Something to think about …

PRO-LIFE HUMANISTS

Pro-life Humanists affirms the biological evidence that the development of a human body is a continuum, and with exception of asexual reproduction (twining/cloning) begins at sperm-ovum fusion, when two human beings’ sexual cells form a distinctly new whole: an entity that will continue its development and growth until adult maturity, baring interruption from illness or violence.  We oppose discrimination against biological humans on the grounds of what they look like and how they function, and we believe that abortion should be rejected on the same ground as racism, sexism and ableism – which place greater importance on what the human entity does and looks like, than on what the entity in question actually is.

Here’s the link if you fancy an interesting read.

And a (to my mind) slightly different humanist approach.

https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/humanism-today/humanists-talking/humanist-discussion-on-abortion/

Abortion is an issue that demonstrates the difficulties of rigid rules in moral decision making. Medical science has advanced to the point where we have options that were unthinkable even a few generations ago and where old rules cannot cope with new facts.

Tell me what you think.

Ark


186 thoughts on “Something to think about …

  1. If the growth of a human body is a continuum in a natural process, then so is death, and so are the decisions surrounding the adult. What possibly is not part of the continuum when every cell has the potential for defect, as well as every decision? This method of thinking applied across the board justifies abortion in spite of the authors likes or feelings on the matter.

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    1. Great point. It’s why the argument for “life” is redundant. The egg and the sperm are already part of the living system… a system that began on earth 4 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since.

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    2. Outstanding point Jim! Bravo Sir! 👏🏼 At first, I was quite uncomfortable with the Pro-Life Humanist definition of abortion, but then you nailed exactly what I was thinking and struggling to put into coherent sentences. 😄 Thank you. And as John Z further elaborates above… life AND death have been uninterrupted for over 4-billion years! Is it rational to try and sub-atomically dissect and break-down that entire process into disconnected compartments? BOOM! Drop the mic.

      And none of this addresses how many “Pro-lifers” support Capital punishment. Hmmmm. 🤔 😉

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      1. It’s always fun for them to use reason to back a pre established, comfortable point, yet no further. Like christianity, you push it beyond the fuzzy parts and it falls apart.
        The line must be drawn here, no further!”Picard

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      2. It isn’t irrational to break down the human population into “disconnected compartments”, so-to-speak. That’s where we get the idea from of “individuals”. The question of when the uninterrupted process of life began, which you think was more than 4 billion years ago, is separate from the question of when your life began, which the science of biology ought to have educated you was when a cell that began in your dad’s body before he was born fertilised a cell that began in your mum’s body before she was born (unless you are an identical twin or a clone).

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        1. That’s where we get the idea from of “individuals”.

          We? No, that is YOUR word choice. Semantics are important here, but at the same time shouldn’t be brushed off either. I’ll attempt to explain, but maybe Jim or John Z will do a much better job than I. But here goes…

          Although you and I are indeed related as far as common ancestors, i.e. Homo sapiens, of the Hominidae family of primates Homo heidelbergensis (200,000–600,000 yrs ago), then going further back to Homo erectus (900,000–1-million yrs ago), we do think (very?) differently due to environment, education, and/or nurturing of 2-3 generations of cognitive pathology influenced by those external variables. So my distant cousin, I request you do not include me, thank you kindly. 🙂 My cognition isn’t your; they are different despite both being Homo sapien.

          I think instead of “disconnected compartments,” I should’ve could’ve used the more accurate term: Taxonomy. Or Branch might be appropriate too because a Branch makes up an entire tree. It is NOT a branch when it is no longer part of a tree cut-off or broken off. When separated it is merely lumber. In a piece of lumber are those “cells” alive? 😉

          The bigger point or simultaneous question that cannot be ignored or misunderstood is how death cohabitates with life and that nothing, not any one entity known/perceived by humans ever remains the same. After one second, changed. After 60-seconds, changed. After 1-month, changed… and so on and so on. Life and death cohabitate. Furthermore, is the fiction of “time” as well. Hence, on some level we can no longer separate or “disconnect” life from death or death from life. 😁

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          1. You have made assertions in the field of Human (or should that be Hominid) Palaeontology that I am not educated enough to evaluate, not having studied that field myself. I cannot even assess their relevance. My education is that limited. I got a first, admittedly, but having only studied Mathematics (and the History thereof) and Physics as an undergraduate, and very basic biology and earth sciences etc. I studied law as a postgraduate. I finished my university education a quarter of century ago.

            I find that I am too ignorant still to have found myself able to understand the point you were making, because of the advanced way in which you expressed your point. Is there any way you could explain your point – about what an “individual” is – more simply, so that even I can understand it?

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  2. Nonsense.

    A hand, or a heart, or a liver is not a human organism.

    A human organism becomes such at the moment it has the capacity for continuous consciousness, and that point is very well defined with full bilateral synchronisation.

    Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, James Goldenring (an anti-abortionist), writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Development of the Fetal Brain:

    “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

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  3. The only argument I have ever used myself against abortion has been to affirm the scientific evidence that the development of a human body is a continuum, and that, with the exception of asexual reproduction (twining/cloning) begins at sperm-ovum fusion, when two human beings’ sexual cells form a distinctly new whole: an entity that will continue its development and growth until adult maturity, barring interruption from illness or violence. I have consistently opposed discrimination against biological humans on the grounds of what they look like and how they function. I believe (and have explained that and why I believe this often), that abortion should be rejected on the same ground as racism, sexism and ableism – which place greater importance on what the human entity does and looks like, than on what the entity in question actually is.

    I have called abortionism for what it is: whenever I have written against it, as I have for more than 30 years. I have said that abortion is lethal age discrimination, that it requires the elitist privileging of pregnant mothers above their offspring, and is a violation of the principle of the equality of all humans.

    I am glad that you have found somebody who says exactly the same as I do, finding their words, which I could have written myself apart from the unnecessary religious bit about “Humanism”, acceptable, when the same words, when I use them, atheists often find not only unacceptable but often unintelligible, even though my argument against abortion really is indistinguishable from that of Pro-life Humanists.

    I couldn’t work out what you were trying to say, when you wrote, “Abortion is an issue that demonstrates the difficulties of rigid rules in moral decision making. Medical science has advanced to the point where we have options that were unthinkable even a few generations ago and where old rules cannot cope with new facts.” Would you like to clarify?

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    1. “[E]litist privileging of pregnant mothers above the offspring…”

      If you believe, John, that the “rights” of the offspring should take precedence over parent’s wishes, then why not extend them further into later life and grant children the right to be educated free of the superstition and dogma that many religious parents insist on enforcing?

      There is no such thing as a “right-to-life.” Human conception is a largely contingent event, made more probable by factors like reproductive age and fertility, and frequency of copulation. But nature is also profligate, and produces more than can be sustained. There is no need to bring unwanted fetuses into this damaged world, simply on the grounds of sentimental humanism.

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      1. The paragraph of Pro-life Humanists against abortion that Ark quoted does not refer to rights, although the page he linked to does in other paragraphs. I am content for present purposes with the Universal Declaration the page mentions, and the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, of which I am highly in favour, and which might be relevant to your specific suggestions.

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    2. Your position is fundamentally and irreparably flawed. Racism, sexism and ableism occur to human beings who are functioning, thinking, acting with other functioning, thinking, acting human beings. Until week 32, the foetus cannot even assume full independent control of its own respiration or temperature, and without respiration (after birth) there can be no ATP synthesis.

      Indeed, if we take a purely and absolutely physiological position, then we see that until birth the foetus is simply an organ of the mother, sharing the exact metabolic rate (the speed of life) as the mother, which is that of a mammal her size. It’s a part of a bigger whole, rather than an individual. A mammal the size of a foetus has a metabolic rate equal to that of, say, a possum. At birth a switch is thrown and the baby’s metabolic rate goes through the roof (becoming that of a mammal its same size). In this sense, babies literally transition from being an organ to being an individual in mere hours.

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      1. “Your position is fundamentally and irreparably flawed.”

        My position is that of the Pro-life Humanists. I have bad memories of extremely time-consuming conversations with you and on your blog and on this blog that I have regretted ever participating in. Under the circumstances, might I suggest you make the point you have just made on the blog of the Pro-life Humanists? By all means post me a link to their response to your charge that their position, the same as my own, is “fundamentally and irreparably flawed”.

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        1. My position is that of the Pro-life Humanists.

          Right, and that position is fundamentally and irreparably flawed.

          I don’t recall ever talking to you, but if you’ve ‘regretted it’ then I assume it’s simply because your arguments were shown to be fundamentally and irreparably flawed.

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          1. “I don’t recall ever talking to you, but if you’ve ‘regretted it’ then I assume it’s simply because your arguments were shown to be fundamentally and irreparably flawed.”

            No. It was the tendency you showed to make assumptions as self-opinionated as that I grew tired of.

            You relied heavily upon a fallacy, that because the life of a species continued unbroken across countless generations over countless millennia, the life of an individual organism of that species had no beginning. You drew analogies between brain death and the onset of detectable bilateral EEG in utero, ignoring the significance of the arrow of time.

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          2. On this subject I make no assumptions and, unlike you, certainly do not express mere opinions. My position is driven by, informed by, and supported by the science of foetal development.

            “Life of a species” ??

            I have absolutely no idea what you think you’re quoting, but that has nothing to do with my argument regarding abortion, and the fact that there is no ethical dilemma, merely uninformed positions (like yours) generally so lacking in substance they do not deserve even being called juvenile.

            Yes, brain death: when (by all legal, medical and scientific positions) the human being ceases to be a “human being.” Now do the reverse… and debate it, if you can.

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          3. The assumption I objected to was the assumption you admitted making when you wrote, “I assume it’s simply because your arguments were shown to be fundamentally and irreparably flawed.”

            I’ve heard your arguments before, both the argument based upon the continuity of life and the one based on the definition of brain death. I have refuted both. You had bombarded me with personal insults, goading me to refute them, so I did. Immediately, you went strangely quiet after that. I’m not playing again.

            You speak of life as something that stretches back to some unknown origin in pre-history. My reference to the life of the species was a reference to the relevant subset of that, through which life viewed as a single ending process throws up specimens of each species.

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          4. “Life” only gets raised to point out to the fallacy of the argument “Life begins at conception.” It does not. You cannot refute that.

            You refuted the argument from foetal brain development?

            Evidently not, which is why I can’t remember you at all, and you seem to be obsessed with me… and clearly still irate that your arguments (which obvious lacked any and all substance) were shown to be so flawed.

            So, deal with this:

            Theoretically, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You cannot do the reverse of this experiment.

            What does that tell you about the human organism?

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          5. The slogan “life begins at conception” isn’t asserting that human life (the life of a species), or all life, began with the conception of a particular human individual.

            We can infer, from the absence of EEG, that a mature human has died, is dying or will die without regaining consciousness. We cannot infer, from the absence of a mature EEG signal before this is expected to appear, that a foetus at (say) 15 weeks gestation, will never gain consciousness.

            We do not define death in terms of EEG. We have merely learnt to recognise death from EEG data.

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          6. “Life begins at conception” is used in an attempt to claim some magic occurs. It does not. At no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. This is irrefutable.

            Yes, we do define death by brain activity. I can post the legal/medical definitions of death from the U.S., Australia, Canada, NZ, and the UK if you like me to prove it.

            I’m starting to see why you were so easily forgotten. You cannot present a single argument to support your misinformed opinion.

            So, you did not actually answer my question, so I shall repeat:

            Theoretically, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You cannot do the reverse of this experiment.

            What does that tell you about the human organism?

            Please address the question.

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          7. Pro-life Humanists haven’t said that “life begins at conception” and nor have I. It is something of a straw man, which you have erected, in order to demolish it.

            I don’t interpret that slogan (when, seldom, I hear it) as asserting anything “magical” (as you put it). I see it rather as a repudiation of the magical – or at least metaphysical – thinking found in the pro-choice doctrine of ensoulment or enpersonment, which teaches that an individual human’s life began at some stage of his or her living, biological existence subsequent to its beginning at conception, a metaphysical doctrine which you preach yourself, linking this hypothetical ensoulment event as you do (because of a false analogy with the cessation of EEG) to the onset of detectable bilateral EEG at about 20 weeks gestation if I remember correctly.

            Legal and medical “definitions” of death (as you call them and which you are welcome to post), do not define death. Death was already a primitive idea in everyday parlance, in law, in medicine, and in the arts, faith and culture, long before electricity was well-understood, let alone EEG. These “definitions” merely establish criteria for diagnosing death that are thought useful in modern times. I have already explained the flaw in your inference that because the end of an adult’s EEG can be used to recognise that death has occurred, the observation that EEG has not yet begun in a human in whom it is not yet expected to have begun because of his or her young age somehow implies that that particular human is not yet alive, and that his or her destruction before the natural onset of his or her EEG, frustrating that outcome, therefore does not amount to his or her killing.

            That entire argument of yours is based upon a false equivalence between observing that an adult’s EEG has stopped, and observing that a foetus’s EEG hasn’t started yet.

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          8. For the love of Mithras, “life begins at conception” is the central rallying cry of anti-abortionists. Without that they don’t have their follow up line: “abortion is murder.” Both are positions rooted in wilful scientific (and legal) illiteracy… which you are demonstrating wonderfully in your claim a foetus is an individual ‘human being.’

            1 U.S. Code: § 8 “Person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual” as including born-alive infant.

            (a)
            In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.)

            You are also wonderfully demonstrating an ability to continually avoid what is being asked of you.

            You have still not directly addressed what the heart/brain experiment tells us about the human organism. This demonstrates that you fully recognise just how irreparably flawed your claims are, and this is why you simply state in the end it’s a ‘false equivalence’ WITHOUT presenting an actual argument as to ‘Why.’

            *Potential* to develop into an individual human organism (who can actually die) is not an argument. A chassis has the potential to become a car if its worker bees follow a plan and construction continues. A chassis, though, is not a car. Similarly, DNA (the genome) is just a plan. It is no more a human being than an architect’s sketch is a functioning building.

            And I’m afraid your claim is further debunked by the so-called “Father of the Anti-Abortion Movement”, Dr. Jack Willke, in his book, Abortion: Questions and Answers:

            “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?”

            There it is in black and white from an anti-abortionist. And the funny thing is, this statement of his was made based on a now fully recognised mistranslation of a decades-old Japanese study. He actually thought he was making a brilliant argument. So you can say, he really shot himself in the foot in the most spectacular manner.

            And here is Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, James Goldenring (also an anti-abortionist), writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Development of the Fetal Brain:

            “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

            The first and last line again: “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists … After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs … since the full human being no longer exists.”

            The only way you can open this subject up to meaningful debate is if you can demonstrate some other (previously unknown) element in a human organism; a soul, for example. If you can demonstrate that, then everything would have to be reassessed.

            Until then, you have presented nothing.

            Now, I can see any further discussion with you is pointless. If we have indeed spoken before, and you have not subsequently updated your position to accurately reflect and account for the science of foetal development which I present then it is perfectly clear you are not a serious participant in this subject, merely someone who wants to make noise.

            That’s all you’re doing: making noise.

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          9. I am not seeking to determine the meaning of any Act of Congress, but, if you ever find you need to do that yourself (preferably when you are not with me), then you’d do well to read the whole of U.S. Code § 8 “Person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual” as including born-alive infant. You’d discover that by amputating subsection (c), you are tempting yourself to do exactly what you did; to misuse subsection (a) which you quoted out of context, to assist your misconstruction of the entire section in exactly the way that is expressly ruled out by subsection (c), which reads:

            “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.”

            Speaking of amputation, since you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about amputation (or should I say it is a topic close to your heart?), the idle inferences that people draw from the present-day ability temporarily to amputate a heart safely but not a brain are no different from the inferences drawn earlier from the ability temporarily to amputate a hand safely (or to reattach one amputated accidentally) but not a heart.

            The number of human organisms in a uterus is countable. Usually, there is one. In a twin pregnancy, there are two. And so on. When there are two or more, the human organisms are distinguishable. If they appear different, it isn’t necessary to observe them constantly to remember which was which. One can label them for example as the brother and the sister, or the bigger one and the smaller one. They have a continuity of identity that spans their lifetimes, from conception to death. That is all it means to refer to an “individual” human organism. This one as opposed to that one. The argument of Pro-life Humanists does not depend on your acceptance of the use of the word “individual” when this is used by other people. Pro-life Humanists have not used the word “individual” in the construction of their argument that abortion is unethical.

            individual
            /ɪndɪˈvɪdʒʊ(ə)l,ɪndɪˈvɪdjʊ(ə)l/
            noun
            a single human being as distinct from a group

            Compare and contrast the two electrons of a helium molecule, or in a box in a thought experiment. An electron can theoretically be observed, up to a point limited by the uncertainty principle. Later, an electron can be observed. What cannot be observed is that the second electron observation was of the same electron as the first electron observation had been. Electrons don’t have identities in the way in which organisms do.

            “I can see any further discussion with you is pointless”

            I’m not sorry to hear that.

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          10. Talk about reading something into something that isn’t there! Section C is nothing but a rider. It does not say what I think you think it says.

            And yes, as predicted… You ignore the issues you cannot address because they reveal how flawed your position is, and instead just make more noise.

            You are simply incapable of presenting ANYTHING that accurately reflects and accounts for the unignorable science of foetal development.

            And so here again is Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, James Goldenring (also an anti-abortionist), writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Development of the Fetal Brain:

            “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

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          11. What subsection (c) says is straightforward and means exactly what it says. What I may not have understood was why you quoted subsection (a) on its own, or at all. I’d invited you to explain that if I wasn’t so disappointed that you’d changed your mind about your earlier decision: “any further discussion with you is pointless”.

            What James Goldenring wrote, which you quoted, is relevant to your premise. It doesn’t help you to deduce your non sequitur conclusion from your premise though. It sounds as though Goldenring agrees with your premise, whilst dissenting from your conclusion. That ought to have given you a clue that there was a fallacy in your reasoning, one which I’ve already pointed out to you.

            Why you aren’t arguing with Goldenring, or the good people of Pro-life Humanists as I suggested, rather than insulting me, by the way?

            I would criticise Goldenright for using the word “organism” in a passage of prose, with a particular idiosyncratic meaning in mind different from the standard meaning that I have in mind when I use the word, which is:

            organism
            /ˈɔːɡ(ə)nɪz(ə)m/
            noun
            an individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form.

            I would criticise him for that quote because he ought to have foreseen that pro-choice protagonists intolerant of alternative opinions, like yourself; would argue semantics whilst pretending that they were arguing from science because they were able to throw in his misleading quote in which an everyday word was misused.

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          12. LOL!

            You actually say ‘argue semantics’ when that is *you’re* doing… while frantically avoiding the actual hard facts of the matter.

            Section C is a rider. A politically expedient insertion that says (rather ridiculously, but this is the abortion-sensitive US we’re talking about) that the stated “legal” definition of a human being stands in all instances of law, but if you want to debate abortion in a court then that court can hear an alternative definition. That is to say, it’s a meaningless political note included, quite obviously, to appease radical right-wing activists, but which any functioning court would ignore given Section A.

            see Section (b)

            As used in this section, the term “born alive”, with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.

            Notice the line, “who after such expulsion or extraction breathes…”

            I know you’re not concerned about facts, but it is not until week 32 that the foetal brain has matured to the point to control its own respiration.

            John, make noise elsewhere.

            You have contributed nothing.

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          13. If you have such a low opinion of me, why don’t you argue with more worthy opponents, over on the blog of Pro-life Humanists, as I have suggested? Perhaps somebody there will defend their argument better than I have, providing you with more of a challenge.

            Of course, if your concept of a valid argument is limited to an argument aimed at proving that your beliefs about the rights and wrongs of abortion are the only possible beliefs of anybody but an ignorant, illogical fool, you’ll always be disappointed wherever you go looking for an exciting argument about the rights and wrongs of abortion. You’ll find yourself surrounded by nothing but ideological clones of yourself, many of them your intellectual inferiors, interspersed with the ignorant, illogical fools who have different thoughts from your own, who annoy you constantly with arguments that are, by definition, invalid. What a hell on earth you will have made for yourself then.

            Why don’t you take up hunting? You might enjoy it more than this.

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          14. I’m quite happy to be challenged. I would welcome it. My position is informed by the science, and if existing science can be shown to be wrong, or in need of revision, then I’m more than happy to adjust my position accordingly. I’m not afraid to do so. I move with the science, as opposed to you who clings to fatally flawed, baseless, evidenceless opinion.

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          15. “My position is informed by the science … as opposed to you who clings to fatally flawed, baseless, evidenceless opinion.”

            Show your argument, from the premises of science to the conclusion of your ethical position, if you can.

            Don’t just claim that Pro-life Humanists are clinging to fatally flawed, baseless, evidenceless opinion. Prove it.

            You are a master of the art of insult. Now let’s see if you can do logic too. Provided, that is, you pipe down with the insults until you have won the argument you have studiously avoided. Look back, see how many challenges you haven’t responded to. Respond to them now, please.

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          16. I have repeatedly shown it. You have repeatedly dodged addressing it, choosing instead to make noise.

            If you cannot demonstrate some previously unknown critical element that makes a human being a ‘human being’ other than a bilaterally synchronised brain, then you have conceded you have nothing that deserves meaningful consideration.

            I’m waiting…

            (And I’m still waiting for you to answer the question put to you above… which, of course, you will avoid at all costs)

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          17. “If you cannot demonstrate some previously unknown critical element that makes a human being a ‘human being’ other than a bilaterally synchronised brain, then you have conceded you have nothing that deserves meaningful consideration.”

            I do not claim that there is anything at all that makes a human being a ‘human being’. Not a bilaterally synchronised brain, nor anything else. The development of a human body is a continuum, and with exception of asexual reproduction (twining/cloning) begins at sperm-ovum fusion, when two human beings’ sexual cells form a distinctly new whole: an entity that will continue its development and growth until adult maturity, baring interruption from illness or violence.

            Your demanding question is unjustified. A tadpole is a frog and a frog is a tadpole in the sense that there is only one organism, which has different properties at different stages of its individual life, but a single, unbroken identity from beginning to end.

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          18. I do not claim that there is anything at all that makes a human being a ‘human being’. Not a bilaterally synchronised brain, nor anything else.

            So you can’t distinguish a human being from a fist of bark.

            Quite an admission, but okay, if you’re happy to concede that then so be it.

            Your demanding question is unjustified.

            Aaaaaand as expected, you fail, once again, to address the critical question put to you: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

            Monotonous, unchanging, dull noise. That is the sum total of your contribution.

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          19. I have avoided using the phrase “human being”. I don’t make the distinction you appeared to be making between (I quote) a human being and a ‘human being’.

            To my way of thinking, the question you have asked me, “How can you ‘kill’ something that cannot ‘die’?”, isn’t a “critical” question at all. It is a silly, contrived question, posed by somebody who is playing childish semantic games.

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          20. You misspelled, “I refuse to answer your direct question because it will reveal just how embarrassingly lacking in substance my position on this subject is.”

            I have avoided using the phrase “human being”.

            Well, if you cannot distinguish a human being from a fist of bark then I can fully understand why.

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          21. There is but one truth to post, my infidel friend. From the Quran: “This Book is not to be doubted. It is a guide for the righteous, who believe in the unseen and are steadfast in prayer; …and have absolute faith in the life to come. These are rightly guided by their Lord; these shall surely triumph.

            As for the unbelievers, it is the same whether or not you forewarn them; they will not have faith. God has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed and grievous punishment awaits them.” Al-Baqarah 2: 2 – 7

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          22. It is posted here, on this page. It was posted here on 1 Dec 2020 at 02:44, as stated. You replied to part of it, but you missed the most important content.

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    3. @ John A.
      I did not write the piece or the paragraph you attribute to me. It is an extract from the page I linked to.
      Did you not follow the link?

      I don’t necessarily endorse or dismiss the views expressed on the links.
      I posted them as I thought a pro-life atheist/humanist view might be something visitors would find interesting. especially in light of the ranting normally expressed by the religious crowd

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      1. I clicked on both links. I just didn’t notice that the waffly paragraph I mistakenly thought was yours, which seemed to me to say almost nothing, had been on the page I’d just read, near the top. Sorry for that, although you did choose to quote that paragraph.

        Pro-life Humanists did not express “a pro-life atheist/humanist view”. They expressed the classic pro-life argument that every pro-life person always relies on, explaining that that argument wasn’t based upon any particular religion or none-religion and that they were “Humanists”. Certainly, nobody has ever heard any other pro-life argument from me than the one Pro-life Humanists used.

        I have read terrible pro-choice articles in the past, list articles with titles like “the top ten pro-life arguments refuted”, which studiously avoid attempting to refute the only pro-life article that matters, the same irrefutable argument that every pro-lifer I’ve known relies upon too.

        In my experience, a self-declared Christian and a self-declared atheist can say exactly the same thing using identical words, whilst a certain sort of atheist listening to them hears from the first what he calls the “ranting normally expressed by the religious crowd”, and from the second a perfectly reasonable philosophical position that, even if he does not endorse it, he cannot dismiss. I have so much experience of this that it no longer surprises me the way it used to.

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        1. The paragraph was succinct and perfectly legible. That is the reason I quoted it.
          I’m sorry if you were unable to grasp the salient point expressed and misunderstood it as ”waffle”
          Maybe a second or third reading might help you?

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          1. “Abortion is an issue that demonstrates the difficulties of rigid rules in moral decision making. Medical science has advanced to the point where we have options that were unthinkable even a few generations ago and where old rules cannot cope with new facts.”

            I’ve read the paragraph three or four times by now. What is it getting at, in your opinion?

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          2. Why on earth would you feel the need to include the entire paragraph?
            I put up the post as I thought it would be interesting for some of my visitors.
            This has proved to be the case as you can see.

            But once again, if you do not understand the paragraph and its relevance, why not try taking it one sentence at a time?

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  4. What do I think? I think you’ve handed your audience a grenade without a pin and said, “Here, hold this while I go snap a few pictures of the flora and fauna in my backyard.” 🙂

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    1. It provides a distraction from Trump for a while allowing the POTUS to finish cataloguing his List of Wonderful Achievements, and negotiate a bulk sale of Maga caps on e-bay.

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        1. Good grief! You’re right!
          In hindsight perhaps I should have referenced Biden and his upcoming autobiography, tentatively titled, I’m too old and rich to give a damn.

          😉

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    1. “As males, none of you are eligible/entitled/qualified to make any sort of decisions/conclusions/determinations related to this topic.”

      Why?

      If my son or my grandson decides to train as a doctor or a (male) midwife (rightly or wrongly they exist!), and his being male renders him (in your unexplained opinion) not “eligible/entitled/qualified” to make “any sort of decisions/conclusions/determinations related to this topic”, but his noble choice of profession requires him to make such “decisions/conclusions/determinations”, in order to inform his career-decision of conscience whether to make easy money participating in the modern abortion industry, or to steer well clear of complicity in that bloody racket, what should he do?

      For that matter, if my son’s or my grandson’s girlfriend or wife is carrying his child, and consults him as to whether to “keep” that child, who is economically inconvenient, how is he, the father of the prospective deceased, not supremely “eligible/entitled/qualified” to make “any sort of decisions/conclusions/determinations” about the hitherto abstract topic that has suddenly become a matter of life or death for his own offspring?

      In what world do live, to say something as sexist and inhumane as you have, imagining this to be OK?

      Have you any idea how many women have abortions they regret, because of pressure by the immature, “premature” fathers of those children? And you seriously want all male persons everywhere, granddads included, to stop even *thinking* about the rights and wrongs of abortion, on your say-so? Really???

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      1. A woman in all circumstances related to abortion (except in an emergency situation) must have the final say. She may consult with her male counterparts for advice and/or guidance as related to any extenuating circumstances, but the FINAL decision is hers and hers alone.

        If she determines after the fact that it was a “wrong” decision, the burden still rests on her.

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        1. “A woman in all circumstances related to abortion (except in an emergency situation) must have the final say.”

          I am willing to concede that a pregnant mother should have a veto against being subjected to an abortion she didn’t want. However, I don’t see why she should be entitled to insist on an abortion nobody wanted to perform, or which the state had legislated to forbid. Nor do I see why a male person shouldn’t be allowed to disapprove of her decision, express in such a “final say”. No doubt you’ve anticipated that objection, and have an answer ready for it.

          Regardless of your own opinions quoted above, I don’t see how these opinions of yours, whatever they are based on (which you have yet to explain) justify your completely forbidding of male persons from ever forming or expressing moral opinions about the rights and wrong of abortions, just because (for the sake of argument), if push came to shove, and a woman’s “final say” was needed on a particular occasion, as males, they couldn’t possibly be the pregnant mothers with the sacrosanct final says you think pregnant mothers should have (except in emergencies) in any such situation. (Not unless they were trans males, that is, who can get pregnant.)

          No doubt you’ve thought of this objection to your gender-skewed opinion too, and also have an answer to that. I look forward to hearing it.

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          1. You know what? I’ve said my piece. I’m under no obligation to explain myself. If you don’t like my perspective, that’s your problem. And yes, I’ll say again — abortion is ultimately and finally a woman’s decision.

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  5. The core question to be answered here is whether or not it is morally permissible to initiate force against another human being without their express consent; and more specifically, it pertains to whether or not it is morally acceptable to take the life of another human being without just cause. If you answer, “No, it is not morally permissible to initiate force against another human being or to take their life without just cause”, then by extension, abortion is morally wrong except for those rare situations in which there is a just cause. If, however, you say, “Yes, it is morally permissible to initiate force against another human being or to take their life without just cause” you automatically forfeit your right to claim that you are the victim of moral wrongdoing when someone initiates force against you without your consent, because logic dictates that the rules are universal and must apply equally to all parties.

    So here’s where I stand on the issue: it is morally wrong to harm another human being for any reason other than an act of self defense.

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    1. And coming to the defence of someone who was being attacked, especially if their life was in imminent danger?

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        1. Well, no, obviously not mandated, but if it were me in the situation of imminent danger as I value my life I would most certainly appreciate intervention.

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          1. And so would I. 🙂

            But the question is do your needs and desires impose a moral obligation upon others to fulfill those needs and desires?

            I argue that they do not. You only have a negative right to be left alone, and that said right comes with only one obligation; namely the obligation to extend that same right to others.

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          2. You are now complicating the very simple equation with long winded semantics and somewhat obscure philosophy.

            Try to keep it simple and the solution will also be simple.

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          3. If simplicity is what you long for, no problem.

            Do you have a moral right to demand things from others? And why or why not?

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          4. To me this seems somewhat of an obscure question. Please provide an example or two, if you can, it will be easier for me to respond

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          5. Examples? Sure. No problem.

            Do you have a moral right to demand someone provide you with:

            – an organ donation?
            – a blood transfusion?
            – sexual gratification?
            – food and lodging?
            – money?
            – personal possessions?
            – an all-expense-paid vacation?
            – employment?
            – an education?
            – “free” healthcare?

            Hopefully that should suffice, but please feel free to add any other items that may come mind.

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          6. Thanks. This makes things clearer.
            In answer: No to all. One does not have the moral right to demand such things.
            I suppose an argument could be made that there is a sense of moral duty to provide some of the things on your list, food, healthcare, education for example, especially for one’s children, but I would imagine even that would be a grey area – maybe even more than 50 shades.

            Be this as it may, and excuse me if I seem a bit dense this morning, but what has this to do with the topic of abortion?

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          7. Nothing. But in response to my opening comment you asked, “And coming to the defence of someone who was being attacked, especially if their life was in imminent danger?”

            To which I answered, “permissible, but not mandated” and the conversation moved forward from there.

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    2. Sorry Ron, but that position is absurd.

      You cannot conflate a foetus with a conscious human being who can feel, holds memories, breathes, and can (unless unconscious) express themselves.

      Your position becomes valid only after full neural integration, and that is where I stand.

      To let Prof. Christof Koch (2009) explain:

      “But when does the magical journey of consciousness begin? Consciousness requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Roughly two months later synchrony of the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global neuronal integration. Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to hold similar views. But I’ve since changed my mind on the matter. Because the fact remains that the foetus is an identifiably distinct individual being, regardless of its stage of development or whether or not it is yet fully conscious. And barring any genetic defects or other complications of pregnancy, it will become fully conscious after birth if left to develop without undue interference.

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          1. The question remains:

            Do I have the moral right to interfere in the potential development of another human being — especially if it has negative consequences for that individual?

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          2. Yes, this was the question I was wondering about.
            Of course, an argument, however absurd it may seem on the face of it, could be made as to at what point does the term potential become applicable?

            Note, I am not calling for one side or the other merely pointing out the …. potential pitfalls that will inevitably be encountered along the way.
            Is it possible to nail this down to definitive terms?.

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          3. The wrong of killing isn’t robbing the victim of his past or his present. It is robbing him of his hypothetical future. One’s future is always potential, never actual.

            The law does not excuse the killing of a 30-year-old on the grounds that this deprived him of no actual future life, only the mere potential of a future life. There is nothing mere about the potential future of the 30-year-old of which killing him robs him. Nor is there anything mere about the potential future of any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being born alive. There is no more reason to concoct a spurious argument about “potential” this or that to apply to the foetus than to the adult. Everything about the lost future of any victim of killing is always potential. Nothing about that lost future is ever actual.

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          4. “Killing?”

            Curious: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

            In 1979, the Conference of the Medical Royal Colleges, “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.”

            This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.”

            Further still updated in 1995 (to present), “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death’

            Please address the question…

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          5. No, you haven’t.

            Simple question, simple answer, please:

            How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

            You have the legal, medical, scientific definition of human death to work from.

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          6. @John All
            This sounds like one of those waffle arguments; much like the style you tried to present in defence of your argument over the US election.
            I suspect that before long you’ll be introducing Jesus in some obscure way and defending Noah and the ark.

            I think I’ll go back to munching popcorn and let you argue semantics.

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          7. A disappointing response. You had invited discussion of the whole “potential” thing. That was my way of dealing with that issue.

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        1. Potential to develop into an individual human organism is not a coherent argument. A chassis has the potential to become a car if workers on the assembly line follow the plan and construction continues. A chassis is not a car. Similarly, DNA (the genome) is just a plan. It is no more a human being than an architect’s sketch is a functioning building.

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          1. It’s a false equivalency. Automobiles grant no opportunity for moral consideration because they are inanimate objects. Human beings, on the other hand, are a different story.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. A correction. Ostensibly, they’re not much different at all. If you consider the driver the agent (the conscious brain) of the machine, then the car and the human organism are quite similar. Take the driver out, and you have just the pieces of a car.

            Here is Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, James Goldenring (also an anti-abortionist), writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Development of the Fetal Brain:

            “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

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          3. …and of course, there are swarms of programmers today furiously writing code for autonomous vehicles that include ‘moral’ decisions, like not deliberately running people over. So here, you can remove the human driver as the conscious agent (the functioning, essential brain) and simply insert the computer.

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          4. Taken to it’s logical conclusion, the AI -controlled vehicle would then also have to be considered an autonomous entity and granted the same rights and considerations now afforded to a biological person. IOW, upon final completion you could no longer claim ownership of your vehicle, or insist that you possess the right to inflict damage to its body without incurring the same penalties prescribed for violating the rights of another human being.

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          5. No, I’m arguing that a fetus is an autonomous human entity, even when it hasn’t achieved full potential operating capacity. Moreover, science cannot address moral issues because it deals solely with what is, rather than with what ought to be. That is to say: science is descriptive — not prescriptive.

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          6. “Autonomous” and “even when it hasn’t achieved full potential operating capacity” are contradictory.

            You do see that, don’t you?

            An entity cannot simultaneously be ‘autonomous’ and ‘not autonomous.’

            It’s one or the other, Ron.

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          7. By autonomous I meant “biologically” autonomous. IOW, babies develop naturally on their own, whereas mechanical objects require assembly.

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          8. Then simple metabolic rates (which are unique to every individual) don’t support your position regarding a foetus. It shares the same metabolic rate of the mother. It behaves, therefore, as an organ, part of a larger whole, rather than an individual. A mammal the size of a foetus has a metabolic rate equal to that of, say, a possum. At birth a switch is thrown and the baby’s metabolic rate goes through the roof (becoming that of a mammal its same size). In this sense, babies literally transition from being an organ to being an individual in mere hours.

            Similarly, respiration (critical to autonomy and ATP synthesis) does not serve your position. It is not until week 32 that the foetal brain has developed to the point that it can safely control its own respiration (breathing oxygen outside the womb), as well as regulate its own body temperature.

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          9. “metabolic rates (which are unique to every individual) don’t support your position”

            Ron’s word “autonomous” was probably a bad choice for the simple idea he was trying to communicate (the idea: not “my body, my choice”, but “somebody else’s body, no choice”). But your engagement with Ron over that poor choice of words contained shameful, pseudoscientific claptrap.

            The metabolic rate of an animal is measured in watts. It is the contribution it makes to keeping the room warm, saving the central heating system precisely that much energy per unit time as the system goes about its business of keeping the room temperature within tolerances of the thermostat setting.

            The metabolic rate of a foetus is tiny compared with that of his or her mother. I imagine (though I’m not a doctor) that its metabolic rate per unit body mass is smaller too.

            One would have to measure metabolic rate to a heck of a lot of significant figures to arrive at a unique figure for everybody on the planet, as you assert there is. No individual has a fixed, stable metabolic rate. My metabolic rate five minutes ago could be a fraction of what it is now, or vice versa. The idea that every individual has a unique metabolic rate reminds me of the claim made by some of those who are scientifically illiterate, who repeat the misinformation they have read somewhere on the internet, that voice-to-skull electronic harassment is delivered via phone masts and that every brain has a “unique frequency” that enables the government mind control perps to target an individual as easily as a phone call to a particular cellphone.

            There is no science at all behind this crazy idea of yours of unique metabolic rates for individuals.

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          10. The placenta is an organ. The foetus, however, is a distinct physical human being with its own set of developing organs.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. absurd
        /əbˈsəːd/
        adjective
        wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.

        Ask John Zande why he thinks your position is absurd.

        For that matter, ask him what “position” of yours it is he considers absurd. Sometimes those who are pro-choice misrepresent pro-lifer’s positions John has done that to you. You did not “conflate a foetus with a conscious human being who can feel, holds memories, breathes, and can (unless unconscious) express themselves”. That would have been absurd. But you didn’t do that.

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        1. Experience has taught me to avoid straying too far from the primary argument, so I usually ignore the ad homs, hyperbole and straw men unless that’s the only thing that’s being presented. But even then I try to restrict myself to pointing it out, rather than responding in kind. And as far as definitions are concerned, I operate under the assumption that we’re all referring to the medical definition of the word “fetus” unless someone states otherwise.

          The crux of my argument — in case anyone missed it — was that it’s not morally permissible to harm another human being without just cause. And (thus far) no one has presented any objection to my stance, primarily because a moral code founded upon the precept that it’s acceptable to harm others without just cause or reason negates the need for having a moral code. So attempts are made to deem someone a lesser being or non-human entity for which no moral consideration is necessary or required in order to circumvent the moral dilemma. Such reasoning is frequently employed as justification for slavery, genocide and other acts of human degradation.

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          1. Indeed! Non-conscious things like rocks and boulders and trees and glacial ice sheets and snow packs appear to be incapable of contemplating the moral implications of falling down on top of things. But how does that apply to what I wrote?

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          2. It’s not conscious . . . yet! But lack of consciousness does not negate the fact that it is already a uniquely identifiable physical human entity prior to attaining that consciousness.

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          3. Without the hardware (thalamocortical and corticothalamic pathways most importantly) and a continuous flow of information through it there is no complete human organism, and if there is no complete human organism then there is no ethical dilemma, which is further evidenced by the fact that until bilateral synchronisation a foetus cannot even meet the universally recognised scientific/legal/medical definition of human death.

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          4. John Zande’s uncontroversial factual premise drawn from the science is that “the hardware (thalamocortical and corticothalamic pathways most importantly) and a continuous flow of information through it” are absent.

            Two of John’s controversial doctrines (i.e. his rhetorical assertions that do not form part of any science, because no experiment can be devised and conducted to prove or falsify them) are as follows.

            (1) The term ‘complete human organism’ is meaningful scientifically and is properly defined as a human organism with the above-mentioned hardware and information flow.

            (2) There is no ethical problem about terminating the life (i.e. metabolism) of a living (i.e. metabolising) human organism who is not yet a complete human organism (thus defined) for want of the necessary hardware and information flow.

            John’s conclusion is, therefore, unsurprisingly, exactly the one he wants, that “there is no complete human organism” and therefore “no ethical dilemma”. QED.

            I have pointed out to John several times that his conclusion does not follow logically from his uncontroversial factual premise alone. Rather, it follows from the uncontroversial factual premise drawn from science TOGETHER WITH the controversial and non-scientific doctrines that he (and possibly others) teach, which AREN’T SCIENCE (no matter how many and how eminent scientists number amongst the believers of the doctrines), because the doctrines are not scientific hypotheses that could be tested by well-designed experiments.

            John continues: “until bilateral synchronisation a foetus cannot even meet the universally recognised scientific/legal/medical definition of human death”

            All John Zande is doing here is to use the pretentious misnomer “[the] definition of human death” to describe what is merely one of several diagnostic tests available to confirm the death of a human who is older than the age at which humans acquire bilateral synchronisation. Legally, it is very important diagnostic test, because it informs many court judgments in difficult cases in which brain-dead humans (what remains of them) are on life support which cannot be switched off without the courts’ permission. But John’s purported proof that a foetus without the harware and information flow cannot be killed, or is not a human, because of his inability to satisfy the criteria of this so-called definition of human death, is simply a trick with words he has learnt to play on different people, not the joined-up logical argument he likes to pretend it is.

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          5. The universally recognised scientific/legal/medical definition of human death is important only in so far as it demonstrates the fallacy of anti-abortionists use of language like “kill” and “murder.” The language is wrong, and I point it out using facts.

            And yes, without the physical hardware (and uninterrupted information flowing between it) there is no complete human being, and therefore no ethical dilemma. You just admitted that in your comment regarding brain dead patients.

            But rather than take my word for it, here again is Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, James Goldenring (an anti-abortionist) confirming my position in his paper, Development of the Fetal Brain:

            “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

            So, you have two paths before you, John:

            1) You’re free to at any moment present an alternative measure to identify the onset of a complete human organism, and have it considered on its merits

            Or

            2) Continue arguing “But potential,” and be dismissed as a noise maker.

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          6. What is wrong with arguing “But potential”?

            If murder is now to be redefined (to suit you, for the sake of argument) as causing the cessation of someone else’s bilateral synchronisation with malice aforethought, why is it appropriate – to your mind a defence of reason against the ramblings of morons too stupid to realise that everything they say adds up to nothing – for you to insult and belittle Pro-life Humanists, me, Ron, or anybody else, for the conviction of our consciences that there might also be ethical objections to preventing the commencement of somebody else’s bilateral synchronisation, because (say) it was about to happen before one had planned parenthood.

            What homicide does is to deprive the victim of potential additional lifespan. That is why it is wrong. The argument against decriminalising murder is that the murder victim is robbed of the opportunity to enjoy a potential future that he will not now enjoy. Nobody’s future is certain. Life expectancy, what the homicide victim loses, is always merely potential.

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          7. Well, if full neurological function is the sole determinant in deciding when a person becomes a complete human organism, then abortion up until the mid-20s should pose no ethical dilemma either. Because according to the link below, your brain isn’t fully developed until you reach your mid- to late-20s.

            https://www.brainfacts.org/Thinking-Sensing-and-Behaving/Aging/2018/When-the-Brain-Starts-Adulting-112018 (references available at bottom of article)

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          8. I have enjoyed your contributions. You have been patient. I wouldn’t have got involved with the silly, contrived argument by extended analogy, in which a car and a chassis and a driver all acquired different symbolic meanings.

            If a patient is unconscious after a head injury, he will be put on a ventilator and observed. If he doesn’t recover, eventually, the hospital will want to take him off the ventilator, at which point he’ll either start breathing or his heart will stop beating. Doctors with patients like that appreciate the comfort of a court order allowing them to take the patients off the ventilators, on the grounds that the prognosis is so hopeless that for legal purposes the patients concerned can be ruled to be already dead, to all practical intents and purposes.

            John Zande has observed that the diagnostic criterion for “already dead” in these cases has evolved to the point at which death is seemingly redefined as the cessation of certain electrical activity in the patient’s central nervous system. Copying text from this context and pasting it into a conversation about abortion, he seeks to insist that because the cessation of EEG in an adult is used to diagnose the end of life in this way, the commencement of EEG during foetal development must be regarded as the beginning of the foetus’ life, rather than the beginning of his life having been the earlier beginning of the life of that member of the species homo sapiens, at his or her conception.

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          9. And here again is the the so-called “Father of the Anti-Abortion Movement”, Dr. Jack Willke, in his book, Abortion: Questions and Answers:

            “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?”

            Seems the Father of the Anti-Abortion Movement agrees with me… And you still haven’t presented ANYTHING to counter the argument.

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          10. I don’t remember ever having heard of this “father of the anti-abortion movement”. Is it from him that Hippocrates got the idea for the anti-abortion clause in the oath he drafted?

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          11. Found it.

            I did answer, and I will do so again.

            Legal and medical “definitions” of death (as you call them and which you are welcome to post), do not define death.”

            Yes, they do.

            the observation that EEG has not yet begun in a human in whom it is not yet expected to have begun because of his or her young age somehow implies that that particular human is not yet alive

            Wild, and I assume deliberate, misrepresentation of everything I’ve said. “Life” never magically appears in a foetus. The subject of life is nonsensical. My position rides on when an autonomous human organism begins. Period.

            You have repeatedly (deliberately) avoided addressing the matter of what a human organism is. This is why you could not even answer the first question put to you:

            Theoretically, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You cannot do the reverse of this experiment.

            What does that tell you about the human organism?

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          12. “I did answer, and I will do so again.”

            You didn’t and you still haven’t.

            Legal and medical “definitions” of death (as you call them) do not define death. Because their purpose is to enable death to be diagnosed.

            You have repeatedly attempted to assert that the observation that EEG has not yet begun in a human somehow implies that that particular human (and others of his age and younger) are not yet alive (and therefore cannot be killed).

            I agree that: “Life” never magically appears in a foetus. Never said it did, or talked about “Life” at all. I have said nothing about “the subject of life” other than in brief response to your raising of that subject.

            You have now introduced the word “autonomous” for the first time. You’d better explain this new approach.

            I have repeatedly (deliberately) avoided addressing the matter of what a human organism is because I don’t see the need to address that contrived question.

            I have already provided you with my response to the thought experiment about removing and then putting back a human heart.

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          13. And there it is…. again: Ignore what is being said, avoid answering direct and specific questions (which would actually force you to put SUBSTANCE to your claims), make noise, and pretend you’ve actually done something.

            This is beyond boring.

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          14. I haven’t ignored what you have said. I have expressed reasoned disagreement with what you have said.

            I do not accept your tenacious claim that you have logically inferred, from certain science, an ethical stance towards abortion that has become the only possible stance for any reasonable person to take, all other stances being irrational, contradicted by modern science, and deserving of your mockery.

            Unlike you, I haven’t made any claims of fact or of tautology to which I would need to “put substance”, as you narrowly define that (in terms of my ability to answer your killer question).

            I have understood the original contribution that you bring to this discussion. When I first encountered your writings, I was impressed with the originality of your approach. It took me some time to work out how your trick was done and to confront you with that analysis.

            Although I have chosen here to argue the side that Pro-life Humanists take, the same side that I have always taken myself for the past 35 years, I would have been able to argue the specific case to the contrary that you argue instead, even though my heart would not have been in it. I’d have had to be to less than honest though. Anybody I was setting out to deceive would likely have sensed my insincerity. I have seen the flaws in your argument. I would be unable to put those flaws out of my mind completely.

            Since the late 20th century, medical science and the law courts have relied increasingly upon an absence of brain activity to inform clinical and judicial judgments that patients may ethically be taken off life-support, because they are considered already to have died. You seize on this development to assert that a certain necessary inference may be made. BECAUSE OF THIS, you claim, humans who haven’t yet reached the age at which humans ordinarily begin to exhibit brain activity can be destroyed perfectly ethically. Although they are part of life (a certain type of chemical activity that has gone on since before there were humans), these particular humans’ own lives have not yet begun. Their brain activity has not yet started, the cessation of which would enable death to be diagnosed in a ventilated adult patient.

            I challenge that inference. I reject the trick question that is built on that shaky foundation, which you know nobody can answer. You would do well to learn not to find this stubbornness of mine boring because it is an effective method of resisting your doctrine, and that is something I can tell you find annoying.

            Like

          15. And just so we’re clear, John

            If you cannot even identify what a human organism is then you have admitted in no clearer way that you have nothing to say on a subject singularly determined on first understanding what a human organism is.

            This entire thread has been nothing but you demonstrating time and time again just how determined you are to avoid getting into the actual substance of the subject, because to do so will immediately reveal just how thoroughly devoid of any factual grounding your opinion is.

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          16. “If you cannot even identify what a human organism is then you have admitted in no clearer way that you have nothing to say on a subject singularly determined on first understanding what a human organism is.”

            The statement of Pro-life Humanists’ position (and mine) did not use the word “organism”. When you introduced that word, I assumed that you were using it in its ordinary, everyday sense, which is the sense in which I use the word, and which I have already quoted in this discussion at least once:

            organism
            /ˈɔːɡ(ə)nɪz(ə)m/
            noun
            an individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form.

            For completeness:

            human
            /ˈhjuːmən/
            adjective
            relating to or characteristic of humankind.

            individual
            /ɪndɪˈvɪdʒʊ(ə)l,ɪndɪˈvɪdjʊ(ə)l/
            adjective
            1. single; separate.
            “individual tiny flowers”
            2. of or for a particular person.

            animal
            /ˈanɪm(ə)l/
            noun
            a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli.

            You seemed intelligent to me once. But, like so many others, disappointingly, you have resorted to arguing semantics when somebody points out the flaws in your argument. Most who resort to arguing semantics at least ask me how I define words I have introduced into a conversation, even though they are ordinary, everyday words defined in dictionaries. You have sunk to new depths, demanding that I reveal my personal definitions (which I don’t have) of everyday words that YOU have introduced into the conversation yourself!

            I think we’re done. I only wish you’d taken your argument to Pro-life Humanists as I suggested, instead of wasting my time. I’d have liked to see how long you lasted there.

            Like

          17. No, not semantics. What I have been trying (and still failing) to do is to get you to put substance to your opinion. Of course, you cannot, and will not, because there is no substance to your opinion. You can point to nothing. You can demonstrate nothing. You bring nothing to the table.

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          18. “What I have been trying (and still failing) to do is to get you to put substance to your opinion.”

            See my post on 2 Dec 2020 at 14:02. So far, you’ve only replied to two words of it, quibbling as to whether “certain science” or “the science” was the better phrase to refer to the so-called “definition of death”. Other than that, you have ignored the entire content of that post, so far.

            My opinion doesn’t need “substance”, because, unlike yours, it lacks the pretensions of your own opinions, the claim you make for your opinion that it is rather more than a mere opinion (like mine), but rather the extension of science into ethics, a cocktail of premises drawn from empirical science and case law, supposedly logical reasoning (which is what I challenge), yielding an ethical conclusion that you clearly consider to be infallible. You claim that your opinion is undeniably “true” on this basis, and belittle any dissenter. I make no such grand claims.

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          19. My opinion doesn’t need “substance”

            That is quite a remarkable admission.

            The substance (the science) is critical because, as demonstrated, and as you have just conceded, “life” is a nonsensical measure. It does not identify the point when the parts of a human organism become a complete human organism.

            Recognised universally in science, in law, and in medicine, that measure is consciousness. Human consciousness requires hardware. The physical presence of, or absence of that hardware, and the continuous flow of information between it, is the measure.

            Period.

            You’re free to at any moment present an alternative measure to identify the onset of a complete human organism, and have it considered on its merits. If you cannot present an alternative measure, then you are not contributing to the actual subject, merely expressing a substanceless opinion. Noise.

            So, do you have an alternative measure to identify the onset of a complete human organism?

            Like

          20. You seem to have changed tack, introducing a new piece of jargon now, the “complete human organism”. Anything to distract from what I have written, to which you have no answer!

            I am under no obligation whatsoever to dream up a definition of a “complete human organism”, because, in common with Pro-life Humanists I dare say, I reject your doctrine that some humans are not “complete” (whatever that means) because they are still young.

            Although it’s not clear where this is leading, out of idle curiosity, I searched the web for this new-to-me phrase you had apparently coined, in case you were not the first to use it, as you claim you are not. Sure enough the phrase “complete human organism” that you have introduced into our conversation, challenging me to define your chosen phrase, has been used quite a lot. Top of the search results, I found this learned paper:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2672893/

            One sentence of that paper reads, “A human embryo … is already a distinct, self-developing and complete human organism.” However that writer defines “complete human embryo”, it must be differently from how you define the same phrase. I’m not going even to try to define phrases that you introduce. Please stop trying to embroil me in futile, semantic arguments.

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          21. You were asked if you could present an alternative measure to identify the onset of a complete human organism.

            You didn’t.

            You couldn’t.

            Just more noise…. But what else were we to expect from a person who admits his opinion is substanceless.

            Goodbye.

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          22. 66

            You were asked if you could present an alternative measure to identify the onset of a complete human organism.

            You didn’t.

            You couldn’t.

            99

            I didn’t want to. I couldn’t see the point. I didn’t see why I should. You had no right to ask. All this I explained.

            Please don’t ever again bombard me with a succession of random, undefined (or controversially defined) jargon phrases that you’ve just chucked into the conversion one after another, asking me to tell you how I think each such should be defined. This is arguing semantics. I told you I wasn’t willing to play that game with you.

            Goodbye.

            Like

          23. I didn’t want to.

            Seems you misspelled, “I can’t, because there is no substance to my opinion. I have nothing.”

            Like

          24. And your article is a self-described “talking point” opinion piece, a letter to the editor, not a scientific paper, authored by Professor of Jurisprudence.

            I read it.

            Through all the waffle, it is nothing but an argument from potential. And when they finally TRY to deal with the subject of consciousness they flounder terribly, resort to ‘potential’ when talking about the physical substrates required, and then sneak in this absurdity: “One has this basic natural capacity for consciousness from the time that one comes to be.” I say absurd, because I can take that sentence and write: “A planet, with all its amino acids and free energy, has this basic natural capacity for consciousness from the time that it comes to be.”

            Just more noise.

            Like

          25. I followed the link ….

            2Patrick Lee is John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Institute of Bioethics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville (OH, USA).
            ”Our mission as a Franciscan and Catholic university that embraces the call to dynamic orthodoxy is to educate, to evangelize, and to send forth joyful disciples.”

            Liked by 1 person

          26. Explains the incoherency of the letter. Gawd, you have to wade through a mountain of nonsense before they even attempt to touch on the actual critical part, and then they fall completely over… But I suspect they’re hoping no one gets that far.

            Liked by 1 person

          27. In the end, it all seems about personal views and with which one aligns.
            One can only hope that, as per my little tale, these conversations are one day a thing of the past.

            Liked by 1 person

          28. “In the end, it all seems about personal views and with which one aligns.”

            I agree.

            However, John Zande seems convinced that there is a scientific answer to the ethical question of the rights and wrongs of abortion, which he has discovered, and that anybody who finds fault which his purported logical deduction of an infallible answer to the ethical question from the known science, must be thick and uneducated and rejecting the science (not John’s purported logic).

            “One can only hope that, as per my little tale, these conversations are one day a thing of the past.”

            The app won’t help. If technology were invented that read our thoughts (as there has been, but that’s another topic), and both partners merely had to think about whether or not they wanted a particular liaison to result in pregnancy to trigger other technology to cause or prevent conception, there’d be people who forgot to think and others who changed their minds, who (in either case) thought themselves so important that they were entitled to kill – sorry I mean terminate – their offspring right up to birth, and probably for the first few years after.

            Like

          29. Appears you never read, or simply chose to ignore this comment of mine to you:

            I’m quite happy to be challenged. I would welcome it. My position is informed by the science, and if existing science can be shown to be wrong, or in need of revision, then I’m more than happy to adjust my position accordingly. I’m not afraid to do so. I move with the science, as opposed to you who clings to fatally flawed, baseless, evidenceless opinion.

            Like

          30. There is nothing wrong with the science from which you deduce your ethical position on abortion. I do not challenge your factual claims about the science. What I do not accept is your tautological claim that the science compels the ethical position you think it does. All of us have the same science to inform our opinions, but we have a variety of ethical positions. That we have different opinions is not because we have different ideas about the content of the science.

            You have dared me to prove the science wrong. But I think the science is right.

            I have challenged you to prove that your ethical position is a necessary inference from the science. You have gone to extraordinary lengths to distract the reader from making the observation that you have simply ignored that challenge and have falsely accused me of ignoring the science.

            Like

          31. You have gone to extraordinary lengths to distract the reader from making the observation that you have simply ignored that challenge

            Are you retarded?

            Here is me “proving my ethical position is a necessary inference from the science” from just a few hours ago, which of course has followed 2 days of repeating the same thing.

            Recognised universally in science, in law, and in medicine, that measure is consciousness. Human consciousness requires hardware. The physical presence of, or absence of that hardware, and the continuous flow of information between it, is the measure.

            Period.

            Without the hardware and continuous flow of information there is no complete human organism, and if there is no complete human organism then there is no ethical dilemma, which is further evidenced by the fact that until bilateral synchronisation a foetus cannot even meet the universally recognised scientific/legal/medical definition of human death.

            Facts… My position rests on them, and is supported by them.

            And I then stated:

            You’re free to at any moment present an alternative measure to identify the onset of a complete human organism, and have it considered on its merits.

            That, John, is how you can actually challenge the solidness of my position. That, John, is what you have repeatedly shown yourself incapable of doing.

            Liked by 1 person

          32. This entire doctrine of yours, about what makes a “complete human organism”, is not a scientific doctrine. That is, it is not a hypothesis that could be tested by performing an experiment. It is a value judgment (like saying that a frog is better than a tadpole) disguised as a scientific statement, to bolster your bogus claim that your opinions are scientific, whilst other people’s are irrational, or lacking in “substance” as you’ve taken to saying.

            Science tells us that tadpoles and frogs are the same animals, at different ages. Labeling a frog a “complete tadpole”, isn’t doing science. Mature maybe. But not “complete”.

            Like

          33. That is, it is not a hypothesis that could be tested by performing an experiment.

            O-kay, you are retarded.

            I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You cannot do the reverse of this experiment.

            What does that tell you about the human organism?

            Like

          34. @ J Allman
            Are you truly saying that if such an app (as described in my short tale) becomes available and a (possible) pregnancy/fertilized ovum could be stopped within hours of sexual intercourse thus avoiding any future medical procedure (either with drugs or surgery) you would still object?

            Like

          35. Of course he would. This isn’t about a ferilised egg, or a 32 week old foetus, or the millions of children born into poverty who the religious politicians will not lift a finger to support. It’s about control, and more specifically, control over women.

            But, there are some religious groups who are enlightened, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), the largest interfaith, abortion rights organisation in the US, who state:

            “Our values cherish women’s free will to make decisions to control their own bodies and lives. This freedom is a gift from God…”

            These minds are, however, are the outliers.

            Like

          36. He speaks in such obscure terms I struggle to pinpoint his actual argument.
            So, am I to understand that he , in effect against all forms of contraception?

            Like

          37. I can’t speak for him, but the general position of religious groups is anti-contraception. That’s one reason why they went nuts with Obamacare, it provided the pill through employer/employee insurance policies.

            Liked by 1 person

          38. To be against contraception is inhuman.
            The Catholic Church’s stance against condoms condemned many thousands to death during the throes of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
            Over here, before the roll out of antiretrovirals there were so many funerals that, on some weekends at some cemeteries there would be queues!
            If this is Allman’s position then he is simply a revolting individual.,

            Liked by 1 person

          39. This is my thought as well.
            You will recall how obscure and evasive some of his arguments were regarding Trump’s election fiasco?
            I get a similar feeling with this.
            Cue Monty Python? Every sperm is sacred

            Liked by 1 person

          40. “Our values cherish women’s free will to make decisions to control their own bodies and lives. This freedom is a gift from God…”

            YES!!!

            Liked by 2 people

          41. I read an article by Pastor John Pavlovitch and he expressed similar sentiments, citing the bible as authority, too!

            Liked by 1 person

          42. In your story, it wasn’t clear to me whether the automated intervention was contraceptive or preventative of implantation (like the coil or the “morning after pill”). I knew it had to be the latter, but didn’t know that you knew that.

            I’m not a great fan of contraception, but it’s not a moral issue in the way that abortion is.

            “you would still object?”

            What do you mean “still”?

            As a thought experiment, your short story is interesting. I’ll probably be thinking about it for the rest of my life, on and off.

            Like

          43. I never explored the idea beyond what you read in the short piece, and do not have the technological savvy.
            Thinking a little more about it now, perhaps the watch has a built in sensor that is able to monitor minute physiological changes in the body and can alert the individual that there is xyz percentage that the previous night’s sexual intercourse will result in pregnancy?

            The choice to end the process is then left to the woman in question.

            Also, to my mind, included in the tale was the fact we had reached a point where STDs were also a thing of the past.
            Again … it was just a story.

            I’m not a great fan of contraception,

            On what grounds are you not a ”fan”?

            Like

          44. You asked why I wasn’t a fan of contraception. My previous post this morning may satisfy your curiosity on that.

            One doesn’t need “grounds” to like or dislike something. We can have tastes too.

            Like

          45. @ John Allman
            There seems to be some confusion.
            Could you please state your position regarding contraception? The pill, IUDs , condoms?
            For or against?

            Like

          46. I haven’t spent much time thinking about contraception during my life. I have a distant view of it, not a close-up view of it, more from the angle of a non-user than that of a user.

            I don’t see consensual contraception as behaviour that should be taboo because an intention to reduce the likelihood of conception is intrinsically wicked. I find irritating those pro-choicers who use the straw man argument that if one is against abortion, one must be against contraception too, because (they argue) sperm cells and ova are human too.

            I don’t agree with the teaching of the sexual revolution, that contraception liberates mankind (and womankind) from the need to have any morals in the matter of sexual behaviour (fidelity etc).

            Some methods of contraception I find not to be aesthetic.

            Contraception fraud is (so-to-speak) “rape”.

            I agree with the ABC approach to AIDS prevention used in South Africa. Handing free contraceptives to minors at school is a policy with a downside as well as an upside.

            It is possible for adults to make decisions, in the exercise of their freedom, about the use, or non-use, of contraception, which they live to regret, or even to repent of. So I don’t say that the rights and wrongs of contraception are a complete no-go area. It’s just that this hasn’t been a debate that has ever interested me. This post is the most I can remember ever having written with my thoughts about contraception.

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          47. It is possible for adults to make decisions, in the exercise of their freedom, about the use, or non-use, of contraception, which they live to regret, or even to repent of.

            What do you mean by your use of the term ”repent of”.

            Like

          48. In the context, I used the word “repent” to mean to realise (or think one realises) that not only had one’s behaviour had regrettable consequences, but that the behaviour had also been morally wrong, even though one might not have thought of it as morally wrong at the time. Repentance is to change one’s mind about something, typically in the sense of changing one’s moral code, so that one thinks of certain behaviour as wrong for the first time ever.

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          49. I don’t have a conscientious objection to using contraception myself. I respect the consciences of those who do. Unlike some, I don’t judge those who don’t use contraception, condemning them for that. I know a couple with ten children last time I met them, who might have eleven or twelve by now. I quite envy them.

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          50. Why would you or anyone else judge someone who chooses not to use contraception?
            And I sincerely hope you refer to both parties being in complete accord with such a decision, yes?

            Liked by 1 person

          51. “Why would you or anyone else judge someone who chooses not to use contraception?”

            I’ve already told you that I wouldn’t judge anyone. Why those who are judgmental about this are judgmental, is something for you to ask them when you come across them. Certainly such attitudes abound. The attidues used to be described as “Malthusian” attitudes. Nowadays, climate alarmism has given them something of a boost, because babies have carbon footprints. In China, the state inflicts brutal punishments upon couples who fail to use contraception, or who use contraception that fails to prevent conception, and upon their unauthorised offspring.

            “And I sincerely hope you refer to both parties being in complete accord with such a decision, yes?”

            What sort of decision? I hadn’t mentioned any decisions.

            Like

          52. The decision to use/not use contraception.
            Where one party overrides the wishes of the other.

            I had never heard of the term Malthusian before.
            Interesting. Always good to learn something new.

            Yes, I had not considered the actions of the Chinese government in this scenario.

            The other side of the coin, yes?

            Like

          53. “The decision to use/not use contraception. Where one party overrides the wishes of the other.”

            The only way for one party to override the wishes of the other about contraception use or non-use, is to impose sexual intercourse without consent on the other (sometimes called “rape”), or what I referred to earlier as “contraceptive fraud”, which I indicated I thought was tantamount to rape (though not in those exact words).

            I had read the relevant provision of the relevant UK Act, whereby deception about the “nature and purpose” of a sex act negated consent, as covering contraceptive fraud. Recently, some judgment I read cast doubt as to whether my interpretation had been correct, to my disappointment. I think contraceptive fraud is seriously wrong. I am not of the school of thought that “all is fair in love and war”. A man who pretends he’s had a vasectomy, or *not* to have had a vasectomy, in order to seduce a woman, is a criminal to my way of thinking. Likewise, a woman man who pretends to be the pill, or *not* to be on the pill.

            Sex must be consensual. Consent must be informed, never deliberately misinformed. I’d have thought all this went without saying. I aam surprised you asked.

            Like

          54. I was just making sure we are on the same page.
            Makes a change we are in complete agreement about something.

            Like

          55. I hoped we would be in agreement. I am not surprised either that we were.

            I doubt we are in “complete” agreement. If some bully pressured us both to try to agree *rules* in the abstract and we gave in to that pressure, rules about when to use contraception, when not to, and when not to have sex in the first place so that the contraception decision didn’t arise, rules that we were going to advise youngsters to follow, we might disagree on certain aspects of the rules we were trying to draft until the cows came home. But at least we both have sensible libertarian/liberal ideas about at what level contraception decisions should lawfully be taken: at the level of the copulating couple concerned of course, guided by their own consciences.

            The abortion issue, to my mind, has always had little or no connection with the contraception “non-issue” (as I have now put it). Some of the Roman Catholic thought, which unifies anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia and anti-contraception (etc?) into “pro-life” is thought-provoking. It may be right, and you and I may be wrong, but I don’t yet feel any vocation to advocate for that unification theory.

            Like

          56. It’s not MY article. It’s the article that Google listed first in search results, when I searched for “complete human organism”. If you disapprove, please take it up withy Google.

            Liked by 1 person

          57. 66

            “One has this basic natural capacity for consciousness from the time that one comes to be.” I say absurd, because I can take that sentence and write: “A planet, with all its amino acids and free energy, has this basic natural capacity for consciousness from the time that it comes to be.”

            99

            The capacity for individual consciousness of the type that humans experience is a characteristic of our species, which is genetically coded for, I assume. Every member of our species can be assumed to be likely to have that capacity, even if he or she has yet to grow a brain, because it has been repeatedly observed that most members of the human species who survive long enough to grow brains, become conscious, even though none of the start out conscious.

            You could say that the capacity for individual consciousness of the type that planets experience is a characteristic of planets, but, if you did, a lot of people would look at you strangely.

            Like

  6. Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. NIV

    In my former Christian experience, the moment of fertilization was the beginning of God’s creation. The genesis, so to speak. Egg meet sperm, cell division, and on the wee little “developing human species” goes. No judgement could be made about unplanned pregnancies, the health of the mother or the health of the developing zygote, embryo, fetus &/or near-term baby. And from the get-go, there was a soul. Regardless of the gestational time-line, it’s a baby, it’s a soul.

    Depending on diverse views within the Christian context, that baby is a human with a soul and death in any form is the termination of that soul’s potential here on earth. It doesn’t end their eternal potential but again, open to interpretation from sect to sect, as I recall. There was no discussion about when the baby becomes a baby. It’s a baby, period. A baby with a soul.

    Some sects (and I remember believing this at one time) believed that at one time our baby’s soul was “with the Lord” prior to conception. Consider Psalm 139: 16(b). Christian stores sold little prayer plaques with poems (I hung one in our baby’s room) about how to remember when baby cries he/she is just missing home (heaven) and Jesus. Although there are Christian sects that believe in Reincarnation. This wasn’t that. This was, there is a soul, God created, baby has one as do all humans. Upon death, soul returns to eternity. A one time thing.

    I often wonder when I hear/see Christians talk about abortion where the topic of a soul comes in. Why is it left out of the conversation when it so obviously is part of their truth. And though I suspect there are Humanists that also believe in a soul, I tend to suspect it’s not in line with what Christian souls are.

    I suspect as well, that many pro-life Humanists may avoid the discussion, especially those who are atheists. It’s hard enough to come to agreement on “when” a baby is a human let alone discuss “what is a soul” and when does it arrive and “where’d it come from?” Is a soul a baby or does the baby have a soul?

    I’m getting a headache.

    There are so many countless variables to pregnancy. A developing fetus with no or very little brain matter. Does the mother continue through the typical 36-40 weeks knowing her baby will be stillborn, live for a few minutes, die in the NICU in 3 weeks or possibly live and beat the odds for a few years or so? According to my former pro-life belief, yes, because God knitted that baby in the womb, foreordained that soul’s existence, (book of life as noted above). Does the mother continue on when she has been told the developing baby has genetic abnormalities that will if survivable at birth will lead the child to an palliative care existence of pain until the natural order of things takes place. Death? According to my former pro-life belief, yes, because God always knew and He giveth life and He taketh away. Does a mother with life-threatening eclampsia push through to the end when all health measures have failed to stabilize her and risk her life, willing to lose it with the hope of her baby surviving? According to my former pro-life belief, yes, risk your life. Lay down your life. If death, so be it. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.

    In other words, I, nor any other mother has agency. Only God.

    And if raped, so what. Though there are Christians who now make room for abortion under rape &/or incest, there are a lot who don’t. Why? Psalm 139 as above. God knew you from the beginning of time. He knew you’d be conceived in a rape, He knew your mother would be raped, He knew the man who raped her would rape her . And He allowed it. Why? Probably for His glory. And that’s how many Christians reason through it. God must have a reason. It is not ours to question.

    She was 10 years old when her family member raped her. She became pregnant. She delivered a baby. Praise Jesus, Hallelujah, what a wonderful world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I apologise if this caused any distress. I did not think to put a trigger warning on this topic.
      Maybe in future, take it as a given that anything I feature with some sort of religious backdrop may be worth considering before you plough through it?

      Kindest
      Ark.

      Liked by 1 person

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