I just came from this group as I was intrigued how one could be Anti Choice without also believing that a soul is created at the moment of conception. I mean isn't that the only real basis for being Anti Choice? If not then I guess the argument is that Society should intervene in an adult Woman's reproductive rights and force her to carry a child to term because...... I just don't know? Doesn't it have to be that something magical happens at conception and that the rights of a zygote now trumps those of a living, breathing, self aware adult woman, capable of feeling fear, and pain. Where does the logic come from to say such a thing? Well it turns out the question of the why of their position, is not much appreciated in the Pro life Nonbelievers group, as I found out. I stupidly replied to the post of "Why are so many Atheists pro abortion?" with the logic of such a position, and was informed they don't want any debate on the subject, they just want to chill with others who believe the same thing, which kind of begs the question, why ask such a thing in the first place, unless all you want to hear in return is something along the lines of "I know huh". I guess the only thing to take away from all this is the understanding that people can take more than just the existence of God on blind faith.

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Tags: abortion, pro-choice, pro-life

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Comment by Kozz on January 25, 2009 at 1:10am
Alien,

I can appreciate you playing devil's advocate, it can be quite fun:), but I am aware of all the arguments from the other side, and they are not that convincing. You bring up one of the main one about compassion for the fetus over the mother. I would just submit that this is simply not a rational argument. We can know beyond any doubt that there is no thought, no pain in a fetus of sufficient youth. Thoughtful people can argue at which point in a pregnancy abortion should no longer be allowed, but thoughtful people can't argue that a 2 day old zygote is something inherently more special than a sperm or an egg cell, unless they have some magical belief about their union.

As for reason, it's a good thing most things in this world don't require "pure" reason. Just plain old reason has been good enough for making candles to computers to spaceships. and where reason is clouded by emotion, desires or needs, it is usually pretty easy to identify, just look at the pro-lifers ;)
Comment by Kozz on January 24, 2009 at 3:46pm
Lone Wolf,,

Your disagreement with Rosemary is I think purely semantic. Take even the most ardent pro-choice advocate and they would probably admit that in a perfect world it would be preferable to not destroy a potential human life, but this really has nothing to do with the debate. It's not a perfect world. Women do get pregnant at very bad times in their lives. There are uncounted numbers of unwanted children. The consequences of making abortion illegal, do have severe consequences for the health of not only the women involved, but for the society that will punish these women, perhaps removing them from their existing families.

In other words you seem no different than almost anyone who is in fact pro-choice, since you do support a women's right to choose. No one is standing up and applauding every time an abortion is performed.
Comment by Kozz on January 24, 2009 at 3:37pm
Alien,

And values come down to reason and compassion (or to superstition but that's another matter). I would love to hear a reasonable argument for forcing women in a free society to carry a child to term simply because two cells, which are discarded themselves by the uncounted trillions every day, have happened to come together. I would also love to hear any practical reasons it makes sense to try and control the sex lives of women, with the resulting legal, and social implications implicit in such an idea. and finally, I would welcome arguments that it is more compassionate to favor the feelings and well being of a clump of cells much smaller than what exists in the brain of a fly, over the well being of a grown self aware human being with the complex emotions and feelings that we are all familiar with.

So yeah, as I said, I would love to hear these arguments you allude to. But as of yet neither you or they have stated any, even on the group itself. I'll be waiting, because as you said they must surely exist, as God must surely exist because there are people who believe in him.
Comment by Lone Wolf on January 23, 2009 at 10:36pm
Rosemary: You are dead wrong. An atheist can come to the conclusion that abortion is wrong with out being a chauvinist or being from a religious background. Example: Me.
However I am not for anti-abortion laws, abortion should be legal. I do think its wrong but I think allot of things are wrong and not all of them should be illegal. Just cause I think somethings wrong dose not mean it should be illegal.
Comment by Kozz on January 23, 2009 at 10:00pm
Rosemary,
Yeah once a Muslim always a Muslim right? They make the Christian lack of toleration for Apostasy look tame by comparison, unless we go back a few centuries. It's their claim to fame for both of glorious institutions. Cheers

Alien,
I use anti-choice because pro-life implies the pro-choice camp must be anti-life which is a vast misrepresentation of their position. A much more accurate reflection of the two sides is pro-choice and anti-choice. And I don't doubt they have these Atheists have their reasons, I just question whether they could be based on anything logical and practical.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 23, 2009 at 9:40pm
BTW, I left out those atheists of Muslim background who might still believe in forced pregnancies. That is probably because I have never met an ex-Muslim who has not been through a very thorough and extremely serious de-conversion experience.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 23, 2009 at 9:37pm
I recently watched a video where that very question was asked of a group of anti-abortionists. They were all extremely uncomfortable when the legal consequences of their position was pointed out. When it came to the crunch they did not believe that the woman having the abortion should be tried for murder or, if in California, murdered by the State in retribution.

Which is all fuel for the contention that the forced pregnancy position is an un-thought-out kneejerk emotional position.
Comment by Kozz on January 23, 2009 at 9:28pm
Yes I would think most of these pro life Atheists would fall into the previously Catholic or Evangelical group, who have not yet been able to drop that part of their faith. The other two groups you describe I would think to be extremely rare in the Atheist community. I would just love to ask one question of any pro-lifer, Atheist or not. What should we do to women and doctors caught performing abortions in a society in which they are illegal. If the answer is anything less than try them for murder, then they themselves consider the fetus less than fully human, and should be able to compromise on a time period. And if the answer is "try them for murder", then that is a vision of a society I really don't want to contemplate.

As zeemal if said, I hope they chime in, I'm interested.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 23, 2009 at 7:43pm
My hunch is that there are two kinds of atheists who are anti-Choice when it comes to abortion:

1. Atheists who wish to control others, especially women.

This includes those who are blatantly misogynist (almost entirely men) as well as those who take a more subtle position (often women).

An example of the first type showed up on one of the AN "Are there any Pro-Life Atheist" forums lately. After exhausting all of his quasi-rational arguments he dissolved into "yelling" that all people who believed that there were some instances were abortion was the lesser of two evils were "murders", a label which he refused to give to himself in spite of his willing participation in the killing activities of American soldiers. The final nail in his coffin was his enthusiastic endorsement of the argument that women who become pregnant as the result of rape are responsible for the incipient life within them because they failed to use contraception. The same person admitted to getting a young woman pregnant through his own failure to use contraception.

The cognitive dissonance between what this type of person defines as "moral" in some circumstances and what is defined as "moral" in others is so gross that there is clearly no hope for rational discussion.

The second type of authoritarian control is less loud-mouthed and boils down to a wish to punish women (but not men) who have sex and "get away with it". The argument usually stalls at the point where abortion is defined as "irresponsible birth control" and assumed to be the exclusive, or nearly exclusive, choice of young women in casual or careless relationships who have no other children and who wantonly fail to use contraception. When presented with the actual demographics this person refuses to acknowledge or believe them. Forced life hosting is not seen as quite so righteous when the woman is viewed as risking her life or the well-being of her family. This group becomes very uncomfortable when the morality of punishing the few women who do fit into their stereotype is questioned, especially when it is pointed out that the woman is far from being the only person who suffers.

2. Atheists from a Catholic or, more recently, a strong US Evangelical/Charismatic background who have not yet been able to discard the strong emotions that have been pushed into them during their formative developmental years. These are the ones who just "know" that the freshly conceived embryo want "want" to live if it were given the choice. They do not deal well with multiple categories and have tremendous difficulties with acknowledging the boundaries and differences between the various forms and stages of human life. They hold an irrational, but well indoctrinated, fear that acknowledging the differences would result in their own status, or the status of those they care for, being degraded at some point in their existence. Irrational fears do not respond well to logic which is not directly squarely at them.

A sub-group may consist of "natural" atheists who have not gone through the process of "deconversion". The deconverting process necessarily requires that a person think long and hard about a whole range of previously accepted assumptions about life and morality. Those who have not gone through this ruthless process may be less likely to question common attitudes, values and prejudices, especially when they are held by people they care about or hold in esteem.
Comment by zeeman barzell on January 23, 2009 at 6:58pm
I saw that group and was also curious. After reading a few posts here and there, it seems their reasons are to continue the evolutionary process by spreading their genes to populate the world with non-believers. This makes little sense to me seeing as someone's thoughts and opinions are not genetic. If they want to have 20 kids and raise them all to be intelligent and without religion, go ahead. I guess that's pro-life or pro(your children's)life. I'm wondering what they would think about the crazy, Pentecostal, snake-handling, tongues speaking, bible for breakfast, lunch and dinner devouring, hillbilly family having 20 kids? Are they still pro-life? How about that gene pool? I'm hoping someone from that group chimes in. I'm interested.

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