License to Kill

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Ferret, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    No, I mean as a means of survival. It has only been in the last 400 or so years that the human population has exploded to the point it is now, relatively a short period of time when you look at the existence of man as a whole.

    That said, humankind does not need to have sex to reproduce. Barring a meteor/asteroid disaster or some disease that wipes out 99% or so of humankind, humankind does not have to fear extinction. Thus, sex can be used as "recreation" and for the joy of it, not simply for having kids.


    I find the argument that giving up the child for adoption is almost hypocrisy if it comes hand-in-hand with being against abortion. If the person needs to face the "consequence" of having a kid, they should face the consequence of raising it. Which leads me back to some people are not fit or able to raise kids.

    Sure, adopted kids grow up to be productive members of society. And some don't. I would rather take the time to make sure people are ready to have kids and be prepared to tip the scales in the productive side than let it go to chance.

    Religion is a whole 'nother mess.

    And I didn't argue your BTW 'cause Ferret and the Mrs. already included that in the article.
  2. EricBess Active Member

    As you have children, you know that there is an attachment that comes with bearing a child. My experience has been that this emotional attachment starts very early in fetal development. I'm hardly an expert, but I am going by what people have told me who have had abortions.

    Ideally, I think that a person who has a baby should have to raise a baby, but I also agree that some people aren't ready and/or fit for this. However, there is a consequence in bearing a child as this emotional attachment is taken through fruition. Obviously, the longer one raises a child, the more they care for the child as well, but that's not my point.

    So, I see where you can say that it seems hypocritical to be against abortion for these reasons, but to support adoption. But my experience has been that adoption is a much better solution for both Mother and child. Okay, I agree it is still avoiding the long-term consequences, but there is a significant learning experience that goes along with it, where abortion is simply an atempt to run away from the problem before it even happens.

    A woman who puts a child up for adoption may or may not feel guilt, but they will probably feel a great loss. With abortion, from what I have seen, all there is is guilt.

    So, from the mother's standpoint, adoption is a much better solution than abortion. And from the standpoint of the child, well, I don't think there is any question there as one of those options doesn't even give them a chance.

    I would hypothysize that well over 99% of the people who are "pro life" have never actually had an abortion. I could be wrong. There have been articles recently (I'll check with my wife on names and see if I can find something online) concerning the woman who originally brought the lawsuit of Rowe v Wade. That woman is currently making efforts to get the ruling overturned.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I still don't see a compelling need to make a law banning abortion (if that is what this whole discussion is about in a roundabout way; if it's just talking opinions, I don't think either will sway the other :) ) If the mother feels guilt, it seems education or something along those lines need to be implemented, akin to taking teenagers to the hospital to see the results of drunken driving crashes and accidents (which, it appears, is being ended in MD due to state budget cuts). If that education leads to fewer number of abortions, that's all well and good. But the choice should still be there.
  4. EricBess Active Member

    I can live with that assessment, Spiderman. But I think that the education HAS to be part of it. If someone wants an abortion, it should be a well informed decision after other avenues have been explored. The problem is, society as a whole fosters an image that an abortion is a "quick fix" with no consequences and no reprecussions.
  5. Ferret CPA Founder, Slacker

    When I first started reading the replies since my last post in this thread I had to drive down the urge to kill - but, as I read more of the posts I got to see some really rational points of view. This is a good thing..., it's time for some irrational answers from me (Mrs. F has nothing to do w/ this). Children should be a priviledge, not a right. There should be a required course before being allowed to have a child. If someone has more children than they can afford and are becoming a major burden on society (ie welfare) then sterilizations (or at least contraceptive injections) should be mandatory...I could also, give some great ideas on what to do w/ Adult members of society that are less than productive (let's just say Soylent Green comes to mind).

    ...on the topic of adoption: a former roommate and two of my best friends were adopted. They're all EXTREMELY intelligent and are very productive members of society. They've all provided me w/ friendships that I'll cherish for my entire life. I'm glad that they were allowed the chance at life instead of just being written off as something they didn't need and just let it get flushed...


    "...more nasty replies should be coming..."
  6. Astranbrulth New Member

    EricBess -- While I agree with you that there is enough to go around *for now*, it is inevitable that given the current rate of population growth, the Earth is going to burst at the seams sooner rather than later.

    We might be able to dramatically increase production of food by devoting all available space to the growing of crops (and virtually wiping out all species that we do not directly consume). Genetic modification of crops will also be able to increase yields (but I personally would lay off eating the stuff until the effects of long term consumption are seen) so that we can feed the world for a while to come.

    BUT, the fact is, it remains a closed system. One day, if the population is not controlled, abortion and birth control will be mandatory, never mind a choice, because the world will simply not be able to sustain the weight of humanity.

    Is my reply selfish? Yes, it is.

    It is, however, also pragmatic and cogniscent that the world is not a pretty place; there are hard choices to be made.

    Your post is to the other extreme. You obviously have a moral focus (probably religious) and argue from that viewpoint. Fine, nothing wrong with that. What I take exception to is the fact that you try to impose your view on others. Your argument is that loose people who choose to have recreational sex should have to live with the consequences of the deed - ie - carry a child to term. You view it as a "lesson" to raise a child. Sounds like you want to punish people outside your moral boundaries to me.

    So, let's take a look at our hypothetical loose woman. Gee, she drinks a lot, and smokes like a factory. Possibly she even likes contact sports and bungee jumping. Maybe she's in the military. Sounds like activities that would impinge on the health of our unborn child, which of course has all the rights that an adult human has. So perhaps we should pass laws that prohibit pregnant women from doing any of these things.

    But wait! There are people that believe (Scientologists I think) that unborn children can hear and understand what we say, and what they hear (because it is out of context) can severely affect their mental health in later life. So just to be on the safe side, let's also enforce silence around pregnant women.

    Just where do you propose that a woman's rights over her own body end, and where do they start?

    We can take this further. Let's say the law is that if you are pregnant, then the child must be carried to term. Your argument essentially states that a fetus is "alive" from conception, and thus has a right to live. Too bad if you have been raped, because that is a living being inside you that has all the rights that any adult has. It is not responsible for who it's father is; it is essentially an innocent, blank slate that deserves a chance at life. How can we thus selectively determine which person lives and which person dies because of what their parents did?

    Just how far do we carry the rights of an unborn fetus?

    I think I agree with Ferret where he says that people should be taken on courses before having children. Children are a major responsibility. I have seen the results of people having children too early, and those kids come out all screwy because their parents weren't mature enough themselves to take care of them properly. They kept them because of the pressures of society, and what other people might think.

    Summing up: Abortion should be a (unpleasant) choice. Contraception is much better. If you can't live with choosing to abort, then get your kid adopted. Planned pregnancies are the best of all, and sterilization after X number of children might be worth considering.

    --- Astranbrulth ---
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    EricBess: Then it would appear to me that the movers and shakers need to change that image and perception (kinda like those anti-smoking commercials now) rather than killing doctors who perform abortions or are trying to take away that choice entirely.

    Ferret: Irrational is right :) I don't know if this would seem contradictory coming from me after my previous posts, but I heartily disagree with forces sterilizations/contraceptive injection/whatever. It has already happened in the US in the early 1900's for "retarded folk" and was very much abused. Plus it smacks of racial cleansing ala the Nazis. If someone wants to tie their tubes or get snipped by their own choice, that's fine of course.
  8. EricBess Active Member

    Astranbrulth - I'm guessing you're a city boy. There are areas in this world that are overinhabited, but as a whole, there is a lot of unused space out there. And I'm not talking rain forests, which provide a necessary function. I'm talking very habitable areas that would not have an detrimental effect on the ecosystem to habitate. We can agree to disagree on this point, but I don't think it has any bearing on the argument itself.

    I do have a religious focus, but I don't agree that I've been arguing from that viewpoint. I do agree that bringing a child to term teaches a lesson whereas aborting a fetus is viewed as an escape. However, if you read my posts more clearly, never do I consider this a punishment. Rather, I think you will find that predominantly, I argue that it is much less of a burden for the pregnant woman to carry the child to term for her own emotional stability and protection.

    I find it ironic that you claim I would impose my views on others and yet you yourself have taken part of what has been said and called it a hypothetical, taking it to a very extream and very irrational "conclusion".

    I think you would be hard-pressed to find a pregnant woman who herself didn't want to avoid such activities as "bungie jumping" for her own health as well as that of the baby. And I doubt you would find many who would allow a pregnant woman to participate anyway due to liability concerns. Those that do have wonton disrespect for the child within them are going to have to live with the consequences, guilt, and health issues if something does happen anyway. Their choice, though.

    I propose that a woman has every right over her own body. But with rights come responsibilities, also, which is what some would like to ignore. There is no proof that life doesn't begin with conception, BTW. In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest that it begins very early in pregnancy. Where do you propose it begins, with the act of birth itself? Or how about when the fetus is viable? Premature babies have been saved as early as 22 weeks (roughly half term), though that is rare. Typically, 23 - 24 weeks is considered viable and technology is improving this all the time.

    And please, if you want to claim that my arguments are invalid, at least read them first. I think you will find that I have already said that there are mitigating circumstances. If the woman has been violated (which includes rape), there are often emotional issues which merit abortion. But even is these circumstances, the woman can be presented with other options.

    The bottom line is this: if people engage in activity that has potential to bring a child into society, they need to realize that this is a posibility and take that responsibility a bit more seriously. I'm not saying there aren't ways to avoid the issue. Contraception is obviously the best option, but you can't claim that contraception is supposed to be perfect and expect that to get you out of consequences.

    And if you read what I've been saying, women who don't want a child are far better off for their own well being to carry the baby to term and then give it up for adoption than to abort it. It's certainly more healthy for the baby.
  9. Astranbrulth New Member

    EricBess -- You don't really see the big picture, do you? The value system through which you view the world evidently does not allow you to hear what you don't want to hear, and reason beyond what you want to know.

    OK, for the third time, (fourth if you count Spiderman) : there is enough space on Earth *for now*. If one carries the rate of human growth to its logical conclusion, the Earth will not be able to sustain an infinite population. The relevance to the argument is that if this happens (drastic overpopulation) abortions of unauthorised children will be mandatory due to sheer necessity.

    I carry my arguments to extremes because it is at extremes that one can see most clearly. My question is : does a fetus have the same right to life as an adult? If it does, then how does that right to life mesh with the rights of a woman over her own body? If the fetus has the same rights as an adult (and we cannot kill innocent adults) then logically even a baby resulting from rape should have the right to life. (Also, please note, I never said that you did not say that abortion was not an option for a victim of rape)

    An example of the way your value system resonates in your arguments is the when you presume to speak for others, and make assumptions on their behalf. Adoption is not necessarily the best option for the mother. I personally know a woman who had a child, gave it up for adoption, and is wracked with guilt and loss, whereas another who had an abortion seemed just fine with it. With abortion there is a sense of finality, whereas with adoption there is guilt about whether it was the best thing to do, is my child OK, what are they doing now, etc. Of course, I don't claim to speak for all women.

    Let's say a woman hypothetically must carry an unwanted child to term because the law states that she must. Again, you automatically assume that she would lay off hazardous activities out of concern for a child that she doesn't want. Remember we are talking about children who would otherwise have been aborted. Permit me to doubt on logical grounds that a woman that likes to drink & party will quit doing that because she must carry an unwanted child to term.

    The only way to ensure the child's safety in such circumstances would be to prohibit these activities for pregnant women, which of course then infringes on their individual liberties.

    It seems to me that one of the main reasons that you oppose abortion is because you feel that people should deal with the "consequences" of sex. Possibly you feel that casual sex is immoral and that abortions are too easy an escape route for behaviour that is offensive to your tastes.

    Let me say it now : My PERSONAL feeling about having casual sex is that it is a cheap thrill. Not for me. I am a one - woman, long - haul type of guy. But this does not mean that I want other people to suffer the consequences of pregnancy, or that I neccessarily condemn casual sex. I think it is unwise (STD's) and sad, because a lot of people who sleep around are searching for comfort and acceptance, and have not found themselves yet. But I can't tell other people that they must suffer the consequences of sex because I disagree with their behaviour.

    Look, abortion is a very touchy issue, and with reason, because ultimately we have to ask ourselves some deep questions about our humanity. Such as : how do we define a human? When does a fetus become "human"? When does it live? Is the fact that it is alive mean that it automatically gets the rights of an adult? Also, does the potential of a fetus count towards its intrinsic value? A mouse is more intelligent and capable than a fetus, yet the fetus has the ability to become something far greater (or worse). Does a thing's potential outweigh its current state?

    I personally believe that although a fetus is alive and human, this does not automatically grant it any rights at all. I think that the bearer takes precedence. It lives or dies at the mother's whim. If you suggest a there be a time limit as to how late in pregnancy a child can be aborted, that could be something I could get behind. After all, how long does it take to decide that you don't want a child?

    There are worse fates for unwanted children than abortion.

    Here in South Africa people who can't afford (or don't have access to) abortions have found other interesting things to do with unwanted newly born babies. They suffocate them in plastic bags and leave them in the trash; flush them down public toilets; leave them in cardboard boxes at rubbish tips. There was even a case where a new born was found half eaten by ants at a landfill site, still alive. Others just bury them in their backyards.

    The fact is, people will always find ways of dodging responsibilities that they don't want, and sometimes the dodges they find are worse than aborting. A key issue to the problem, again, as Ferret touched on, is education. It always seems to be the poorest and most ignorant that end up with unwanted children. If the world as a whole was better educated, then I think there would not be this overwhelming issue of abortion, as there would be far fewer unwanted pregnancies.

    A thought just occurred to me before posting. Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that medical technology moved to the point where unwanted fetuses could be aborted (without mangling them) early on in pregnancy. Let's further hypothesize that doctors could take them to term in artificial wombs, and the babies were then raised in a state orphanage. How would you feel about abortion then?

    -- Astranbrulth --
  10. EricBess Active Member

    Here's where I disagree with you. There are built in checks and balances that will always apply. In part, this is because of people (like you) who are overly worried about overpopulation and (perhaps like you) choose not to have children. Or perhaps one child at most. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, but I propose that true overpopulation could not be a problem because of the checks and balances built into the system. I think we're going to have to agree to disagree because you don't see things the same as I on this point and vice versa.

    You seem to have a tendency to apply a rule across the board and don't have room for outside influences. Growth rate has been exponential and so will remain exponential if nothing is done about it. But this doesn't take into consideration certain factors that naturally start leveling out a growth rate.

    Similarly, when I suggest that perhaps a fetus is alive from the moment of conception and that it should have a right to life, you're "natural conclusion" is that this much be applied universally and I'm being inconsistent if I make an exception for rape and health risks. I see where your argument stems, but I also see where not everything has to be absolutes, but can still be consistent.

    I think carrying things to extremes is highly inappropriate when trying to determine what should and shouldn't be policy.

    I have had personal experience with people who have had abortions and I have spoken with them about their abortions. I'm not speaking on their behalf, but from my experience. I've even left room open for suggestions that perhaps my experience have been exceptions rather than the rule.

    By the way, I've never suggested that abortions should be illegal. I personally do think that it is murder. What I do suggest is something that apparently we have agreed on. There should be better education. My personal believe is that if a woman truely listens to all options and the consequences of each option, that most women will realize that abortion is not the easy escape that they view it to be. And for some, like your friend, perhaps adoption isn't a good option either, but keeping and caring for the child. And perhaps for some, they will still feel abortion is the correct solution, but they will do so knowing the potential consequences of what they are doing.

    And as far as people carrying the baby to term and then smothering them in a plastic bag, again, that's their free choice to make if they like. And the consequences there are that they will have the guilt as well as any legal consequences of their actions. But the fact that they feel they need to take such drastic actions is hardly a valid argument that they should have aborted the fetus. That's like saying that people will shoplift no matter what we do, so we might as well create one section of the store where shoplifting is legal so they don't try taking the truely expensive stuff.

    As far as your hypothetical. Raising a "test tube" baby is another argument completely and what you are suggesting fits more into that category than abortion, which is the destruction of the fetus. I think that it is a better option than flat out killing the child, but it is not without it's problems, which really don't apply to this thread.
  11. Rando Freaky Bear

    I would just like to take this time to point out how well spoken and gentlemanly EricBess always is, regardless of if he is with or agaist you.

    I wish more people on internet messageboards would conduct themselves half as thoughtfully.

  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

  13. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

  14. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Word up up!!!...

    Hey EB - shot you a PM...
  15. EricBess Active Member

    [blush]Well, I appreciate the awknowledgement[/blush]

    Although, I have to say that this thread in general has remained quite civil, despite the fact that some very strong issues are being discussed.
  16. Astranbrulth New Member

    Well, that's pretty much wraps up the discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

    Fundamentally, one is pro or anti abortion depending on how one values the unborn fetus. It is just how much value we place on the unborn that determines how far we take the argument. For instance, my example on the baby resulting from a rape presupposes a very high value on the unborn child. I am not saying in reality that even die - hard anti abortionists will force a woman who has been raped to take the child to term. I am more interested in how many arguments and logics start to fray once you take them to extremes (which can sometimes actually happen).

    Read, for instance, Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" for extremes regarding what sort of rights a woman has over her body and how society might justify these views.

    I had a chuckle as I visualised the shoplift - legal shop, and the solution is the same in the analogy as in reality - we all agree that education (and wealth) is the key to the quantity of the problem if not necessarily the moral decision of whether to abort or not. Education also seems to possibly be the key to overpopulation, as highly educated, and wealthy countries see a levelling off of the population growth. As to whether this is merely a current trend or not remains to be seen.

    This has been an interesting thread, as I have not (the length of my posts perhaps indicating otherwise) really given the issue of abortion much thought. It has forced me to examine some of my ideas more closely, and that's always A Good Thing. It is also interesting to hear what others think on subjects close to their heart, and how they justify their views.

    Anyhow, barring some post with a new angle or a vicious attack upon myself, I'm signing off.

    -- Astranbrulth --

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