Mississippi Personing

You know, I have to agree with John Huntsman on this one:

A ballot initiative in Mississippi that would define a fertilized egg as a legal person has led to a rare divide among Republican presidential candidates on topics of abortion policy.

On Sunday, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who has generally stuck to an anti-abortion platform during this campaign, became the first presidential candidate to publicly say that he opposed the so-called personhood amendment.

“I think it goes too far,” Huntsman said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I mean, I’m pro-life and always have been. I have two little adopted girls to prove the point. But I think life begins at conception. And I, you know, have certain caveats or exclusions in the case of rape, incest, and life of the mother. But I’ve, I’ve always been–I’ve always been pro life and proud of my record.”

Huntsman is not not the only pro-lifer to come out against the amendment. A lot of pro-life groups are backing away from this proposal, which is so extreme, I have to think the courts will take it up.

Forget the abortion issue for the moment. If a fertilized egg is defined as a person, the legal implications are staggering. Morning after pills and IUDs would be illegal. IVF would be in questionable legal territory since most embryos fail to implant and leftover embryos are sometimes destroyed or used for research. Even ectopic pregnancies would come into question. Moreover, somewhere between 50 and 80% of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant or survive more than a couple of weeks. Almost all women will have a miscarriage at some point in their lives, most without realizing it. What’s to be done about that?

What bothers me about this is not so much the ballot measure, which will either fail or be thrown out by the Courts, but what this says about the current mindset of many within the GOP. We have seen a series of these plans come out — on abortion, on taxation, on budgets — that have almost no connection with reality and are set upon an almost willful ignorance of details. The GOP has moved from a conservative party that was nervous of Big Grand Plans for Remaking the Universe to a party that is besotted with them and has little interest in the niggling details that often mean disaster. It’s as if they looked at Obamacare, with all its plunging forward regardless of fact, and decided that was a model. So we get a 9-9-9 tax plan that would massively shift the tax burden to the middle class. We get several candidates advocating 40% cuts in federal spending, ignoring that this would necessitate huge cuts in military or law enforcement spending. We get candidates opposing the withdrawal from Iraq with no clear idea of what they hope to accomplish. And now we get a personhood provision that no one has thought about in terms of basic human biology.

Our system of government is set up to temper these periodic outbursts of lunacy — from Right and Left. But these aren’t the sort of things we should be wasting our time and political capital on. It makes me wonder — are the GOP raising these garbage ideas and bullshit plans because they don’t want to make the tough choice that lie ahead?

Comments are closed.

  1. Dick Fitzwell

    I’m voting “no” on this one and a surprising number of my conservative friends are urging others on facebook to do the same.

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  2. Poosh

    This is one massive “what the fuck” moment. What kind of idiotic, retarded, profoundly stupid group of people could suggest that GOO should be a legal person. Potential life is not life.

    It is truly shocking.

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  3. dahlhowse

    Biologically speaking, there is no other obvious (or inarguable) point where “genetic material” ceases to be just genetic material and becomes a new organism. How is it intellectually consistent to deny them human rights, but not humans who’ve have the benefit of aging a little? Sentience and consciousness aren’t the defining characteristics of humanity.

    Ectopic pregnancies obviously conflict with the mother’s equal right to life, so if nothing else, such an abortion is not only a “justified homicide,” the viability of the fetus is never in question. Also, “50 and 80% of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant or survive more than a couple of weeks” is irrelevant in the face of personhood. A person has the right to not be murdered, not successfully implant on the uterine wall. Considering that no one could ever successfully prove that failure to attach to the uterine wall was caused by any one specific action, such cases would never hold up in a court of law.

    Since the middle class (and the bottom class) have either a disproportionately small (or no) amount of “skin in the game,” of course making the tax system equitable will amount to a tax hike on them (and me). So what? I demand equitable treatment of the public by the government, and a progressive taxation system is anything but equitable.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    So we get a 9-9-9 tax plan that would massively shift the tax burden to the middle class

    .

    Considering the number of free riders out there, I’m not complaining about that. Besides, the entire concept of a progressive tax structure is immoral.

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  5. Poosh

    Sentience and consciousness aren’t the defining characteristics of humanity

    They literally are… the reason we’re not animals is because we have a notion of “self” and can see ourselves as a “subject”.

    Why these people are happy to kill fully living happy animals for f’cking food but are somehow upset that goo and crap is being “snuffed out”.

    Abortion is a vital step on the road towards the freedom of the female sex. Contraception and (sensible) abortion are vital and necessary conditions for female emancipation. For thousands of years women have been enslaved because of their own biology, and anything that lessens the ability of a man to dominate a woman is desirable. I have no respect for these so-called Christians. God allows hundreds of thousands to die from cancer and natural disaster, yet you think he gives a flying fuck about some goo. stfu.

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  6. CM

    They literally are… the reason we’re not animals is because we have a notion of “self” and can see ourselves as a “subject”.

    Yeah although that happens at about 18 months old.

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  7. dahlhowse

    The reply above applies here: I don’t oppose abortion on religious grounds. This is about human rights, equal protection of the law, and basic biology. stfu indeed.

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  8. Poosh

    Forgive my ignorance, I have only seen religious people advocating this.

    What possible secular argument can you offer to suggest that human life should be legally protected by law (violence) from conception (or whatever) onwards? Basic biology does not support a claim that a human is a human at conception. What possible argument is there to claim human rights for something that doesn’t even resemble a human, let alone something that can’t breath on its own? That can’t interact with an environment.

    If we reproduce “humans” who lack any of the basic functions – defective clones – who have no consciousness etc or even lack basic brain functions, are we to say they are “human life”? That will never gain consciousness? I think not?

    If we synthetically grow humans out of entirely non-organic, lab-created material, are they human beings? They have full consciousness, can even dream, and are little different to us but the raw materials are entirely synthetic. Human?

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  9. dahlhowse

    Of course it’s a human. It’s not an elephant. While physical appearance is that of a “puddle of goo,” genetically, it is a very much a human being, though still very young. Some full grown people have no arms, or no hair, or any number of traits normally associated with humans, but that doesn’t invalidate their humanity.

    Please don’t go building straw men.

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  10. Poosh

    and genetic material is now a human being saaay waaat?

    Would you risk your life and limb for “a pile of goo”?

    This isn’t at all basic biology or even biology.

    Genetically, primates and probably most life on earth are nearly human…. why is an animal (I assume you eat meat or fish, a presumption) of less worth than something that hasn’t even taken the shape of a human-looking fetus?

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  11. Poosh

    ome full grown people have no arms, or no hair, or any number of traits normally associated with humans, but that doesn’t invalidate their humanity.

    Eh if a human has NO HEAD then I’m willing to invalidate their humanity.

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  12. CM

    I would agree with the argument that it’s a potential human being at that stage.

    You said earlier:

    Biologically speaking, there is no other obvious (or inarguable) point where “genetic material” ceases to be just genetic material and becomes a new organism

    Some argue that the moment an egg becomes fertilised is the obvious point. Personally I want to weigh other factors into the equation. If there’s such a high chance it won’t ‘take’ (“50 and 80% of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant or survive more than a couple of weeks”) then I don’t consider it has reached the stage of being considered human life. It’s still very much ‘potential’. I’m uncomfortable about abortion beyond about 8 weeks, but again there are other factors than just the status of the fertilised egg/embryo. Women don’t usually know they are pregnant for 4+ weeks for a start.

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  13. dahlhowse

    Please tell me what species it is, if it’s not human.

    Animals don’t have human rights. They are however, entitled to humane treatment when being slaughtered. Nom nom nom.

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  14. snoppy3000

    Personhood defines human being, nothing more, nothing less. In a civilized society, it is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings and we agree that we should give medical treatment to human beings who need it. Sometimes that results in death, but is not intentional, as with a baby in an etopic pregnancy.You don’t need a belief in God to know when the life of a human being begins; you just need a brain and the ability to read. Science is pretty clear on this fact. There is no such thing as a “fertilized egg”. At the point of fertilization, the sperm and egg combine and a human is created; “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion … it is plain experimental evidence.”, a quote by the “Father of Modern Genetics” Dr. Jerome Lejeune, Univ. of Descarte, Paris. If you don’t like scientific facts, it would be more factual and honest to say that you are for deliberately killing innocent human beings than to try and argue against scientific facts.

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  15. Poosh

    Insane extremist nonsense.

    Assuming you’d kill yourself to save a random stranger (who you knew was innocent of any crime etc)

    Would you kill yourself if it meant stopping an abortion 1 day after conception? Would you?

    The fact that you would use the violence of the ballot to stop abortion and slam your insane notions of what a human being is by law is repulsive. There’s a difference between “human life” and what we regard as a human being. Such weaseling. This is dangerous extremist nonsense. You care more about allowing something which has never even taken a fucking BREATH over living animals or even criminals perhaps. This is insane. This is the twilightzone.

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  16. Poosh

    Animals don’t have human rights.

    Yet you would happily give rights to something which cannot even absorb data or react to stimulus? Even bloody plants can do that on a very low level.

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  17. Kimpost

    Humanity is not necessarily a scientific term. It certainly isn’t so exclusively. And ‘personhood‘? That’s basically whatever you want it to be, isn’t it?

    I can read, and I have a brain. That’s why the above is pretty clear to me. I’m frankly baffled that you – regardless of your own views – fail to see how others might see things differently? A fertilized egg just isn’t a person or a human (as I define it in this context), according to me.

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  18. CM

    You don’t need a belief in God to know when the life of a human being begins; you just need a brain and the ability to read. Science is pretty clear on this fact.

    Actually, no, when the “life of a human being begins” is a matter of definition. You can certainly use science if you like to bolster an argument, but science doesn’t settle what the definition is.

    There is no such thing as a “fertilized egg”. At the point of fertilization, the sperm and egg combine and a human is created

    That’s your belief, but it’s not fact. I don’t consider it a human at that. I would say that life begins at that point, with the potential that that life will become a human being. But that’s my opinion.

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  19. snoppy3000

    When your mothers egg was fertilized, that is when your life began, assuming along with having a brain and being able to read, you are also human.

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  20. CM

    That’s when life began, but at that stage I don’t consider that I was a human being. I just had the potential to become a human being.

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  21. dahlhowse

    What? You aren’t going to tell me what species it is? Can I assume you concede the point?

    Yet you would happily give rights to something which cannot even absorb data or react to stimulus? Even bloody plants can do that on a very low level.

    A human’s right to life is not conditional on its capacity to react to stimuli. It is contingent on its membership in the species. If you want to argue that animals or plants deserve rights, then by all means start a new discussion, but here, we’re talking about human rights.

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  22. dahlhowse

    Why are you hell bent on raising straw men by bringing up “would you die for a 1 day old?” Does that somehow invalidate the fetus’ humanity?

    “What you REGARD as a human being” is the repulsive part. You tell yourself “well they can’t feel it when we’re killing them, so it doesn’t matter if we do.” At what point in the child’s existence did it commit a crime so heinous as to merit a death sentence? What crime was it? Inconvenience? The Nazis thought 11 million people were inconvenient.

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  23. CM

    You aren’t going to tell me what species it is?

    Nobody is arguing that it would become an elephant. It’s human sperm and a human egg interacting to create a human zygote, which then can become a human embryo. But at that stage (IMHO) that’s not yet a “human being”, it’s a human zygote or a human embryo.

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  24. AlexInCT

    I like that line of thinking, CM. Come to think of it, you can justtify a lot of shit once you decide some people are not human, compeltely human, or thus really enowed with any rights. Shit the followers of Marx sure gave that all one heck of a go and over 100 million people died and billions ended up stuck living in rpison states, and they justified it all based on making things better for the people with rights. That slippery slope argument is called that,…. Well it’s never obvious to the people that don’t like what it prevents them from doing.

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  25. CM

    I’m not saying I have a nicely packaged binary opinion on the matter. I don’t. I don’t even necessarily agree with John Harris. It’s just opinion, from a piece that contains others.

    However I certainly don’t consider the rights of embryos to be the same as the rights of humans that have been born. So there is no point going down that cul-de-sac Alex. And the misuse of Marx’s theory is a different topic entirely.

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  26. Poosh

    You don’t know what a strawman is … do you (not you CM).

    Child? What child? Are we talking about children? Who brought up children? This is infanticide now. It’s exactly because a silly little pile of goo that doesn’t even have AN ORGAN is NOT an inconvenience, that it’s not a human being.

    You’re insane. You’re not on the same page. I’ve tried to engage you in a philosophical discussion about what counts as human life. You can’t even see that. I can’t have a conversation with you, not that I expect anything from you.

    Twilight zone indeed.

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  27. Mississippi Yankee

    Would you risk your life and limb for “a pile of goo”?

    Actually yes, I did today. As this is a very contentious issue here.

    I’m not a fundy, nor do I even believe in a deity. with me believing just the opposite of what CM states here:

    It’s human sperm and a human egg interacting to create a human zygote, which then can become a human embryo. But at that stage (IMHO) that’s not yet a “human being”, it’s a human zygote or a human embryo.

    And that has ALWAYS been where adults have disagreed.

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  28. dahlhowse

    You’re implying that if I were to answer in the affirmative about risking life and limb to rescue a 1 day old embryo as if it were a 1 day old child, that I would appear ludicrous to a reasonable debater, and that would therefore make my reasoning ludicrous (and hence invalid). Whether I would, or wouldn’t risk life and limb is completely immaterial as to whether or not an embryo is a human, and therefore your line of attack isn’t to the heart of whether an embryo is human, it attempts to build up and knock down a straw man.

    I brought up the term child, as I consider it interchangeable with fetus. They are both immature humans, simply differentiated by age. If not conception, at what non-arbitrary, universally reasonable point does the organism become “a human being” in your eyes? By non-arbitrary, I mean a simple set of rules that applies in every instance.

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  29. Poosh

    I don’t know to what you are referring to. Is a synthetic human a human being? I”ll go with no, it’s “whatever it is” but it’s not human > that’s not to say it should not have rights equal to our own. A clone with no consciousness and hallowed out so it cannot think or commit basic human functions? Not it’s not a human being. It’s no more human than a puppet. A fertilized embryo? No it’s not a human being. Just as an fertilzed embryo of an elephant is not an elephant.

    Is a human corpse a human being? I’d say it’s more human then a pile of goo that the human eye cannot even see (we’re not talking about general abortion here, we’re talking about claiming a fertizled egg is a PERSON, i.e a human being, that should have rights).

    But no, a human corpse is NOT a human being (any more). Now what if someone comes along and says its now possible to reactivate a human corpse. What if I burn the corpse? Is that killing a human being? HMMM. I’ll go with no, but I digress, at least that corpse was ONCE a human being. An egg doesn’t even have a vague likeness to a human.

    It is contingent on its membership in the species.

    I realise you’re engaging in sophistry. But NO. It is not even an “it”. How can it be part of a species? If I cut off some of your hair – in theory – I can make another human out of that hair… is that bit of hair part of the human species?

    Is a human corpse part of the human species?

    That’s it now. You’re a f*cking fool. The franchise should be restricted from you. If this bullshit passes, this isn’t democracy this is tyranny from a majority – and violence should be directed in some manner as the contract between citizen and government has been violated. You’re a tyrant. The after-morning-pill would be banned, if you had your way, can you imagine that? You will destroy the freedom and liberty of real-life human beings because of some fantastical pixie you keep seeing that you seem to think is a “person”, which has less credibility then you talking about Father Christmas. YOU telling people what to do and using the VIOLENCE OF THE BALLOT to have your way. Go to hell.

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  30. Mississippi Yankee

    That’s when life began, but at that stage I don’t consider that I was a human being. I just had the potential to become a human being.

    Could you have become an elephant?

    Did you just admit life began at fertilization? Does circular logic somehow allow you to backtrack on that statement?

    Oh nevermind, we see this everyday.

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  31. Poosh

    Nope. If you answered in the affirmative I’d say “fair enough”. I didn’t say risk either, I said would you kill yourself to save an en embryo that was just fertilized (24 hours after conception let’s say).

    Fail.

    Second answer: agency. A developed fetus can demonstrate primitive forms of agency. No to abortion at that point onwards. Science will inform. This isn’t about abortion though, in the common sense.

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  32. Mississippi Yankee

    There’s a difference between “human life” and what we regard as a human being. Such weaseling.

    Who doing the weaseling here Poo?

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  33. Poosh

    Because human potentiality is not the same as a human being. There are copious distinctions. Is a fetus a human being? Most of the time I’d say it’s a human being and not human potentiality (human life). We’re not talking about a fetus. Nor are we talking about mainstream abortion.

    A fertilised egg is not a human being. It’s weaseling to conflate two together, to claim human life is a human being, using the emotive term “life” in a simplistic, stupid manner, when you really mean human potentiality. It’s weasel words.

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  34. Mississippi Yankee

    YOU telling people what to do and using the VIOLENCE OF THE BALLOT to have your way. Go to hell.

    I used no violence, I did however go through sign waving picketers to cast my ballot. Small town 1500 people, 3 polling places. Picketers at every one.
    This is Mississippi not Merry Ole England.

    On top of all of this there has not been a open abortion clinic in Mississippi in over TWELVE YEARS!

    BTW, they were pre-printed signs ’cause folks in my county don spel so gud.

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  35. Mississippi Yankee

    You don’t know what a strawman is … do you (not you CM).

    Do you find it odd that you had to clarify to whom you were speaking?

    Sorry, back to being serial again.

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  36. Poosh

    The ballot is violence. it is sanctioned violence and necessary violence, but underneath it is violence. Which is why every single vote you take is precious and “sacred” and should be used with the uppermost care.

    Just as every single law is violence. You are merely agreeing to it – just because no physical act of violence occurred, does not take away the violence inherent in it. When you write any law, even the most mundane law, violence is behind that law. If you make it the law to drive one direction down the road, at the end of the line it is state-sanctioned violence that, at the end of the day, is being used to enforce that sensible, just, law.

    Every democracy is entirely built on a foundation of violence. And that violence is what stops us from being barbarians, but make no mistake, the ballot IS violence. And I personally think very carefully before using violence upon someone merely because he does not agree with my point of view.

    When you cast your vote – whether you have internalised this truth or not – you are saying “if I win this vote, I expect violence to be carried out on those who do not abide by it”. Not beatings, but prison, fines, the theft of property by the government.

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  37. Poosh

    Yes I did find that odd. I’m quite angry that I’ve had to end up agreeing with CM, it’s ridiculous.

    I don’t know where all the libertarians have gone from this blog right now, I guess it’s a week day. Bed time.

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  38. dahlhowse

    Red herrings galore! I don’t think I’ll bother with them.

    Is a human corpse a human being?

    A corpse is a dead human being. Not “was” a human being, a dead human being. Death doesn’t strip the corpse of humanity. I mean really: DEFINE human. I’ll be only too happy to poke holes in every vain attempt to contrive to do so.

    An egg doesn’t even have a vague likeness to a human.

    We are discussing fertilized eggs, not eggs. A fertilized egg is a unique organism, separate (though dependent on) the mother. To what species does the organism in question belong? Homo sapiens sapiens. When does the organism in question join the species if not when it is formed?

    If I cut off some of your hair – in theory – I can make another human out of that hair… is that bit of hair part of the human species?

    Now you’re just being intentionally ridiculous. The hair isn’t a human, it’s a part of a human (and a dead part at that). We are talking about an organism. Hair isn’t an organism. Cancer, which shares your DNA, isn’t an organism. They are parts made by an organism. A fertilized egg, on the other hand, IS the organism.

    Feel free to tell us at what point does someone acquire the right to kill someone else, because that is the crux of the situation here. I don’t enjoy the concept that women would have to bear the child against her will, but when comparing egregious violations of rights, the violation of hers is (relatively speaking) temporary and moderate. The violation of the rights of the unborn is permanent and irrevocable. If I had to sit in judgement of such a travesty, it would only be logical to condone the lesser evil in the face of the greater.

    You will destroy the freedom and liberty of real-life human beings

    Your freedoms and liberties do not extend to denying them to others. What this is, is a case where there are conflicting liberties. The child to be free from harm, the mother to her body. Well guess what: the child didn’t ASK for conception, but that doesn’t entitle you to take their life away from them over it.

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  39. dahlhowse

    I sincerely doubt the former. Because really, what if I answered no to dying for the embryo AND the newborn?

    Regarding the latter, exactly how much agency? Saying “primitive agency” leaves the door open to interpretation as to what constitutes “primitive agency.”

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  40. Mississippi Yankee

    I’m not entirely sure this is a libertarian issue.

    There appears to be several pro life or anti-abortion “thumbers”.

    The gamut of this discussion has forever been from first cell division to first breath. Everyone in the world falls within those parameters.

    Maybe you’d like to abort me today and I’m like in my 198th trimester.

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  41. CzarChasm

    Religiously-speaking, I am what I describe as a “committed agnostic,” with the oxymoronic nature of the phrase being quite intentional. I am committed to always questioning important subjects is what it means, and being open to both (or all, as the case may be) sides of a given issue. So though I cannot claim a belief in any deity or religion, I am not bothered by people who do believe. Still, religion has played no role whatsoever in my scrutiny of the abortion issue.

    I approach the issue from exactly the opposite direction than anyone I’ve seen here expressing their opinions. I work backwards from the moment before birth when abortion, though still allowed under current law in the US, is nearly universally repugnant due to the unquestionable viability of the overwhelming majority of fetuses of that age, to try to find the point in the gestation when it goes from being repugnant to being just sloughing off of excess cells. Working backwards that way, I have yet to find a point in that continuum where it’s OK, where it’s not a human life. If it’s repugnant at the moment before birth, around 38 weeks for a normal pregnancy, is it not murdering a life at 37 weeks? 36? 26? 20? Pick a number. When you identify the week, then narrow it down to the day, the hour, the minute, the second at which it goes from being not human to being a human being. It cannot ever work out logically to being *not* human. As counter-intuitive as it may be to consider a fertilized egg a real human being, there is no logical, identifiable point in time that it can morph from not being human to being human, so I am anti-abortion. It’s an equation for me. Perhaps one that can’t be fully solved, but one that provides enough resolution on the life side of the equation to go with it.

    Now, that said, I have other reasons for supporting any state that tries to pass and implement anti-abortion legislation. Roe v. Wade was a horrible ruling. It must be challenged, not on religious, or even moral grounds, but on legal and constitutional grounds. As I read through this posting, one thing Poosh said really stood out for me:

    If this bullshit passes, this isn’t democracy this is tyranny from a majority…

    For one thing, democracy is tyranny of the majority. That’s why we in the States are not a democracy, we’re a representative republic, and the differences are not trivial.

    But what Roe represents for us is judicial tyranny over 50 sovereign states, imposed under color of authority that the Constitution neither articulates, nor was ever contemplated for the judiciary.

    While I am not thrilled with the “fertilized egg” language of the proposed MS law, which has apparently already been defeated BTW, I recognize it for what it is; an attempt to put a state law in effect that can challenge Roe and make it to SCOTUS. If it had passed, an injunction would’ve been issued preventing its implementation within hours of the vote certification. It was never going to be implemented. It wasn’t even intended to be, I don’t think. It was simply a test case, and enough fear-mongering of Christians and conservatives and people fed up to their necks with judicial activism served to defeat any chance of getting a challenge to the Supreme Court for probably another few decades.

    If there is a God, He’s probably sad tonight for His own reasons. I’m sad for another in a long line of defeats for liberty and states’ rights. I want those rights and liberties to extend even to pro-choicers. If they’re happy tonight, they obviously don’t reciprocate that sentiment my way.

    CC

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  42. Mississippi Yankee

    We had another ballot initiative about voter ID. Y’all seem to get the election return faster than me, how did it fare?

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  43. CM

    It all comes down to definitions and the reasoning behind them and the reasons for them.
    Not sure what species has to do with anything. I quite clearly said that I was potentially going to be a human being.

    Yeah, ok, just get shitty about it then. Good one.

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  44. CM

    If it’s any consolation Pooh, I think our agreement is pretty limited. I’m rather torn on the issue. As I said though, I think there are a number of other factorsthat need consideration if we doing this solely to determine a position on abortion.

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  45. Poosh

    Red herrings lol. Sure mate. You’re definition of a human life is so vulgar and crude it hurts. A human corpse IS a human being but a dead one? You refuse to think about the philosophical points that are meant to tease out what it means to be a human, and show it’s not simple or easy, and instead decide they’re strawmen arguments or red herrings. Death doesn’t strip a corpse of humanity?

    Fairly sure it does. Whatever makes us human it’s not there when you die. I think that’s pretty obvious. And a corpse has more humanity than a fertilized egg.

    In fact, why even say a fert egg is a “human life” ? Sperm and eggs are just as full of human life it seems to me. They’re alive, technically, and they even have some sort of instinct. But they’re cells, not organisms… Like a fertilised egg. Stop calling it an “organism” – it’s not even a living organism (as we commonly think of organisms) as it can’t survive without the actual human – it’s a single celled organism < calling it what it actually is doesn't suit your purposes though does it? Let's called it an organism.. then a person.. then a CHILD, apparently.

    A cell which looks a lot like any other animal cell, it just had different programming, for that matter.

    Now what moral system do you honour a CELL that cannot breathe, function, exert itself, react to stimulus, utilise a memory, what moral system do you hold this person as worth more dignity and respect than a fully grown amimal which has far more in common with actual human beings?

    You would violate the sovereignty of a living female human being, destroy others rights to use contraception (I presume), destroy the freedom and liberty of others, to save this CELL. That has a 50% chance of naturally dying anyway. It hasn’t even begun to calculate what the hypothetical human being it will create will be constituted of, at that stage.

    The violation of the rights of the unborn is permanent and irrevocable.

    Rights are fictions at the end of the day and man-made (someone said keep the argument secular so i am doing so). We seem to agree the rights to self-expression, property, freedom from unjust violence are “rights”. You would violate all of these rights to project rights onto a … cell…. nice work! Hi five!

    Your use of the term “species”, well I doubt it’s your term, and more something you read, but it was used to manipulate you. Is a singled celled-ogranism part of the elephant species? No it’s a single celled organism which the genetic input to create elephant life. It’s absurd to call this elepthant zygote a “baby elephant” and ditto with your insane claims that a cell is a child.

    What you may be expressing, of course, is the belief that Human Beings, as a species (“movement” is more apt than species as the use of “species” is designed to manipulate), have dominion over the earth, are the superior species, which is why we take priority over animals – and why human life is precious. We build rocket ships, animals don’t. But NOTHING that makes human life ‘sacred’ is present in the zygote, other than raw building blocks, and the spark to begin cell division – which may or may not die naturally in a few days anyway. All your talking about is the potential for a human being to be formed at a later point in time (which may be a few weeks, sure). A hair or any genetic material, in theory, has the potential for human life.

    Most would throw himself in front of a bus to save a child, or even a growing fetus hooked up to a machine dare I say. Kill themselves in other words.

    Would YOU throw yourself in front of a bus and kill yourself, to save a single celled organism on a petri dish? If not then clearly we’re not really thinking about human life or a person are we.

    This is not an argument about abortion. I’m all for making arguments against abortion. This is something very different (and many pro-life supporters know this). So I’m not responding to anti-abortion arguments that you make, as I would agree with them (probably).

    Anyway, it’s 2011, and this is insane. I see no real reverence for human life (what is human life if not the quality of existence of living human beings who interact in the natural, sensible world?) here. All I see are human beings trying to use power, violence and the ballot to dominate and enforce singular thoughts over other human beings. Which is quite a human characteristic, sadly.

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  46. AlexInCT

    I’m not saying I have a nicely packaged binary opinion on the matter. I don’t. I don’t even necessarily agree with John Harris. It’s just opinion, from a piece that contains others.

    Well, it sure sounded to me like you were advocating that you did have a binary opinion. Glad to hear otherwise. I too struggle with this issue and have to be honest and point out that my beliefs are now deeply colored by my personal experience and my adopted son.

    However I certainly don’t consider the rights of embryos to be the same as the rights of humans that have been born.

    The problem with this is that with this logic you try to pretend that an unborn human, even one that could be perfectly viable or kept alive through the marvels of modern medicine, is still a lump of flesh you can discard whenever convenience trumps responsibility by calling it an embryo. It’s a ham-fisted attempt at creating a distinction that serves your ultimate goal/purpose, by ignoring the actual distinctions between that lump of flesh and what it turns into long before it is born. Yes, there is a big difference between the lump of flesh that exists after the sperm fertilizes the egg, but there is no real or significant difference, when it comes to life, with what it turns into in a matter of months, and a baby that has/is born. Calling a viable or a fully formed baby that just hasn’t been born an “embryo” is bullshit.

    So there is no point going down that cul-de-sac Alex.

    I wonder why?

    And the misuse of Marx’s theory is a different topic entirely.

    Actually I find that they go hand in hand with these kinds of discussions. Especially this one.

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  47. CM

    Well, it sure sounded to me like you were advocating that you did have a binary opinion.

    Where?

    The problem with this is that with this logic you try to pretend that an unborn human, even one that could be perfectly viable or kept alive through the marvels of modern medicine, is still a lump of flesh you can discard whenever convenience trumps responsibility by calling it an embryo.

    Er, no, I call it an embryo because that is what it is. Look it up. I’m not denying it’s a human embryo either, before start trying to go down that path. To a certain point, I don’t consider it to be an ‘unborn human’. At an early stage anything could happen that could stop things progressing. It’s only an ‘unborn human’ if it inevitably makes it to birth.
    And “whenever convenience trumps responsibility” sounds suspiciously like you’re employing an ‘emotional argument’ that you deride liberals for. We haven’t even touched on if abortion should only be allowed for medical reasons or not.

    It’s a ham-fisted attempt at creating a distinction that serves your ultimate goal/purpose,

    What is my “ultimate goal/purpose”?

    by ignoring the actual distinctions between that lump of flesh and what it turns into long before it is born.

    Well no, quite clearly I’m doing the opposite and recognising the actual distinctions of what happens from conception onwards.

    Yes, there is a big difference between the lump of flesh that exists after the sperm fertilizes the egg, but there is no real or significant difference, when it comes to life, with what it turns into in a matter of months, and a baby that has/is born.

    Well many people, including me, would disagree with you. It all comes down to what factors you take into account and the definitions you use.

    Calling a viable or a fully formed baby that just hasn’t been born an “embryo” is bullshit.

    Yeah, science (which refers to the period from 5-7 after conception until about the end of the 8th week) is bullshit. We know. You’ve made that clear many times. It’s all a big liberal conspiracy. Blah blah blah.

    I wonder why?

    Are you not following? As I don’t consider the ‘rights’ of zygotes and embryos to be the same as people who are born, there is no slipperly slope. I think the ‘rights’ increase as the pregnancy develops. Nothing I have said would ever remotely justify enslaving billions in prison states. Once born, there is no argument (in my mind) about anyone having fewer rights than anyone else. But that’s not to say that before birth there are no rights. Or even substantially fewer rights.

    Actually I find that they go hand in hand with these kinds of discussions. Especially this one.

    Well let’s get down to it then. Where have I suggested that, after birth, people should have different levels of rights?

    Why does the moment of conception matter? Why not protect eggs and sperm in the same way? After all, if you’re stopping them getting together, you’re stopping life from potentially forming. Who are you to prevent life? Are you God?

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  48. CM

    Feel free to tell us at what point does someone acquire the right to kill someone else, because that is the crux of the situation here. I don’t enjoy the concept that women would have to bear the child against her will, but when comparing egregious violations of rights, the violation of hers is (relatively speaking) temporary and moderate. The violation of the rights of the unborn is permanent and irrevocable. If I had to sit in judgement of such a travesty, it would only be logical to condone the lesser evil in the face of the greater.

    So you are, in effect, determining a hierarchy of rights. You’ve decided which has the superior rights.
    Alex will now tell you that you’ll soon be advocating for the deaths and enslavement of billions of people.

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  49. CzarChasm

    If I thought the law was ever intended to become enforceable, my problem with the language would have been about ambiguities and lack of exceptions and definitions. My statement would’ve been more intensely-stated than just not being “thrilled” with the language. But I don’t see the point in going into much depth about how the proposal might have been worded better since I don’t believe it was ever intended to become enforceable to begin with.

    Gov. Barbour has described his problems with the language, and mine are the same. I think he voted for it for the same reasons I would have too. The language wasn’t as important as having a duly-passed law to challenge Roe with at SCOTUS. But c’est la vie, it didn’t pass, so the language is even more moot now.

    CC

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  50. CM

    Is the language not entirely consistent with the argument though? Murder is murder. There are no exceptions. Isn’t that the whole point? Life starts at conception, and deliberately ending human life is murder. Excuse me if I’m coming across as stupid (it’s not my intention) but wouldn’t exceptions and definitions defeat the entire purpose of the argument?
    Isn’t this why people like Cain are anti-abortion, no exceptions (even in cases of rape)?

    You say you’d have voted for it because it never would have become enforceable, but wouldn’t the result have been extremely important in terms of future campaigning (perhaps elsewhere), and ‘evidence’ of what people think on the issue? How many others would have voted for it on the basis that it wouldn’t be enforceable anyway? Do you think the proponents in future campaigns would be happy to make that distinction?

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  51. CzarChasm

    No exceptions to murder? Wrong. There are myriad ways to legally take a life.

    You say you’d have voted for it because it never would have become enforceable….

    C’mon CM, read a little more carefully. I’d have voted for it because I want a test case to go to SCOTUS, not because it would be unenforceable. It’s only unenforceable because of Roe, so the first step is to get Roe overruled. After that I’ll quibble about language, but for the most part if that ever happens, I’ll only be quibbling if the proposal is in my state. Roe is also what makes this a legitimately national issue. If Roe was gone, so would most of my interest in what other states do concerning abortion be gone too. I might make comment on it in venues such as this, but it would not be from the perspective that it effects me or my family one way or the other.

    Your original question was a valid one CM, and I answered it honestly and politely. But please don’t try to find some inconsistency in my answers and blow the chance to just have an easy going exchange. That never goes particularly well for us.

    CC

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  52. dahlhowse

    How is “synthetic human being” and “cloned human being” not red herrings? There’s NO SUCH THING as a synthetic human being or a cloned human being.

    Zygote, embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, adult, octogenarian, corpse, or what-have-you, They are all the same organism, simply at different stages of development/age. The only notable difference is that the first 8 are alive, but you’ll have me believe that “human” only counts for fetus to octogenarian? Or is it infant to octogenarian? Once you kick the bucket, you’re an ex-human? Before you cross the “agency” line, you’re maybe a potential elephant? That is the gist of your logic here.

    I will NOT stop calling the embryo an organism. It is factually and biologically accurate. Even single cells can be organisms. Some organisms never exceed single cells, and that doesn’t mean that the ones that do aren’t organisms until they grow up. Not living? Then why is it undergoing cellular division? Also, I can’t help it that how YOU “commonly think of organisms” doesn’t align with reality. Being at different stages of development doesn’t mean that the different stages aren’t still the same organism. Living the early stages of our lives in a parasitic fashion ALSO doesn’t mean we aren’t humans.

    What moral system? Maybe universal human rights? American jurisprudence that protects the accused? I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen an animal’s bill of rights yet.

    I would NOT attack the use of contraception. IUD? Fine. Condom? Fine. Pill? Fine. “Morning after” pill? Sorry, that’s not a contraceptive, that’s the earliest-form abortion.

    I’ll have to respond to the rest later.

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  53. CM

    That certainly wasn’t my intention.

    No exceptions to murder? Wrong. There are myriad ways to legally take a life.

    Almost all of them involve mitigating circumstances such as self-defence though, don’t they? Is the argument that if a embryo or fetus puts the mother’s life in danger, she could have it killed in self-defence?

    C’mon CM, read a little more carefully. I’d have voted for it because I want a test case to go to SCOTUS, not because it would be unenforceable.

    Ok, my bad, I didn’t intend to mangle your meaning. What I mean is: you voted for it, even though it wasn’t perfect, because it served a greater purpose (the first step to get Roe overruled). However in promoting their cause, how do the proponents differentiate between those who think it IS perfect, and those who mainly supported them to serve that greater purpose? Obviously this isn’t an argument you’ve made that I’m asking you to defend. It’s a general question. You say you recognized it for what it was, but is that really how proponents saw it (that the detais weren’t as important as the strategy)?

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  54. CM

    The purposes of making a determination on this are entirely related to what people should and should not be able to do. Isn’t that the whole point of the discussion? If it is, then I think it’s far more complicated than JUST considering that that when an egg is fertilised, there is a chance that in 9 months time a baby may be born. If it’s not, then what is the point here?

    I will NOT stop calling the embryo an organism. It is factually and biologically accurate.

    I would NOT attack the use of contraception. IUD? Fine. Condom? Fine. Pill? Fine. “Morning after” pill? Sorry, that’s not a contraceptive, that’s the earliest-form abortion.

    One way in which IUDs work (in addition to impairing the mobility of sperm and preventing them from joining with an egg) is as a foreign body inside the uterus, which irritates the lining and wall, making it hard for an embryo to implant. So they’re effectively working with an “abortion-back-up” (it can even be used as a form of emergency contraception if inserted within three to five days after unprotected intercourse).
    However, does it matter? If you stop the sperm from fertilising the egg, you’re also taking action to prevent life. You’re interfering in a God-like way. Aren’t you? Your action has prevented the potential for life.

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  55. CzarChasm

    Almost all of them involve mitigating circumstances such as self-defence though, don’t they?

    Yes, and that’s my point. One exception, though rare, could be the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother and the abortion is a defensive measure on her behalf. Or a doctor could be performing some unrelated procedure on Mom and the anesthetic or shock to the system or whatever, could induce a spontaneous, “accidental” abortion. All I’m saying is that there are exceptions that should be in place to protect everyone concerned.

    But I don’t know, I haven’t thought out my rationale really, and I haven’t called abortion “murder” to begin with. My views on abortion have evolved from completely ambivalent to where I am able to say unequivocally that I’m against it, but being against it at this point in my evolution, is purely personal. I reserve my political and legal considerations for when they matter; after Roe is overturned. I don’t have to get into all that now, so I don’t burden myself with it beyond just my internal thoughts about it, and I don’t judge anyone who is pro-choice as “murderers” or what have you.

    Is the argument….

    Let’s just stop right there. I’m not trying to “argue” anything. In fact, I’m trying as hard as I can not to. I expressed my opinion(s) and stated why I would support the law even though I don’t think it would’ve ever been implemented unless and until it served up a successful challenge to Roe, which I think is an even longer shot than getting a law like that passed in the first place.

    However in promoting their cause, how do the proponents differentiate between those who think it IS perfect, and those who mainly supported them to serve that greater purpose? ….. You say you recognized it for what it was, but is that really how proponents saw it (that the detais weren’t as important as the strategy)?

    I don’t know that differentiating between groups who both support a given law, but for different reasons, is necessary at all. It’s not for me. As far as how they promoted it in MS, I don’t know, I don’t live there and didn’t see or hear their media spots on it. I doubt anyone was promoting it as a test case against Roe though. It seems reasonable to assume that media spots would promote it on a sanctity-of-life basis no matter how many supporters were operating on the test-case motivation. Not really my concern though.

    CC

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  56. dahlhowse

    …continuing on:

    Rights are fictions? Really? Tell that to the courts and the legislatures of the land. Do you pause long enough to reread/listen to what you write? To wit:

    We seem to agree the rights to self-expression, property, freedom from unjust violence are “rights”.

    …because isn’t an abortion “unjust violence?”

    I’d respond to the condescension regarding “species” being “something I read, but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. Yes, an elephant zygote is an elephant, it is simply very young. An acorn is an oak, just a very young one.

    The “potential” to become what you call a human being is mathematically zero prior to conception. It is mathematically greater than zero after conception. My logic does NOT dictate that a hair (or “genetic material,”) which is NOT a zygote, has the potential to become a human being. Hair isn’t the organism, it is an extraneous (and non-vital, I might add) part of the organism.

    Most would throw himself in front of a bus to save a child, or even a growing fetus hooked up to a machine dare I say. Kill themselves in other words.

    Would YOU throw yourself in front of a bus and kill yourself, to save a single celled organism on a petri dish? If not then clearly we’re not really thinking about human life or a person are we.

    ^^non-sequitur^^

    And finally, my reverence is reserved for justice and equity of treatment.

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  57. dahlhowse

    I’m not sure I follow the first paragraph. Did you mean to quote “I will NOT stop calling the embryo an organism. It is factually and biologically accurate.” and then reply to it?

    Contraception means to prevent conception. I have absolutely no problem with contraceptives. What you’re describing is contragestion, not contraception, and I would challenge any prosecutor to prove in a court of law how the IUD prevents a particular pregnancy, whether it prevented conception vs attachment to the uterine wall, as it’s capable of both. The sole purpose of a morning after pill is not to prevent conception, but to make sure the zygote dies.

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  58. AlexInCT

    Bringing this out CM:

    Er, no, I call it an embryo because that is what it is. Look it up. I’m not denying it’s a human embryo either, before start trying to go down that path. To a certain point, I don’t consider it to be an ‘unborn human’. At an early stage anything could happen that could stop things progressing. It’s only an ‘unborn human’ if it inevitably makes it to birth.

    Nice contortions there. Again, you state that unless it is born it isn’t human and that for 9 months it is a lump of flesh, despite the medical proof that’s not the case.

    And “whenever convenience trumps responsibility” sounds suspiciously like you’re employing an ‘emotional argument’ that you deride liberals for.

    There is nothing emotional about pointing out that the language used by the “abortion on demand” crowd that sees the whole thing as just another form of contraception, is purposefully ambiguous and riddled with contradiction, all so they can avoid the painful responsibilities that come with sex acts, and sex is about reproduction, and not taking preventive measures that will result in conception. It’s only emotional sounding if you have an aversion to logic.

    We haven’t even touched on if abortion should only be allowed for medical reasons or not.

    Hmmm. Are you assuming I am totally against any kind of abortions because I point out that the left seems to want its cake and to eat it too on this subject? Because if you are, then you are making an ass out of you and me as the old saying goes.

    What is my “ultimate goal/purpose”?

    It’s not your purpose, it is that of the pro abortion crowd. Language is used to desensitize people. Even you ought to be able to understand that saying that you abort a fetus, a lump of flesh, is far more palatable than aborting a baby, right? This practice is very old and has practically always been used to get away with something nasty.

    Well no, quite clearly I’m doing the opposite and recognising the actual distinctions of what happens from conception onwards.

    Really? Then why the problem admitting that the fetus, especially with modern medicine, is viable long before it would normally be born? Could it be perhaps because then it results in a problem where you find yourself arguing about when it stops being a lump of flesh and actually turns into a human being, at which point it impacts those that like to have the ability to kill the inconvenient children off up until the last possible moment, and in some cases even beyond that, negatively?

    Well many people, including me, would disagree with you. It all comes down to what factors you take into account and the definitions you use.

    So you are admitting that a word game is being played in order to confuse the issue, on both sides and that because of that a legitimate and sane solution is forever impossible?

    Yeah, science (which refers to the period from 5-7 after conception until about the end of the 8th week) is bullshit. We know. You’ve made that clear many times. It’s all a big liberal conspiracy. Blah blah blah.

    Ah, so now babies are born after 8 weeks? What is it called after those 8 weeks? According to you it is a fetus until it is born, and that science you claim to take more seriously than me has pretty obviously concluded that the human gestation period is 9 months. That’s some 27 or 28 weeks or so during which pro abortionists still claim it is a lump of flesh and no more. Blah, blah, blah indeed.

    Are you not following? As I don’t consider the ‘rights’ of zygotes and embryos to be the same as people who are born, there is no slipperly slope.

    So the guy that says that he doesn’t consider someone group he doesn’t think is human’s rights to be the same as those of humans is wrong why? After all, like you, he just chose to say that unless some clearly convenient/inconvenient condition is met, those affected by his removal of their rights, really didn’t lose anything….

    I think the ‘rights’ increase as the pregnancy develops.

    Now we are talking.

    Nothing I have said would ever remotely justify enslaving billions in prison states.

    The ideology you ascribe to has however done just that, and done it often by declaring others to have fewer rights. There are other examples. Slavery comes to mind. Eugenics is another.

    Once born, there is no argument (in my mind) about anyone having fewer rights than anyone else.

    I am glad that you at least are honest enough to admit that the bar you ascribe to on this topic is in your mind CM. I respect that admission immensely. My problem is with where that bar gets placed and why. Like you I do not think a lump of flesh is aware of it’s existence, but there is a lot of proof that it is long before it is born, and that makes it a human being long before birth.

    But that’s not to say that before birth there are no rights. Or even substantially fewer rights.

    Those that argue the hardest for abortion say there are none, CM. Just like those that want to pass this law and claim it’s immediately a human even before it is aware it exists.

    Well let’s get down to it then. Where have I suggested that, after birth, people should have different levels of rights?

    This a straw man? Because I did not accuse you of this at all. I pointed out that on the topic of abortion, IN GENERAL, the arbitrary thresholds of where rights begin, what’s a human and what’s not, and why anything should be able to be aborted before some arbitrary line that clearly is arbitrary despite all the effort to obfuscate that, sets a very bad precedent. One that has already been abused, often, and we have lots of history to show that’s the case.

    Why does the moment of conception matter? Why not protect eggs and sperm in the same way? After all, if you’re stopping them getting together, you’re stopping life from potentially forming. Who are you to prevent life?

    So now you are making my argument against the people that think this way for me? Check.

    Are you God?

    No, I am more like king Leonidas according to the harvest fair card reader. All kidding aside, I have had many women, including my wife, whom married me because of that, scream that at me in the throes of passion. So who am I to deny it. Maybe I should explore that option some more…. [SMILE]

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  59. Kimpost

    Nice contortions there. Again, you state that unless it is born it isn’t human and that for 9 months it is a lump of flesh, despite the medical proof that’s not the case.

    Seriously, where does your idiocy stem from? It’s getting fucking old. CM’s never suggested anything even remotely close to that.

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  60. AlexInCT

    My comment:

    The problem with this is that with this logic you try to pretend that an unborn human, even one that could be perfectly viable or kept alive through the marvels of modern medicine, is still a lump of flesh you can discard whenever convenience trumps responsibility by calling it an embryo.

    CM’s response:

    Er, no, I call it an embryo because that is what it is. Look it up. I’m not denying it’s a human embryo either, before start trying to go down that path.

    I say that if you call it a lump of flesh, an embryo, until it is born it is a problem, and CM says no it is not.

    What is getting old is you being constantly wrong.

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  61. CM

    Alex, you’re just so blatantly and consistently dishonest there is no point having discussions with you. All I end up doing is just trying to correct your dishonesty, so we don’t even get to discuss the topic. Others (even those who share your general opinions) are able to discuss things without such constant dishonesty. Why can’t you? Why are you inherently incapable of being honest?

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  62. AlexInCT

    So you are telling me that what I cut & pasted there isn’t up there in your post and that it wasn’t until I cornered you that you backtracked? Check. I will let people do the reading and conclude for themselves.

    Coming from a douche like you I think nobody else will be fooled about who is full of shit and who is not, except for your budy Kimpost and your new fround love interest, manwhore.

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  63. CM

    Yeah it’s everyone else’s fault but yours Alex. You’ve spent a lifetime convincing yourself of that, so there’s no way you’re going to consider any other option now. But the fact remains – you’re dishonest over and over and over and over again. It’s so very banal and tiresome. We can’t even get to the substantive part of any discussion because you make it impossible. Others don’t do it. So it’s nothing to do with what ‘side’ someone is on, or the strength of the disagreement.

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  64. AlexInCT

    Yeah it’s everyone else’s fault but yours Alex.

    Actually I said no such thing. I just pointed out that the only people that constantly complain and falsely claim I am lying, seem to be a select few that seem obligated to do so due to ideology. Take that however you want, but that’s the facts.

    You’ve spent a lifetime convincing yourself of that, so there’s no way you’re going to consider any other option now.

    Looking in the mirror when you typed that?

    But the fact remains – you’re dishonest over and over and over and over again.

    Actually the fact remains that I am not the only one calling you on the bullshit, yet you seem impervious to this and continue to say false shit like the above about me because you hope somehow someone else will believe that.

    It’s so very banal and tiresome.

    Not as tiresome as having to constantly point out whom the factually challenged people are.

    We can’t even get to the substantive part of any discussion because you make it impossible.

    Oh my, that one made me fucking laugh. You do know that there are people here that totally avoid commenting because they simply do not want to deal with your sorry ass?

    Others don’t do it.

    No, they avoid you. Maybe I am stupid for not just ignoring your stupid ass.

    So it’s nothing to do with what ‘side’ someone is on, or the strength of the disagreement.

    Erm, yes it does. Deny all you want, but it is obvious.

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  65. CM

    Actually I said no such thing. I just pointed out that the only people that constantly complain and falsely claim I am lying, seem to be a select few that seem obligated to do so due to ideology. Take that however you want, but that’s the facts.

    I don’t know why other’s don’t pick you up on it. Perhaps because they just don’t give a shit (it’s harder to give a shit when they share a similar political philosophy – you’ll see many people getting away with ridiculous shit on lefty forums because the other lefties don’t pick them up on it).

    Actually the fact remains that I am not the only one calling you on the bullshit,

    Where? Give me some examples.

    yet you seem impervious to this and continue to say false shit like the above about me because you hope somehow someone else will believe that

    Where did I say “false shit” about you? Your post starting with “Bringing this out CM:” is just so ridiculous it’s impossible to respond to without the whole discussion becoming about something entirely different (me asking you not to keep being dishonest and you saying “no you are” in response, like a 9 year old). As I’ve pointed out. But then that’s what you do. Constantly. That’s your MO. I’d bet a large amount of money that I’m far from the first from getting so tired with it, and yet I’d also bet a large amount of money that you’d take that as a ‘win’. How can it be any sort of ‘win’ when you’ve relied so heavily on dishonesty? Unless ‘the win’ is all that matters?

    Not as tiresome as having to constantly point out whom the factually challenged people are.

    Ok, there we go then. You’ve set yourself the challenge. Point out where I’ve been ‘factually challenged’ in this thread. Go. I’m waiting.

    Oh my, that one made me fucking laugh. You do know that there are people here that totally avoid commenting because they simply do not want to deal with your sorry ass?

    Sure, why not. Doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that we can never get to the substantive part of any discussion because you make it impossible.

    No, they avoid you. Maybe I am stupid for not just ignoring your stupid ass.

    As I’ve been involved in a large number of discussions on a whole range of topics with conservatives over the years, that’s clearly not the case. You don’t seem to understanding this part of what I’m saying.

    Erm, yes it does. Deny all you want, but it is obvious.

    Ok, so apparently you can’t even conceive that it would be even possible to have a reasonable discussion with anyone who thinks differently to you. Thanks for admitting it. That’s the first step. However I think you’re far too old to get any further with it. Old dog. New trick.

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  66. CM

    Ok so I’ve taken the time to respond to this post now….

    Nice contortions there. Again, you state that unless it is born it isn’t human and that for 9 months it is a lump of flesh, despite the medical proof that’s not the case.

    Where is the contortion? I most certainly did not call it “a lump of flesh” until the moment of birth. I used the proper terms. Why quote “medical proof” if you’re going to completely ignore the medical terms?

    There is nothing emotional about pointing out that the language used by the “abortion on demand” crowd that sees the whole thing as just another form of contraception, is purposefully ambiguous and riddled with contradiction, all so they can avoid the painful responsibilities that come with sex acts, and sex is about reproduction, and not taking preventive measures that will result in conception. It’s only emotional sounding if you have an aversion to logic.

    Of course you’re employing an emotional argument. The “convenience” argument is completely lacking in emotion. You’ve delberately framed it that way so your argument can appear to be stronger BECAUSE OF EMOTION. How can you not see that?
    And why are you attributing to me language used by what you call the “abortion on demand” crowd? You said:

    The problem with this is that with this logic you try to pretend that an unborn human, even one that could be perfectly viable or kept alive through the marvels of modern medicine, is still a lump of flesh you can discard whenever convenience trumps responsibility by calling it an embryo.

    Where did I suggest that before birth there exists simply a lump of flesh that should be able to be discarded whenever convenience trumps responsibility? Because I called it an embryo (you know, the correct scientific/medical term)? How does that work? I’ll tell you. It only works if you’re being dishonest about the position I’ve put forward on the issue.

    Hmmm. Are you assuming I am totally against any kind of abortions because I point out that the left seems to want its cake and to eat it too on this subject? Because if you are, then you are making an ass out of you and me as the old saying goes.

    Where the fuck did I assume such a thing? By saying: “We haven’t even touched on if abortion should only be allowed for medical reasons or not”? Again, that only ‘works’ if you’re being dishonest. And not only that, you’re being dishonest and throwing out an insult based on the dishonesty.

    It’s not your purpose, it is that of the pro abortion crowd.

    You specifically said it was my purpose Alex. You said: “It’s a ham-fisted attempt at creating a distinction that serves your ultimate goal/purpose”. AGAIN, blatant dishonesty.

    Language is used to desensitize people. Even you ought to be able to understand that saying that you abort a fetus, a lump of flesh, is far more palatable than aborting a baby, right?

    Even me? What is the point of saying that? Weren’t we starting to have an insult-free discussion for once? Why on earth would you feel the need to add that?

    Sure, of course it’s more palatable. But being “more palatable” doesn’t improve the quality of the argument. It doesn’t HAVE to be remotely relevant. And I’m not advocating what we should all call it, and make rules based on that. I’m providing my own opinion. I’ve even specifically pointed that out. More than once. And yet you seem to be wanting to argue against what OTHERS are saying or have said. Against people not even on this blog.

    This practice is very old and has practically always been used to get away with something nasty.

    My opinion on this should be determined by the use of language and how old the practice of using language to desensitize people is? Huh?

    Sorry, again, please try sticking to what I’ve actually said. As I specifically pointed out – we hadn’t even touched on if abortion should only be allowed for medical reasons or not. Or when.

    Really?

    Yes, really. If you’ve got evidence that my distinctions are wrong (e.g. that zygotes are called something else, and embryos are something entirely different) then please educate me.

    Then why the problem admitting that the fetus, especially with modern medicine, is viable long before it would normally be born?

    Where did I have a problem admitting that? Why do you need to invent a ‘problem’? A baby isn’t ‘viable’ (of being born) until about 26 weeks (AFAIK). Where have I ever suggested that a fetus at 26 weeks has no rights? Or advocated ANY POSITION AT ALL at 26 weeks?

    Could it be perhaps because then it results in a problem where you find yourself arguing about when it stops being a lump of flesh and actually turns into a human being, at which point it impacts those that like to have the ability to kill the inconvenient children off up until the last possible moment, and in some cases even beyond that, negatively?

    I don’t care about affecting people negatively. It plays no part whatsoever in my opinion on the matter. Does it play a part in yours? If so, why?

    The development from conception to birth isn’t binary, it’s obviously a progression. I’ve effectively acknowledged as much (as much as one can ‘acknowledge’ inarguable reality) when I said I thought rights should get stronger as the development progresses. Given this, if one is going to allow abortion (to any degree) lines have to be drawn. Exceptions can be decided upon, but when regular situations occur (no medical or other reasons to make it different from any other case) then a cut-off point is required. I don’t have a problem with the fact that a cut-off for abortion-on-demand is required. I understand that others do, and I understand why. However for me there are other factors that require consideration.

    So you are admitting that a word game is being played in order to confuse the issue, on both sides and that because of that a legitimate and sane solution is forever impossible?

    I’m not arguing one side or the other, I’m just writing my thoughts up on a blog. This is one of your central problems – you always just assume I’m arguing 1 or 0. Maybe it’s because you’re an engineer, I don’t know (some of the engineers I know seem to operate in binary).

    I’m not sure what you mean by “legitimate and sane solution”. I don’t think there will ever be agreement on the issue though, if that’s what you mean.

    Ah, so now babies are born after 8 weeks?

    More dishonesty. I never claimed any such thing.

    What is it called after those 8 weeks?

    A fetus. And I’m not making that up. That’s what it’s called.

    According to you it is a fetus until it is born,

    Nothing to do with me. That’s what it’s called. What have I got to do with that? Why would you say “according to you”? What is the point? You know full well I didn’t come up with the term. Ridiculous.

    and that science you claim to take more seriously than me has pretty obviously concluded that the human gestation period is 9 months.

    Science has ‘concluded’ it? Um, no, we don’t need to defer to what science says (or concludes) on that – it’s 9 months no matter if you ignore everything scientific.

    That’s some 27 or 28 weeks or so during which pro abortionists still claim it is a lump of flesh and no more. Blah, blah, blah indeed.

    Where have I ever claimed that it’s just “a lump of flesh” beyond any particular point? Either in name or in terms of what it actually means? I don’t just call it an embryo and that’s the end of the matter. Making out that I do, or have, is just dishonest.

    So the guy that says that he doesn’t consider someone group he doesn’t think is human’s rights to be the same as those of humans is wrong why?

    Is that a sentence of just a collection of random words?
    Can you try it again?

    After all, like you, he just chose to say that unless some clearly convenient/inconvenient condition is met, those affected by his removal of their rights, really didn’t lose anything….

    Who said that? What has that got to do with me?

    Now we are talking.

    Does this mean the previous response in your post doesn’t apply (because you now understand)? If so, why did you still post all that?

    The ideology you ascribe to has however done just that, and done it often by declaring others to have fewer rights. There are other examples. Slavery comes to mind. Eugenics is another.

    What ideology do I subscribe to? What ideas do I have that have come directly from some evil person, and which means I necessarily have to agree with bad things done by bad people?

    What have my comments on this issue to do with any political (I assume) ideology? We’re talking about a specific part of a specific topic.

    I am glad that you at least are honest enough to admit that the bar you ascribe to on this topic is in your mind CM. I respect that admission immensely. My problem is with where that bar gets placed and why. Like you I do not think a lump of flesh is aware of it’s existence, but there is a lot of proof that it is long before it is born, and that makes it a human being long before birth.

    So what the hell are you talking about with all that “followers of Marx sure gave that all one heck of a go and over 100 million people died and billions ended up stuck living in rpison states” crap? How is that relevant to my thoughts on this specific issue? Why all the dishonesty? Why on earth waste all that time and effort on it?

    I also have issues over where the bar gets placed. Unless it’s at conception it’s always going to be at somewhat of an arbitrary point.

    In terms of “being aware of its existence” I’m not sure where the science is on that (I mean it’s not until about 18 months of age that kids realise they are separate from their parents, so how do you define “aware of its existence”?). But yeah something like that might be one factor in determining where that bar should be placed (IMHO).

    Those that argue the hardest for abortion say there are none, CM. Just like those that want to pass this law and claim it’s immediately a human even before it is aware it exists.

    Argue against them then. Don’t be dishonest and pretend I’m making the same arguments so you can attack my comments.

    This a straw man? Because I did not accuse you of this at all.

    You said it went hand in hand. You said I could justify a lot of shit once I decided some people are not human, completely human, “or thus really enowed with any rights”. Then you compared me to the followers of Marx. How else was I meant to take it? Please explain.

    I pointed out that on the topic of abortion, IN GENERAL, the arbitrary thresholds of where rights begin, what’s a human and what’s not, and why anything should be able to be aborted before some arbitrary line that clearly is arbitrary despite all the effort to obfuscate that, sets a very bad precedent.

    So where have I tried to say the line isn’t arbitrary? If you were talking “in general” then why are you having a go at MY specific comments on this issue? You’ve made it clear in your wording that it’s ME you’re talking about.

    So now you are making my argument against the people that think this way for me? Check.

    This comment demonstrates that you haven’t even been paying attention to what you’ve been responding to.

    No, I am more like king Leonidas according to the harvest fair card reader. All kidding aside, I have had many women, including my wife, whom married me because of that, scream that at me in the throes of passion. So who am I to deny it. Maybe I should explore that option some more…. [SMILE]

    Even if I make that sort of comment as a joke, I would hope someone would immediately punch me in the face. (Same as if I ever claimed to be “running rings”, or otherwise winning on the internet, or boasting about wealth etc etc)

    Anyway, this is why I didn’t see any point in responding to the post. All those words and all that time and yet the discussion has gone nowhere because I’ve just spent the entire time trying to correct your dishonesty.

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