-are not mysogynists
-are not religious or influenced by the bible for their position
-are rational.

If you make up pseudo science to "prove" a fetus so inferior to a human, are you any different than a creationist?

What is the hard science that supports the idea that a fetus is not a human, and thus has no more rights than a blob of cancer, or an appendix?

At what point, precisely, does a fetus become a human? Birth? Is a fetus not a human 1 second before birth? What is the science behind this?

We, as atheists, constantly hammer creationists for their pseudo science based on their cherished belief system. How is a pro-choice stance not a cherished belief system with no basis in science as well, exactly?

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Comment by Daniel on July 27, 2010 at 1:32am
>>life does not begin at conception

It is a difficult question if you want to be philosophical but in practice it is very easy.

If you care about life then you care about medicine, food, housing and stable politics.

>>what gave you the idea that late term abortions were ever common or desirable*

It seems the only people likely to have a late term abortion would be those subjugated by religious abuse but don't really want the child so they do nothing for far too long. I wonder how often that causes anxiety later on about the decision and help re-roll the abortion hatred.

Didn't the RvW mother later change her position? Must have had some delay with all those court cases... yep, on all counts except it was physical abuse then religious guilt later and I couldn't find out what term the abortion was in.

PS Learned that Ron Paul is pro-choice.
Comment by ryan cameron on July 26, 2010 at 7:16pm
@John D. Easy to say ... from someone who was given the privilege of existence. Who are you, me, or anyone to deny that from anyone else? Your logic is a slippery slope.
Comment by ryan cameron on July 26, 2010 at 5:09pm
@john D. "unwanted children" have grown up to become some of the nations greatest minds, leaders, etc. I met a young child once who had been abandoned in a desert in africa, was found by some missionaries, and now speaks 5 languages fluently.

Incentivising, to me, keeps the choice with the woman, while providing her with more support should she decide to carry the child to term. I wonder how many abortions occur due to financial concerns? What if a parent "wants" a child, but simply cant afford to carry them to term? That is where the incentivising comes in. I dont really see why that is "strange" and would produce "undesireable affects". It certainly wouldnt be undesirable to the child! I have parents, and whether they wanted me or not has no bearing on my desire to exist!
Comment by ryan cameron on July 26, 2010 at 5:03pm
@lynn, I had the impression that pro life meant "life begins at conception, and killing a zygote is murder" and pro choice meant "killing a baby up to 1 millisecond before birth for any reason whatsoever is totally cool and encouraged for any reason, no matter how whimsical"

The more investigating I do, it seems people with experience have a very balanced view, and it seems the debate only exists between hold outs on the fundamentalist or extremist viewpoints of either side, and they probably are the rarest. I see that now, and I agree with Daniel that this is likely a waste of time. Happy to be wrong and have learned than to continue in ignorance.
Comment by ryan cameron on July 26, 2010 at 7:21am
@Daniel Agreed. I think based on what Ive seen, there isnt really pro life / pro choice anyway. It seems most of us accept that life does not begin at conception, and that there is no difference between a third trimester fetus and a newborn. Beyond that, its grey and up to those faced with the hard decisions. This blog post was an attempt to help me clarify my stance but you're right, as humans if that is settled we have much bigger fish to fry.
Comment by ryan cameron on July 26, 2010 at 7:16am
@lynn, I am thinking of a third trimester fetus, and from the sounds of it we agree about late term abortions. Early term, particularly first trimester, it is impossible to argue that the fetus is a person. There is no science extant to support that. So I suppose I am pro-choice in the first trimester, becomes a bit grey in the second (hopefully a person could make up their mind prior to that - but if they do its still not a full person per se) and in the third Id say its reasonable that the person has had plenty of time to decide and if they make it that far its too late.

Unless a certain minimum of neurons exist, its impossible to have "thoughts" and since I dont accept the idea that life is somehow imbibed with a "soul" or other entity prior to the neurological network forming a collective conciousness, I agree with you on early/mid term abortions should be totally up to the mother.

Since late term abortions are so rare apparently, then I would say I'm probably more in the pro choice camp than the pro life camp, which if they state you need to believe that life begins at conception, they are irrational.
Comment by Daniel on July 25, 2010 at 11:43pm
Comment by Daniel on July 25, 2010 at 11:32pm
..no one is forcing you to participate in this discussion, and I expect like myself most people are capable of carrying on several blog based conversations on many topics without detracting from them.

That is fine but the topic requires scope and if your argument is based on humanism then this is a very unimportant topic weighed by the amount of human life lost. If your argument is based on the sanctity of life then you have to take away the human selection bias or "potential to be a human" and no one is really willing to do that. Pigs are 99% human genetically speaking, they are intelligent, respond to orders, feel pain and yet most people are comfortable with them being slaughtered. If your willing to take away the bias then that just means you have to draw the line on life somewhere else, usually something less cuddly (fish, crabs, plants, bacteria...).

Not only that but this is not a moral issue but one of practicality, enforceability and politics. You have to draw the line on life somewhere legally and Roe V Wade just separated legal jurisdiction based on trimester. With 1 in 3 conceptions ending in a miscarriage it really isn't practical to draw a line at conception or anywhere before homeostasis unless you want to charging a buch of potential mothers with 2nd degree murder.

Finally, since civil rights are then based on 'individuals' and a baby isn't visibly individual before birth then birth is just another convenient line.
Comment by ryan cameron on July 25, 2010 at 10:01pm
@lynn obviously for proponents of the pro choice movement, the fetus must be de-humanized at all costs. I realize it is difficult to hear, but the fact remains, there is precious little difference between a fetus in the third trimester and a newborn baby. You can demonize it, dehumanize it, call it an "it" or believe in your heart its nothing but a blob of cells until it emerges into the atmosphere from the womb, but born it remains totally dependent on its mother, and offers nothing in return to the mother practically speaking like a parasite. thats the cold, hard fact. when in the womb, the baby has his/her own distinct dna, her own distinct heart beat, her own finger prints, their own thoughts and perspective. These are points the pro life movement makes that there is no factual argument against.

If it helps some people psychologically deal with abortion by using dehumanizing terms like "fetus" and "it" instead of "him/her" and "child" fine, but those are simply arbitrary titles, and have no basis in fact or reality. They are cherished beliefs. It also comforts people to believe an invisible being loves them from heaven, but that doesnt change the fact that God is imaginary.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on July 25, 2010 at 9:01pm
@Lynn: Better sex education, empowerment of girls and women and access to birth control will all lead to fewer abortions. Until those problems are resolved, abortion must remain available and legal.
Absolutely, decisions made in light of knowledge and understanding beats the hell out of those made in ignorance. The ideal goal is to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place and abundant evidence shows us that "abstinence only" is a colossal fail. I taught sex education for 30 years and was constantly amazed at what little teenagers know about sex - but a moron can figure out the act itself and let the pieces fall where they will.
Comprehensive sex education taught by qualified people can prevent a lot of ruined lives..

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