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Pro-choice Misrepresents Maturity of a Fetus

ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 5:19:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have, for awhile, desired for a debate on abortion with a well informed, intelligent, and thought provoking opponent. I have not found many on this site capable and willing to debate this topic thoughtfully. Usually those that are, eventually are washed out in the heated, empty, judgmental words of ignoramuses of both the pro-life and pro-choice types. One of the seemingly common fallacies thrown out by these fools, deals with the maternity of a fetus.

A fetus defined (WebMD): "An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth."

So clearly, the only requirements for a developing human to be considered a fetus are: the human has developed past the 8th week after conception and the human has not been born. This means that there are some fetuses that are more developed than a newborn child. So why do I constantly see arguments that maintain that a fetus doesn't feel pain or is not conscious? Do newborns feel pain? Are newborns conscious? If we make these arguments for a fetus then will not these arguments hold for newborns as well? Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.

It seems like most or all pro-choices that make this misrepresentation do so because they are ignorant of science. Most probably depend on the misrepresentation to feed their biased opinions. What are your thoughts?
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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8/22/2015 6:55:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 5:19:43 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I have, for awhile, desired for a debate on abortion with a well informed, intelligent, and thought provoking opponent. I have not found many on this site capable and willing to debate this topic thoughtfully. Usually those that are, eventually are washed out in the heated, empty, judgmental words of ignoramuses of both the pro-life and pro-choice types. One of the seemingly common fallacies thrown out by these fools, deals with the maternity of a fetus.

A fetus defined (WebMD): "An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth."

So clearly, the only requirements for a developing human to be considered a fetus are: the human has developed past the 8th week after conception and the human has not been born.

I see what you did there, equated foetus with human. Nice sleight of hand. Lol.

This means that there are some fetuses that are more developed than a newborn child.

Non sequitur. Um, how?

So why do I constantly see arguments that maintain that a fetus doesn't feel pain or is not conscious?

Maybe it's because of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Some authors,[3] however, argue that fetal pain is possible from the second half, or even the second tremester,[4] of pregnancy.[5] In March 2010, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists submitted a report,[6] concluding that "Current research shows that the sensory structures are not developed or specialized enough to respond to pain in a fetus of less than 24 weeks", pg. 22.

Do newborns feel pain? Are newborns conscious? If we make these arguments for a fetus then will not these arguments hold for newborns as well?

A foetus at what stage is the question you are ignoring.

Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.

Nice strawman.

It seems like most or all pro-choices that make this misrepresentation do so because they are ignorant of science. Most probably depend on the misrepresentation to feed their biased opinions. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are that you have no interest in the science but are here to proselytize the views of a 2,000 year-old book by people far more ignorant than the ones you are complaining about. Prove me wrong.
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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8/22/2015 7:04:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Btw, starting off a discussion by calling those with opposing views to your own, fools, is not considered good form. If my response above is a bit snarky, you should understand why.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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8/22/2015 7:07:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 5:19:43 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
A fetus defined (WebMD): "An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth."

Zeno, this is not my area of expertise, but a quick review of the CDC data shows that 97% of US abortions are conducted before 20 weeks of gestation [http://www.cdc.gov...], while this graphic shows that nerve myelination doesn't appear before 29 weeks. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]

So the foetal stage undergoes many significant changes, and it's hard to see that nerve or brain function could be called developed at 8 weeks.

I hope that may be of use.
dee-em
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8/22/2015 7:11:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
From the same wikipedia article:

"A fetus," Mellor told The New York Times, "is not a baby who just hasn't been born yet."[16]
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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8/22/2015 9:38:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 5:19:43 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I have, for awhile, desired for a debate on abortion with a well informed, intelligent, and thought provoking opponent. I have not found many on this site capable and willing to debate this topic thoughtfully. Usually those that are, eventually are washed out in the heated, empty, judgmental words of ignoramuses of both the pro-life and pro-choice types. One of the seemingly common fallacies thrown out by these fools, deals with the maternity of a fetus.

A fetus defined (WebMD): "An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth."

So clearly, the only requirements for a developing human to be considered a fetus are: the human has developed past the 8th week after conception and the human has not been born. This means that there are some fetuses that are more developed than a newborn child. So why do I constantly see arguments that maintain that a fetus doesn't feel pain or is not conscious?
Frankly because the neural basis for something like proto-consciousness does not develop until the ~24th week. Even then important neuro transmitters are missing.

Do newborns feel pain?
As you probably know, we hear better while we are young. Newborn cry because, to them, everything is way to loud.

Are newborns conscious?
Probably.

If we make these arguments for a fetus then will not these arguments hold for newborns as well?
Not necessarily, depends on the specific argument.

Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.
Fetuses are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present. You and I are not just clumps of cells, because we are people.

It seems like most or all pro-choices that make this misrepresentation do so because they are ignorant of science. Most probably depend on the misrepresentation to feed their biased opinions. What are your thoughts?
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
ZenoCitium
Posts: 184
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8/22/2015 1:31:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 7:07:46 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 8/22/2015 5:19:43 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
A fetus defined (WebMD): "An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth."

Zeno, this is not my area of expertise, but a quick review of the CDC data shows that 97% of US abortions are conducted before 20 weeks of gestation [http://www.cdc.gov...], while this graphic shows that nerve myelination doesn't appear before 29 weeks. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]

So the foetal stage undergoes many significant changes, and it's hard to see that nerve or brain function could be called developed at 8 weeks.

I hope that may be of use.

Thank you RuvDraba. Right on! I believe the misconceptions on the development level of a fetus is directly related to the fact that it is a rather generic term. A developing human at only 8 weeks is quite different than a developing human just before birth, yet they are both considered a fetus. I believe the term is anchored in the fact that the developing human, at that point (9 weeks) has all of its major organs although they are not fully developed or in their correct anatomical locations.

As far as the debate on what point in fetal development is acceptable, I believe any arguments based on brain development is problematic. I used this as an example only because of the misconceptions in the later stages of fetal development. Consider this example: a brain-dead child is on a machine keeping them alive. A parent decides to disconnect the machine. This scenario, sadly, sometimes occurs. Imagine if the doctor had told the parent that their child's brain-death was only temporary. Imagine the back-lash if the parents had still decided to disconnect their child.

As far as nerve myelination, which I know almost nothing about, it starts during fetal development but continues through adulthood. Also, there are people with dysmyelination and demyelination. I'm not sure if the condition of the myelin sheath affects the debate on abortion.
ZenoCitium
Posts: 184
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8/22/2015 1:36:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.
Fetuses are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present. You and I are not just clumps of cells, because we are people.

This reasoning seems to violate circular logic. Perhaps this is because the term "person" is too vague. How is a newborn baby, born at 28 weeks, that has lived for 11 weeks any different than a fetus that is 39 weeks along?
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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8/22/2015 1:43:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 1:31:05 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
At 8/22/2015 7:07:46 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 8/22/2015 5:19:43 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
A fetus defined (WebMD): "An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth."

Zeno, this is not my area of expertise, but a quick review of the CDC data shows that 97% of US abortions are conducted before 20 weeks of gestation [http://www.cdc.gov...], while this graphic shows that nerve myelination doesn't appear before 29 weeks. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]

So the foetal stage undergoes many significant changes, and it's hard to see that nerve or brain function could be called developed at 8 weeks.

Right on! I believe the misconceptions on the development level of a fetus is directly related to the fact that it is a rather generic term.
Yes. I agree.

As far as the debate on what point in fetal development is acceptable, I believe any arguments based on brain development is problematic.

I can't really comment, since it's not my field. However, I have some trust in the medical profession here -- in the developed world at least. They work extra hard not to harm newborns, children or adults. They work overtime to get mothers not to drink or smoke during pregnancy in part due to the resulting neurological damage to infants. I don't see them being indifferent to the possibility of a foetus suffering, and as a former scientist myself, I don't believe they haven't done extensive diligence on this, though I haven't surveyed that literature. (Moreover, I suspect the evaluation of that diligence may be beyond my expertise.)

I mainly cited myelination to show just how much fundamental neurology was still in development. You're right that myelin continues to develop through childhood, however a nerve system with no myelin doesn't strike me as very functional, especially when you consider what impact severe myelin loss has on adults. So that's an informal argument to show there's likely to be an ethically 'safe' point for termination during foetal gestation -- though I cannot myself nominate that point or defend it.

If I find a paper that does though, I'll link it.
ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 1:45:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 7:04:39 AM, dee-em wrote:
Btw, starting off a discussion by calling those with opposing views to your own, fools, is not considered good form. If my response above is a bit snarky, you should understand why.

Certainly. However, by no means do I believe all those with opposing views are fools. There are many pro-choice advocates that have thought provoking arguments. I wish to debate them. However, I have a growing impatience with ignorant arguments that are not fact based. These arguments only serve to support pre-formed opinions. Perhaps you have met similar pro-lifers that argue only from their religious beliefs? I'm sure that would be aggravating in the same regard.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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8/22/2015 1:52:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 1:36:22 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.
Fetuses are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present. You and I are not just clumps of cells, because we are people.

This reasoning seems to violate circular logic.
I am not sure what is circular about this.

Perhaps this is because the term "person" is too vague.
I propose the definition John Locke gave, "[a] person is an intelligent thinking being that can know itself as itself the same thinking thing in different times and places" - SEP.

How is a newborn baby, born at 28 weeks, that has lived for 11 weeks any different than a fetus that is 39 weeks along?
The 28 weeks old newborn is probably dead. The youngest child ever born was, I think, only 21 weeks old, so let's say it survived. As I've said, even after 24 weeks, the fetus probably not conscious and if it is, it's at best comparable to that of a cockroach. And we don't grant a right to life to them, do we? I don't think anything magical happens when passing through a birth canal. In the case you described there is nothing more or less wrong with a post-natal abortion then with a regular one.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
ZenoCitium
Posts: 184
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8/22/2015 2:25:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Fetuses are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present. You and I are not just clumps of cells, because we are people.

This reasoning seems to violate circular logic.
I am not sure what is circular about this.

I may have misunderstood you originally. I took your above statement to mean: [Although fetuses are not technically clumps of cells, they] "are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present." So "clumps of cells" therefore, as you put it, is another way of saying non-person. So your expression becomes: Fetuses are non-persons to emphasize that there is no person present. I apologize if this was a misunderstanding. If that is the case, could you clarify, because the literal definition of fetus does not condone calling it a clump of cells.

How is a newborn baby, born at 28 weeks, that has lived for 11 weeks any different than a fetus that is 39 weeks along?
The 28 weeks old newborn is probably dead. The youngest child ever born was, I think, only 21 weeks old, so let's say it survived. As I've said, even after 24 weeks, the fetus probably not conscious and if it is, it's at best comparable to that of a cockroach. And we don't grant a right to life to them, do we? I don't think anything magical happens when passing through a birth canal. In the case you described there is nothing more or less wrong with a post-natal abortion then with a regular one.

I can tell you from personal experience that the 28 week old newborns lived, they were twin boys and they required extensive help to breath and they had feeding tubes. Although, it really shouldn't be surprising. Even the SCOTUS defined a viable pregnancy as starting between 24 and 28 weeks in their Roe v. Wade decision.

I take your position to hold that terminating the life after birth is acceptable?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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8/22/2015 2:33:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 2:25:27 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
Fetuses are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present. You and I are not just clumps of cells, because we are people.

This reasoning seems to violate circular logic.
I am not sure what is circular about this.

I may have misunderstood you originally. I took your above statement to mean: [Although fetuses are not technically clumps of cells, they] "are called clumps of cells to emphasize that there is no person present." So "clumps of cells" therefore, as you put it, is another way of saying non-person. So your expression becomes: Fetuses are non-persons to emphasize that there is no person present. I apologize if this was a misunderstanding. If that is the case, could you clarify, because the literal definition of fetus does not condone calling it a clump of cells.
Pretty much that.

How is a newborn baby, born at 28 weeks, that has lived for 11 weeks any different than a fetus that is 39 weeks along?
The 28 weeks old newborn is probably dead. The youngest child ever born was, I think, only 21 weeks old, so let's say it survived. As I've said, even after 24 weeks, the fetus probably not conscious and if it is, it's at best comparable to that of a cockroach. And we don't grant a right to life to them, do we? I don't think anything magical happens when passing through a birth canal. In the case you described there is nothing more or less wrong with a post-natal abortion then with a regular one.

I can tell you from personal experience that the 28 week old newborns lived, they were twin boys and they required extensive help to breath and they had feeding tubes. Although, it really shouldn't be surprising. Even the SCOTUS defined a viable pregnancy as starting between 24 and 28 weeks in their Roe v. Wade decision.
Certainly, but I assumed that it survived anyway.

I take your position to hold that terminating the life after birth is acceptable?

At least in principle, yes. I am, however, not sure it would be a great idea to make post-natal abortions legal.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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8/22/2015 2:34:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 2:25:27 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I take your position to hold that terminating the life after birth is acceptable?

It is at least no more or less bad than terminating the same life in utero.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 2:35:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I take your position to hold that terminating the life after birth is acceptable?

By the way, there is no such thing as a post-natal abortion. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. You cannot terminate a pregnancy after the pregnancy has ended.

Besides your answer to my example, your requirement for personhood supports this as well.

"[a] person is an intelligent thinking being that can know itself as itself the same thinking thing in different times and places"

Therefore, if at any time a person does not know "itself as itself the same thinking thing in different times and place", they can be terminated. This supports euthanasia.
ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 2:38:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 2:34:54 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 8/22/2015 2:25:27 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I take your position to hold that terminating the life after birth is acceptable?

It is at least no more or less bad than terminating the same life in utero.

I agree.
Fkkize
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8/22/2015 2:55:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 2:35:40 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I take your position to hold that terminating the life after birth is acceptable?

By the way, there is no such thing as a post-natal abortion. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. You cannot terminate a pregnancy after the pregnancy has ended.
Well, I am open for any suggestions. For a lack of a better term I use post-natal abortion.

Besides your answer to my example, your requirement for personhood supports this as well.

"[a] person is an intelligent thinking being that can know itself as itself the same thinking thing in different times and places"

Therefore, if at any time a person does not know "itself as itself the same thinking thing in different times and place", they can be terminated. This supports euthanasia.

Yes, I support voluntary euthanasia. I like how David Boonin put it.

When I wake up in the morning I do not have to learn everything that I believed the day before. I seem to have almost all the same beliefs, concepts and desires I had yesterday. This suggest that these mental items were retained in some form or other while I was asleep

And this is the difference I make between fetuses of 7 weeks and sleeping/comatose patients. The latter can at least in principle know themselves as the same thinking thing etc while the latter cannot..
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 3:04:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I see what you did there, equated foetus with human. Nice sleight of hand. Lol.

A fetus is human. Perhaps you can argue whether or not it is a human being, but this thread is specifically concerned with a human fetus. There really is no "slight of hand", perhaps only a misunderstanding.

This means that there are some fetuses that are more developed than a newborn child.

Non sequitur. Um, how?

Please see my previous example: 39 week old fetus versus baby born at 28 weeks. The fetus is a more developed than the newborn.

A foetus at what stage is the question you are ignoring.

Correct. Stating that a fetus exclusively feels pain or exclusively does not feel pain is incorrect. My original point was that some pro-choice advocates don't make this distinction. Your source states that a fetus can feel pain by 24 weeks. Consider the following facts: a fetus can be aborted at 24 weeks, current abortion practices already incorporate anesthesia for the fetus, and in some states there is a legal requirement for fetal anesthesia after 20 weeks.

Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.

Nice strawman.

This really wasn't a strawman. This type of argument is somewhat common from pro-choice advocates. This threat is fairly new, and look: Fkkize has already called a fetus a clump of cells knowing that it isn't such technically.

It seems like most or all pro-choices that make this misrepresentation do so because they are ignorant of science. Most probably depend on the misrepresentation to feed their biased opinions. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are that you have no interest in the science but are here to proselytize the views of a 2,000 year-old book by people far more ignorant than the ones you are complaining about. Prove me wrong.

Ha! I've only presented scientific facts. What makes you think that I am even a religious person?
SNP1
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8/22/2015 3:22:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The cerbral cortex (which is required for higher brain functions, including pain) does not function until around 20-24 weeks.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 3:28:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well, I am open for any suggestions. For a lack of a better term I use post-natal abortion.

I think the distinction is important. I would call such a procedure simply "life termination".

Yes, I support voluntary euthanasia. I like how David Boonin put it.

When I wake up in the morning I do not have to learn everything that I believed the day before. I seem to have almost all the same beliefs, concepts and desires I had yesterday. This suggest that these mental items were retained in some form or other while I was asleep

And this is the difference I make between fetuses of 7 weeks and sleeping/comatose patients. The latter can at least in principle know themselves as the same thinking thing etc while the latter cannot..

I think that Boonin's example would be adequate for sleeping patients, but i'm not sure about comatose. They would not "wake up in the morning". Therefore, you would be condoning life termination for comatose patients. Perhaps, this is just reaffirming your belief in euthanasia.

Why do you call it "voluntary euthanasia"? What do you mean by voluntary?
Fkkize
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8/22/2015 3:42:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 3:28:14 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
Well, I am open for any suggestions. For a lack of a better term I use post-natal abortion.

I think the distinction is important. I would call such a procedure simply "life termination".
Fair enough.

Yes, I support voluntary euthanasia. I like how David Boonin put it.

When I wake up in the morning I do not have to learn everything that I believed the day before. I seem to have almost all the same beliefs, concepts and desires I had yesterday. This suggest that these mental items were retained in some form or other while I was asleep

And this is the difference I make between fetuses of 7 weeks and sleeping/comatose patients. The latter can at least in principle know themselves as the same thinking thing etc while the latter cannot..

I think that Boonin's example would be adequate for sleeping patients, but i'm not sure about comatose. They would not "wake up in the morning". Therefore, you would be condoning life termination for comatose patients.
I don't see why it should not be analogous to comatose patients. If they wake up, they most likely are the same person as before. The fact that they don't just wake up in the morning is rather irrelevant to Boonin's point.

Perhaps, this is just reaffirming your belief in euthanasia.
I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Why do you call it "voluntary euthanasia"? What do you mean by voluntary?
"Voluntary" as in "chosen by an agent" and as opposed to "enforced without consent". I called it that because your post implied that my reasoning legitimizes the random killing of people in a hospital. Which it doesn't.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
ZenoCitium
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8/22/2015 10:14:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
When I wake up in the morning I do not have to learn everything that I believed the day before. I seem to have almost all the same beliefs, concepts and desires I had yesterday. This suggest that these mental items were retained in some form or other while I was asleep

And this is the difference I make between fetuses of 7 weeks and sleeping/comatose patients. The latter can at least in principle know themselves as the same thinking thing etc while the latter cannot..

Actually, from the little I've read, psychologists believe that it is not prior to approximately 3 years that children begin to grasp the temporal dimension of the self. Therefore, in consequence, your line of reasoning deems both infanticide and euthanasia of mentally retarded individuals as acceptable.

I think that Boonin's example would be adequate for sleeping patients, but i'm not sure about comatose. They would not "wake up in the morning". Therefore, you would be condoning life termination for comatose patients.
I don't see why it should not be analogous to comatose patients. If they wake up, they most likely are the same person as before. The fact that they don't just wake up in the morning is rather irrelevant to Boonin's point.

That is logical to me now.

Why do you call it "voluntary euthanasia"? What do you mean by voluntary?
"Voluntary" as in "chosen by an agent" and as opposed to "enforced without consent". I called it that because your post implied that my reasoning legitimizes the random killing of people in a hospital. Which it doesn't.

I am assuming that you mean that the agent doing the choosing is the agent to be euthanized? How does someone in a coma express consent? They would need to give consent before entrance into the comatose state. If they had not, would you agree that they should not have their life terminated since it would therefore be involuntary euthanasia?
Fkkize
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8/22/2015 10:37:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 10:14:16 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
When I wake up in the morning I do not have to learn everything that I believed the day before. I seem to have almost all the same beliefs, concepts and desires I had yesterday. This suggest that these mental items were retained in some form or other while I was asleep

And this is the difference I make between fetuses of 7 weeks and sleeping/comatose patients. The latter can at least in principle know themselves as the same thinking thing etc while the latter cannot..

Actually, from the little I've read, psychologists believe that it is not prior to approximately 3 years that children begin to grasp the temporal dimension of the self. Therefore, in consequence, your line of reasoning deems both infanticide and euthanasia of mentally retarded individuals as acceptable.
I am aware of the psychology. What this means is that up until the age of three, the child is not considered to be a person. It does not mean that they lack any moral status. I argue from a utilitarian perspective and without a doubt, even young children experience pain and pleasure. I am not sure how experienced you are with handicapped people, but the vast majority mentally retarded individuals do in fact fall under my definition of person. Even the those who don't typically experience pain and pleasure, just as young children.
Of course, if a child is born with, say, Tay-Sachs Syndrome, we should spare it a life of pain. I think that is what is commonly called mercy.

Why do you call it "voluntary euthanasia"? What do you mean by voluntary?
"Voluntary" as in "chosen by an agent" and as opposed to "enforced without consent". I called it that because your post implied that my reasoning legitimizes the random killing of people in a hospital. Which it doesn't.

I am assuming that you mean that the agent doing the choosing is the agent to be euthanized?
Correct.

How does someone in a coma express consent?
That's the thing, they don't.

They would need to give consent before entrance into the comatose state.
Exactly. If a person expressed her opinion to her close relatives beforehand, then it's the patients will that is acted upon. I for once don't want stay in a persistent vegetative state, I'd rather have the plug pulled.

If they had not, would you agree that they should not have their life terminated since it would therefore be involuntary euthanasia?
Yes.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
TBR
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8/22/2015 10:39:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I make no such arguments. If a late-term abortion causes some pain to the fetus, it changes nothing in the debate.
dee-em
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8/23/2015 3:03:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/22/2015 3:04:43 PM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I see what you did there, equated foetus with human. Nice sleight of hand. Lol.

A fetus is human. Perhaps you can argue whether or not it is a human being, but this thread is specifically concerned with a human fetus. There really is no "slight of hand", perhaps only a misunderstanding.

Then why change to calling it human instead of a foetus unless you were perhaps trying to play on emotion?

This means that there are some fetuses that are more developed than a newborn child.

Non sequitur. Um, how?

Please see my previous example: 39 week old fetus versus baby born at 28 weeks. The fetus is a more developed than the newborn.

Yes, but this is you equivocating with words again. You call a premature baby at 28 weeks a "newborn child" to mask the fact that the development stage is still 28 weeks. Just the fact that the foetus is removed from a natural womb to an artificial womb (ie. born) does not change anything about its stage of physical and neural development. I am unclear whether the fact of the foetus being removed from the mother's womb involves a change of legal status or not (rather than mere terminology). It probably does since then it becomes an independent entity not wholly reliant on the mother. If so, then you have a point. However, the point is moot since most terminations are restricted to before the 28-week mark. Here in Australia each state has its own laws and most restrict consenting abortion to 20 weeks. Some allow 22 and 24. Only in medical emergencies are later terminations permissable by a panel of doctors.

http://australia.angloinfo.com...

A foetus at what stage is the question you are ignoring.

Correct. Stating that a fetus exclusively feels pain or exclusively does not feel pain is incorrect. My original point was that some pro-choice advocates don't make this distinction. Your source states that a fetus can feel pain by 24 weeks.

Not exactly. They rule out pain perception prior to 24 weeks as impossible given the lack of sensory structures. These begin to develop at around 26 weeks so they can then no longer be definitive. However, that does not mean that it is certain that pain can be felt at the 26 week mark.

Do you have a problem with termination prior to 24 weeks?

Consider the following facts: a fetus can be aborted at 24 weeks, current abortion practices already incorporate anesthesia for the fetus, and in some states there is a legal requirement for fetal anesthesia after 20 weeks.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Direct fetal analgesia is used in only a minority of prenatal surgeries.[19]

The legal requirement could be the Christian lobby at work. My impression is that the science doesn't support the need for it.

Why are fetuses regarded as a "clump of cells"? By definition, a fetus is literally not a clump of cells, or at least no more a clump of cells than you or I.

Nice strawman.

This really wasn't a strawman. This type of argument is somewhat common from pro-choice advocates. This threat is fairly new, and look: Fkkize has already called a fetus a clump of cells knowing that it isn't such technically.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Your last dinner was a clump of cells. It is the types of cells and their arrangement which is important. Calling either a foetus or a fully developed human a clump of cells and drawing no distinction between them doesn't help the discussion either way. I may have misunderstood you in that you seem to be saying this is an argument pro-choicers make. If so, I think you are doing them a disservice. You are taking their literal words and ignoring the implicit message behind them, ie. that a foetus up to 24-28 weeks is a clump of non-sentient cells.

It seems like most or all pro-choices that make this misrepresentation do so because they are ignorant of science. Most probably depend on the misrepresentation to feed their biased opinions. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are that you have no interest in the science but are here to proselytize the views of a 2,000 year-old book by people far more ignorant than the ones you are complaining about. Prove me wrong.

Ha! I've only presented scientific facts. What makes you think that I am even a religious person?

I stand corrected. You came across (or I mistakenly took you) as another of the religious provocateurs that plague the Science forum. My apologies.
ZenoCitium
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8/23/2015 3:46:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I am aware of the psychology. What this means is that up until the age of three, the child is not considered to be a person. It does not mean that they lack any moral status. I argue from a utilitarian perspective and without a doubt, even young children experience pain and pleasure. I am not sure how experienced you are with handicapped people, but the vast majority mentally retarded individuals do in fact fall under my definition of person. Even the those who don't typically experience pain and pleasure, just as young children.

Interesting, perhaps I misunderstood your contention by assuming that you premised that moral status began at personhood. My new understanding of your contention is that moral status begins when sentience begins (utilitarian perspective). Since this could occur as early as 20 weeks and probably no later than 24 weeks, you would then support overturning Roe v. Wade so that state legislation could restrict abortions based on sentience rather than viability (currently 28 weeks)?

How does someone in a coma express consent?
That's the thing, they don't.

They would need to give consent before entrance into the comatose state.
Exactly. If a person expressed her opinion to her close relatives beforehand, then it's the patients will that is acted upon. I for once don't want stay in a persistent vegetative state, I'd rather have the plug pulled.

If they had not, would you agree that they should not have their life terminated since it would therefore be involuntary euthanasia?
Yes.

Even though we have changed to a sentience based moral status rather than one based on temporally self-awareness, I think my original example is still useful.

Consider we have a human in a deep comma, that is not able to perceive pain or pleasure or any feeling at all. It is a temporary condition, that is completely reversible within 11 to 15 weeks. Since this human had not implied consent to have their life terminated, would you then agree that it's life should not be terminated until they could offer consent? Would you agree that it is not ethically permissible to terminate a life that has entered or began in a temporary condition where sentience does not exist? Would it therefore be ethically justifiable for me to terminate the life of another by tricking them into ingesting a strong anesthesia that temporarily removed their ability to feel pain or pleasure?
ZenoCitium
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8/23/2015 5:34:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Then why change to calling it human instead of a foetus unless you were perhaps trying to play on emotion?

I called it a developing human. I don't think that this term is emotionally charged. It is the most generic scientific term I can use that covers all human development. Whether we are concerned with an embryo, or a blastocyst, or a fetus, or even a pre-teenager, we are still taking about something that is human in nature, that is developing. I'm sorry, but a human fetus is human. Again, perhaps you are missing the fact that something can be human though not considered a "being".

For human development: https://en.wikipedia.org...(biology)
For fetus: https://en.wikipedia.org...

As quoted, by the last source: :a fetus is a prenatal human between its embryonic state and its birth."

Yes, but this is you equivocating with words again. You call a premature baby at 28 weeks a "newborn child" to mask the fact that the development stage is still 28 weeks. Just the fact that the foetus is removed from a natural womb to an artificial womb (ie. born) does not change anything about its stage of physical and neural development. I am unclear whether the fact of the foetus being removed from the mother's womb involves a change of legal status or not (rather than mere terminology). It probably does since then it becomes an independent entity not wholly reliant on the mother. If so, then you have a point. However, the point is moot since most terminations are restricted to before the 28-week mark. Here in Australia each state has its own laws and most restrict consenting abortion to 20 weeks. Some allow 22 and 24. Only in medical emergencies are later terminations permissable by a panel of doctors.

My point was that if you support the abortion after viability you also support infanticide under the same reasoning. Perhaps we are in agreement here, abortion should at least be limited before viability?

Not exactly. They rule out pain perception prior to 24 weeks as impossible given the lack of sensory structures. These begin to develop at around 26 weeks so they can then no longer be definitive. However, that does not mean that it is certain that pain can be felt at the 26 week mark.

Actually it is not certain that a fetus cannot feel pain at the 20 week mark either. Study conclusions on this topic vary and there are not enough studies for an adequate conclusion either way. Mainly, this is due to a past emphasis of study on human development at or beyond 28 weeks, leaving a lack of studies of earlier developmental periods.

It is true, that until 24 weeks, the connections from the periphery to the cortex are not intact and most neuroscientists believe that the cortex is necessary for pain perception. However, there are some scientists that believe that the fetus can feel pain through other neurobiological mechanisms. There have been cases where children were born missing virtually without all of the cerebral cortex but nonetheless were able to experience pain.

Do you have a problem with termination prior to 24 weeks?

Yes.

The legal requirement could be the Christian lobby at work. My impression is that the science doesn't support the need for it.

Argumentum ad hominem followed by argumentum ad ignorantium.

Abortion procedures use anesthesia to sedate the fetus because the fetal body reacts to stimuli, which could interfere with the procedure. This is not conclusive either way in regard to fetal pain, since the recoil could be a reflex controlled by the lower brain, which is involved in the more base functions like breathing. However, it certainly doesn't negate the possibility that the ability to feel pain could occur at 20 weeks or earlier.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Your last dinner was a clump of cells. It is the types of cells and their arrangement which is important. Calling either a foetus or a fully developed human a clump of cells and drawing no distinction between them doesn't help the discussion either way. I may have misunderstood you in that you seem to be saying this is an argument pro-choicers make. If so, I think you are doing them a disservice. You are taking their literal words and ignoring the implicit message behind them, ie. that a foetus up to 24-28 weeks is a clump of non-sentient cells.

You have misunderstood me. My original claim was that, on occasion, I've witnessed pro-choice advocates maintain that a fetus is just a clump of cells. You called this claim a straw-man. After which I pointed out that, already, a contributor to this thread (Fkkize) had called a fetus a clump of cells. To further strengthen my original claim, you have just declared that a fetus is a clump of cells until 24 to 28 weeks! You just gave cells the ability to be sentient! Have you ever known any sentient cells? You do realize, that you proved my "straw-man" accurate? A fetus is no more a clump of cells than you or I.

I stand corrected. You came across (or I mistakenly took you) as another of the religious provocateurs that plague the Science forum. My apologies.

Apology accepted.
Fkkize
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8/23/2015 7:56:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 3:46:10 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
I am aware of the psychology. What this means is that up until the age of three, the child is not considered to be a person. It does not mean that they lack any moral status. I argue from a utilitarian perspective and without a doubt, even young children experience pain and pleasure. I am not sure how experienced you are with handicapped people, but the vast majority mentally retarded individuals do in fact fall under my definition of person. Even the those who don't typically experience pain and pleasure, just as young children.

Interesting, perhaps I misunderstood your contention by assuming that you premised that moral status began at personhood. My new understanding of your contention is that moral status begins when sentience begins (utilitarian perspective). Since this could occur as early as 20 weeks and probably no later than 24 weeks, you would then support overturning Roe v. Wade so that state legislation could restrict abortions based on sentience rather than viability (currently 28 weeks)?
As I've said before, even then important neuro transmitters are misssing. So, at 24 weeks we can at best speak of proto-consciousness. The reason why I would count them as sentient then is not some scientific fact, rather it is the principle of doubt.

How does someone in a coma express consent?
That's the thing, they don't.

They would need to give consent before entrance into the comatose state.
Exactly. If a person expressed her opinion to her close relatives beforehand, then it's the patients will that is acted upon. I for once don't want stay in a persistent vegetative state, I'd rather have the plug pulled.

If they had not, would you agree that they should not have their life terminated since it would therefore be involuntary euthanasia?
Yes.

Even though we have changed to a sentience based moral status rather than one based on temporally self-awareness, I think my original example is still useful.

Consider we have a human in a deep comma, that is not able to perceive pain or pleasure or any feeling at all. It is a temporary condition, that is completely reversible within 11 to 15 weeks. Since this human had not implied consent to have their life terminated, would you then agree that it's life should not be terminated until they could offer consent?
Yes.

Would you agree that it is not ethically permissible to terminate a life that has entered or began in a temporary condition where sentience does not exist?
If the person in question desired not to be killed before falling into a coma, then this desire is what counts.

Would it therefore be ethically justifiable for me to terminate the life of another by tricking them into ingesting a strong anesthesia that temporarily removed their ability to feel pain or pleasure?
No, as people have a desire not to be randomly anesthesized.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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8/23/2015 8:13:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/23/2015 3:46:10 AM, ZenoCitium wrote:
Interesting, perhaps I misunderstood your contention by assuming that you premised that moral status began at personhood. My new understanding of your contention is that moral status begins when sentience begins (utilitarian perspective). Since this could occur as early as 20 weeks and probably no later than 24 weeks, you would then support overturning Roe v. Wade so that state legislation could restrict abortions based on sentience rather than viability (currently 28 weeks)?

(I actually forgot to continue writing here)
Bear in mind that after 24 weeks the fetus is the size of a large rat and has at best comparable mental capacities. If we grant a right to life to one I don't see why we should not grant it to the other. Abortion after 24 weeks is in any case not of comparable badness to killing an adult human being. I do however agree that viability is not a good criterion.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Electric-Eccentric
Posts: 1,309
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8/23/2015 8:24:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
abortion or the killing of "the unborn" is mostly about population control and the concept creates many jobs and keeps the money flowing. It also offers a form of getting rid of the MISTAKE for the pregnant.

How many know about The Georgia Guidestones and what is written on them?

Anyone ever read over the United Nations charter?

When you understand the BIGGER picture you understand why and HOW this world gets away with the killing of the unborn as well as the living.
Life is what YOU make it,
Most just try and fake it...