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Nysha's New Creators for July - posted on 1st Aug 2018 at 9:00 AM
Replies: 156 (Who?), Viewed: 50933 times.
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Instructor
Original Poster
#26 Old 2nd May 2010 at 11:30 PM
I'm amazed at the thoughtful and moving posts that have been made here--I mainly wanted to reply to Oaktree and just explain my position about making abortion illegal--but it has turned into a really thought-provoking discussion.

I think a lot of it comes down to how you value life. I don't, for example, think humans are more important than bees. I am, intellectually, more upset about the diminishing honey bee population than I am about thousands of people killed in an earthquake. Of course, as a feeling person, I have empathy for those people and their families, but on an ecological scale, it's not important.

And this is how i feel about abortion--I don't think human "life" in the abstract is special. I am sad when geniuses like George Carlin die, but I do not get upset by the abortion of pre-humans. Where that line is drawn is still something I am working on.

Oh and thanks for the info about Oklahoma, Nekowolf. How lovely! How progressive! Bastards.
Scholar
#27 Old 3rd May 2010 at 12:25 AM Last edited by Oaktree : 3rd May 2010 at 12:46 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
@Oaktree

But that's my point. We'll blame someone for refusing medicine, when illness is natural, not medicine. But as soon as they make a choice to abort, now its murder?

I find it hypocritical. You are saying in one case, natural is bad, but then saying in another case, natural is good. A fetus is under her control just as much as illness. In one point, you're saying control is good. But on another, control is bad, when essentially, both are about the core principle of "preserving life."


You are misinterpreting what I say about "natural". I suppose I should have clarified more. What I mean is that it is something that is not under our control. If something is under your control and you allow something bad (or good; it goes both ways) to happen, you are morally responsible for it. If something is not under your control, but just so happens to affect you, it is not your responsibility. Normal miscarriage that is caused by any number of natural occurrences that are not under our control is not something the mother can be blamed for. Miscarriage due to preventable illness or physical trauma that the mother allowed herself to be exposed to is her responsibility.

Quote:
I find abortion has nothing to do about children at all. It's about choice and projection personal morals onto others. What if they don't want the kid? Well now they have an unwanted child, you can damn well bet that's going to leave a psychological scar, all because someone didn't like the thought about abortions. Or social issues; all against abortion, it's bad! But as soon as government assistance programs or something, now it's welfare and they're all against it because it's a government takeover! In spite of the fact it could help families.


I don't see morals as a personal thing. I don't generally project my moral stances onto others unless they are planning to do something actively harmful to another, but I do think that morals are universal and unchanging. Unwanted children have healthy, happy lives all the time. A good number of my friends were accidents and they turned out just fine. There are children who make it through the adoption system and have good lives. You are generalizing an extreme case. When you say that it's better to abort the child than allow an unwanted child into the world, you are judging the worth of that person's life. How do you know that their life is worthless? How do you know that they won't end up happy? You aren't even allowing them a chance at life, when the good may very well outweigh the bad.

Quote:
I've always found the abortion issue to often be nothing more than a facade. Caring about the fetus, but as soon as it's born? Fuck it! Damn socialism! Where are we living, Soviet Russia!? Because they just don't want available choices they may agree with, just like gay marriage, even though it has no significance to themselves personally.

Oh, and I didn't mean to direct any of that at you personally. It was a generalization rather than anything personal. Apologies if I came off in any other way than that.


Why is socialism necessary for a child to be happy? There is the option to put up a child for adoption if there is no other way to take care of it, but there are also independent charities out there that want to help people in need. I think that, if we didn't have government holding our hands and giving us social welfare, there would voluntarily be a lot of similar, but more efficient systems in place out of the charity of individuals. Americans in particular are among the most charitable people on the planet. I think our citizens would be happy to give the less fortunate among us a helping hand.

I don't take any of this personally. I know that it's a debate and there will be some clash of opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
In cases of rape, it is not a matter of responsibility at all. I don't think a woman should be forced to carry a baby that was conceived in that way. It's not fair to either of them. (If she wants to carry the baby to term, that's fine. But if she doesn't, she should have the choice to terminate the pregnancy.)


I pointed this out, though it was in the middle of a long post, so you may have missed it.

Quote:
Then are we supposed to start fighting for tapeworm rights?

For someone who wants a baby, they're not going to view the fetus as a parasite (even though, technically, that's kind of what it is). Someone who doesn't want a baby, on the other hand, might have a different opinion. The value placed on the fetus is going to be different, depending on the woman who's carrying it. And I think that's her right to assign that value... not the government's. After all, she's the one who has to deal with the thing growing inside her... not her local congressman.


My point was to say that a fetus is a life based on the scientific definition of life. A fetus is still quite different from a tapeworm. A fetus has the future potential to develop into a sentient being; a tapeworm does not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
Not to mention of the condom breaks, or contraception just happens to fail that one time. I mean, unexpected shit happens. Going to blame them for being irresponsible when they weren't even expecting the unexpected?


This is the sort of thing sex ed is supposed to teach. You guys have been arguing that contraceptives are fallible. When someone has sex, they should know this and be prepared for the consequences if the contraceptive does fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jooxis
I just fail to see how there is any relevant difference between the two. They're both potential lives, but one requires technology and the other requires a natural process - so what? In the beginning neither are developed persons they just have potential. And in the end they would both be fully conscious humans so they'd both be the same in the end. So what does the process itself have to do with anything? There's no moral difference between applying a natural or artificial process to come to the same result.

What matters is whether it's a person right now or not. Not whether it can be, or whether it was, or could have been or who knows.


I fully agree with iCad on this one. A zygote will spontaneously become a life, so long as there is no trauma to it, while a skin cell only has the distant potential to become a life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy_otter
I'm amazed at the thoughtful and moving posts that have been made here--I mainly wanted to reply to Oaktree and just explain my position about making abortion illegal--but it has turned into a really thought-provoking discussion.

I think a lot of it comes down to how you value life. I don't, for example, think humans are more important than bees. I am, intellectually, more upset about the diminishing honey bee population than I am about thousands of people killed in an earthquake. Of course, as a feeling person, I have empathy for those people and their families, but on an ecological scale, it's not important.

And this is how i feel about abortion--I don't think human "life" in the abstract is special. I am sad when geniuses like George Carlin die, but I do not get upset by the abortion of pre-humans. Where that line is drawn is still something I am working on.


You and others have made posts that I find very thought-provoking as well. I can't say that my stance has changed, but I appreciate being able to debate with intelligent people on the topic.

I can't say that I place honeybees in-themselves above humans. Admittedly, to me, intellect is an important property. As humans are the most intelligent animals, I tend to care more about them. This doesn't mean that I don't care about any other animals, though. Other animals do have differing degrees of intellect, and I can have empathy for them. I also think that life as a whole should be protected. They also are necessary for the survival of our species. As far as honeybees go, they are absolutely necessary to the survival of humans and other large mammals, so they are very definitely important. I can agree with being more upset with the diminishing honeybee population than a few thousand people dying by an earthquake because it is a matter of scale and impact. An earthquake kills a few thousand people, the disappearance of honeybees could wipe out our species.

On the last point is where we differ. I do think that human life is special; I think that all life is special. I can understand extinguishing a life to protect another or several others, but I mean this in the strictest sense. A life should not be extinguished as a matter of convenience; it should be a life-or-death decision.
Scholar
#28 Old 3rd May 2010 at 2:25 AM
Quote:
You are misinterpreting what I say about "natural". I suppose I should have clarified more. What I mean is that it is something that is not under our control. If something is under your control and you allow something bad (or good; it goes both ways) to happen, you are morally responsible for it. If something is not under your control, but just so happens to affect you, it is not your responsibility. Normal miscarriage that is caused by any number of natural occurrences that are not under our control is not something the mother can be blamed for. Miscarriage due to preventable illness or physical trauma that the mother allowed herself to be exposed to is her responsibility.


Yet I would argue that that is exactly what pregnancy is; some that affects you rather than something you control. Using illness again, you have some control (aside from the REALLY bad stuff) over what happens to you. Let's say you have the flu -if you strain yourself instead of resting, you can make it worse. Pregnancy is like that; you don't necessarily "control" it, rather, it's an affliction. You can control what happens, in both cases, and in that way they are very similar. It could easily be argued, if you believe morals are a basis of community and, or, defined by community, that allowing yourself to become further ill is actually immoral to some extent.

Quote:
I don't see morals as a personal thing. I don't generally project my moral stances onto others unless they are planning to do something actively harmful to another, but I do think that morals are universal and unchanging. Unwanted children have healthy, happy lives all the time. A good number of my friends were accidents and they turned out just fine. There are children who make it through the adoption system and have good lives. You are generalizing an extreme case. When you say that it's better to abort the child than allow an unwanted child into the world, you are judging the worth of that person's life. How do you know that their life is worthless? How do you know that they won't end up happy? You aren't even allowing them a chance at life, when the good may very well outweigh the bad.


Okay, you say that that is an "extreme case." Is it? Is it really? How do you define extreme, by numbers? And what about children born into impoverished families who can barely provide? Children born into poor, gang-ridden communities where violence is common?

You accuse me of judging? Then you would be doing the same by judging they would become healthy and good. The truth is, your final point is nothing more but a stalemate. You could say he'll become the next Norman Borlaug, I could say he could become the next Jeffrey Dahmer. The simple truth is you don't know, and I don't know. No, what I was really saying is an abortion may be the best way to go, but because, oh dear god its horrible and evil and murder!, children who may have been better off being aborted, a harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless, now have to endure the suffering and pain because someone had a "moral objection" to something that does not concern them personally.

Quote:
Why is socialism necessary for a child to be happy? There is the option to put up a child for adoption if there is no other way to take care of it, but there are also independent charities out there that want to help people in need. I think that, if we didn't have government holding our hands and giving us social welfare, there would voluntarily be a lot of similar, but more efficient systems in place out of the charity of individuals. Americans in particular are among the most charitable people on the planet. I think our citizens would be happy to give the less fortunate among us a helping hand.


I think there was a miscommunication. I wasn't saying socialism is necessary, I was reciting the drivel that comes from groups like the Tea Party. That welfare programs that could aid the family are like Communism or fascism, that the "privileged" have to live in some mock Soviet Russia because they have to pay into welfare that goes is not exclusive to them. They absolute are against abortions, but as soon as it's out, anything to actually aid the child can go fuck off, because they are politically against it. If the Obama administration was to pass some kind of upgraded SCHIP program, you can be damn sure there would be these people standing in DC fighting it, while turning to the other side and demanding to illegalize abortion, headed by the Palins and the Bachmanns, screaming that it's death panels for children, indoctrination, stripping away our rights, etc.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Scholar
#29 Old 3rd May 2010 at 3:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
Yet I would argue that that is exactly what pregnancy is; some that affects you rather than something you control. Using illness again, you have some control (aside from the REALLY bad stuff) over what happens to you. Let's say you have the flu -if you strain yourself instead of resting, you can make it worse. Pregnancy is like that; you don't necessarily "control" it, rather, it's an affliction. You can control what happens, in both cases, and in that way they are very similar. It could easily be argued, if you believe morals are a basis of community and, or, defined by community, that allowing yourself to become further ill is actually immoral to some extent.


One becomes pregnant through the choices one makes, though. To apply the analogy of illness, if you choose to spend a lot of time around a contagious person, it is your fault if you catch the illness. You are doing something that you know can lead to illness, so you are responsible for becoming ill if you do.

I wouldn't argue based on the larger community, but I would argue based on anyone who may directly take care of you. If your mother takes care of you when you are ill, you are making yourself more of a burden if you don't do what it takes to get over the illness most quickly.

Quote:
Okay, you say that that is an "extreme case." Is it? Is it really? How do you define extreme, by numbers? And what about children born into impoverished families who can barely provide? Children born into poor, gang-ridden communities where violence is common?

You accuse me of judging? Then you would be doing the same by judging they would become healthy and good. The truth is, your final point is nothing more but a stalemate. You could say he'll become the next Norman Borlaug, I could say he could become the next Jeffrey Dahmer. The simple truth is you don't know, and I don't know. No, what I was really saying is an abortion may be the best way to go, but because, oh dear god its horrible and evil and murder!, children who may have been better off being aborted, a harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless, now have to endure the suffering and pain because someone had a "moral objection" to something that does not concern them personally.


Have you ever met someone who rightfully believed that they would have been better off never having been born? You are saying that unwanted children are like this. I think that there is enough good in life to outweigh the bad, and that the bad can actually be good for you, as it is character building. Abortion denies those experiences to an individual. Let me put it this way: killing a fetus because it might have a bad life is like presuming guilt over innocence. You are assuming that its life will be bad and taking drastic action that would be unnecessary and wrong if its life were actually going to be good. If, on the other hand, you allow the fetus to live, you grant it an opportunity for good, though bad may happen. On the one hand you have two bad outcomes, on the other you have one good and one bad outcome. Isn't it better to allow the possibility of the good outcome?
Undead Molten Llama
#30 Old 3rd May 2010 at 7:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy_otter
I think a lot of it comes down to how you value life. I don't, for example, think humans are more important than bees. I am, intellectually, more upset about the diminishing honey bee population than I am about thousands of people killed in an earthquake. Of course, as a feeling person, I have empathy for those people and their families, but on an ecological scale, it's not important.


Indeed, it absolutely does depend on how you value life. And I'm with Oaktree in that I believe that ALL life is "special" and should ideally be protected. We do not, however, live in an ideal world, obviously. Still, it troubles me that some humans seem to value human life well below other life. It's a curious phenomenon, and I have pondered why it exists.

I've had creationists tell me that it's the fault of evolutionary theory and the teaching thereof; they claim that since it's taught that we're "just animals," then there's no need to believe that human life (at any stage of development) should be valued. But if that were the case, I would think that we would value ourselves as much as other animals. But we don't. In my experience, some people value human life much less than they value the lives of other animals. So, I tend to point at the environmentalist movement instead. We tend to berate humanity as "great destroyers," and so it doesn't surprise me that we devalue ourselves because of that.

But anyway, one's opinions about abortion, when religion and religious teaching is removed from the equation, does indeed seem to revolve around how much or how little one values human life in general.

For me, while I understand that, ecologically speaking, honeybees are more important than any given population of human beings, for me that doesn't translate into thinking human life unimportant or of less/no value. If nothing else, while we might be "great destroyers," we also have the potential to be "great repair people," do we not? (Note: That's a rhetorical question; I don't necessarily expect anyone to answer. )

I'm mostly found on (and mostly upload to) Tumblr these days because, alas, there are only 24 hours in a day.
Muh Simblr! | An index of my downloads on Tumblr.
Scholar
#31 Old 3rd May 2010 at 9:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
My point was to say that a fetus is a life based on the scientific definition of life. A fetus is still quite different from a tapeworm. A fetus has the future potential to develop into a sentient being; a tapeworm does not.

That doesn't mean the fetus is different from a tapeworm. It means at some point in the future the fetus might be different from a tapeworm. But neither are sentient, not yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
One becomes pregnant through the choices one makes, though. To apply the analogy of illness, if you choose to spend a lot of time around a contagious person, it is your fault if you catch the illness. You are doing something that you know can lead to illness, so you are responsible for becoming ill if you do.

This seems irrelevant, because we'd still allow that ill person to receive medication for that illness, perhaps only shaking our head. Likewise, if somebody pregnant seeks an abortion, we should allow that person to receive one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
Let me put it this way: killing a fetus because it might have a bad life is like presuming guilt over innocence.

I agree with you here. This is why I think it's acceptable for people with serious genetic diseases to reproduce. And I think reproduction via incest is ok too. A bad life is still worth living.

But that doesn't mean abortion is bad. Not being born isn't worse than being born. Aborted embryos and foetuses don't sit around thinking 'damn, wish I'd been born, this sucks' because they can't think at all. So there's no harm in abortion, from the perspective of the foetus.
Lab Assistant
#32 Old 3rd May 2010 at 9:28 AM
Humans are stupid. They never think about consequences...

Abandoned account...
Instructor
#33 Old 3rd May 2010 at 9:55 AM
Hey Ivan, do the billy goats trampling over your bridge keep you awake at night?
Scholar
#34 Old 3rd May 2010 at 12:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
One becomes pregnant through the choices one makes, though. To apply the analogy of illness, if you choose to spend a lot of time around a contagious person, it is your fault if you catch the illness. You are doing something that you know can lead to illness, so you are responsible for becoming ill if you do. I wouldn't argue based on the larger community, but I would argue based on anyone who may directly take care of you. If your mother takes care of you when you are ill, you are making yourself more of a burden if you don't do what it takes to get over the illness most quickly.

But that's not always necessarily accurate. Again, it's just like illness; it can either A. happen, or B. because you did something stupid. In pregnancy, you can either A. have sex without any form of protection, in which case, sure, you could get pregnant. But on the other hand, if you do take protection like contraceptives, and they fail, saying "oh but it was their choice to have sex" comes across, more than anything, of blaming the victim, because contraceptives nowadays are reasonably good at what they're designed to do, so pregnancy is unexpected more than anything. It's like if you take a medicine for an illness, and get one of those "serious" side-affects that, really, only affect a small percentage. That is something that you simply cannot expect, because while it's possible, it's a small possibility, and something most people don't think about because the chances are it would be more unlikely than not that it would happen to them.

So then now you're pregnant, and it was unexpected. You say it's immoral to burden people by not choosing a proper action (taking medication), well then what if a baby becomes an overbearing burden to the family? Well then, it becomes moral to abort to lessen that burden. Now you could say, oh, they could put it up for adoption, yeah, or they could abort, which would probably be easier for the family. If you go through adoption, you still have to endure pregnancy, which the mother may not want to have to deal with at all. So now by illegalizing abortion, you are forcing her to endure with something she does not wish to, that could be remedied, against her will. That comes off as sounding really freaking immoral to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
Have you ever met someone who rightfully believed that they would have been better off never having been born? You are saying that unwanted children are like this. I think that there is enough good in life to outweigh the bad, and that the bad can actually be good for you, as it is character building. Abortion denies those experiences to an individual. Let me put it this way: killing a fetus because it might have a bad life is like presuming guilt over innocence. You are assuming that its life will be bad and taking drastic action that would be unnecessary and wrong if its life were actually going to be good. If, on the other hand, you allow the fetus to live, you grant it an opportunity for good, though bad may happen. On the one hand you have two bad outcomes, on the other you have one good and one bad outcome. Isn't it better to allow the possibility of the good outcome?

Personally, no, but I'm not much of a social butterfly. But that does not mean they do not exist; how about those who endure, say, severe cases of Stiff Person Syndrome. How about those who suffer painful terminal illness, children who suffer from something like that. It's not my place to determine, it's theirs, but there are people who would have preferred not being born. Furthermore, you are assuming, or coming across as assuming, that I mean -all- unwanted children, which simply is not true. There is a breaking point of "bad is good" and its results can be horrific. Not just to them, but to others as well.

Anyhow, "denying experience" is something of an appeal to emotion; the fetus doesn't care, it won't know. It doesn't really have any experience to begin with and ends with no experience. It has to be self-aware first to understand the denial of experience, which it isn't. You can say it denies experience, but really that's nothing but rhetoric, but so what? It doesn't care; it's a mass of unconscious (hell, when most abortions are done, it may not even HAVE any form of consciousness) organic tissue.

But also, you're doing the same thing by assuming it's good. Would it be better to not have it experience pain and suffering undeserved? See how this works, I can do it to. No, I'm not assuming it'll be good or bad; what I'm saying is we don't know. So you are now making a moral choice based off assumption of others. When you say, "but it could have a good life!" I can come back and say, "or a bad life," which only further solidifies my point that by using the "could be's" of its life is nothing more but a stalemate argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
But anyway, one's opinions about abortion, when religion and religious teaching is removed from the equation, does indeed seem to revolve around how much or how little one values human life in general.

I actually disagree; it's not so much about the value of human life, but rather, what IS it? Some say it's not living yet, some say it's a human child, some, like myself, differentiate that, yes, it's human but not yet a person. I think, really, there's almost no argument over the value of human life, because even that point is subjective (when is it alive, and what constitutes life), but rather what IS life, WHEN is life, etc. Because you can still touch on those subjects in a very secular way; they are not bound to religious ideology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan17
Humans are stupid. They never think about consequences...

Pot calling the kettle black?

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Scholar
#35 Old 3rd May 2010 at 2:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doddibot
That doesn't mean the fetus is different from a tapeworm. It means at some point in the future the fetus might be different from a tapeworm. But neither are sentient, not yet.


The fetus is something that spontaneously develops sentience. It will become sentient so long as it isn't killed first.


Quote:
This seems irrelevant, because we'd still allow that ill person to receive medication for that illness, perhaps only shaking our head. Likewise, if somebody pregnant seeks an abortion, we should allow that person to receive one.


That's because receiving that medication does not kill sentient life. It does kill bacteria, but bacteria are not sentient. Abortion kills something that will, through the course of nature, develop sentience.


Quote:
I agree with you here. This is why I think it's acceptable for people with serious genetic diseases to reproduce. And I think reproduction via incest is ok too. A bad life is still worth living.

But that doesn't mean abortion is bad. Not being born isn't worse than being born. Aborted embryos and foetuses don't sit around thinking 'damn, wish I'd been born, this sucks' because they can't think at all. So there's no harm in abortion, from the perspective of the foetus.


Not being aware of a wrong doesn't make it less of a wrong. You could be deprived of something and have it impact your quality of life (or, in this case, your existence) without realizing it is something you should have had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
But that's not always necessarily accurate. Again, it's just like illness; it can either A. happen, or B. because you did something stupid. In pregnancy, you can either A. have sex without any form of protection, in which case, sure, you could get pregnant. But on the other hand, if you do take protection like contraceptives, and they fail, saying "oh but it was their choice to have sex" comes across, more than anything, of blaming the victim, because contraceptives nowadays are reasonably good at what they're designed to do, so pregnancy is unexpected more than anything. It's like if you take a medicine for an illness, and get one of those "serious" side-affects that, really, only affect a small percentage. That is something that you simply cannot expect, because while it's possible, it's a small possibility, and something most people don't think about because the chances are it would be more unlikely than not that it would happen to them.


Pregnancy is not victimization unless it occurs through victimization. It doesn't matter if contraceptives are "relatively good" at what they do; we know that they are not infallible, so a responsible person will take that into their decision-making.

In the same way, if you get a serious side effect from medication, you are responsible if you knew it was a possibility. You can't sue your doctor (at least not morally) if you were made aware of the potential side effects and chose to take the medication anyway. It's simply something that happens sometimes and that you need to keep in mind before taking medication.

Quote:
So then now you're pregnant, and it was unexpected. You say it's immoral to burden people by not choosing a proper action (taking medication), well then what if a baby becomes an overbearing burden to the family? Well then, it becomes moral to abort to lessen that burden. Now you could say, oh, they could put it up for adoption, yeah, or they could abort, which would probably be easier for the family. If you go through adoption, you still have to endure pregnancy, which the mother may not want to have to deal with at all. So now by illegalizing abortion, you are forcing her to endure with something she does not wish to, that could be remedied, against her will. That comes off as sounding really freaking immoral to me.


The burden of the fetus is the lesser "evil" when compared with killing it. People endure things they don't want to all the time; it's part of the way things are. If it is something born of a choice made on the woman's part, she cannot then choose to get rid of a developing life. In other matters, yes, one can fix one's screw ups. When it encroaches on the rights of another, then one cannot.

Quote:
Personally, no, but I'm not much of a social butterfly. But that does not mean they do not exist; how about those who endure, say, severe cases of Stiff Person Syndrome. How about those who suffer painful terminal illness, children who suffer from something like that. It's not my place to determine, it's theirs, but there are people who would have preferred not being born. Furthermore, you are assuming, or coming across as assuming, that I mean -all- unwanted children, which simply is not true. There is a breaking point of "bad is good" and its results can be horrific. Not just to them, but to others as well.


Do you think that every moment of one's life suddenly becomes unimportant and meaningless as soon as one develops a terrible disease? A person can find joy in life and still value those moments even when they are dying of cancer. The value is not retroactively sucked away.

I was not assuming you meant all unwanted children; I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. And I do understand that there is a point where bad does not translate to good. Here you are assuming that I am making an overgeneralization.

Quote:
Anyhow, "denying experience" is something of an appeal to emotion; the fetus doesn't care, it won't know. It doesn't really have any experience to begin with and ends with no experience. It has to be self-aware first to understand the denial of experience, which it isn't. You can say it denies experience, but really that's nothing but rhetoric, but so what? It doesn't care; it's a mass of unconscious (hell, when most abortions are done, it may not even HAVE any form of consciousness) organic tissue.


I responded to this point in my response to Doddibot.

Quote:
But also, you're doing the same thing by assuming it's good. Would it be better to not have it experience pain and suffering undeserved? See how this works, I can do it to. No, I'm not assuming it'll be good or bad; what I'm saying is we don't know. So you are now making a moral choice based off assumption of others. When you say, "but it could have a good life!" I can come back and say, "or a bad life," which only further solidifies my point that by using the "could be's" of its life is nothing more but a stalemate argument.


I think it is worse to deny the experience of life entirely, but I will concede that this is a point in which other viewpoints are potentially valid.
Alchemist
#36 Old 3rd May 2010 at 3:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy_otter

I think a lot of it comes down to how you value life. I don't, for example, think humans are more important than bees. I am, intellectually, more upset about the diminishing honey bee population than I am about thousands of people killed in an earthquake. Of course, as a feeling person, I have empathy for those people and their families, but on an ecological scale, it's not important.


You're actually right here. Bees are more important. If all of the bees died out, then so would everything else. Bees pollinate flowers, which produce seeds, which herbivores eat, which carnivores then eat. If that didn't happen, there would be no food. Im sure there's other ways to pollinate flowers, but bees do the majority of it.

However, I do care more about the millions of people who are killed/die everyday than a bunch of bees.
Scholar
#37 Old 3rd May 2010 at 5:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Oaktree
Pregnancy is not victimization unless it occurs through victimization. It doesn't matter if contraceptives are "relatively good" at what they do; we know that they are not infallible, so a responsible person will take that into their decision-making. In the same way, if you get a serious side effect from medication, you are responsible if you knew it was a possibility. You can't sue your doctor (at least not morally) if you were made aware of the potential side effects and chose to take the medication anyway. It's simply something that happens sometimes and that you need to keep in mind before taking medication.

And by illegalizing abortion, you are taking away a responsible choice from them. That is how you "blame the victim." They were responsible, something happened, and now they do not have the option to them, and get blamed for not, say, "appreciating the consequences" or something. But it's their right to have sex if they want, and the took the necessary steps, and those steps failed. To say it's their fault is both harsh and unreasonable.

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Originally Posted by Oaktree
The burden of the fetus is the lesser "evil" when compared with killing it. People endure things they don't want to all the time; it's part of the way things are. If it is something born of a choice made on the woman's part, she cannot then choose to get rid of a developing life. In other matters, yes, one can fix one's screw ups. When it encroaches on the rights of another, then one cannot.

First point: It's only lesser to you. Not to me, because I don't see abortion as "evil" in any sense. You really should not argue on that point; it would not be to your benefit. Second point: True; and some are worse than others, and some are so horrific, that perhaps yes, they are better off dead. Death would be a hell lot better than what some go through. Third point: If she CHOSE to get pregnant, should would not abort unless there was medical complications, so that's something of a moot point. And fourth point: And I find illegalizing abortions as encroaching on the rights of the mother, who I think is way more important that the fetus; although I will admit I'm not a fan of late-term abortions. Again, the whole human v. person thing.

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Originally Posted by Oaktree
Do you think that every moment of one's life suddenly becomes unimportant and meaningless as soon as one develops a terrible disease? A person can find joy in life and still value those moments even when they are dying of cancer. The value is not retroactively sucked away. I was not assuming you meant all unwanted children; I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. And I do understand that there is a point where bad does not translate to good. Here you are assuming that I am making an overgeneralization.

It's not about importantness or meaningfullness. It's about whether they should be forced to have to endure horrific disease or suffering. If I was a mother, and I found out my fetus was going to suffer from some form of disease that would cause them to suffer all their life, I would give serious consideration to an abortion. I could easily argue that forcing them into birth, to endure that suffering, far worse than aborting them, and also, immoral. It's not about value, it's about endurance, it's the same reason people would consider euthanasia.

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Originally Posted by Oaktree
The fetus is something that spontaneously develops sentience. It will become sentient so long as it isn't killed first.

But it does not happen right away; it has to develop first. Same with sentience; sure, it'll eventually become sentient, but "eventually" doesn't matter in an abortion (or rather, in an early-term abortion). It's a moot point.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Instructor
#38 Old 3rd May 2010 at 6:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
Pregnancy is not victimization unless it occurs through victimization. It doesn't matter if contraceptives are "relatively good" at what they do; we know that they are not infallible, so a responsible person will take that into their decision-making.


So a race-car driver who gets injured during a race or a smoker who develops cancer should get no medical help because they made a certain "risky" choice and should just deal with the consequences, right? I'm glad no developed countries actually have this mentality (but it isn't surprising of course).
Site Helper
#39 Old 3rd May 2010 at 6:20 PM
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Originally Posted by iCad
I'm with Oaktree in that I believe that ALL life is "special" and should ideally be protected.


Then why take antibiotics? Are bacteria special, too?

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Originally Posted by Oaktree
That's because receiving that medication does not kill sentient life. It does kill bacteria, but bacteria are not sentient. Abortion kills something that will, through the course of nature, develop sentience.


And sentience is often described as the ability to feel pleasure and pain. By that reasoning, we could say that people with congenital analgesia or severe depression aren't sentient... and are therefore not worthy of life. I don't think sentience is that great a measure for what's eligible for abortion or not (especially since there's not much evidence that an embryo in the very early stages can even feel pleasure or pain... and we are talking about abortion here, not the murder of a fully formed child months later).

If we're going to use sentience as the measuring stick for morality, then why do pro-lifers eat meat? Can't animals feel pleasure and pain? (Anyone who says "no" has obviously never watched their dog run through the grass just for the sheer pleasure of it or cry out in pain when they hurt themselves.)
Scholar
#40 Old 3rd May 2010 at 6:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Nekowolf
And by illegalizing abortion, you are taking away a responsible choice from them. That is how you "blame the victim." They were responsible, something happened, and now they do not have the option to them, and get blamed for not, say, "appreciating the consequences" or something. But it's their right to have sex if they want, and the took the necessary steps, and those steps failed. To say it's their fault is both harsh and unreasonable.


Making murder illegal also, in some regard, takes the responsibility out of the hands of the individual. We do outlaw murder, however, because there should be some punishment for doing so. Ideally an individual should make proper decisions without any incentive, but punishment is a necessity for rehabilitation.

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First point: It's only lesser to you. Not to me, because I don't see abortion as "evil" in any sense. You really should not argue on that point; it would not be to your benefit.


In the same way, I don't see pregnancy that occurs due to the actions of the individual as evil, regardless of whether the pregnancy is wanted.

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Second point: True; and some are worse than others, and some are so horrific, that perhaps yes, they are better off dead. Death would be a hell lot better than what some go through. Third point: If she CHOSE to get pregnant, should would not abort unless there was medical complications, so that's something of a moot point.


She chose to get pregnant if she chose to have sex and she got pregnant.

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And fourth point: And I find illegalizing abortions as encroaching on the rights of the mother, who I think is way more important that the fetus; although I will admit I'm not a fan of late-term abortions. Again, the whole human v. person thing.


I don't think that the mother has any right to abort the fetus. We're arguing in circles.

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It's not about importantness or meaningfullness. It's about whether they should be forced to have to endure horrific disease or suffering. If I was a mother, and I found out my fetus was going to suffer from some form of disease that would cause them to suffer all their life, I would give serious consideration to an abortion. I could easily argue that forcing them into birth, to endure that suffering, far worse than aborting them, and also, immoral. It's not about value, it's about endurance, it's the same reason people would consider euthanasia.


I have talked to people who have debilitating diseases, but still lead happy lives. You can't know that having an ailment means unhappiness. Many people with ailments are able to find the good in life and enjoy themselves regardless of the bad. I find that most of the people I know with major ailments have strong characters born of adversity.


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But it does not happen right away; it has to develop first. Same with sentience; sure, it'll eventually become sentient, but "eventually" doesn't matter in an abortion (or rather, in an early-term abortion). It's a moot point.


Why is it a moot point? This seems to be personal feeling on your part. Why does it not matter that the fetus will develop into a sentient individual?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jooxis
So a race-car driver who gets injured during a race or a smoker who develops cancer should get no medical help because they made a certain "risky" choice and should just deal with the consequences, right? I'm glad no developed countries actually have this mentality (but it isn't surprising of course).


No, because the medical help they would get would not encroach on the rights of another. Like I said earlier, there are plenty of cases in which one can fix one's screw ups, but only if it does not encroach on the rights of others.

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Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
Then why take antibiotics? Are bacteria special, too?

And sentience is often described as the ability to feel pleasure and pain. By that reasoning, we could say that people with congenital analgesia or severe depression aren't sentient... and are therefore not worthy of life. I don't think sentience is that great a measure for what's eligible for abortion or not (especially since there's not much evidence that an embryo in the very early stages can even feel pleasure or pain... and we are talking about abortion here, not the murder of a fully formed child months later).

If we're going to use sentience as the measuring stick for morality, then why do pro-lifers eat meat? Can't animals feel pleasure and pain? (Anyone who says "no" has obviously never watched their dog run through the grass just for the sheer pleasure of it or cry out in pain when they hurt themselves.)


I define sentience as self-awareness and meta-cognition. A fetus develops into a sentient being.

Pro-lifers can eat meat because it is a survival imperative. The nutrients in meat are necessary for a healthy life, so one must eat meat for the sake of survival. In this case, the extinction of a species is the greater evil.
Site Helper
#41 Old 3rd May 2010 at 7:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Oaktree
Pro-lifers can eat meat because it is a survival imperative. The nutrients in meat are necessary for a healthy life, so one must eat meat for the sake of survival. In this case, the extinction of a species is the greater evil.


I must be talking to you from beyond my vegan grave. Wooooooo!

Do all the Hindus, Mahayana Buddhists, and Seventh-day Adventists know they should be dead right now?

All right, let's say it is a survival imperative. Then why is it okay to kill an animal to survive, but it's not okay to terminate a high-risk pregnancy so that the mother survives to bring up her existing children? Wouldn't children with a living mother be more likely to survive (and thrive)?
Scholar
#42 Old 3rd May 2010 at 7:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
I must be talking to you from beyond my vegan grave. Wooooooo!

Do all the Hindus, Mahayana Buddhists, and Seventh-day Adventists know they should be dead right now?

All right, let's say it is a survival imperative. Then why is it okay to kill an animal to survive, but it's not okay to terminate a high-risk pregnancy so that the mother survives to bring up her existing children? Wouldn't children with a living mother be more likely to survive (and thrive)?


First, it is generally very difficult to get all of the vitamins and amino acids necessary for optimum health as a vegan. I know it isn't impossible, though. Second, for those who can't afford a vegan diet, it is better to provide whatever food is available, rather than let them starve.

I did state that under most circumstances abortion is allowable if there is risk to the mother. I said that it was more wrong if the woman knew that getting pregnant would most likely lead to a strong risk to her health and she chooses to engage in risky behavior regardless. I think that this is a bit more of a grey area, so it may be allowable for a woman to abort the child still, but I think that there is a definite level of wrongness to it, even if it is the lesser of the two wrongs.

I stated much earlier in the thread that there are a few circumstances under which abortion may be the lesser of two evils. I think that each of those instances varies contextually, but there are some instances in which it can be morally allowable.
Undead Molten Llama
#43 Old 3rd May 2010 at 7:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
Then why take antibiotics? Are bacteria special, too?


All life, including prokaryotic life, is special, in the sense that it came about through a series of unlikely events that may never happen again in the same way anywhere else in the universe ever again. And it is my belief that life ideally should be protected, yes, though not necessarily because it's special. But as I said, our world is not ideal.

Since our world is not ideal, some bacteria infect us, are foreign to our bodies, and have the potential to kill us. So, my human immune system will destroy invading bacteria in my body if it can because it "values" my life over the life of the bacteria. That's just nature, the way it is, the way the system developed. Antibiotics, when one chooses to use them, simply amplify the efficacy of the immune system, helping it to do what it does naturally. The situation with abortion is obviously not at all the same.

As an aside, for those arguing about sentience: Sentience is merely the ability to perceive with senses. Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, perceiving pain, etc. are all a part of sentience. If you're talking about self-awareness, the ability to think, etc., then the word you want is "sapience." The two aren't really interchangeable.

It's pretty obvious that a developing human is sentient fairly early on. The nervous system is one of the first systems to develop, alongside of the circulatory system. Even human embryos will respond to sensory stimuli. But as to when a human becomes sapient...Well, that's the much bigger question. It might not be until well after birth.

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Scholar
#44 Old 3rd May 2010 at 7:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
As an aside, for those arguing about sentience: Sentience is merely the ability to perceive with senses. Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, perceiving pain, etc. are all a part of sentience. If you're talking about self-awareness, the ability to think, etc., then the word you want is "sapience." The two aren't really interchangeable.


Ah, thank you, that was the word I was looking for.
Scholar
#45 Old 3rd May 2010 at 8:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
Making murder illegal also, in some regard, takes the responsibility out of the hands of the individual. We do outlaw murder, however, because there should be some punishment for doing so. Ideally an individual should make proper decisions without any incentive, but punishment is a necessity for rehabilitation.

...okay, honestly, I think you're really stretching to make a point with that one. I fail to see your point; murder is illegal because it really is killing a "person."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
She chose to get pregnant if she chose to have sex and she got pregnant.

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. No matter what protection she does, you are blaming them for "not being responsible enough." Essentially, you are creating a black-and-white perspective of either: don't have sex, or deal with it. No, if she was on birth control she was not choosing to get pregnant. That is why she was on freaking birth control. To not get pregnant. This is what I mean by blaming the victim. You can go on about how "they should be prepared for the consequences" but to be frank, I find that as a loaded position, simply used to justify this "blame the victim" mentality. Because it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. What you are saying, using analogy, is if you don't give medicine to a child, you are responsible for that child's illness being left untreated, but then on the other hand saying you are also responsible for any side-affect that child may have because you gave them medicine. Either way, the parent gets blamed for either not doing anything (unprotected sex) or for not being responsible enough (contraception) while leaving no room for them to justify themselves aside from not having sex at all, which they should not be punished for having, which is what illegalizing abortion is at them; a punishment.

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I have talked to people who have debilitating diseases, but still lead happy lives. You can't know that having an ailment means unhappiness. Many people with ailments are able to find the good in life and enjoy themselves regardless of the bad. I find that most of the people I know with major ailments have strong characters born of adversity.

And you cannot continue to assume they all leave happy carefree lives, that not a single person out there would dare consider euthanasia, that not a single person with a debilitating illness wants to die, that they feel they would have been better off not being born. Now stop stretching what I am saying. It is starting to tick me off.

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Why is it a moot point? This seems to be personal feeling on your part. Why does it not matter that the fetus will develop into a sentient individual?

Because an abortion isn't about killing a sentient being later, it's about removing a insentient thing now, in the present. The future is inconsequential, because it won't have one. It won't have experience, it won't have thought, it won't have understanding, or self-awareness, it won't feel emotion. It has none of these processes yet. By going on about its future assumes it is something it is not, and is nothing more than an appeal to emotion. It assumes that it is conscious, that it is already self-aware, that it already understands what will happen to it. It does not. Therefore, it's future is a moot point, because it actually needs a future to be relevant, and it's future is so unknown, that you cannot possibly argue on it with any form of legitimate reasoning, cause everything you say about its future I can easily counter, and we would have absolutely no idea who's correct, if either side. He could be a doctor, he could a murderer. He could be a firefighter, he could be an arsonist. He could be an lawyer, he could be con artist. He could be a police officer, he could be a drug dealer. He could live until he's a hundred, he could die within weeks of being born. And it just goes on and on. You cannot argue about "would be's" in the abortion debate; they are nothing but straw men.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
#46 Old 3rd May 2010 at 8:14 PM
i think abortion is the right thing to do if :
a- the fetus is killing the mother
b- the fetus was conceived of rape
c- the fetus is deformed or ect.

if the mother knowingly has sex with her partner, she should have the baby. it isn't fair for the fetus the die because of unlikely circumstances.
Scholar
#47 Old 3rd May 2010 at 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nekowolf
...okay, honestly, I think you're really stretching to make a point with that one. I fail to see your point; murder is illegal because it really is killing a "person."


I am talking about it in terms of meta-ethics. I think the problem here is that you and I are talking past each other. I am making a high-level, somewhat abstract moral argument, while you are talking at the level of applied ethics.

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See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. No matter what protection she does, you are blaming them for "not being responsible enough." Essentially, you are creating a black-and-white perspective of either: don't have sex, or deal with it. No, if she was on birth control she was not choosing to get pregnant. That is why she was on freaking birth control. To not get pregnant. This is what I mean by blaming the victim. You can go on about how "they should be prepared for the consequences" but to be frank, I find that as a loaded position, simply used to justify this "blame the victim" mentality. Because it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. What you are saying, using analogy, is if you don't give medicine to a child, you are responsible for that child's illness being left untreated, but then on the other hand saying you are also responsible for any side-affect that child may have because you gave them medicine. Either way, the parent gets blamed for either not doing anything (unprotected sex) or for not being responsible enough (contraception) while leaving no room for them to justify themselves aside from not having sex at all, which they should not be punished for having, which is what illegalizing abortion is at them; a punishment.


You are ignoring the possibility of taking responsibility and raising the child that occurs due to the pregnancy. I'll try to distill down the basic ideas behind my responses in this thread: 1) There are consequences to every action. If the possibilities are known, an individual is responsible for what happens when they choose to do whatever it is that they are contemplating doing. This applies to good and bad outcomes. You are responsible for your actions. I don't know how to express this any more simply. 2) You have no right to infringe on the rights of others. Ideally, you should do things that promote the well-being of yourself and others, but this is not necessary. You are doing wrong, though, if you do something that is harmful to another.

You seem to think that being responsible is, in-itself, a punishment. I think that being responsible is the only way to be a moral individual, and I feel that responsibility is not a burden because it makes me a better person.

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And you cannot continue to assume they all leave happy carefree lives, that not a single person out there would dare consider euthanasia, that not a single person with a debilitating illness wants to die, that they feel they would have been better off not being born. Now stop stretching what I am saying. It is starting to tick me off.


I'm not stretching what you're saying. I'm providing perfectly valid counterpoints to what you are saying. I am giving you some of the reasons why I think abortion is wrong. If it ticks you off, don't debate with me.

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Because an abortion isn't about killing a sentient being later, it's about removing a insentient thing now, in the present. The future is inconsequential, because it won't have one. It won't have experience, it won't have thought, it won't have understanding, or self-awareness, it won't feel emotion. It has none of these processes yet. By going on about its future assumes it is something it is not, and is nothing more than an appeal to emotion. It assumes that it is conscious, that it is already self-aware, that it already understands what will happen to it. It does not. Therefore, it's future is a moot point, because it actually needs a future to be relevant, and it's future is so unknown, that you cannot possibly argue on it with any form of legitimate reasoning, cause everything you say about its future I can easily counter, and we would have absolutely no idea who's correct, if either side. He could be a doctor, he could a murderer. He could be a firefighter, he could be an arsonist. He could be an lawyer, he could be con artist. He could be a police officer, he could be a drug dealer. He could live until he's a hundred, he could die within weeks of being born. And it just goes on and on. You cannot argue about "would be's" in the abortion debate; they are nothing but straw men.


As I argued before, awareness of wrong does not make it less wrong. Just because the fetus is unaware of the fact that it has potential, does not mean that it is okay to destroy that potential.

Clearly this is coming down to core differences in ideas; I don't think we will agree on this point.
Instructor
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3rd May 2010 at 8:26 PM
This message has been deleted by jooxis.
Instructor
#48 Old 3rd May 2010 at 8:29 PM
Haha, I'm surprised there aren't more pro-lifers arguing that rape pregancies shouldn't be aborted either - after all, the woman DID go out alone at night and was trusting strangers - so she should just deal with the consequences of her behavior!
Scholar
#49 Old 3rd May 2010 at 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jooxis
Haha, I'm surprised there aren't more pro-lifers arguing that rape pregancies shouldn't be aborted either - after all, the woman DID go out alone at night and was trusting strangers - so she should just deal with the consequences of her behavior!


You are not responsible for the actions of others, only for your own. If you do not give consent, the responsibility lies in the hands of the rapist because he chose to continue.
Undead Molten Llama
#50 Old 3rd May 2010 at 8:36 PM
@ Neko: OK, I have to jump in here. First, I assume you're talking about sapience (self-awareness, thinking) and not sentience, which is merely sensual perception. Even early embryos are quite clearly sentient, as they will respond to sensory stimuli. But so far as I know, no one is really sure when a human being becomes sapient. It's generally thought that it's after birth, though, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months afterward.

Given the above and since you seem to think it's OK to abort a fetus because it isn't yet sapient, would you consider it acceptable to kill a one-month-old baby, then? And if not, why? What's the difference between a non-sapient say, five-month-old fetus and a not-yet-sapient one-month-old infant?

Note: I'm not trying to trap you here. Many people make the argument that abortion is OK because the child is not yet sapient. Yet, most of those same people people don't think it's OK to kill an infant once it's been born, even though our research tells us that full sapience -- at least as we define it -- doesn't happen until after birth. So I'm honestly curious about the thinking involved, is all.

I'm mostly found on (and mostly upload to) Tumblr these days because, alas, there are only 24 hours in a day.
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