Life Debate ABC’s

The fundamentals of the abortion discussion must sometimes be reviewed. There’s this argument which I see very often:

I know you would never have an abortion yourself and I respect your decision. But it’s the law of the land and my choice is not your business. 

Let us take this apart and examine it.

It’s the law: Because a thing is legal it is right. It is settled now. Its being legal makes it right.

Let’s substitute slavery for abortion. Slavery was once perfectly legal, and its legal status wasn’t largely controversial. There was an abolitionist movement, a relatively small but vocal minority who were committed to seeing slavery  made illegal and to seeing the United States become a more just nation.

Did slavery’s legal standing make it right? Were those who opposed slavery doing the wrong thing or the right thing?

Did slavery’s legal standing settle the issue? ( Hardly.)

 

I respect your choice. No you don’t, and I don’t respect your choice.

Imagine again we are living in America in 1850. Sally would never own a slave and Jane respects that. But whether Jane chooses to own slaves is Jane’s choice, her business, and Jane is offended when Sally talks about Jane’s choice being morally wrong. Besides, says Jane, it’s settled now. It’s legal.

Is Jane’s owning slaves OK then? Should Sally respect Jane’s personal choices?

 

You should follow your conscience and I should follow mine.

Are Sally’s and Jane’s truths relative? Should they live and let live? Did slavery simply become unpopular?

Or is slavery morally wrong, anytime, anywhere…was it as unjust in 1860 as it was in 1943 or in 1000?

So we see that these reasons…

It’s legal. It’s settled.

If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. But leave me alone.

We each have our beliefs and both are to be respected.

…do not stand up. Why? Because there is absolute moral truth. There is objective right and wrong. Some things are right and some things are not right.

There is no one who does not believe this, though there are many who claim to believe that moral truths are relative to each individual. Ask such a person if sidewalk counseling outside abortion clinics is morally neutral. Ask him if  churches should be tax-exempt. Or ask her if it was morally relative for the dentist to shoot Cecil the lion. Or ask her if your driving big gas-guzzling cars is none of her business. Or ask her if she minds if you get in her car and drive it away and keep it.

All of us respect an objective moral standard, though the items on my list may be different than the items on yours. But there must be absolutely objective items on that list which are true regardless of my opinion or yours. An item like abortion, which involves the ending of lives which may be human, must have an absolute value. Abortion is objectively right, or objectively wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

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112 thoughts on “Life Debate ABC’s

  1. john zande

    Although I understand where you’re trying to drive this argument, it’s a false equivalency to link abortion to slavery. Slavery involves sentient human beings; human organisms that can recognise pain, think, lament, rejoice, be happy, be sad, and, vitally, die. Until full bilateral synchronisation, a foetus cannot even experience touch. Most importantly though, it cannot die. Period.

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    1. madblog Post author

      I understand your position but it is by no means a universally respected one.
      Humor me. Entertain if you will for just one moment the possibility that those fetuses with entirely human DNA, who are breathing, growing, eliminating, and meeting all criteria for living organisms are living human beings.

      What are the implications?

      What do you think of your position?

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      1. john zande

        Well, for starters, yes, my position is universally accepted within the medical, legal, and scientific communities. I’m not making these things up. They are the hard facts. Period. Second, a foetus does not breathe. What oxygen is being fed into the developing organs/muscles comes from the mother. All living reactions in a human organism are driven by adenosine triphosphate which is first broken down and then re-formed during respiration to release energy. That process is not happening independently inside the foetus.

        For these reasons (including the simple but unignorable fact that the foetus does not have a functioning, synchronised brain until week 28) your question is entirely meaningless. There are no implications because there are no hypotheticals. I’m not evading your question, it’s just the case that your question is meaningless. It has no merit in reality.

        I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: the only way you can shift this discussion from the facts in hand (the facts that cement my position as true) is if you prove the existence of something akin to the soul. Until then, we are simply dealing with the facts of the developing biological human organism.

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        1. madblog Post author

          The organism called the human fetus takes in and is sustained by oxygen. It “exhales” carbon dioxide. Exchanging a necessary gas for one the organism needs to eliminate. This is a marker of a living organism.

          I’ll make the question easier. What if you are incorrect about the human, or living, status of human fetuses? What if babies inside human mothers are human babies?

          What are the implications? Does your position stand?

          A proof of the soul is not necessary to answer or discuss this question. And why would an atheist be demanding one?

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        2. john zande

          Get this straight in your head: the foetus does not breathe. The oxygen the foetus receives comes from the mother via the umbilical cord. The mother stops breathing, the foetus gets no oxygen. End of story.

          Again, your question is meaningless. Why can’t you understand this? I’m not incorrect about the status of the foetus through its various developmental stages. As I am not incorrect, and as previously stated, the only way you can open this discussion up is by proving the existence of something akin to a soul, and demonstrate when that “soul” enters the foetus. If you can establish the existence of the soul then the conversation is blown wide open and we’d have to review the whole subject in light of this new information. Some questions we’d need answered in this new conversation might be the following: Where does it (the soul) come from? Is a soul created anew, or is it a continuation of some older lineage? What substance is a soul made from? Can a soul be destroyed?

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        3. madblog Post author

          The fetus does not use oxygen or excrete CO2? Interesting. Your splitting hairs and being intentionally obtuse is way old.

          Let’s stick to polite exchanges, OK?

          It’s a simple question, John. IF those little organisms are people, what are the implications? Why are you unwilling to answer?

          If you can entertain the possibility as a thought exercise, you will understand why I and others speak as we do. Not asking you to agree, but only to acknowledge that IF we are correct, then we ought to do as we do.

          By the way, what do you do with the millions of fetuses who have attained bilateral synchronization, but who are aborted?

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        4. john zande

          Did I ever say the foetus did not use oxygen? There you go lying again, Madblog. Why do you do this?

          There is no “thought exercise” here. The facts are the facts. They are what they are.

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        5. madblog Post author

          As a matter of fact you did. Please reread the comments. I carefully explained that the fetus took in oxygen and excreted CO2 and your reply was that the fetus does not breathe.

          They are simple questions. And you refuse to answer. Revealing.

          I readily admit that if a human fetus before a certain marker of development is not living, or not human,( I’m still not clear on what you say it ISN’T), then it is not wrong to terminate it. Why are you unable to entertain my premise and tell me what the implications would be IF IF IF they were correct?

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        6. john zande

          “Breathing” is act of using ones lungs, Madblog. I said two times, quite clearly, a foetus uses oxygen passed from the mother. No mother “breathing,” no oxygen.

          <em “Why are you unable to entertain my premise and tell me what the implications would be IF IF IF they were correct?”

          Because there is no chance at all of you being correct. None. Not unless you can change the physical speed of the biological development of the zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and foetus. Your “thought exercise” is a fantasy. It’s physically impossible.

          That being said, I would have to review my position if you could prove the existence of some other element in this equation, namely, a soul.

          Can you?

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        7. madblog Post author

          I didn’t call it breathing (after my first statement, which I after made more specific); you did.
          Bravo getting hung up on a minor and irrelevant totally unnecessary point…as always. Instead of engaging with the substance and getting somewhere. You work so darn hard at being totally pointless!

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        8. john zande

          There is no substance here. That is what I’m pointing out to you.

          So, prove the existence of the soul, or let the matter rest.

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      2. Allallt

        I’m going to base this around 3 argument, none of which are moral relativism or ‘just because it’s the law’. Obviously I’d appreciate answers to all three.

        1. The ‘MRS GREN’ definition of life is insufficient for moral considerations.
        There is a lot more to “life”, and the discussion is a complex one, than the MRS GREN definition that one learns around the age of 11.

        Movement
        Respiration (not the same as breathing)
        Sensitivity
        Growth
        Reproduction
        Excretion
        Nutrition

        Also, this definition is a broad one that encompasses ‘all life’. Human life, for medical and legal reasons, is a little more complicated. As I’m sure you understand, most developed countries use a definition that relates to brain stem activity.

        A tumour meets all the MRS GREN criteria. All of them. And it has human DNA and is composed of human cells. A foetus meets MRS GEN, but can’t reproduce. So there is either something very lacking in that definition of life, else you’re clinging a little too hard to special pleading.

        2. “Life” is not really the topic under discussion, something more akin to ‘personhood’ is

        Simply “life” isn’t the point. We eat meat and hunt and use antibacterial wipes all the time. Our moral barometers seem tuned to some sort of personhood — with a greater respect for dogs than for chickens, more again for primates, less for fungus — and whether a foetus is entitled to protection under personhood is different. A foetus is not a person; it doesn’t even have brain stem activity.

        3. Who has access to your body?

        This is a philosophical cliché, but I don’t think I posed it to you and seen your response. If I fell ill with a serious kidney and liver disease that meant I needed a transplant as soon as possible, but nothing was available for the next three months, what would you think of the following solution:
        It is medically viable to link my circulatory system to a healthy person for three months while we await available organs. I am bed-bound sick, and so the healthy person must also be bed bound. Also, I would be getting access to the healthy persons liver and kidney.
        We could await volunteers, but I don’t have that kind of time. So, the doctors just grab you and you become my surrogate. (The ‘wrong decision’ you made was to risk being in such a dodgey hospital.)
        The question is this: do I have, by virtue of being sick, the right to access to your body?

        Remember, in this scenario, I am fully a person; an adult human. Your refusal will result in my death. (One could even say that you’ve murdered me, if one wanted to be wrong about the definition of the word “murder”.)

        If you answer “no” to this, but are still anti-abortion, you have to explicate how this is morally different or accept being a hypocrite. If you answer “yes”, then I’d like to remind you there’s a lot of people very sick awaiting organs to become available.

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        1. madblog Post author

          My lack of adequate time is due to the need for a lot of time to answer the issues at hand over at your blog. To me, is a “where to begin?” kind of situation. I will try to reply asap; I am not “avoiding” anything.

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        2. madblog Post author

          On most of your points here, you are actually arguing with Zande.

          #1: It was he who suggested that the human fetus is not living…or something…positing a third state which is apparently not living and not dead, but “living” in the sense of being a continuation of life begun zillions of years ago. It is a thing which he steadfastly refuses to clarify. I have no issue with the human fetus being understood as a living organism by whatever definition.

          It’s either living or it’s not, as far as I know. I don’t see the need for a more complex definition. It was he who inserted a more complex criteria, which I suppose was necessary in order for him to play havoc with its perceived status.

          #2: Again Zande would not under any circumstances clarify whether he was debating about the fetus’s living status, its humanity, or its personhood. These are three different discussions, though probably overlapping. I believe we were really talking about personhood but the conversation was unfruitful because he kept moving the goalposts.
          I believe that the fetus at any point has inalienable personhood and human status.

          #3: Unless I am raped, I have total prerogative over who has access to my body. If I engage in sex I accept the possibility that there will be another small person availing him/herself of access to my body later. After that person has taken up residence, I have a different question before me; the former question has been answered and is no longer relevant.
          The new question is whether I choose to dislodge that independent living person from the environment which sustains its life, my body. If I am a responsible grown-up, the answer is no for these reasons:
          a. The fetus inside me is by any medical, scientific, moral or other measure, not my body. It is a distinct and individual other human life. “My Body, My Choice” fails on its face.
          b. I believe that I do not have the right to condemn that distinct life.
          c. The analogy fails in the following ways:
          Pregnancy is not a diseased state but the female body functioning according to design and nature, a healthy growth process. As such the comparison fails.
          The fetus is not a parasite by any definition. It is not a disease or an unhealthy disordered growth.

          Aside from rape, there is no unwilling force in place here. And here is the most important point.
          The pro-abortion/feminist rhetoric has made our culture swallow a whopping lie of paradigm: that a woman and her dependent unborn fetus are two competitors, two parties in opposition to one another, and that one must impose victory over the other. When you examine the true state of pregnancy, that of a (beautiful) relationship where one nurtures the other, where both benefit biologically to the great gain of both, you see what a perverse and ugly piece of propaganda this is.
          The fetus has no intention, no will to dominate and is a “victim” if you will in this perceived struggle (in the analogy) at least as much as is the mother.
          Refer to the “Vilolinist” article I posted at your place.

          I do not really want to engage in a lot of debate here. I’m tired and busy, and I suggest you might find all the answers about what I think, if you should want to for some reason (?!) under the “Life” category on my blog here. Thanks for visiting.

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        3. Allallt

          1.
          I would look more carefully at what I was saying about a foetus’ “living” status. I argued that of the 7 criteria points that tend to make up the simplest definition, a foetus meets 6 (it can’t reproduce), whereas a tumour meets all 7. We can call 6 out of 7 “living” if you want. But we would have to engage with the idea, then, that a tumour is more “living” than foetus. (I was also pointing out that a foetus doesn’t breathe; something you said it does.)

          Zande’s definition of life is a complex one to do with a mechanism of chemical entropy being consistently decreased. Under normal conditions, chemicals would (as an approximate heuristic) increase in complexity (increase in entropy), but metabolic processes continually use that energy to produce simpler chemicals. That sort of definition of life is used for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) as there would be certain signatures from those different classes of chemicals (high or low entropy) we could detect by a satellite or telescope. I agree that this definition, perhaps, doesn’t suit our needs here.

          Although I agree there may be some overlap between “living”, “human”, and “person”, that doesn’t mean they all the same thing. The cells that composed the foetus were alive from before they came together, but they were neither human nor persons at that point. Plus, we kill life all the time: insects, meat eating, cleaning products etc. Life is simply not the point.

          2.
          Personhood is the real point. For an interesting discussion, you can visit here (mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/what_is_a_person/what_is_a_person.php). It defines a person as any entity that has the right to moral self-determination. As a definition, that’s a little difficult to work with, as it raises the interesting question of what might grant a right to moral self-determination. I’d argue (and have argued with a class of language students, dealing with the question of whether a dog is a person) that you can identify a person by looking at the familial words: personal, personality, persona. My student, Xiang Liu, offered ‘if it can care about itself’ as an extra bit of definition. The reason I care what my old students thought is because it helps to show what people mean by words, which is what words are. What all this alludes to, I’d argue, is the ability to have self-interest. All these things are cognitive issue, and thus relate (at the very least) to a brain stem.

          I would also argue that, given evolution, the term “human” is very limiting and may ― in many years ― no longer refer to our descendants. But, as you’re a creationist that argument may be a waste of words. But the nonhuman descendants (as well as some of our cousins, I’d argue) are also persons. (And, as I will be arguing in a post in a few weeks, so might sufficiently advanced AI.) All of this exists in a spectrum, which doesn’t make allocating or understanding conflicts of rights easy.

          I am interested, then, what your definition of a person entitled to personhood is.

          3.
          I do, of course, disagree “that there will be another small person” involved at conception or even for a couple dozen weeks. I disagree that it is a person.

          a. I don’t think you get to claim “medical, scientific, moral or other” definitions support the claim that a foetus is an individual person. “Distinct”, maybe, on the grounds that it has its own DNA. But “person” and “human life” are not terms that favour you in this front, from medical, scientific or legal standpoints. I’m yet to hear your “moral” definition of a person, but having done reading on this before, I don’t see moral definitions help you out either. I’m willing to engage with more literature that can make the argument you support, but I haven’t found it. (I can find it asserted easily. I can’t find it argued for.)

          b. We “condemn” life all the time. Life is not sacred. We pick flowers for vases, we deforest, we euthanise pets. You probably mean “human life”. But, that is defined by brain stem activity, so that would be overusing the term.
          You may accept that brain stem activity is sufficient for the definition of a person (or you may not), but not agree at all that the definition of human life should also rest of brain stem activity. So, let me first draw out an important distinction: brain stem activity is necessary but not sufficient for personhood, it also needs certain functions for self-interest (that is, it needs the function ― not that it needs to be using that function). Whereas, brain stem activity is sufficient in a human organism to describe a human life.

          c.
          (i) There is no relevance to the condition of “diseased”. First of all, the person’s whose autonomy is being examined is healthy in both circumstances: a healthy body being used by a vulnerable organism.
          (ii) Here’s the very first definition of a parasite I found “an organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense”. I don’t know what part of that doesn’t describe a foetus. When you say “The fetus is not a parasite by any definition”, I know thing you’ve looked up the definition to see; I think you’ve just taken quite an easily falsified opinion from a propaganda piece and run with it.
          (iii) Whether a woman and foetus is in competition isn’t up to you. It’s up to the woman whether her interests include the foetus. It is true that the interests of the woman and the foetus cannot be said to be in competition, but that’s because the foetus has no interests.
          But you don’t get to tell a woman she does want the foetus, when she knows her own mind a hell of a lot better than you do. Pregnancy can be “a (beautiful) relationship where one nurtures the other”, of course. But to say it necessarily is is presumptuous tosh.
          I’m not sure what the biological gain to the woman is, or why a biological gain is even the important one. After all, in biological terms, there are gains to be made to a rapist. No one confuses “biological” with “moral” (except the occasional religious person attempting a satire of evolution).

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        4. madblog Post author

          A tumor, a cancer, is living but a human fetus isn’t. That certainly is new science to me. In what way is a tumor reproducing, in a way that a fetus isn’t?

          I did not say that a fetus breathes but that it it takes in oxygen and eliminates CO2. Most people would call that breathing. It’s a stupid point to be hanging things up over. JZ made this an issue where it didn’t need to be.

          So you are joining the Zande camp by claiming that a fetus is a non-living thing? Again I did not call into question many of these points; Zande did.

          And so on. Not going to discuss all this as I think I’ve been clear about the issues at hand may times over.

          There is no medical definition anywhere indicating that a fetus is simply part of a woman’s body. This is not up for debate; it’s not opinion. A fetus is a different body with different DNA, distinct from the mother’s body. She carries a separate and distinct other body within her when she is pregnant.

          What is usually meant by a parasite is an organism which feeds off of another organism to the second’s detriment; the parasite drains the life out of the host. It is a disease, a tumor.
          Pregnancy is a beneficial state to a woman in many ways; it is not a disease state. I see you’ve bought into the fem rhetoric lock stock and barrel.

          For the rest, I do not think you have processed what I’ve said since you are passing over things as though I have said nothing about them. You misunderstand me and read things into it that I’ve not said. You buy into a set of preference-based scientism-ist premises designed to support a perspective which makes discussion less fruitful than I’d like. Thanks anyway.

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        5. Allallt

          Well, I can certainly thank you for saving me a lot of time. You’ve made up my position and tried to fit it into the category of “rhetoric”. That lets me know there isn’t much point in continuing.

          A tumor, a cancer, is living but a human fetus isn’t

          I didn’t say that

          In what way is a tumor reproducing, in a way that a fetus isn’t?

          Well, a foetus simply isn’t. For the tumour, I’m assuming you’ve heard of metastases and primary/secondary tumours.

          So you are joining the Zande camp by claiming that a fetus is a non-living thing?

          I didn’t say that, either.

          There is no medical definition anywhere indicating that a fetus is simply part of a woman’s body

          Neither did I say this.

          What is usually meant by a parasite is an organism which feeds off of another organism to the second’s detriment; the parasite drains the life out of the host.

          False. A parasite does not have to drain the life out of a host to be called a parasite.

          [Pregnancy] is not a disease state. I see you’ve bought into the fem rhetoric lock stock and barrel.

          I didn’t say a pregnancy is a disease, either. Please point out where I use feminist “rhetoric” (as distinct from facts).

          You buy into a set of preference-based scientism-ist premises designed to support a perspective which makes discussion less fruitful than I’d like

          You’ve bought into religious propaganda. As a result, you think defensible facts and empirical evidence are problematic. See, if we were to completely eradicate the legislation referring to abortion and attempt to write something new, I could actually justify rewriting more or less exactly what exists. You couldn’t simply demand on religious grounds. I simply don’t care about that distinction in conversation; I care about what people can justify.

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        6. madblog Post author

          Did you not say that a tumor meets all criteria for living status? And claim that a tumor can become a human being? Did you not afterward deny that a fetus does? What am I missing?

          A fetus grows, cells divide and reproduce. A fetus’ body contains a reproductive system which, if allowed to mature, will enable the him to reproduce sexually.
          Metastases and additional tumors are the result of more cell growth.
          The problem is that whenever I mention that a fetus is a living organism, both you and Zande object and start quibbling and copy-and pasting. I really cannot figure out what state you (either or both) claim a fetus has. Zande seems to think there are at least three living/dead conditions. I repeat what you said, and you say you didn’t say it. Why am I having to compare a human being to a tumor for goodness sake?

          The whole bodily autonomy analogy exists because feminist rhetoric posits that the woman’s right to her own body is under attack. She does have every right to her own body, but the fetus inside her is not part of her body. It is a distinct body and its bodily autonomy ought to be considered as well.It’s fairly simple. If you argue the violinist or the guy needing a kidney, you are suggesting that the fetus is part of the woman’s body. Or the analogy doesn’t apply.

          Does an individual have the right of control over her own body? Yes. Does an individual have the right of control over another person’s body? No.
          I know, I know…it’s not a person. And you and I will have to disagree on that. And although you have a right to your chosen group of factoids and an opinion deriving from them, you do not have a right to call your preferred sources the only authority; you don’t have a right to your own facts. Your belief that the only “facts” support a fetus being non-human below 28 weeks, in a limbo state of dubious life status, and unable to claim personhood. Facts, plain and simple, right?
          And you can believe it all you want, but it is by no means the only “fact” on the issue. It is a belief which is by no means universal.

          I do not need to, nor have I, appealed to religious propaganda, as the proof of my belief about the fetus. I have referenced it to be sure, but not as a proof. There is a world of scientific knowledge which tells us without doubt that a fetus is a human being; and that that a fetus is a living organism. A fetus inside a human woman WILL grow and mature and become a human person unless something goes wrong, or it is intentionally terminated.This is not coming from religion but medical fact and empirical evidence. Please point out where I use religious propaganda as defense?

          A fetus is not a parasite in the manner described in your analogy or the violinist analogy. You know very well that you meant to imply the life-sucking meaning of the word in your analogy. That is feminist rhetoric and propaganda.
          I was telling you that the fetus bears no resemblance here; a fetus is not the type of parasite you posit. That is medical fact.

          Please look into this with an open mind. Thanks for the conversation.

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        7. Allallt

          Did you not say that a tumor meets all criteria for living status? And claim that a tumor can become a human being? Did you not afterward deny that a fetus does? What am I missing?

          I said, for the sake of remaining with very simple terminology, that 6/7 of the MRS GREN scale would do for life. So, I accept that a foetus is alive.

          A fetus grows, cells divide and reproduce.

          Yes, making the cells that compose it living things.

          A fetus’ body contains a reproductive system which, if allowed to mature, will enable the him to reproduce sexually.

          I can’t find any evidence that a foetus can have a functioning reproductive system. Adults can. But adults are foetuses.

          Metastases and additional tumors are the result of more cell growth.
          Perhaps true, but definitely missing the point. In a foetus, the cells reproduce and the individual grows. That is no reproduction.

          In a metastases, there become more tumours. That is reproduction.

          The problem is that whenever I mention that a fetus is a living organism, both you and Zande object and start quibbling and copy-and pasting.

          Are you objecting to me using your own words in a comment. They’re only placeholders to make my point. I’m not copying from anywhere else. Unless you are accusing me of something else. It’s a strange objection you’ve got.
          But, don’t start refuting Zande to me just because you think you can refute him. (Also, don’t confusing disagreeing with how someone presents themselves with contesting their ideas.)
          I also haven’t quibbled about whether a foetus is a living organism.
          And I have noticed that you’re not presenting an argument.
          So, err… do try to focus.

          I repeat what you said, and you say you didn’t say it.

          Because you don’t “repeat”, you distort. You can see that in how I immediately refuse your characterisation of what you seem to think I said. To be honest, I don’t care what Zande said; that’s a discussion for you to have with him.

          the fetus inside her is not part of her body.

          And neither does it have to be for the ‘autonomy over her own body’ argument to stand. In the ‘hospital’ analogy, no one is saying the sick person is a part of the well person being used as a host. No one is saying that.

          It is a distinct body and its bodily autonomy ought to be considered as well.

          Hey, it’s a distinct living organism. I’ll grant all of that. But, are you sure you know what autonomy is? How can anything without a brain stem have autonomy? How can it have interests? Or think? It can’t. It has no autonomy.
          Autonomy isn’t just a word people throw around to try to make a moral point. It means something. The idea of a foetus’ autonomy doesn’t make any sense.

          If you argue the violinist or the guy needing a kidney, you are suggesting that the fetus is part of the woman’s body.

          False. Think back to the guy needing a kidney. Is he a part of the host? No, he is not. He is a separate, distinct, living person.
          The point is that, even as a distinct living person, he has no right to her body. He has no right to her kidneys or liver or circulatory system.
          A foetus isn’t even a person. It has no interests, no autonomy and no personhood.
          You don’t understand the analogy.

          Does an individual have the right of control over her own body? Yes. Does an individual have the right of control over another person’s body?

          It’s not a person.

          I know, I know…it’s not a person. And you and I will have to disagree on that.

          Why? Why can’t you’re proposition “a foetus is a person” not be floated on the intellectual marketplace of ideas? Why can’t you add currency to that idea by supporting it with evidence or reasoned argument or other persuasion (other than persistence). I’ve floated the idea “a foetus is not a person” on the intellectual marketplace; I’ve argued a definition of a person (from places not discussing abortion) and explicated why a foetus doesn’t meet the criteria.

          And although you have a right to your chosen group of factoids and an opinion deriving from them, you do not have a right to call your preferred sources the only authority

          I’m not making an argument from authority. I’m presenting cogent points to float an idea. I’m not even using factoids.
          This “preferred sources” argument is a complete nonsense. You haven’t presented any sources, and I’ve presented 2 which are impartial.

          you don’t have a right to your own facts.

          No, I don’t. However, I’m the one with the facts. I’ve cited sourced. I’ve presented an argument. You’ve simply decided to state several time that you don’t agree.

          Your belief that the only “facts” support a fetus being non-human below 28 weeks, in a limbo state of dubious life status, and unable to claim personhood.

          Nope. I don’t believe in the 28 week cut off. I believe in being more conservative than that (except in medical or extreme situations).
          I don’t believe the ‘living’ status of a foetus is dubious.
          I do believe that foetus is not a person. You haven’t decided to counter this, by the way: you’ve decided to deny it. They are very different things. I’ve presented supporting discussion and arguments.

          And you can believe it all you want, but it is by no means the only “fact” on the issue. It is a belief which is by no means universal.

          Doesn’t have to be universally believed to be right. And, my facts are the only facts being presented here.

          There is a world of scientific knowledge which tells us without doubt that a fetus is a human being;

          Citation needed. Or is this baseless assertion the kind of thing you mean when you say you are presenting “facts”?

          A fetus is not a parasite in the manner described in your analogy or the violinist analogy. You know very well that you meant to imply the life-sucking meaning of the word in your analogy.

          Nope. I meant the word “parasite” and I used the word “parasite”. That you append the idea of “life-sucking” to it is your own baggage. Parasites do not have to kill a host to be a parasite. This is pretty basic biology.

          [The parasite] is feminist rhetoric and propaganda.

          It’s an actual fact.
          I don’t mean this sarcastically or patronisingly, but this is an honest observation I have had for how you debate: you are hiding behind wiggle room and ambiguity in words you refuse to define. This may seem reasonable to many, but once you do it with words like “parasite”, which is a biological term, I think what you’re doing becomes incredibly apparent.

          I was telling you that the fetus bears no resemblance here; a fetus is not the type of parasite you posit. That is medical fact.

          You remember that I posted a definition of a parasite, right? “an organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense”
          That is the definition I posted, and that definition does not map to what you are trying to characterise it as: there’s nothing about “life” or the “sucking” of it in there anywhere.
          Are you denying that a foetus does this?

          This argument cannot progress unless you actually present a definition (and a supporting argument) for your definition of:
          Person
          Autonomy
          Parasite

          Please look into this with an open mind.

          I have. For you to make your point, you need to do more than demand it’s true and attempt to denigrate strawmen of my arguments. You actually need to engage with ideas like personhood. You need to engage with the ideas I am presenting, not the ones you wish I had presented because those you think you can refute.

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        8. Allallt

          This is a duplicate comment because I forgot to put in the introduction I was aiming at and closed a quote late in the other comment. Feel free to delete that one (and this intro) and keep the this one. I’ve also expanded a few points and fixed a couple of typos.

          We are having quite a few issues here. One is that you are not engaging with the ideas that I am presenting. I don’t know if you’re skip-reading for time or if you’re just categorising anything I say into simpler argument you think you’ve heard before or colliding mine and JZ’s comment together and getting confused, or what. But you are not engaging with any of my ideas.
          The other major (and related) issue is that you are not presenting any ideas any more. You’re just asserting “it is a person!” That isn’t an argument. It’s not a case of who can be yelling it last. It’s a case of supporting argument and evidence.
          My argument is focussed around the idea of personhood, an idea I have defined and you haven’t rebutted or offered an alternative to. However, you make claims that are completely contrary to my definition of a person ― even though you have no definition of your own.
          What follows is an attempt to point that out and to offer some clarifications.

          Did you not say that a tumor meets all criteria for living status? And claim that a tumor can become a human being? Did you not afterward deny that a fetus does? What am I missing?

          I said, for the sake of remaining with simple terminology, that 6/7 of the MRS GREN scale would do for life. So, I accept that a foetus is alive.

          A fetus grows, cells divide and reproduce.

          Yes, making the cells that compose it living things. One foetus does not become two or more foetuses in this. It’s all one foetus.

          A fetus’ body contains a reproductive system which, if allowed to mature, will enable the him to reproduce sexually.

          I can’t find any evidence that a foetus can have a functioning reproductive system. Adults can. But adults are foetuses.

          Metastases and additional tumors are the result of more cell growth.

          Perhaps true, but definitely missing the point. In a foetus, the cells reproduce and the individual grows. But there remains the same number. That is no reproduction.
          In a metastases, there become more tumours. That is reproduction. I cannot see the confusion.

          The problem is that whenever I mention that a fetus is a living organism, both you and Zande object and start quibbling and copy-and pasting.

          Are you objecting to me using your own words in a comment. They’re only placeholders to make my point/rebuttal. I’m not copying from anywhere else. Unless you are accusing me of something else. It’s a strange objection you’ve got.
          Don’t start refuting Zande to me just because you think you can refute him. (Also, don’t confusing disagreeing with how someone presents themselves with contesting their ideas.) I’ve given my input on Zande’s 3.5-billions-years-of-life argument.
          I also haven’t quibbled about whether a foetus is a living organism. It is. I agree.
          And I have noticed that you’re not presenting an argument.
          So, err… do try to focus.

          I repeat what you said, and you say you didn’t say it.

          Because you don’t “repeat”, you distort. You can see that in how I immediately refuse your characterisation of what you seem to think I said. You made up a definition of parasite that you tried to hold me to, despite me offering a definition. You think I’m claiming a foetus is in some “alive” limbo.

          the fetus inside her is not part of her body.

          And neither does it have to be for the ‘autonomy over her own body’ argument to stand.
          In the ‘hospital’ analogy, no one is saying the sick person is a part of the well person being used as a host. No one is saying that. (Well, maybe Dao Buddhists are saying that. But, don’t refute them unless they actually turn up and present that argument. Try to focus.)

          It is a distinct body and its bodily autonomy ought to be considered as well.

          Hey, it’s a distinct living organism. I’ll grant all of that. But, are you sure you know what autonomy is? How can anything without a brain stem have autonomy? How can it have interests? Or think? How, possibly, could it self-govern or self-determine anything? It can’t. It has no autonomy.
          Autonomy isn’t just a word people throw around to try to make a moral point. It means something. The idea of a foetus’ autonomy doesn’t make any sense.

          If you argue the violinist or the guy needing a kidney, you are suggesting that the fetus is part of the woman’s body.

          What are you talking about?
          Think back to the guy needing a kidney who is hooked up to a host. Is he a part of the host? No, he is not. He is a separate, distinct, living person.
          The point is that, even as a distinct living person, he has no right to her body. He has no right to her kidneys or liver or circulatory system.
          In this analogy, the foetus is the distinct living organism trying to utilise a host’s organs. Just like the sick person has no right to, neither does the foetus.
          You don’t understand the analogy. But, do try to.

          Does an individual have the right of control over her own body? Yes. Does an individual have the right of control over another person’s body?

          It’s not a person.

          I know, I know…it’s not a person. And you and I will have to disagree on that.

          Why? Why can’t you’re proposition “a foetus is a person” not be floated on the intellectual marketplace of ideas? Why can’t you add currency to that idea by supporting it with evidence or reasoned argument or other persuasion (other than persistence). I’ve floated the idea “a foetus is not a person” on the intellectual marketplace; I’ve argued a definition of a person (from places not discussing abortion) and explicated why a foetus doesn’t meet the criteria.
          We can disagree, that’s fine. But I am the one, of the two of us, with a supporting argument.

          And although you have a right to your chosen group of factoids and an opinion deriving from them, you do not have a right to call your preferred sources the only authority

          I’m not making an argument from authority. I’m presenting cogent points to float an idea. I’m not even using factoids. I have used some basic facts and reasoned argument. Neither of these have you used.
          This “preferred sources” argument is complete nonsense. You haven’t presented any sources, and I’ve presented 2 which are impartial.

          you don’t have a right to your own facts.

          No, I don’t. However, I’m the one with the facts. I’ve cited sourced. I’ve presented an argument. You’ve simply decided to state several time that you don’t agree. Which, of course, you can do. But that doesn’t make you correct.

          Your belief that the only “facts” support a fetus being non-human below 28 weeks, in a limbo state of dubious life status, and unable to claim personhood.

          Nope. I don’t believe in the 28 week cut off. I believe in being more conservative than that (except in medical or extreme situations).
          I don’t believe the ‘living’ status of a foetus is dubious.
          I do believe my position is supported by demonstrable facts. (And I believe yours is not. And I’ve really been waiting for you to prove me wrong on this.)
          I do believe that foetus is not a person. You haven’t decided to counter this, by the way: you’ve decided to deny it. They are very different things. I’ve presented supporting discussion and arguments.

          And you can believe it all you want, but it is by no means the only “fact” on the issue. It is a belief which is by no means universal.

          Doesn’t have to be universally believed to be right. And, my facts are the only facts being presented here. You haven’t presented any.

          There is a world of scientific knowledge which tells us without doubt that a fetus is a human being;

          Citation needed. Or is this baseless assertion the kind of thing you mean when you say you are presenting “facts”?

          A fetus is not a parasite in the manner described in your analogy or the violinist analogy. You know very well that you meant to imply the life-sucking meaning of the word in your analogy.

          Nope. I meant the word “parasite” and I used the word “parasite”. That you append the idea of “life-sucking” to it is your own baggage. Parasites do not have to kill a host to be a parasite. This is pretty basic biology.

          [The parasite argument] is feminist rhetoric and propaganda.

          It’s an actual fact. The definition of a parasite is a matter of biological fact. That a foetus meets those criteria is also a matter of biological fact.
          I don’t even need to argue that the woman’s health tends to deteriorate during pregnancy (although it does). It is a simple question of whether the foetus gets the nutrients from the woman to survive. Which it does.

          I was telling you that the fetus bears no resemblance here; a fetus is not the type of parasite you posit. That is medical fact.

          Citation needed.
          You remember that I posted a definition of a parasite, right? “[A]n organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense”
          That is the definition I posted, and that definition does not map to what you are trying to characterise it as: there’s nothing about “life” or the “sucking” of it in there anywhere.
          Are you denying that a foetus does this?

          This argument cannot progress unless you actually present a definition (and a supporting argument) for your definition of:
          Person
          Autonomy
          Parasite

          Please look into this with an open mind.

          I have. For you to make your point, you need to do more than demand it’s true and attempt to denigrate strawmen of my arguments. You actually need to engage with ideas like personhood. You need to engage with the ideas I am presenting, not the ones you wish I had presented because those you think you can refute.

          Like

        9. madblog Post author

          Let me help us both. First, I apologize because I have been answering in a rather distracted manner and I’ve been putting myself in the weak position of fielding all of your challenges rather than asserting my position in a way which covered the overall picture while also trying to resolve the challenges.I’m not happy with my performance.

          What I normally do is to argue from philosophy and from the moral foundation and drawing implications from those. You’ve been arguing from specifics and what you consider medical certainties.
          I’ve been suggesting, both in my posts and in discussion here, that my readers, and you, think about the moral implications and what is likely to be right and good if we step back and consider the picture without prejudice, propaganda or preferences.
          You have been defending your set of What you believe to be political and social necessities, with the facts which are usually used to support the cultural paradigm which you do support.
          If you will read a few of my posts from the LIFE category, you will see that the big picture and the moral/ethical consequences of our sometimes unexamined biases is the whole thrust of my philosophy.
          You have misunderstood me and I have probably misunderstood you. But I think we have been talking at cross purposes as well. I have been asserting my philosophical big picture and minimally fielding your nuts and bolts challenges; you have been asserting your specific proofs but failing to focus in on the philosophical underpinnings of said proofs. I would rather discuss and compare both sets of foundational philosophies, and that’s where I’ve been trying to get to, but I’ve been having to swat away the barrage of specific points instead of getting there. You’ve been wondering why I won’t give you the kind of counter you would like to your specific challenges. You’d like to discuss and compare the medical facts we each find useful.

          So I think that we’ve both been understandably frustrated and honestly at cross purposes. I hope there are no hard feelings and I am sorry for any snippiness on my part. I think I’d like to take this up at another time.
          Another difference is one of style: you like to discuss; it’s even in the title of your blog! And I like to be as clear as possible in my posts and hope for manageable talk afterward. Cross purposes again. lol

          Like

        10. Allallt

          Well, I’m happy for you to find a bit of spare time or calmer part of your life to continue this discussion. I have read some of your more recent ‘life’ posts. I don’t really see what points I might take away from that.

          When you have a minute, consider this video and the one linked at the end: https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_1667488101&feature=iv&src_vid=wfYbgdo8e-8&v=JQVmkDUkZT4

          I think you’re right. There is a crossed purpose here. I really am willing to discuss something in nuance and with supporting evidence and argumentation. You’re not.

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        11. madblog Post author

          Classy response to an apology.

          The video: The fundamental difference in our philosophical perspectives is that you ( I think) would say that you are your body because you are a materialist()? I would say that I am more than my body, and that a human fetus is also. That none of us are defined by only our body, none of us are limited to our physical presence.

          The only point I wanted you to take away is that my main focus tends to be the bigger-picture overriding philosophical implications, and that we were coming at the discussion from different processes. No judgment there, just that that was possibly a difficulty with the discussion.

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    1. john zande

      That would be such a staggeringly rare event (like 00.00001% of all terminations) that it could only be justified to save the mother’s life.

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      Reply
      1. madblog Post author

        Wow, you are very sadly misinformed. There are many. How do you justify it? You are engaging in wishful thinking and outrageous naivete.

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        Reply
        1. john zande

          Misinformed? I don’t think so. I don’t recall the exact numbers, but it is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. Do you really think a woman would wait 7 months before terminating a pregnancy? Are you insane? If you doubt it being a staggeringly rare event, then by all means provide evidence.

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        2. madblog Post author

          Let’s use The Guttmacher Institute’s figures. That is the PR arm of Planned Parenthood, not a pro-life source.

          https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states?gclid=CIz1k-qh8cwCFUgkhgodR5cNew

          Their figures are undoubtedly giving out a false low, but let’s go with it. According to this site, the percentage of abortions after 21 weeks is 1.3%. There are approximately one million abortions in the US each year. If we do the math, 1.3 % of 1,000,000, that comes out to 13 thousand abortions.

          So what do you think about the almost 13,000 abortions performed on fetuses with full bilateral synchronization, John?

          I’m being generous here. In my own city, there was a man named Kermit Gosnell who regularly performed “late term abortions” for decades at a Planned Parenthood facility.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/us/kermit-gosnell-abortion-doctor-gets-life-term.html?_r=0

          What you might notice is that the fact that he regularly performed late-term abortions and partial-birth abortions caused not the bat of an eye. He was prosecuted for the outright murder of “botched” abortions–babies born alive and he was only noticed because he did it so many times, for so long, and in such cruel and gruesome ways. …Partial-birth and late term abortion is very much “alive” and no one cares. He operated his bona fide Planned Parenthood clinic for decades and neither PP nor local health authorities flagged him.

          You are naïve in the extreme if you believe that large numbers of abortions are not performed on fetuses which meet your criteria for human status.

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        3. john zande

          ”So what do you think about the almost 13,000 abortions performed on fetuses with full bilateral synchronization, John?”

          It’s not 13,000. Not even close.

          You said after week 28. So, those numbers will be a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the 1.3%.

          And, after that point one must only imagine there was a certain threat to the mother’s life.

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        4. madblog Post author

          Lots of supposing and hoping going on here. Prove your numbers.

          It’s convenient that there are no reliable stats after 21 weeks, after a fetus becomes possibly viable.
          One can imagine all one wants but one is giving human beings way too much credit and one is engaging in wishful thinking.

          You’re now arguing with Guttmacher.
          It contradicts you.

          Let’s ask an easier question: how many abortions on “synchronized” fetuses are OK, John. And why are they defensible?

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        5. john zande

          No supposing or hoping going on at all. It’s simple math. You tried to claim the number was 13,000. That is thoroughly and completely incorrect. Viability becomes an issue at 24 weeks, so by that fact alone we are dealing with a tremendously small percentage occurring after week 24. Susan Terkel in the book ‘Abortion – Facing the Issues,’ says that very few physicians are willing to perform abortions after that time. We, however, are talking about after week 28. The true number therefore is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of that 1.2%, and one must assume that all those cases are actions taken in extreme medical emergencies.

          In those cases, the life of the mother is paramount. Or do you disagree?

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        6. madblog Post author

          There are many avenues of discussion here, and several problems with your defenses which I could spend all day arguing about. Let’s not.
          But let’s let those go and look at just one thing.
          First let’s (for the sake of discussion) give you your numbers. Let’s say that a tiny fraction of a percent is all there are which are aborted after 28 weeks.
          1. You have zero actual evidence that the remaining abortions are only ever done in the case of a mother’s life being in danger. You have only the fervent wish to believe that to be so. You seem to believe that your wish makes it so.
          2. If there is a fraction of that tiny fraction which are aborted late term, not for reasons of the mothers’ lives…there remains a number of babies aborted after brain synchronization which are terminated for less legitimate reasons.
          3. By your own stated ethic, these abortions are wrong.
          4. I would submit to you that the number of these abortions, even given your parameters here, though small in percentage of the total, is many, many individuals.
          5. What of those babies? What is your response?
          6. What is the acceptable number of living human babies aborted, according to your ethic? How many is one too many?

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        7. john zande

          No, it’s not just for the “sake of discussion.” You tried to claim the number of abortions after week 28 was 13,000. This is just flatly, patently, thoroughly false. 1.2% of all abortions are performed after week 20. We must assume there is a huge taper here from week to progressing week. As I have pointed out, few physicians will even perform a termination after week 24, so we have to assume the overwhelming majority of that 1.2% is performed between week 20 and 24. We are not, however, even talking about week 24, when viability starts to become a possibility. We are talking about week 28.

          To your points:

          1. I have the data presented. If you want to argue something else, then produce something to support your position.
          2. I seriously, seriously, seriously doubt any termination after week 28 is performed outside the case of an extreme medical emergency.
          3. You’ll have to show me evidence that a single one of these was not an extreme medical emergency.
          4. Support this statement with evidence.
          5. Again, I seriously, seriously, seriously doubt any termination after week 28 is performed outside the case of an extreme medical emergency.
          6. A million and one if necessary if the mother’s life is in peril.

          Now, you never answered my question. I asked:

          In those cases, the life of the mother is paramount. Or do you disagree?

          So, do you agree, or disagree?

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        8. john zande

          I have answered, numerous times. Your thought experiment is the equivalent of asking someone how long it would take to drive from Perth to Brisbane in a car that has no engine. It’s meaningless. It’s impossible, and I have explained why it is impossible.

          Now, Madblog, please don’t evade the question. It’s valid.

          Do you agree that the life of the mother takes precedence?

          Yes, or no.

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    1. Citizen Tom

      @madblog

      Well done! You kept trying to bring him back to the moral issue, and he kept trying to dodge behind “facts.”

      @Zande

      Back in the days of the Roman Empire, before the rise of Christianity, the Romans aborted babies whenever they found them inconvenient. Wrong sex! That was enough reason. The child did have to have any defect. It just had to be unwanted. Life was cheap.

      Because they were property, dependent, and not “fully human,” children were easily abused.

      Prideful men have never had a high regard for those who are dependent. Birth is just another step from the womb. A newborn remains dependent. Unable to speak. Incapable of walking. Sleeping much of the time. Other than the fact we can see a child with our own eyes, what — to a materialist — is so magical about birth. What makes a newborn, even a child, fully human?

      One of the reasons the Canaanites were so despised is that they sacrificed their own children in the arms of a red-hot idol. I suppose you would like to blame that on religion and superstition, but the Canaanites were one of the most technically advanced people of their time.

      The problem was not one of religion. The problem was one of attitude. The Canaanites sacrificed their children for the prospect of personal gain. Personal gain. Me first! That is what drives us to sacrifice the welfare of others. That why there are always people who want to enslave or abuse other people some how some way.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. madblog Post author

        Well well said. The issue I keep writing about on post after post is that if we are willing to dehumanize any person, we are able to excuse anything we perpetrate upon him. And that that is what we have done to the unborn with the inevitable result.

        If you try to argue this with the people I’ve been in discussion with, you find that there is an impenetrable wall right there…they are to a man unwilling to even entertain the possibility that we’re victimizing human beings with as much intrinsic value as we have. The implications are too awful, and they will not go there .

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. john zande

          There is no “possibility to entertain.” The biological facts of the matter make this perfectly clear.

          As I’ve repeatedly said, given the facts, the only way you can open this conversation up to further (meaningful) discussion is if you prove the existence of some other variable in the development of the foetus, ie. something akin to a “soul.”

          Can you?

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        2. madblog Post author

          I’m wondering just how stupid you think I am, you a devoted atheist asking for a Christian’s proof of the soul. Do you think that I think I will prove that to you and you will be enlightened? Is it too much to ask you to be honest and serious on my time and my blog?
          The one thing which is clear here is that you are unwilling to have meaningful conversation, meaning a good faith exchange of thoughts. None of your attempts at thread control-freakism will be entertained here.

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        3. john zande

          Devoted atheist? How about we say I’m someone who functions in evidence-based reality, is not afraid of information, and am more than willing to adjust my thinking as new and compelling information/evidence (for anything) comes to light.

          You hypothesise that a soul exist. That’s a perfectly valid hypothesis, and as such, it deserves to be tested. If you can prove the existence of the soul then I will have to adjust my thinking. I’m not afraid to do so.

          Now, regarding this hypothesis (and again, it’s a perfectly valid hypothesis), I know for a fact that the Templeton Foundation has spent nearly 30 years and over U.S.$1 billion looking for the “soul.” They have funded research (some good, some not so good), but the important thing is that this very well-funded organisation is active and actively investigating the hypothesis.

          That’s a good thing. I support any and all research.

          To date, their efforts (the efforts of their hundreds of researchers) have returned exactly zero positive results.

          For this reason, I have no rational cause to believe your hypothesis (as valid as it might be) holds any bearing on reality.

          That’s just the way it is. I’m not anti-soul, I just haven’t seen any evidence for it.

          “The one thing which is clear here is that you are unwilling to have meaningful conversation, meaning a good faith exchange of thoughts.”

          Absolutely incorrect. First, your analogy for this post is a false one, as I have pointed out. Secondly, it is you who has been playing fast and sneaky with numbers, trying to imply something that is just factually incorrect.

          That being said, I appreciate your question, and it’s also valid. How many terminations are performed after week 28? By all the evidence, we can say the number could be counted on one hand. Still, that is a number and we should review it. I contend that every one of these post week 28 terminations are due to extreme medical emergencies, and you have provided no reason (evidence) for me to doubt that. The suggestion (as it is you’re making) that someone gets to seven months into their pregnancy and then suddenly decides they don’t want to be pregnant anymore is too fantastic to take seriously. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but I think the likelihood of it is next to none. That being said, if and when possible, we should assess each and every case on a case-by-case analysis of what actually happened.

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        4. john zande

          And by the way, I don’t think you’re stupid at all. Far from it, although you do have a terrible habit of basing your positions on emotional impulses rather than sound reasoning, and this leads you to often bending the truth.

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        5. Citizen Tom

          Thank you.

          I agree that debating with JZ serves little purpose. When I respond to such as JZ, I do so:
          1. Because we all need support.
          2. To point the faulty reasoning to anyone who might be uninformed enough taken in.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. john zande

        You evidently have tremendous problems with reading and comprehension, CT.

        Firstly, Madblogs post relies on a false equivalency, and is therefore false. Comparing the termination of an unthinking, senseless, entirely dependent collection of developing biological organs to the physical experience of a slave (a fully conscious, sentient, thinking, independent human being who, importantly, can die) is nothing but an emotionally charged appeal to pure nonsense.

        Secondly, what moral issues are you referring to? I believe I’ve explained quite clearly (granted, moreso in other threads than here) that there is no moral issue regarding the foetus as there is no “killing” going on.

        If you want to debate this on the facts, then I’ll be happy to do so.

        And thirdly, it appears you’re not aware, but there is an abortion ritual in your own religion. In Numbers 5:11-21 a bizarre and abusive process is described which is to be performed by a priest on any woman suspected of adultery; a ritual which results in an abortion. In the text a poison is mixed and the accused woman is brought before the priest who says, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.” As clear as day this is a definitive description of an induced abortion; an act where poison is forcibly given to ruin the foetus and rid a woman of another man’s child.

        But let’s not stop there. Your particular Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, is a fan of abortion, personally performing many, and ordering countless more:

        In Hosea 9:11-16, the son of Beeri prays for his god to intervene in earthly affairs and wreak havoc on the unborn of an entire population. “Give them, 0 Lord: what wilt thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts… Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” To paraphrase, Hosea pleads that the people of Ephraim can no longer have children, to which Yhwh dutifully obeys and makes all their unborn children miscarry. Now, terminating a pregnancy unnaturally is unmistakably what we today call an abortion.

        In Hosea 13:16 the Christian god is utterly diabolical as he dashes to “pieces” the infants of Samaria and orders “their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords.” This, self-evidently, describes mass abortions of such barbarity that it’s hard to even fathom.

        In Numbers 31:17 Moses commands “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words, kill all women that are or could be pregnant, which is plainly abortion for the foetus.

        In 2 Kings 15:16 Yhwh again orders pregnant women to be “ripped open,” which is both abortion and homicide on a mass scale. “At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.”

        In total there are in fact twenty-six separate instances where this Middle Eastern god performs abortions on demand, conducts infanticide (the intentional killing of newborns), and murders toddlers en masse; acts recounted from 1 Samuel 15:3 to Isaiah 13:15-18 where this god not only smashes babies to death but also orders the rape of their mothers. In a word the Christian god is a heinous baby-killing, foetus-destroying monster, and as it turns out his son is also no friend of the unborn. In the Gospel of the Egyptians, Jesus not only demands total abstinence but preaches for the outright separation of the sexes, stating that “sorrow” and what he repeatedly calls “error” will remain with man for just “As long as women bear children.” The statement is quite explicit: don’t ever get pregnant, and if you do then abortion is better than birth.

        I hope this helps.

        All the best

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        1. madblog Post author

          @Citizen Tom, I’m sure you will weigh carefully what you’re asking for if you reply. I’d rather not do this one again here, but you may if you wish. I will not do this pointless conversation again.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Citizen Tom

          @JZ

          That’s what you get out of the Bible? That is an example of reading and comprehension? I hope anyone who thinks you have the least idea you know what I you are talking about reads the passages you cite in context. For those who don’t have the patience to use a good commentary, the easiest thing to do is to read a version of the Bible like The Message.

          One other observation. Consider what happened during WWII. The Germans, the Japanese, and the Russians suffered terribly. Prior to the war, each of those nations committed various atrocities, and they did not repent during the war. Did God cause them to suffer? Because every thing that happens happens because of God the answer is yes. However, we have a choice. When we do evil, we bring evil upon ourselves and those around us. Thus, God allows us to be punished in kind by the evil choices we make.

          Anyway, our host finds your diatribes pointless and incoherent. You have switched from defending abortion to trying to attack the Bible. Oddly, because you have this insane notion that God supports abortions, the Bible must be evil. So I think I will move on. Since Madelyn has given me an idea, I think I will find the time more profitably spent writing something on my own blog.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. john zande

          “Anyway, our host finds your diatribes pointless and incoherent. You have switched from defending abortion to trying to attack the Bible.”

          I believe it was you, CT, you brought up your religion, not me.

          And good to see you can debate the subject on the facts. Well done.

          “Anyway, our host finds your diatribes pointless and incoherent.”

          Actually, i’m still waiting for Madblog to answer my question.

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        4. john zande

          To repeat:

          I have answered, numerous times. Your thought experiment is the equivalent of asking someone how long it would take to drive from Perth to Brisbane in a car that has no engine. It’s meaningless. It’s impossible, and I have explained why it is impossible.

          Now, Madblog, please don’t evade the question. It’s valid.

          Do you agree that the life of the mother takes precedence?

          Yes, or no.

          Please don’t evade this question (and delete comments, as you are doing) again.

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        5. madblog Post author

          John, you are not going to drive this car. You have in no way answered but only diverted and evaded. In your own explanation you have said that it is impossible to answer it, therefore I must assume you are aware that you have not answered it. You contradict yourself.
          It is a very clear question; I’ve broken it down for you to its simplest expression, and you have refused to answer, I can only conclude you do not like the answer.

          There will be no diversion to another question which you would like entertained. Do that somewhere else if you wish. I have to inform you that your attempts to constantly dictate
          the parameters of the conversation can only be seen as arrogant , defensive and rude. Do you do this to men?

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        6. john zande

          My answer is, and remains, it’s a thoroughly meaningless thought experiment. I’m not avoiding it, rather it’s the case that your proposition is biologically impossible.

          Period.

          There is simply no way (physically, no way) your question could ever be actual.

          I have explained why it is impossible.

          I have also told you how your thought experiment could, however, become perfectly valid:

          Prove the existence of some other variable in the physical development of the foetus and then I will have to reconsider my entire position.

          I’m not afraid to reconsider my position.

          I promise you, I will reconsider it and adjust my position according to whatever new evidence is presented.

          Until then, your question is based on a physical impossibility, like a car without an engine driving from Perth to Brisbane, and can only therefore be treated as entirely meaningless.

          It has no merit in reality.

          Now, why are you evading my question?

          Do you not know what your answer is, or are you simply too embarrassed, too ashamed to answer it?

          What are you ashamed of, Madblog?

          Why are you so embarrassed?

          It’s really not a difficult question:

          Yes or No, Madblog: Do you agree that the life of the mother takes precedence?

          Yes, or no.

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        7. madblog Post author

          I’ll give you one more chance. I’ve even described my question as a “what-if” and relieved you of any necessity to agree with the implications. Only WHAT IF these are human beings? What WOULD it mean?

          For the rest of your demands…I rest my case.

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        8. john zande

          I’ve answered! The answer is, YES.

          If some new and compelling evidence as to the physical development of the foetus came to light I would, absolutely, reconsider my entire position.

          I’ve said this repeatedly.

          That is your “what if,” correct?

          I have answered: Yes, a thousand times, YES, I would have to readjust my thinking, discarding the physical development of brain as the principle measure of human life.

          Yes. Yes. Yes.

          Now, why are you evading my question?

          Do you not know what your answer is, or are you simply too embarrassed, too ashamed to answer it?

          What are you ashamed of?

          Why are you so embarrassed?

          Yes or No, Madblog: Do you agree that the life of the mother takes precedence?

          Yes, or no.

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        9. madblog Post author

          Thank you for finally answering the question posed in this post.

          I am not embarrassed in the least. I’m not sure what there would be to be ashamed about? That is a topic for another post, and I’ll get to it eventually.

          Now please stop going to other folks’ homes and making demands.

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        10. john zande

          I answered your question from the very beginning.

          Now, please don’t evade my question.

          It’s really very, very simple.

          Yes or No, Madblog: Do you agree that the life of the mother takes precedence?

          Yes, or no.

          If you are not ashamed of your answer, if you are not embarrassed, then just answer it without any further delay:

          Yes or No: Do you agree that the life of the mother takes precedence?

          Yes, or no.

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        11. john zande

          So, you don’t believe the life of the mother takes precedence.

          That’s an interesting position to hold.

          I don’t think it’s defendable.

          In fact, I think it is morally reprehensible.

          Indeed, what your answer demonstrates is that you are not, and never were, “pro-life,” rather simply “pro-forced-birth”.

          Like

  2. lang3063

    Everybody’s so polite to you, John, and you’re such a rude, petulant blowhard. With a mere tap of a key Madblog could shut you off and make space for actual discussion with people who are actually interested in the actual topic but she keeps answering your infantile diatribes and diversions, thereby extending what civilized people call hospitality. I’d say you should be ashamed of your boorish behavior if I thought you capable of such rudimentary self-awareness. Don’t worry. When you post your withering response I won’t respond in kind. I have better things to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. john zande

      Hi Lang

      Let me know if you want to actually debate the issues raised.

      And perhaps you can answer the question Madblog refuses to do so:

      Do you believe the life of the mother takes precedent?

      This is a yes or no question.

      No need for an entire post to say a simple Yes, or No.

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  3. madblog Post author

    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/26/us/an-abortion-rights-advocate-says-he-lied-about-procedure.html

    “…Ron Fitzsimmons, former Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, in an interview with the New York Times estimated that in the majority of cases, abortions performed at 20 weeks or later are on a healthy baby and healthy mother….”

    http://marchforlife.org/fetal-pain-laws/

    “…The general estimate is that approximately 15,000-18,000 abortions occur after 21 weeks in the U.S. annually….”

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    1. john zande

      Good for him for owning up to the lie, although I see this is 20 years old news. It does affect the numbers we know today: 1.2% are termed “late-term abortion,” meaning at week 20, or later. The crucial number we’re looking for is how many terminations, if any, occur at/after week 28, and what those cases (if they exist) were.

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  4. madblog Post author

    “| January 21, 2015 | 12:23 PM EST

    (CNSNews.com) – In its “cost estimate” of the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” released yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that about 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year in the United States in abortions that take place at 20 weeks or later in pregnancy.”
    From:
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/cbo-late-term-abortions-average-one-hour-us-calculates-cost-letting

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    1. john zande

      Yes, 1.2%, and we must assume there is a massive taper in those numbers from week 20 to 21, 21 to 22, 22 to 23. This is to say, probably as much as 80% of this 1.2% takes place in week 20. As I’ve already shown you, very few physicians are willing to perform terminations after week 24 because they feel that’s getting too close to possible pain awareness. I would agree with them. Before week 24, however, there can be no pain awareness because there simply isn’t the working neurological apparatus is in place.

      Here: Fetal Pain: A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence

      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=201429

      So, again, we need the exact numbers, not just a blanket 1.2% at or after week 20, which is virtually meaningless. How many, if any, occur at/after week 28 (full bilateral synchronisation) and what were the conditions of each individual case… If such cases exist.

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      1. madblog Post author

        What is meaningless is an assumption. It is not evidence; it is opinion. An assumption is all you have had to offer throughout this discussion. You assume that abortions taper, you assume that the numbers are far smaller at later stages, you assume no one would seek an abortion at late stages, you assume the number of abortions at later than 28 weeks is insignificant.

        No evidence is offered.

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        1. john zande

          You haven’t offered any.

          And yes, my statement is based on evidence. For example, the overwhelming majority of abortions occur in the first 8 weeks. This is exampled by the simple fact that all “late term” abortions (20 weeks and after) is 1.2%.

          1.2%

          We have clear evidence of the taper.
          So, if you want to present some evidence, do so. Until then, it is you offering unsupported “opinion.” The evidence is on my side.

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        2. john zande

          Here, CDC figures. It’s actually 91% of all abortions take place in the first 13 weeks.

          The majority of abortions in 2012 took place early in gestation: 91.4% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.2%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation.

          http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/

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        3. madblog Post author

          I have not questioned that most abortions take place early. I don’t see how that supports anything we’re discussing.
          I have given you evidence that:
          1. there are significant numbers of abortions in what is considered “late term”.
          2. That many of these abortions are not performed for the reasons you would prefer, but that in many cases, neither the health of the mother or the child are at issue, and there is no extreme medical necessity. This evidence was given by abortion doctors and industry insiders. I’m sorry, but that IS evidence, like it or not.

          There is no question that the numbers go down with the progression of the gestational age. That is not under dispute.

          What I am trying to point out is that you both claim that by the time of 24 or 28 weeks, or later, there are no significant numbers of abortions taking place. For this you have zero evidence.

          You are assuming, hoping, and wishing, but you really do not know what those numbers are. Neither do I, because the numbers are not kept! (This in itself is suspect.)

          My question to you both is this:
          1. How many abortions after 28 weeks (you may choose the point after which you consider fetuses to be human beings) are OK? Isn’t one too many?
          Given that we now understand that the reasons for these abortions are reportedly the same as for abortions at any stage, and not for medical emergency, what do you think about those late abortions?

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        4. Allallt

          The taper is almost necessarily true:
          All post 28 week abortions are a subset of post-25 week abortions, which are a subset of post 23 week abortions, which are a subset of post 21 week abortions.
          The degree of taper does need evidence to support it, but it’s almost necessarily true.

          I’ve read through the comments again, and I don’t see where JZ has assumed there are insignificant numbers of post-28 week abortions, nor do I see the assumption that no one would seek out such a thing. The question is that when you take specific moral umbrage with a specific claim like that, you have to support that it happens with evidence and to what sort of degree. And you don’t have those numbers.

          I take moral umbrage with people giving birth directly into an industrial food blender. But that concern doesn’t merit conversation until someone does it and another person defends that act. And it doesn’t merit political discussion until it is happening on some statistically relevant scale.

          If your problem with abortion is that it’s gone too far, demonstrate first that it has gone too far. However, JZ and I know your problem with abortion is abortion, and so we can see this post-28 week thing for the smear and scaremongering that it is.

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        5. madblog Post author

          How is there any resemblance to “smear” and scaremongering” to suggest that there may be a significant number of abortions after the point which you or Zande mark as the point after which the fetuses are fully human? especially when neither of you can support that it is not so except for your hopes and assumptions?

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        6. Allallt

          That’s my point: you’re considering it conversation worthy by default, without establishing that it does happen.

          Like births into industrial food processors… it’s not worthy of conversation until we actually know it’s happening. But, what we have is you ‘you can’t prove it isn’t happening!’
          Just think about the conversations you have with atheists… does that sound like reasoning they accept?

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        7. madblog Post author

          I have established that it happens, and very possibly in significant numbers. There is no question about whether it happens, the only question here is how often. Have you not read the links?

          There was a need for a Partial birth Abortion legislation which passed in 2004, I believe. There is apparently a need for Pain Capable legislation. Kermit Gisnell did strangle full term babies if they escaped abortions alive, right here in my hometown. He was not prosecuted fopr performing thousands of very very late term abortions. He was prosecuted for sending women to the hospital and for murdering born babies. Full-term, late term, partial birth abortion happens in very significant numbers. To deny this is to be outrageously selective about your information sources, and a useful idiot of political agendas. Whether very late abortions happen is not even in dispute.

          “births into industrial food processors”…what are you talking about?

          Like

    2. Allallt

      I’ve been reading through the thread, and JZ’s question related to 28-week pregnancies. That is information you might as well admit that you don’t have access to.
      I’m not sure why the Fetal-Pain act thing wants to create a cut off at 20 weeks. Have they got evidence to suggest foetuses feel pain at 20 weeks? I haven’t found it.

      I think you’ll find JZ and I are on the conservative side of the pro-choice lobby, at a 21-week cut off. That’s the nearly stages of brain stem activity (but not full sync). So the facts pertaining to late-term abortions are not things we can be convinced to confuse late-term abortions with abortion in general.

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      1. madblog Post author

        No, I don’t have access to statistics at later gestational ages than 20-21 weeks. The reason is that those statistics are not compiled. No one has access to them because they do not exist.
        I’m sure you can understand that it is unlikely for practitioners to report numbers for a procedure which is legally not happening. In other words, late-term abortion is possibly illegal depending on location, and definitely unpopular.
        I offered some evidence I came across which pertained to specific points from JZ.

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        1. john zande

          Susan Terkel’s book ‘Abortion – Facing the Issues,’ says that very few physicians are willing to perform abortions after week 24.

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        2. john zande

          Madblog, if, as you say, you were posting comments “which pertained to specific points from JZ” then don’t you think it only courteous and intellectually honest if you stopped censoring my comments in response to these “points” you posted for me to see and reply to?

          I have three comments awaiting your “moderation.” One contains CDC figures (and link) essential to this these “points.”

          Can we please have an intellectually honest adult conversation, and stop with the censorship?

          Like

  5. madblog Post author

    If I were like JZ, I would have harangued you both with my “trump” question several times by now, and pointed out that you are obviously afraid to answer, and substituted my own answer for your silence.

    I have given you testimony from people who are qualified to relate that the numbers of abortions after your critical point may be significant; and that many of these abortions are selective and not for reasons of medical necessity. You have countered with your assumptions that the numbers must surely be low.
    My question is: how low a number is acceptable, in your opinion? Remember we are speaking about fetuses which have attained human status by your own measure.

    How many abortions after 28 weeks (you may choose the point after which you consider fetuses to be human beings) are OK?

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    1. Allallt

      Unless it’s in a case for saving the mother’s life, no abortions post-28 weeks are acceptable.
      But, you keep equating “late-term” (which is post-21 weeks, normally) with post-28 weeks, which makes your cited testimonies very difficult to understand. Every abortion between 21 and 28 weeks would also be considered “late term”. So referring to “late term” isn’t helping anything.

      But, also, why are we discussing abortions at that incredibly late term? I’ve already said I’m for making the cut off at 21 weeks (except for in extreme cases, like threats to the woman or incest — particularly including a minor).

      Given that is my position, why are you talking about post-28 week abortions — a phenomenon you can’t seem to demonstrate is happening in significant numbers. (Again, post-21 week abortions are not the same thing!) The only motive I can think of is poisoning the well; equating abortion with incredibly late term abortion, as if they are moral equivalents. Now, I didn’t start with putting words in your mouth, I started by posing it as a question/challenge. But you’ve ignored it, so now I’m putting words in your mouth.

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    2. madblog Post author

      I haven’t ignored it. Obviously it is my view that abortion is morally wrong at every stage. I understand that that is not your view, that you believe an abortion before 28 weeks (though you have equivocated on the number a little) is not the termination of a human life.

      we are talking about post 28 week abortions because neither of you are willing to acknowledge that they happen, except possibly in extremely rare cases where the mother’s life is at risk. My points were that it is happening in greater numbers than you allow and that the reasons for those abortions do not greatly differ from the reasons for early abortions.

      I am pointing out to you both that; though you carry water for the pro-choice side of the argument, you might want to acknowledge that abortions which you would consider morally outrageous are happening. Regardless of the subject in general, you acknowledge that these abortions are indefensible. If you are interested in the subject enough to come over here and argue with me, why aren’t interested enough to speak up on behalf of those human beings which you believe are wrongly terminated?

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    3. john zande

      How many abortions after 28 weeks (you may choose the point after which you consider fetuses to be human beings) are OK?

      As Allalt said, none, not unless the mother’s life is in peril, or perhaps if the foetus is ruined by something like Zica.

      Now, as far as I can see, you have shown no evidence whatsoever to say any abortions occur after week 28. We have a figure of 1.2% occurring after week 20, and as I have demonstrated, the taper here from week 20 to 21, 21 to 22 must be taken to be huge. And as I have demonstrated, Susan Terkel’s book ‘Abortion – Facing the Issues,’ says that very few physicians are willing to perform abortions after week 24. So, we must assume if any abortions occur after week 28 then they are due to a medical emergency.

      Now, you’ve never answered my question: Do you agree that the mother’s life takes precedence?

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      1. madblog Post author

        I can only assume that you cannot read. I have just given you evidence many times over, and indeed you must have erased this whole more recent part of the conversation from your memory. And the robotic machine returns to its starting point: It does not compute!

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        1. Allallt

          If you think you’ve demonstrated it, link to the post or re-post the article. Because I simply haven’t seen the evidence that post-28 week abortions are happening, in significant numbers, for trivial reasons.
          Evidence has been cited for post-20 week and post-21 week. But a 7 week discrepancy is a big discrepancy. You can’t just usher that by.

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        2. madblog Post author

          Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual study on abortion statistics does not calculate the exact gestational age for abortions performed past the 20th week, there are no precise data for the number of abortions performed after viability.[18] In 1997, the Guttmacher Institute estimated the number of abortions in the U.S. past 24 weeks to be 0.08%, or approximately 1,032 per year.[19]Wikipedia

          (The Guttmacher Institute is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood so I would suspect their numbers are manipulated to be lower than reality.)

          Earlier, Allalt, you said this:

          That’s my point: you’re considering it conversation worthy by default, without establishing that it does happen.
          Like births into industrial food processors… it’s not worthy of conversation until we actually know it’s happening. But, what we have is you ‘you can’t prove it isn’t happening!’
          Just think about the conversations you have with atheists… does that sound like reasoning they accept?

          Yes it does! Forgive me, but aren’t you making the same error here as you are when, on the basis of inexhaustive knowledge and inconclusive evidence, you conclude that there is no God?

          We are talking about lives here. It’s not a theoretical debate or an intellectual exercise. If the house is burning, I want to know conclusively that there is not a single person inside; you suggest we should conclude no one is inside because its not a popular place to go and you haven’t been told definitively that someone was going to be there. Shouldn’t we err on the side of caution and assume someone might be in there?

          I’m not sure why you are splitting hairs Allalt. You are on record that after 21 weeks you find an abortion inappropriate, and I have provided sources which put that number at at least 10,000 per year in the US alone. The moral question is in your court now. What number is acceptable?

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        3. john zande

          the Guttmacher Institute estimated the number of abortions in the U.S. past 24 weeks to be 0.08%, or approximately 1,032 per year.

          And there’s that taper which you seemed to deny earlier.

          Now, there is still four weeks until week 28: full bilateral synchronisation. We are talking here about post week 28. You have not demonstrated that any terminations occur after this date. I’m not saying none do, but I stand by the original assertion that any after this date must only be due to extreme medical emergency. You have offered nothing to cast doubt on this.

          Also, for this conversation to advance, for it to be meaningful, we must know the circumstances of these 0.08%. I have shown you that few physicians are willing to perform abortions at week 24, so this implies medical emergencies.

          Now, you still have not answered my question:

          Madblog, yes or no, do you believe the mother’s life takes precedence?

          Yes or no?

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        4. madblog Post author

          I have in fact provided evidence of both, from insiders whose testimony cannot be discounted, that they happen in significant numbers, and that the reasons are not different than the reasons for early abortions, that they are elective. I will not repost the info when all you need to do is scroll up and read it.

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        5. john zande

          The 20+ year-old testimony you offered only concerned figures falling under the general banner of “late term.” That is simply +week 20.

          Now, you’ve given a figure of 00.08% post week 24. That’s something we can deal with, although we can’t do so meaningfully until we know what these cases were.

          But we’re still nowhere from establishing how many, if any terminations, occur at or after week 28.

          Are you going to answer my question?

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        6. Allallt

          Without data, the problem is in is your head. And I don’t conclude there is no God.

          Nice to see what little progress we’re making in conversation here.

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        7. madblog Post author

          As long as you won’t acknowledge what little data I have provided, indeed there will be little progress.

          Standing before burning house:
          Me: Make sure there’s no one in there!!
          You: First prove to me that someone is in there.

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        8. Allallt

          Before I run into a burning house, I’ll need pretty good reason to believe someone is in there.
          Equally, if you want to talk about post-28 week abortions, I’ll need pretty good reasons to believe they are happening.

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        9. madblog Post author

          And:
          I’m not sure why you are splitting hairs Allalt. You are on record that after 21 weeks you find an abortion inappropriate, and I have provided sources which put that number at at least 10,000 per year in the US alone. The moral question is in your court now. What number is acceptable?

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        10. Allallt

          Splitting hairs? You find the 2-month difference between precaution at 21-weeks and infanticide at 28-weeks to be splitting hairs?
          And you’re not sure why I’m doing it? Uh, because you brought up the 28-week milestone. I don’t know why you did that, after both JZ and I had said we think the 21-week mark is the appropriate end (except in extreme cases, like threats to the mother’s life).

          Also, how is the idea of an “acceptable number” in any way the “moral question”? No one talks about collateral damage in war or even murder in terms of “acceptable number”. What possible function does such a question (a question I am already “on the record” as having answered) pose to the moral question?

          And lastly, do you really believe you have presented evidence? Do you really think if I know how many abortions happen after 21 weeks I can make any sort of informed guess about how many post 28-week (2 months later!) abortions happen?

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        11. madblog Post author

          It’s a fair question. If you find 21 weeks the cutoff, why are you demanding evidence about 28 + weeks? We have all accepted evidence that thousands of abortions happen after 21 weeks.
          So leave the 28 week question aside. (BTW, JZ is quite definitely on record as accepting only a 28 + week standard.) Signifcant numbers are happening at/after 21 weeks.

          Crickets from you?

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        12. Allallt

          This is deflection. You brought up the 28-week milestone. I’ve said that if you can’t demonstrate it’s happening it’s not worth talking about. And now you’re trying to make it about 21-weeks as if that’s what you were always saying.
          So, I’m demanding evidence for that topic, because that’s the topic you wanted to talk about.
          I also addressed that topic, of course. As well as saying you were being irrational for focusing on that, I also said it was unacceptable (except in cases where the mother’s life was at risk).

          As for all the abortions in between, the 21-week to 28-week, I think that’s reckless, irresponsible and I can’t imagine why doctors are okay with it. The evidence you have presented suggests that the reasons given are no more compelling than the pre-21 week milestones. (Of which, I am sceptical. Women tend to be very emotionally attached by 9 weeks. So, what takes so long to make the decision? There should be some urgency to make the decision before it’s a moral emergency.)
          Even if you take the more liberal view of 24-week milestones (21-week is precautionary, not normally a moral I support) there’s still a month morally unaccounted for there. Especially if, that 26-weeks, women are giving no reason simply assuming the right.
          I agree women have the right up to 21-weeks. A knowledgeable doctor may even be able to convince me to extend that to 24 weeks. But at that point, we really need to look at what counts as a good reason. Threats to the mother’s life definitely do. Rape or incest of an underage girl, yes. Severe birth defects, maybe. Incest/rape of a woman, what’s taken 6 months to make this decision? Change of mind or of circumstance? I’d say no. At the 21-week mark it’s unfortunate, but carry to term and put it up for adoption. If the same change in circumstance came 3 months later, it would be in nappies.
          There may be some leeway in that.

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        13. madblog Post author

          You two had me hung up on proving the numbers after 28 weeks and missing the overall point. I was trying like heck to establish the moral conversation but I had to spend hours quibbling over what were actually technicalities beside the point.
          The overall point was that there are significant numbers of human babies being terminated which ought not to be. In this we are in agreement. We are in the same moral boat here.
          So why carry on an adversarial position for literally weeks when you are actually in agreement? Are you hoping no one will discover your closet pro-life tendencies? 😉

          Like

        14. Allallt

          Ooh, no. I can’t be called out as pro-life. I’ll lose my atheism-street-preacher license.
          I’m sorry that it looked like a technicality to you. But, to me, it looked like intentionally muddying the water. I have some genuine ambiguity between 21 and 24 weeks. I don’t like the precautionary principle (which is what makes me rest at 21 weeks) but I’d rather play this safer.
          But my placing the focus at 28+ weeks, especially when you were using 21+ week numbers to bolster your point, felt disingenuous and when you wouldn’t acknowledge that, it felt like it might have a motive; like you were trying to equate them all with 28+ week abortions, something JZ and I would agree was heinous.
          You probably will appreciate that JZ and I are used to being called hypocrites for being self-contradictory while valuing reason (people will talk themselves in circles and then misinterpret atheists to make that charge) so I’m on guard for when I think a person is doing that (and I think JZ is too).

          Like

        15. Allallt

          I’m also considering, from a solely pragmatic view, supporting the complete decriminalisation of abortions, including late terms.
          This is an issue where rationalism and empiricism collide, and you have to decide where you place most value. Although it might appear the complete decriminalisation would mean really late-term abortions, countries that have done this have actually found that abortions end up being more likely to be earlier. So, it’s a strange move, but it has moral consequences.

          Like

  6. john zande

    Does the life of the mother take precedence: Yes, or, No?

    Please address this question or we’ll just assume that you do not not believe the mother’s life is important.

    Like

    Reply
    1. madblog Post author

      Whaaaat? What kind of nut would draw that conclusion, based on nothing at all? Boy, you accuse me of creating late-term fetuses out of thin air but that really takes the cake!

      I think the greatest simpleton would conclude that my whole point is that all lives are of equal value.

      Grade-school bullying. Coercion. Threats and slander. Base manipulation. Nice. In spite of your rare human conversation, there is no longer any need for you to comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. john zande

        based on nothing at all?

        Based on nothing at all? With all due respect, Madblog, it’s based on repeated (and repeated, and repeated, and repeated) instances where you have avoided answering this rather simple, straightforward Yes or No question. You have ignored it, you have deleted it, you have danced around it, but you have failed time after time after time after time to actually answer it.

        What is one, then, to assume from this unnecessary song and dance routine you’re performing?

        Why are you so terrified of answering this question? What frightens you about it? What is it about this question that is causing you such obvious anxiety and distress?

        Yes or No: Does the life of the mother take precedence?

        Yes, or No…

        Like

        Reply
        1. madblog Post author

          It is you who has established that you believe some lives are valuable while others are not, and who has defined those lives as negligible in order to do so. This was the entire point of every single one of my pro-life posts.

          My very obvious point, always, was that ALL lives are inestimably valuable.

          It is not I who has explaining to do.

          Your bullying, rudeness and aggressive behavior have made that your last appearance on my blog. Thank you for your time.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: One Hundred Years of Death | Messages from the Mythical

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