Are we talking past each other on abortion? What is your understanding of the issues?

Simply state what you think are the underlying arguments in the abortion debate.

Tags: abortion, abortion ad nauseum

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As I understand it, the underlying issues are:

1) Is a foetus a human being?
2) Is a foetus a person?
3) Is there equivilence between human being and person?
4) What are the rights, if any, of a foetus?
5) What are the rights of a pregnant woman?
6a) If a foetus has rights, are they equivilent to those of a pregnant woman?
6b) If they are equivilent, does that equivilence result in an unjust trumping of one's rights over the other's?

For ease of discussion, my position on these questions will follow below as replies to this.
Some quick ones I have to go soon.

1) Is a foetus a human being? Yes see biology. Singer and Boonin have no problem with this.

2) Is a foetus a person? Yes but I'm doing my own novel work on this and haven't published

3) Is there equivilence between human being and person? Yes with qualifications along the lines of brain death etc From my work a normal Homo Sapiens is a person by definition.

4) What are the rights, if any, of a foetus? 1st 2 points we should in our moral judgment be consistent and non arbitrary and treat like things alike.

I use this and the no relevant dividing line argument -regardless of the personhood justification- if we are to give equal moral rights to ourselves and non person infants we should to be consistent prima facie give equal moral rights to all normal -non brain dead- prenatals.

BTW Technically I’m not Pro-Life but a wannabe secular Jainist.

5) What are the rights of a pregnant woman? As above + bodily autonomy all things being equal.

6a) If a foetus has rights, are they equivilent to those of a pregnant woman? Basic rights yes.

6b) If they are equivilent, does that equivilence result in an unjust trumping of one's rights over the other's?

Depends for whom, if a entity has equal moral consideration and a moral agent has placed that entity in a state of dependence it is owed compensation. Compensation is useless to the dead so the only relevant compensation to a foetus is continued existence in the offending party’s body & that overrides bodily autonomy in a similar fashion that IMO an attackers basic right to life or freedom from harm are abrogated to a relevant degree when relating to self defence.
Have to run.
I OWE a fetus compensation for having come into existence within the lining of my uterus? Pull the other one, it's get bells on!
Thank you.
Second that.
1) Is a foetus a human being?

It is easy to differentiate between, say, a cat and a human being. Even a chimpanzee and a human being. But we make such distinctions primarily based on the physical form of the born individuals. If I ask you to imagine a chimpanzee and a human being, it is likely that you will not think of either individual in their foetal state.



From the photos above, it is very difficult to identify which is the foetus of the human and which the foetus of the chimpanzee. Does it matter? Not really. The physical form, in and of itself, is a poor reason to oppose or support the abortion of pregnancy of female members of H. sapiens.

A simple definition is a member of the species Homo sapiens. Clearly, a foetus contains all the genetic information required to be identified as H. sapiens, but does it follow that the foetus is a human being? I don't know. Nor do I think it ultimately matters. The status of human being is not relevant to me in this discussion. What matters is personhood.

By the way, the first photo is of a chimpanzee foetus, the second of a human foetus.
There are different uses of the term human being in the lit. Many -and I'm one of them- use it as a member of the species Homo Sapiens not to signify a human cogntive person.
A simple definition is a member of the species Homo sapiens.

OK, I can see why that, on the outside, looks simple. Now define "species". Which of the 13 or so widely variant species definitions are you using?
2) Is a foetus a person?

A person is any being that possesses self-awareness or is a rational being. Under such a definition, a foetus is not a person, as it possesses neither of these qualities.
Tooley raises the question what is important in deciding when a thing is a person, the capacity or the actualisation? As far as I'm concerned you are what you can do not hat you are currently doing and my own work expands on this from a Teleological/Ontological perspective.
A person is any being that possesses self-awareness or is a rational being.

So, are the fundamentalist religious not people then? =P

@Stephen Moore ..A person has self awareness, until that it is a potential person.

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