex or children without this arbitrary social construct we've devised in our world? What would you say if someone told you you had no right to eat in public without following some ritual you've never heard of designed to sanctify the bond between Man and What Is To Be Consumed?

> 1e. How can your moral theory possibly allow for rape victims to have abortions? If your argument is that an ordinary empathic individual couldn't do something to a fetus they wouldn't want done to themselves, then in what possible world could a rape victim, who actually understands being forcibly traumatized, be permitted to have the procedure done? Does being a victim get you a free pass over the golden rule? If so, how victimized does someone need to have been? How recently?
It does not give them a free pass. Having an abortion is still morally unsound. However, if the government forces rape victims not to have an abortion and the victim will be really traumatised once the baby is born, the government is the one violating the principle of benevolence and the 'golden rule'. (I don't completely agree with the golden rule, which is 'do unto others the way you would like others to do unto you', or something along the lines of that. Analects 12.2 advocates 'Not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself', which I think is a superior way to put it.)

Another reason I do not support banning it is, again, that they have not erred in the first place or got themselves into this situation, so the point about premarital sex does not stand, i.e. although abortion is still morally wrong in their situation, it is not as wrong as those who have an abortion because of an accidental pregnancy.

Is it therefore fair to say that, for those who engage willingly in productive sexual congress without intent to bear a child, that you're wielding the life of a child as a punishment for behaving unethically? If this weren't the case, I see no reason why you wouldn't also forbid it for rape victims, even if, as you literally said, the net amount of good in the world decreases as a result of following the Principles.

Most people are bullied or picked on at some point growing up. Some people are beaten up or come from abusive homes. Of these and others who are women, some subset will be pregnant at some point--should they, on your view, be similarly exonerated under condition of "psychological support"?
If their abortion was the result of premarital sex, it is still the result of their own wrongdoing, for which they must be responsible.
YYW
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5/16/2015 6:50:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/16/2015 11:15:45 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

No offence intended, but I do think abortion has a great deal of reasons to be controversial (particularly since it involves a conflict of values - rights of woman vs rights of child, though I'm not particularly concerned about either of these), and the fact that bsh1 recently changed to a pro-life stance is, I think, a good indication that there are good reasons to support the pro-life stance.

I don't like abortion. The process of aborting a fetus, especially one that has reached the fifteenth week in the gestation process, is gruesome.

The ***political*** issue isn't whether abortion is right or wrong, though. The issue is whether women who are pregnant should be able to seek abortions without legal restraint.

The problem is that when people who oppose abortion frame the moral issue as prior to the political one, they're advocating a legislative method that is as offecious as it is offensive to individual liberty and privacy concerns.

The fact that many people think that abortion is immoral does not mean that abortion should be illegal; but that is the beginning and end of the pro-life argument, and it's inconsistent with the rights, liberties and values which have historically defined this country.

We begin from the position that people are and ought to be free, and we accept that subjective disapproval (or even moral disdain) is ***not*** enough to criminalize something. Those who regard a particular practice do not have the right to commandeer legislatures and produce laws which offend individual freedom and privacy.

It's just that simple.
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Skepsikyma
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5/16/2015 7:57:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
My main issue with pro-life argumentation is that it tries to shoe-horn morality into genetics in ways which are absurd. When you look at human life abstractly, there is nothing which privileges the 1n gametes (sperm and egg) over the 2n zygote. Arguments that the zygote is 'genetically unique' while the gametes aren't are predicated on irrational bias towards a more recognizable half of the life cycle. In the end, this is what it boils down to, and every pro life argument that I've heard runs aground in these biological shoals due to a staggering ignorance of how, genetically, life cycles are structured.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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5/20/2015 10:01:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Just saying, again, that I haven't abandoned the thread... but some of Cody's points are really hard to respond to. Some of his weaker claims I can respond to (esp. the one about Mencius trying to shame people) but there are some others to which I still don't know how to reply...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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5/20/2015 10:02:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/16/2015 6:50:43 PM, YYW wrote:
At 5/16/2015 11:15:45 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 5/15/2015 7:54:19 AM, YYW wrote:
Cody raises many well articulated points, as always.

The fact that abortion remains politically controversial is stunning.

No offence intended, but I do think abortion has a great deal of reasons to be controversial (particularly since it involves a conflict of values - rights of woman vs rights of child, though I'm not particularly concerned about either of these), and the fact that bsh1 recently changed to a pro-life stance is, I think, a good indication that there are good reasons to support the pro-life stance.

I don't like abortion. The process of aborting a fetus, especially one that has reached the fifteenth week in the gestation process, is gruesome.

The ***political*** issue isn't whether abortion is right or wrong, though. The issue is whether women who are pregnant should be able to seek abortions without legal restraint.

The problem is that when people who oppose abortion frame the moral issue as prior to the political one, they're advocating a legislative method that is as offecious as it is offensive to individual liberty and privacy concerns.

The fact that many people think that abortion is immoral does not mean that abortion should be illegal; but that is the beginning and end of the pro-life argument, and it's inconsistent with the rights, liberties and values which have historically defined this country.

We begin from the position that people are and ought to be free, and we accept that subjective disapproval (or even moral disdain) is ***not*** enough to criminalize something. Those who regard a particular practice do not have the right to commandeer legislatures and produce laws which offend individual freedom and privacy.

It's just that simple.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. Yes, in fact, where I live the position held by most (i.e. it's taken for granted) is that abortion is morally wrong but should be legal.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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5/20/2015 10:58:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:01:19 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
Just saying, again, that I haven't abandoned the thread... but some of Cody's points are really hard to respond to. Some of his weaker claims I can respond to (esp. the one about Mencius trying to shame people) but there are some others to which I still don't know how to reply...

Again, take your time.

Bear in mind, though--while I only spent a measly two years familiarizing myself with Eastern philosophy (I am assuming here you're far more familiar than I with its doctrinal intricacies), the fact that there are several other points to which you find it difficult to respond raises a big epistemological concern:

When people really, really believe something, and they are suddenly confronted with difficult counterarguments, people tend to be predisposed to thinking "Well, how can I refute this guy and prove myself right?"; however, while it's good to examine a counterargument's weaknesses, you also have to be careful not to be stuck in the mode of merely trying to defend yourself--in that circumstance, you assume for the sake of argument that your position is correct, and that you need only find the appropriate defense, rather than discarding or updating that belief. You have to ask yourself additional questions, such as "Why is it so hard to respond to X, and why is it taking so long?" "Under what circumstances would I stop believing X to be true?" Further, you have to consider that, although it may be true that there is some knockdown reply you could make to each of my arguments (and, mind you, I am entirely open to the possibility), it is just as possible, speaking strictly, that you're only trying to find ways to rationalize what you already believe. They're both equally possible, but ask yourself: are they equally probable to be true? And, even supposing they initially were, what impact is made on those probabilities (irrespective of the possibility of us both being wrong, which could also be the case) when you factor in the delay in response time, particularly as t --> infinity? I'm inclined to think that the longer it takes to reply, and the more acrobatics you have to do to justify your position at the end of things, the less likely it incrementally becomes, not necessarily that what you believe is true (although this is a closely-related probability), but that you actually have good enough reasons for believing what you believe to go on preferring that belief, either over admissions of ignorance (null hypothesis type of thing) or over some alternative (e.g., my adaptation of consequentialism).
YYW
Posts: 36,375
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5/20/2015 6:19:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:01:19 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
Just saying, again, that I haven't abandoned the thread... but some of Cody's points are really hard to respond to. Some of his weaker claims I can respond to (esp. the one about Mencius trying to shame people) but there are some others to which I still don't know how to reply...

Allow me to simplify:

At 5/16/2015 5:31:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
If birth control methods fail, you've got to consider what the people involved want. There are three options: (1) keep the child and raise it; (2) birth the child and put it up for adoption; and (3) don't keep the child. When I think about moral problems, I'm most concerned with the consequences although I'm wiling to consider other stuff, which we can talk about if you want. (I also don't think that a lot of other people think like I do).

and

Ya know, people's instincts are pretty reliable too, even if they don't rationally think about all their options when they're making decisions.

and

Take marriage out of the equation, too. Like, think about a world where there was no marriage. What of abortion then?*

*(This isn't a really meaningful point, though. I think he was just thinking out loud here.)

and

The other thing I want you to think about here is the absurdity of claiming that raising a child is due punishment for sex out of wedlock, especially given the wide variety of situations where pregnancy can be bought about even in the absence of consensual sex.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,375
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5/20/2015 6:21:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There are some people who really like circuitous writing... there are others that get lost in it.

Cody, I think using simpler words would (like for the love of all that is good just say fuckingoutofwedlock rather than "engaging in premarital sexual congress" or whatever you said lol).
Tsar of DDO
tejretics
Posts: 6,093
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5/21/2015 6:52:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/13/2015 4:39:07 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

On a completely unrelated note, why are you Con civil unions? If two people don't wanna get married (for whatever reason), why can't they have a civil union?
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass