The British statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke wrote, "The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do as they please. We ought see what it will please them to do before we risk congratulations." Therein lay the problem with laws that permit abortion on demand.A society that premises its law as "Choice"- to use the locution of abortion rights advocates - effectively leaves open the question of the value of human life. It becomes not a standing principle, but a subjective judgment to each individual. In such a society, human life becomes not an end in itself, but mere instrument. Life becomes not an object whose preservation is the highest standard, but rather a convenience to be maintained or not according to the satisfaction of another's will.We shape our laws and then our laws shape us - see also the civil rights laws of the 1960s which have effected a revolution in race relations. (The idea that a black man and a white man cannot sit together at the same lunch counter is as alien to this generation as Neptune. Yet in 1965 it was pretty much the norm.)Inherent then in the pro-choice argument is the idea that life has no value save that which each person chooses to attach to it. It denies society any authority to make a collective judgment on such questions. Therefore, in this view, the law may not afford protection to life except at some arbitrarily defined (and inherently subjective) point. This then conduces to an assertion of power over rights. Life is maintained not as its own end, but according to the will of the person who, effectively, controls it because they can. An ethic of convenience is established and it is a slippery slope on which to build a culture and a legal edifice. Such a society will not value life that sees life as not an end, but as a means to some other end. Indeed, that is why at about the same time as the culture began to shift on the abortion question we also saw a rise in child abuse, spousal abuse, divorce, out of wedlock births and other social pathologies. These were not unrelated phenomena.Aristotle said that the first questions of politics are, "How ought we to live? What kind of a people do we wish to be?" The implicit answer of those who support abortion on demand is, in effect, that it is nobody's business. Predictable results follow. One cannot expect the society to absent itself from collective moral judgments on the value of life and then expect an ethical social order to result.
The number of middle-aged conservative dudes sitting around thinking abstract thoughts about policies which have inflicted, and still inflict so much suffering on women never ceases to amaze.
@turd_of_warning The number of middle aged people who are not aware of the pedigree and consequences of their ideas is even more striking. Ideas have consequences - and to expect women to be respected when the value of life is relativized is a logical incongruity. What do iconoclasts do once all the icons have been smashed?
The value of life is relativized all the time. Leave your armchair and you might see it for yourself.
@turd_of_warning Really? Have you read Jefferson? Have you read Lincoln? Burke? You are the heir to an intellectual tradition that you do not appreciate. Even your moral relativism has its antecedents in Western thought - see also Marx, and several others you might not rather be associated with.
@turd_of_warning Yes, of course. "The prisoner of some defunct economist..."
Say abortion was made illegal, and all women were forced to carry pregnancies to term. Forget for a moment about all the women that would kill.Seeing as you and your fellow anti-abortionists are the ones insisting these babies be born, against their mother's will, how many of them will you adopt?
@turd_of_warning Why would that kill women - given that women have been having babies for quite some time now? Exceptions are made for the life of the mother. Beyond that, the law cannot protect those who choose to operate outside of its ambit. Moreover, as you may be aware, the waiting lists for adoptions well exceeds the number of babies - which is why in the United States they have turned to international adoptions. Moreover, your argument suggests that women are not agents of their own choices. That the costs of their choices are to be foisted off onto others because they are incapable of acts of will in regard to the choice to have sex.Sure you want to go down that road? The implications for what that says about the inherent equality of women might not be to your liking. If you make a choice, you take responsibility for the consequences - both intended and unintended - of those choices. On the other hand, we do not hold children culpable for their choices.
That's very nice in theory, but maybe less nice when your grandaughter's willpower fails along with her boyfriend's condom. Young people are going to make stupid decisions, regardless of whether you approve of it or not.Also, the question was how many YOU will adopt, not how long the waiting lists for adoption are. This of course ignores the callousness of finding it acceptable that strangers function as involuntary incubators when you're firing blanks.Finally, carrying to term is much more dangerous than having an abortion. You say women have been having babies for ages. Maybe besides all those political thinkers you should read one or two novels by women or just a bit of history to appreciate how many women died and still die during pregnancy or childbirth.
@turd_of_warning On your second point - my personal life is my affair, but I have three children.As to theories, you think yourself exempt for the implications of your own thinking. In effect, however, you infantalize the very people you presume to protect. There will be implications for that at both the personal and social level.Yes, people will make mistakes, but in law we hold people responsible for those choices. Choose to drink and drive and kill someone, the law will not say, nor ought it say, nor would it be good for it to say, "Oh well, you made a mistake..."As to the last part, women have been carrying babies to term since the species came into being. It is, to say the least, counterintuitive that it would be physically more dangerous for nature to take its evolutionary course than to engage in a preemptive and artificial procedure.Finally, as regards callousness, it is a bit difficult to accept the charge from someone whose defining premise is that life is whatever he wants it to be. Indeed, it is the belief that humans have an inherent worth that is the basis for every right and obligation that you rely upon.Your kind of compassion we can do without.
Accepting the reality that humans are flawed is not infantilizing them - it's being pragmatic.Drinking and driving is hardly comparable to having sex - a deep evolutionary drive, and being unlucky or careless and getting pregnant. In an ideal world, no woman would ever unintentionally get pregnant - but the world isn't ideal. Abortion is an ugly compromise that deals with that reality. Outlawing it is hardly a novel idea, and the consequences of that for women are horrific.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270271Life is not whatever one wants it to be. And it is debatable what the term covers. But it does not seem sensible to adopt the definitions of ancient religions.Regarding compassion, it predates enlightenment and Christian thinkers, and doesn't seem to be exclusive to humans. So the idea that the only reason others don't harm you is because some guy sat thinking deep thoughts in the 18th century is a bit ridiculous.
@turd_of_warning Compassion is emotion, and when applied without recourse the reason can have highly negative unintended consequences. See also some of the unintended effects of the WIC program in the United States, where policy, because applied unwisely, had negative effects on family formation among the impoverished.In any case, your compassion is nothing of the kind. It reduces human beings to mere raw material. The child in the womb's humanity is negated, it then being problematic at which point such humanity is earned and then regarded as having rights inherent in itself.For the adult, you do in fact infantalize them. You stipulate that they be divorced from any moral responsibility for their conduct. You make the individual a mere slave to his passions, then lacking even the dignity of beings capable of ethical behavior.Oh, and yes, the drunk driving analogy is apt. One chooses to drink as one chooses to have sex. In each case, the ethical being is aware of the potential intended and unintended consequences of their actions. If they make a choice and unintended consequences flow from that choice, it a reasonable society they are then bound to take responsibility for those choices.As to abortion being an "ugly compromise," if compromise is the taking of a human life, perhaps that is not an ethical compromise - ugly or not. Indeed, the feminist author and abortion rights advocate Sophie Lewis argues that abortion is indeed murder and that society should just accept it. Such is the moral relativism to which your argument conduces. Of course, we have seen the historical record of where such relativism - and its compromises - can lead. You argue that life is not whatever one says it is, but that very relativism is where the argument for abortion leads. If it is not life, when does it become life and what is the meaningful biological and moral distinction between the day before and the day after it becomes human? CONT.
If it is a human life, do you wish to live in a society that condones killing human lives for the convenience of another human being. The choice being made by those who have the power to make it and the consequences taken by those who have no power.This then, is where your logic leads.
FFS dude. Pull your head out your ass and your books and go talk to some flesh-and-blood women. Read up on some of the victims of the shit you're advocating. If people want the tripe you offer up, they can go to the National Review, who have been spewing it since the beginning of time.
@turd_of_warning So your response to a reasoned argument is vulgarity and subjectivity. Please note, it does not refute my argument to assume, on the basis of neither a philosophical premise, nor data nor empirical experience, that were I to go out and talk to a random sampling of women that this would somehow change the conclusion.The problem, of course, is that if we define the right only through the prism of self-interest and personal experience, we are as apt to get willfulness as justice. We learn from historical experience and reasoned argument. We are not, relying upon our own private stock of reason, the ultimate arbiters of right.You speak of victims. Do you mean the woman or the child? We can ask one, and you presume the fate of the other. That is a problem, to say no more.
Can just see you bust in on some woman having an abortion with your stack of philosophical treatises, interrupting the procedure on the basis that you are far more qualified than her to determine what to do, that your grief over that foetus, and the violation of the sanctity of life it entails outweighs her own heavy considerations on the matter.You talk about infantilizing women. Did you ever stop to think that women don't tend to get abortions on a whim?
@turd_of_warning The question is what is right and what is just? The question is if we found a legal and social order on the basis of that which is unjust, can we expect a just social order.Yours is what is called "sacred egoism." The belief that we are the measure of our own virtue. That what is right we determine only in relation to our self-interest, not set against a standard of right and wrong.
So what's your plan? Since no contraception is 100% safe, that must mean complete abstinence, except for the times when you're trying for a baby. First off, good luck enforcing that, and second, good luck explaining to couples why they can only have sex a handful of times in their lifetimes. The alternative is that women become breeding machines like in the old days, have babies in the double digits, and if they survive that, they get to die exhausted, having never had things like a career, or an education.Also, your claim that being pro-choice is grounded in "egoism" is a charicature. It's not egotistic to not go through with a pregnancy, which is quite a risky and traumatic thing to have happen to your body. It's not egotistic to want to protect your health, mental or physical. It's not egotistic to want to educate yourself and work, rather than wind up with a baby, dependent on the mercy of men.
@turd_of_warning No. Contraception prevents conception and thus the creation of a life. Secondly, insofar as enforcement is an issue, please name me one law that is perfectly enforced? "You cannot make straight the crooked timber of humanity." The point in law is both to prevent injustice and to reinforce an ethic of justice. The American civil rights laws not only prohibited an injustice, they gradually reinforced an ethos that made bigotry socially unacceptable. Which is not the same thing as saying that there are no bigots.In that connection, the law would treat women as equals. Responsible for the consequences of their conduct. As to pro-choice being sacred egoism. You missed my point. The problem with the pro-choice argument, aside from the fact that it defines away the humanity of the child, is that it assumes that liberty is an end in itself. That freedom is justified regardless of whatever use we put to it. (Hence my Burke quote above.)My argument with your argument specifically was that it was "sacred egoism." You pointed to the woman's experience as dispositive evidence of right and wrong. It is not.Suffice to say, my "sacred egoism" comment was directed at your argument specifically, not the pro-choice argument in general. Though, to be sure, you are proof of how the pro-choice argument can conduce to "sacred egoism."Oh, by the way, the average number of people per household was 5.55 in 1850, 5.04 in 1880, 4.76 in 1900 and 4.54 in 1910. It declined to 4.34 in 1920, 4.11 in 1930, 3.67 in 1940, 3.37 in 1950 and 3.33 in 1960. The Census Bureau projects that the average will continue declining, to 2.48 in the year 2000, from the current 2.67.That hardly suggests baby machines - and please note that the number was in decline before abortion was legalized.
Type-o: This sentence - " The Census Bureau projects that the average will continue declining, to 2.48 in the year 2000, from the current 2.67."Should read 2020.
Child mortality rates in 1860 were 40%. At a generous 3 children per family, that is 7.5 pregnancies. Walk in the park...
Or... That was bad math.
@turd_of_warning Child mortality rates reflected factors such as the availability of hospitals, lack of immunization and other limits on medical care. They are not reflective of the incidence of births.No matter, here is a chart of fertility rates - https://www.prb.org/us-fertility/ Note the same decline over time beginning in this chart in 1911 - well before Roe v. Wade.
At any rate, if abortion is your solution to births, you are going the hardest route. Condoms, IUD's etc. are both more humane and more efficacious. You are getting, frankly, silly.
You're still not recognizing that birth control is not 100% effective. If you want to mandate that women MUST carry pregnancies to term, women can't risk sex at all, except at the times when they want to get pregnant.
@turd_of_warning It does not have to be. A woman and a man need to make responsible decisions and be responsible for the consequences - BOTH intended AND unintended - of their actions.If you wish to avoid pregnancy that desperately, you may have to make some hard trade-offs. Such are the inevitable results of being in an imperfect world. However, to undermine the ethical premises of the law - and all that follows from them - (not to mention defining away the humanity of the unborn child) - is to turn the moral order on its head. If life is rendered so inconvenient that it must be, in law, negated on the off chance that contraceptives may not always work 100% of the time - this not even allowing for the plethora of almost full-proof medical options ranging from tubes getting tied to vasectomies and all the rest - is to really turn the moral universe on its head.
^^Ladies and gentlemen: Behold fundamentalism in all its horror
@turd_of_warning Again, back to epithets as a substitute for a reasoned argument.However, it begs the question of who is the fundamentalist. The one who seeks to define the law with reference to principles outside of oneself and that have been tested by time and experience? Or the one who defines liberty as an end in itself devoid of all other principles?One is complex, the other a gross oversimplification. Fundamentalism indeed.
Dude, you're an armchair general. Your points probably play really, really well to a conservative crowd of old men. But they're not the ones whose lives could be upended by pregnancy. So, like, what is your point? You've taken Plato's cave and you've moved into it.
@turd_of_warning Yes, you keep on accusing me of that. This without knowing anything of my background. (The fact that you have been wrong on several datapoints seems not to deter you in your own sense of "the real world.")You have defined right and wrong by the least common denominator without taking into account any other broader implications. You seem to think it logical to define one issue in terms of willfulness and see no relationship to broader moral and ethical questions.You deal in a tidy abstraction not connected to any other issue nor life's complexities. For you it is about preventing unwanted births, taking no account of the other life involved nor what it says about a society that defines life, in law, according to the convenience of those who have power to enforce their will. All this while you divorce them from any relationship between their actions and the consequences of their actions.All of this, you assume, in pristine isolation from any other complexities and then you pat yourself on the back for your compassion - and yet I am the armchair general. Hmmmm.
You're not differentiating between a foetus and a child that has been born. That's crazy. You're dismissing the woman from the equation entirely - although it's all going on in her body. That's crazy. What is with this conservative fetishization of foetuses? It's so random. Conservatives disparage children who dare voice a political opinion, e. g. Greta Thunberg. Give two fucks about inequality. Give two fucks about women. But foetuses - they are sacred. They must be respected.
@turd_of_warning Well, as I asked you. If the fetus is not a child, at what point does it become one? More to the point, what is both the scientific and moral distinction of the day before it becomes a child and the day after? When is that point and what is the actual difference.A fetus cannot be other than a child because it will not be anything other than a child. It will not become a duck. Again the feminist Sophia Lewis argues that of course it is a life and it is perfectly fine to kill it. You may agree - but ideas have consequences, and what then would be the consequence of that particular idea?
You are aware of how similar most animals look at the early stages of development, right? And of course that is not an easy boundary to draw, which is partly why abortion is an imperfect answer to a messy reality. But you seem to think the whole push for abortion rights from women is the result of nothing but selfishness? That things were fine, but then women became selfish, irresponsible, reckless, cruel?Regarding the other point, don't agree with her phrasing or necessarily with her sentiment. Abortions are not desirable.But if you think the practise opens the floodgates to other ideas, what about factory farming?
@turd_of_warning So you judge by physical appearance. You run across a man in a coma who has no heartbeat and you don't start CPR, you leave him to die. He looks dead after all.The analogy is not 100%, but we don't judge based on similarities but also on potentialities. The fetus will, of its nature, become the baby, then the boy then the man then - hopefully - the gentleman.You speak of a messy reality, but the reality here is not in doubt. The messiness is more by way of taxanomic obfuscation.Again, you speak of complexity but you have simplified everything down to one question. The choice of the woman at the moment, without regard to wider implications. Those implications are very real if not immediately obvious.
You talk of the foetus becoming "the baby, then the boy then the man then - hopefully - the gentleman."What if, instead it became a woman? And that woman got pregnant. And had to give up all her hopes and dreams to be a baby mama?You describe abortion almost as an impulsive decision by women, a decision with no thought for the wider implications. Women have been thinking about the wider implications for aeons. This is literally what they do. You're gonna tell a young woman who worries that she won't be able to raise a kid on minimum wage with no father in the picture to think about the wider implications? Who worries about not being able to educate herself or work? Or what about a woman who already has three kids and can't face another pregnancy and another mouth to feed? How dare you refer to those choices as if they were mere selfish whims?
Seriously man, if you're so big on the plight of children, why not help all the single mothers raising kids alone? And if you're already doing that, kudos, but otherwise, maybe you should be having a word with the men who got them pregnant and then buggered off.
@turd_of_warning No, I do no such thing. My use of "man" was in the generic. As far as a woman, no, the decision will not likely be impulsive, but that does not make it less damaging. One deliberative choice is a choice - a million sanctified by law is a movement with profound social implications.This you seem to keep missing. Indeed, my point is not the child per se, but rather if the law makes room for defining away the child's humanity, that will have profound - and profoundly negative - implications. These you seem unable to wrestle with. Rather, it is for you a grossly oversimplified emphasis on one question, disregarding that the answer to that question will resonate in law and in the culture.As t helping single mothers, I have no objection to a welfare state that ameliorates the worst effects of old age, illness, unemployment and other social pathologies. Recognizing that such things cannot be necessarily cured, but can certainly be alleviated.Anyhow, speaking of kids, I have five mouths - s/o, children and me - that are sitting down to dinner. Must be off for now.
Nah we need abortion for women who get raped and don't want to keep the offspring or babies that will be born with severe mental & physical birth defects. Not only for personal reasons but it actually take a toll on our economy when women have all these babies then give them up to foster homes or advanced rare medical treatments which cost our health system many millions of pounds/dollars every year.
You can't make abortion illegal. You simply make unsafe abortions a higher number. So no.Canada has the lowest rate for abortions. Why? Because everything related to it (family planning and abortions) are free and readily accessed.
No.Abortion is an important right.I want as few unwilling parents to be forced into that position as possible. I've never seen a good anti-abortion argument. It's all just emotional appeals and a desire to control sex.
Have an opinion?
No, because people have right to have sex without having kids, and contraception fails. If someone wants to force people to never have sex, they are mental
It should be legal. If someone doesn’t want their child then they’re gonna get rid of it regardless... the foster care system is already full. Any fool who says “put it up for adoption” is a complete dummy.
no women should have the right to take care of their own bodies as they see fit
I tend to think that abortion should be illegal but that we should have a post birth abortion process for certain adults.
No, the individual should always chose what they seem is best for their child. Making abortion harder i wouldn't mind, but it should remain an option.
No. But in that case if you want it to be illegal then interrupting people's point of view while making laws for it should be legal therefore forcing a mother to keep the fetus should be illegal
So downvotes all you want like that changes anything
No, just regulated, and not paid for with public funds.
Technology has gone too far to make this feasible even if enough people supported it. How would it be enforced?
I dont believe it should be
Nope.Abortion is healthcare.Im for it
No it shouldn't. Because it's not your choice.
Yeah, in the absolute majority of cases
No it’s a right.
No. It should be encouraged
No it shouldn't
I think so too
In case of a rape or health risks to mother, i think it should be legal. Otherwise no.
No, I think you should leave the option open for the 4 years of life.
You can't abort a 4 year old.
Making things illegal is stupid
yes it should
No... but it also should not be used as a form of birth control... like liberal leftist feminists want it... like that woman who said "thank you for choosing me" and then proceeded to abort her twins on camera.. monsterous..
I believe I personally don’t know the answer to this and it’s not my decision.
You cannot undo this action. The opinion owner is going to be notified and earn 7 XPER points.