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Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Three Minute Abortion Debate

Interested in a quick discourse of the most common points by both sides, with no religion involved?

Bruce Bethke has a super overview here.

Stunning. Check it out.

Hat Tip:The Physicist's Perspective


  • I've always found the pro-life side much easier to argue. But that doesn't mean I agree.

    None of this gets around the single cell issue or health of the mother. I agree with pro-life crowd up to a point -- I'm certainly to the "right" of current law -- but never promote the extreme positions of the hardcore conservatives.

    I think there is a compromise here, somewhere. Until both sides develop the maturity to see the big picture we'll have to live with the status quo -- let the individual figure out the morality for herself.

    By Blogger Mark, at 3/10/2005 07:15:00 PM  

  • I remember your single-cell post, and have thought about it. I'm still fuzzy on why you don't like the moment of conception as a "line". After all, a line has to be drawn at some point - it is currently drawn at the baby 100% out of the woman's body (99% it can still be killed). A gestational day is not a true line, as every baby does not develop on exactly the same timeline. Hence, the line between a cell with the potential to be a baby without any outside interference and one without that potential seems logical.

    Health of the mother? I thought this article addressed it. What health? Who determines it? What beyond maternal death is worth the death of the baby? What do you propose, if you don't like "the extreme positions of the hardcore conservatives"? On this issue, I am one of them - they do have tangible answers, you must admit.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/11/2005 03:40:00 PM  

  • Perhaps you have found the pro-life side much easier to argue because it actually makes sense. The single cell issue is a non-issue...nothing but a subterfuge. I'll guarantee that were I to pour poison into a pond containing the eggs of the "rare" cross-eyed frog, there'd be none of this silly business about single cells; I'd be hauled before a court, fined many thousands of dollars, and get laughed out of court if that were my defense.
    It'd be equally laughable, if it weren't so tragic, to even suggest that "health of the mother" accounts for more than a tiny, tiny fraction of abortions; if that were true, there'd be people clamoring to high heaven for better health care and treatment for Mothers-to- be. Can't you just see the headlines...thousands upon thousands of mothers, each year, weeping on the capital steps "I had to sacrifice my baby so that I might live!" Simply ridiculous!
    You "think" there is a compromise "somewhere" because the issue is exactly where you want it to be. Heck...I'll "negotiate" until the cows come home as long as there is no movement from the place I want to be. How about, in the name of the "children"--since this is a cause tossed around so casually--we ban abortion right NOW...until we become mature enough to find this compromise somewhere? And I've asked you about we compromise at 2 months, 3 months, 4.5 months...half-way even...and consider all abortions after that an act of murder. Surely, then, it is a less murder than if I "aborted" my obnoxious neighbor.
    And the "individual morality" doesn't stand up either. Would you, as a member of a jury, vote me innocent if I told you my "individual morality" to was to not put up with drug dealing that killed teenagers and I blew the brains out of the dope dealer on my street? Tell me if you do...gather a couple dozen more supporters of "individual morality" and I'll go clean somewhere a little.

    No Mark, your position is a false one. It doesn't matter what label you try to put on it...or onto those who oppose it...if it walks like murder, talks like murder, and smells like IS murder.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 3/12/2005 11:40:00 PM  

  • Hammer,

    You had it right the first time. If anything, anywhere has a true "beginning", it is the conception.
    We could argue this issue forever and pro-choicers would just be delighted---and we'd accomplish nothing. We're just fiddling while Rome burns...or arguing about the sex of Angels while barbarians gather at the gate.
    And of course you won't be surprised to find that you won't be given extra credit for finding a "non-religious" argument against abortion. The truth is, without that religious argument, it doesn't matter one whit if we kill one or a million...NOT ONE WHIT.
    You know I believe in such a way that I consider those who say they don't to be in denial. And you also know that my belief in God means that it would be pointless for me to attempt to force this belief on someone else...I could never do it any more than I could ever come between God and man. My philosophy is be honest...honest with yourself and others. Trying picking any point in the argument for abortion that think is honest...and tell me what it is.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 3/13/2005 12:12:00 AM  

  • Come now, David, you can do better than that. "I'll guarantee that were I to pour poison into a pond containing the eggs of the "rare" cross-eyed frog, there'd be none of this silly business about single cells..." No one said a fertilized egg wasn't a potential human life. In your example, only the potential is important.

    Hammer, I don't know were to draw the line. That's kind of the point. The single, fertilized cell isn't a human being and you know it -- it's just the most convenient place to draw a line.

    I'd have to do more research, but I'd personally put the line somewhere in the six to twelve week period.

    Like I said, there is real room for compromise here, but as long as people reject the morning after pill and take other hardlined, unreasonable positions we'll never find it.

    (Yes, there is movement needed from the left as well, obviously....)

    By Blogger Mark, at 3/13/2005 05:50:00 PM  

  • "No one said a fertilized egg wasn't a potential human life."

    On the contrary, I'm saying it isn't a potential human life...I'm saying it IS human life.

    "Come now, David, you can do better than that."

    Mark, please keep this in mine: Though I like passion in a debate and in this medium I like to be a little hyperbolic, I have nothing to gain by alienating or irritating you or any one else because, the truth be known, we need as many honest thinkers as we can muster; barring that, we need to be protected from the enactment of laws that attempt to subjugate us---and we're sure getting thin in that regard.
    But what I see here is a dodge. Did you dispute the supposition? Did you refute the statement that I'd be subject to serious penalties if I were to even do something like disturb an eagle's nest---let alone crush the egg just after it was laid? What do you think the repercussions would be if I did so much as fill in a wet land that had the potential to be a nesting site for a rare fowl?
    But we are making progress. We now have a window of agreement... a six to twelve week period!'ve got it. I'll give you the full 12 weeks...I'll even give you another, make it 13 to remove any doubt. Will you now join me in calling for a ban on abortion after that period? Will you raise your voice against what we now, given our agreement, must call murder? Will you sign, date, and mail a letter that I send to you stating:

    "My Dear Congressman,
    I wish to press upon you our urgent need to grant the same protection under the law to our children that we now grant accused murderers? I beseech you to ensure that the due process that assures life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness be given to everyone----even those yet unable to make their case themselves? Although I now speak for just myself, I intend to persuade as many people as possible to join me in support of the political candidate that recognizes this tragedy and seeks diligently to end it!"

    Yours truly
    Mark Blogger
    (except that I'd leave a place for your real name and address :).

    It is wonderfully uplifting when people can put aside their petty political differences and work together for the protection of the most innocent among us...isn't it Mark?

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 3/13/2005 06:42:00 PM  

  • Hammer,

    it is currently drawn at the baby 100% out of the woman's body (99% it can still be killed).

    And it won't stop there. We're just a few pen strokes away from "pro-choice" to "quality of life".
    You can't reason with it and you can't appease it. God won't stop it because that's not His know how He settles things.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 3/13/2005 07:06:00 PM  

  • David, your whole species argument is based on potential life.

    Say the Earth was destroyed by I somehow survived with human embryos I could 'grow' to replenish my race. I'd protect them with all my life! The survival of humanity rests on these!

    Do you think that proves your point?

    But what I only had eggs and sperm. I'd protect those equally strongly, as they still represent the survival of my species! Nothing changed, from the point of view of potential human life, but I assume you don't think those eggs and sperm qualify as humans, right?

    If you are arguing that potential human life is all that matters than go ahead and say it. I believe this is the official Catholic position, which is why (among other reasons) they are against birth control. But I don't believe that is what you mean to say. That is why your analogy doesn't hold up.

    By Blogger Mark, at 3/14/2005 03:19:00 PM  

  • Mark, I like...I like very much! My argument has nothing to do with potential life. The reference to frog eggs and wetlands was intended to point out the inconsistencies in reasoning when it comes to the law about such matters; the wetlands analogy, in particular, illustrates this. We go along with laws that restrict a landowners' use of his land based on its "potential" nesting site...that is, a bird might land in it. Yet, we allow the destruction of life that is clearly not "potential" but is--and can only be--a human (or dozens of them if you want to say that).
    The nub of the problem here may be the definition of "potential". When I use the term potential, I mean there is possibility....maybe it will happen, maybe it won' the sperm cell or the egg. But an embryo is no longer a possibility, it is a done is life.
    But you know what? I am so passionate about the issue that you have me over a barrel a distinct disadvantage, so I give up. I'll even support laws against masturbation or midnight discharges if that is what it takes. I'll widen that line from puberty to 13 weeks if we can just get a consensus---we'll begin enforcement at once.
    Mark...I'm sure you know I'm being tongue in cheek here. But doesn't it eat at you to think that right now...perhaps this minute, there is a child...a child that has hiccupped, sucked its thumb, and listened to it's Mother's heart beat for several months, is getting it's brains sucked out through a straw. And through our silence, and through our tax payer support to institutions that at least tacitly endorse abortion, we're allowing it to happen...and we're allowing it to happen based on false arguments that we'd never tolerate were they applied to any other condition. No...there are forces here at work that have nothing to do with choice or freedom; and I have no doubt that every one on both sides know it.

    By Blogger David Hunley, at 3/14/2005 04:59:00 PM  

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