Unworthy of Life

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by SetiAlpha6, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No equivocation on my part. "Alive" means animate and not dead. Even you defined "life" as "animate matter" (post #86). So quit trying to evade issues by, ironically, fallaciously appealing to fallacy.
    You claimed (of Bells): "you cannot refute that it is alive". I repeat: noone does. Deal with it. Or continue to be dishonest. Your choice.
    So be more precise in your choice of language. If you mean "you cannot refute that it is a life" then say that. As it is, you simply said "you cannot refute that it is alive". Or are you going to equate "alive" with being "a life"?
    Yes, you did define them, and yet you claim fallacy on any counter-argument that uses those definitions that you don't like (see above).
    So your position is that a fetus is a human life, as opposed to just being alive (despite your protestations previously). We're getting somewhere, finally. So, on what basis do you consider the human life to have greater value than the choice of a person to do with their body as they wish?
    And here you now interject a previously hidden premise of "developing under its own unique, human DNA" to anything that has gone before. Do you not see how keeping that premise hidden, yet arguing as though it is a given, can make you appear dishonest?
    To be clear: noone has granted that a new organism developing under its own unique DNA but requiring the living consent of the host (mother) is anything more than just a growth. I'm not saying that it is or isn't anything more, but that is for you to argue, honestly, rather than to simply assert it and to assume it as a given.
    Ah, yet another example of you appealing to fallacy to evade an issue you can't (or don't want to) honestly respond to. Noone has granted that it is "a human life" but they have granted, and do not dispute, that it is "human life".

    You'll have to actually argue your case rather than hiding some of your premises and assuming that everyone has granted them, and appealing to fallacy when you don't like a counter to your position.
    pjdude1219 likes this.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It's called self defense.
    You are in favor of it, remember? Policemen killing black men they are supposed to be arresting, vigilantes killing black people they fear might be about to commit a crime?

    And it doesn't apply - unless you are going to try to claim that anyone believes a human embryo is a human being and no threat to the woman it is using without her consent.

    You'll need to provide a lot of counter-evidence for such an extraordinary claim.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yep. The US Supreme Court has set that threshold at viability, and that seems like a reasonable threshold.
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  7. river

    Capracus said:
    Now this same embryo at 5yrs old , does this child have the environment to have a good quality of Life ?

    Once sperm and egg combine , Human becomes . The problem is the quality of the environment in which this child grows .
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Years ago, we tried a thread—well, two, actually, dragging out over fifteen months—trying to address the American artifice of fetal personhood↗ by accepting the proposition and examining what happens next. In trying to consider what happens when two human rights arguments run into each other so squarely, we observed an unsettling circumstance: Given over a year, and two threads, anti-abortion advocates at Sciforums could not bring themselves to acknowledge the human rights of women.

    And at Sciforums, when expectations of rational discourse get in the way of loathing women, well, right, here we are, these years later, and this is the sort of viewpoint that it would have just been unfair to burden with expectations of rational discourse.

    • Here is a complicated way of looking at it: At Sciforums, we more readily penalize people for refusing to support discussion of crackpottery about ufos, faeries, &c., than crackpottery about human rights. In a way, this makes sense; holding out for perfection is a difficult standard in assessing political views and speech. But compared to basic E&O, acts of will are a lot harder to describe as accidents.

    Last month↗ I had occasion to observe that if we don't require, but simply ask, that people support certain arguments, they never actually have to do anything but repeat themselves. Vis à vis personhood, here we are, these years later, and the only thing that has changed is a pretense of authority to establish an idea in law; at no point has the argument in favor of what we might call fiat ontology ever made sense or tried to make sense, because it is such a particular craftwork that it makes no functional sense and stands out as an island of artifice. In that way, it's not really fiat ontology, because it's not really ontological; rather, it's just a dysfunctional bit of make-believe that persists to this day because, much like we do at Sciforums, people make excuses for this kind of crackpottery and refuse to disdain it in the same way as other harmful make-believe.

    If we think back to Roe v. Wade, we consider a half-century of American history in which one side of a political and legal dispute of existential magnitude is allowed to just make it up as they go. One of the reasons people let this go on is its proximity to cultural heritage; if it wasn't at least somewhat traditionalist—i.e., Christianist and masculinist interests—there is no way society would have let them just pretend their way through it like that.​

    Anyway, I mention it because it's true, anti-abortion arguments interject with arbitrary make-believe about personhood and murder because that sort of thing is pretty much all they have left, and nobody has ever really made them stop because. After all, it would be impolite to disrupt the harm they inflict.

    (I promise, as silly as it sounds, the underlying conservative argument really is the same as burning books or censoring music for Christ, and how Christians and masculinists alike feel their equality is violated for not being allowed to proscribe what other people—women, for instance—are allowed to do, say, read, and learn.)

    If it feels like I can't stop being cynical toward rightist fancy, well, right, it's no way to run a society.
  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Sperm and egg combine to initiate a process that results in the organization and growth of human tissue. That process over a period of many months will produce an organism that possesses the basic capacities of what one might expect of a child full term. The form and function of a human embryo is not comparable to that of a human child, the embryo for most of its existence has no organs, all it does is grow and organize, no sense of self or anything else. Embryonic environments are not fit for children.

    What happens when artificial wombs bring viability down to conception?
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Then the issue goes away (mostly.) Abortion foes can put their money where their mouths are, and just offer an artificial womb to the woman as an alternative.

    Needless to say there will be a lot of formerly anti-abortion people who were really anti-woman, and this will not appeal to them, because it allows women more freedom than they like. But the larger groups that oppose abortion (say, the churches) will be able to put their considerable economic clout behind ending abortion once and for all.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    Inasmuch Billvon↑ is generally correct that the issue of abortion mostly goes away, your pretene of inquiry seems puzzling because I would have thought that part obvious. Indeed, it's not even a matter of alternatives; as a human rights question Billvon is already familiar with, natural pregnancy is fraught and variable enough that, compared to a controlled laboratory gestation, life itself might be described as an infliction.

    Still, though, while I can imagine another answer to your question, that can't be what you seek, because it would feel like I'm teeing up to deliver an obvous critique.

    Meanwhile, a wombsys is a wombsys, and Bokanovsky's Process is Bokanovsky's Process.

    And men would complain that women aren't carrying the pregnancies themselves. And as they whine on about women's privilege, it will occur to someone that humanity contains such diversity that it does not need the Y chromosome at that time, and can breed male gamete in a dish if future generations find reasons to resurrect the line.

    (We don't need a Y chromosome for certain mammalian reproduction; by the time we're artiwombing the species, it's true, the Y chromosome will have become extraneous. Then again, when humanity decodes a particular subcellular vibration in order to trigger pairing between two female gametes, we will probably accidentally bring magic into the world and officially engineer witches. How's that for a Netflix anime plot?)
  12. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    If I buy a cloning kit and an artificial womb on Amazon, and begin the process of conditioning one of my skin cells to form a human embryo, at what point will I loose the right to pull the plug? If artificial gestation renders all products of conception as viable, then under the present rules of viability, all stages of gestation would potentially be off limits to termination. Commit an act of fertility, and the state could require that the product of that conception be raised to adulthood by the offending parties. At least under present conditions, parents have a 20+ week window to shut down the process in case of buyers remorse.
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Off the cuff. Is the OP guy a member of PETA? Do plants unworthy of life? Should we just eat synthetic amino acid and like to be moral?
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Mmmmm.... Test-tube soup.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Y'know, the old turducken argument was pretty silly. There are also your arguments posturing women as real estate, and even slave holders. We ought not be surprised that you would be unable to observe the basic differences between a woman and a machine.

    Like I said, I could imagine this answer, but it should have been something of a leap, y'know? It's like, people get offended if someone else, well, is it taking at face value or jumping to conclusions? To the other, for as much as I've encounterd that kind of backlash, so many go on to demonstrate the accuracy of the assessment.

    That is, if I had led with the obvious question, you might have been annoyed: What, can you really not distinguish between a woman and a machine?

    But you also went on to make the point for me.

    Anyway, medical equipment is regulated by a different range of laws.


    Let's try it this way:

    • Are you more into tradwife, or hotwife? Can they possibly be the same? At any rate, when you sue your government-allocated hot tradwife for divorce because she let her body go, and her counterargument observes that this wouldn't have happened had you not enforced your proprietary authority and sued her in court to force her to carry the pregnancy naturally because you were too creeped out by a wombsys, is the judge going to hold you to your word, or will you the judge just sit back and laugh at the prospect that she thinks she's a person? Medical equipment doesn't have rights.​
  16. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    I’m not really annoyed with what you say, but I do find the manner in which you present it to be tiresome. A little less extraneous soapbox, and more of just sticking to relevant elements would be helpful. I won’t hold my breath.

    The whole point of a synthetic womb is to replicate the essential processes inherent in the natural version, so in regards to the person hood status of the developing human organism, both should be regulated accordingly. In other words, if the developing organism qualifies as a person in a synthetic womb, then the same should hold for the occupation of a human one. If a parent can currently terminate gestation during the first 20weeks in a human womb, then why not the same for the synthetic variety?
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Well, the question of viability at conception is kind of silly, but we know what you mean, and insofar as the synthetic womb would be statistically that much safer a gestation, the question isn't really about termination; the machines aren't perfect, so it will, statistically speaking, come up.

    But if viability is asserted at conception, it becomes very important to distinguish between a woman and a machine.

    As a personhood question, pretty much every failed gestation would require law enforcement investigation to ensure the human rights of an oocyte against homicide. Even regimenting a woman's behavior, we cannot absolutely hold every lost pregnancy as a matter of her culpability; if we're doing it in a machine, there will be culpability, or else there won't be fetal personhood. Seriously, do you really think, between pharma and the insurance companies, that justice can be achieved for every failed gestation?

    Viability at conception is just an excuse to control women's behavior. Fetal personhood—("if the developing organism qualifies as a person in a synthetic womb, then the same should hold for the occupation of a human one")—is just an excuse to deny the human rights of women.
  18. Bells Staff Member

    Abortion has never been about "the baby".

    It has always been about women having sex (as well as homosexuals having sex)...

    Former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell, who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to “wealthy pro-abortion” states like California and New York with the help of “taxpayer subsidies”.

    “Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”

    And in case there was any confusion as to how he truly feels about how the architect of the Texas abortion ban monstrosity truly feels:

    In a March 2020 class action lawsuit challenging the Obamacare birth control coverage requirement, Mitchell said birth control isn’t preventive care because it’s not needed to prevent pregnancy when women can just close their legs instead:

    “Contraception and sterilization are simply devices that enable women who do not wish to become pregnant—but who are unwilling to refrain from sexual intercourse—to engage in sexual intercourse while greatly reducing their risk of pregnancy.”

    It's never been about "the baby". If it was about the baby, they'd support measures to provide for babies and children without or with disabilities (you know, those very same children they are claiming to really care about). But in 2016, they did the complete opposite to save money:

    A year after they initially ordered it, Texas will enact cuts to government payments to therapists who treat children with disabilities. Such Medicaid reimbursement rates are used to help disabled babies and toddlers. These cuts will be applied in Dec. 15.

    Kids with autism and Down syndrome will be denied treatment. By denying Texas this crucial money, Texas lawmakers are denying some children the gift of walking, communicating and essentially living.

    And in case there's any confusion about that as well, in 2017, that disaster of a decision was upheld.

    You can invent an artificial womb.. They'll just cut funding to maintain them or to purchase them. Or they'll simply curb women's access to contraception. Because they don't give a crap about "the baby".
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member


    What's more important is that Jonathan Mitchell will not have to change his behavior. Because to require him to do so would be JUST LIKE HITLER.
  20. Bells Staff Member

    Exactly. As Ms Rinkunas notes on Jezebel:

    Please note the total erasure of the impregnating parties from this picture.​

    It's women and our behaviour that's the issue for those like Mitchell and his ilk.
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    But they are the privileged class that decides who has rights and who has responsibilities, a la India's caste system.
    Moreover, the theist attempt to discard the Establishment Clause smacks of installation of a Christian form of Sharia law. The parallels are unmistakable. These are scary times.
  22. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    In the case of an artificial womb, women and the state are no longer the sole entities in considering who will control the fate of these products of conception. Anyone with access to human tissue and the necessary knowledge and equipment could now grow a human being. With an artificial womb, issues of parental personal autonomy vanish, each newborn could carry a tattoo stating that "no parental body was harmed in the creation of this organism.” Parental rights and responsibilities, personhood and other ethical issues would still need to be sorted out to satisfy the varied demands of the general public. There’s little doubt that a substantial portion of the public would insist on personhood at conception, but I would imagine most would argue for some mid term designation, which would essentially give parents the same window of termination that currently exists. It will be interesting to see where the views of the current Supreme Court fall on the issues of personhood. With seven Catholics and two Jews comprising the court, and the traditional insistence of personhood at birth still espoused by the Catholic Church , an acceptable ruling for most on the issue could be elusive.
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    In the case of an artificial womb, the question of inconvenient conception requiring abortion becomes moot, no?

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