Abortion: The Ethics of Liberty | INFJ Forum

Abortion: The Ethics of Liberty

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by TheLastMohican, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/fourteen.asp

    A few excerpts:

    The Premise




    If accepted for legal purposes, this argument would have some interesting implications for the procedures of abortion. It would be legal to remove a fetus from the womb, but not to kill it directly (especially not when it is capable of breathing on its own). That could necessitate some strange practices, but it would, at least in my opinion, make the legalization of abortion philosophically consistent. The basic rule is that we are not allowed to kill children, but we are not required to nurture them, either. It gives us the simple freedom to keep to ourselves.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. IndigoSensor

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    Oh man, did you open a can of worms! I don't think that argument would ever be put into practice, it is so odd (for lack of a better word) that very very few people would latch onto it. However, it sorta does make sense.

    My personal take on abortion is that it is the womens choice up until the last minute. I have never seen a problem with abortion, nor will I ever. It is a potential life, not a life.
     
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  3. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I think in my lesser moments I have made that argument purely with the malice intention of inflaming the sensibilities of extreme pro-life advocates. However, I value human life in and of itself too much to take it seriously. In a rational world it may make sense, but in a rational world there would probably be no need for abortions in the first place.
     
  4. Flavus Aquila

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    At what point does 'potential life' become 'actual life'?
     
  5. OP
    TheLastMohican

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    That's what you get with a purely rational argument. :wink:

    My position up until now was that abortion, while morally ambiguous, should not be legal. My reasoning was that conception is the only point at which we can properly define the beginning of life, because human development (be it growth or degenerative aging) is continuous and the fetus is basically the same just after birth as it was an hour before, the only difference being that the umbilical cord has been severed. It's still dependent on other humans for any lengthy survival period.

    This new argument neatly bypasses that problem of definition, because we are no longer talking about when the fetus gains the right to life; instead, we can just remove it and then give it a sporting chance to live if it can. Since we're not deliberately killing it, the "right to life" is no longer an issue. All that matters is our right to do what we please with our time and energy.
    Strange, perhaps, but it makes more sense than any arguments I have previously heard from either side of the abortion debate.
     
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  6. texasgirl

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    And that is what makes abortion such a touchy issue. We have no way of determining when the change form potential life to actual life is made. Thats the controversy in a lot of the arguments. Some people believe that its not actually alive until it comes out a pink crying baby, while others consider it actual life as soon as it is conceived.
     
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  7. OP
    TheLastMohican

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    Do you mean this argument specifically, carrying the logic through to the lack of obligation by the parents, or do you just meaning using the parasite argument from the woman's perspective?
    I've seen the latter used a number of times by someone on another forum, but she didn't express it as one consistent rule as this article does, but more as a subjective sympathy stance.
     
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  8. KingOfSpades

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    It's logically consistent, but I woudl worry about the social consequences of this writ large. It seems it would cultivate a very self-interested attitude about what to do with your life. The parental bond is strong, and suggesting that a parent has no obligation to provide for the kid might lead to a lot of poor parenting and just a pretty intolerable social environment where everyone is out for themselves.

    When it comes to abortion I don't think there's any need to be logically consistent. As I get older I appreciate how gray life is -- how capable we all are of "good" and "evil". Those terms have much less meaning for me now than they would have 10 years ago. I would leave it up to every woman to decide what to do w/her body. Just like they say, "every athiest believes in God in a foxhole," I'm sure you could say that even a pro-life woman might consider abortion given some difficult life circumstance.
     
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    #8 KingOfSpades, Mar 19, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
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  9. OP
    TheLastMohican

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    It is life at least from conception onward. I don't see how you can argue against that; it has 46 chromosomes, and it's growing independently. But with this argument, none of that matters.
     
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  10. IndigoSensor

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    Strange it may be, but I don't particulary like the argument, because then it gives parents an excuse not to care for their children, which I have a serious problem with. On the flipside it does give reason for abortion.

    As far as the "where life begins" argument, it has never been an issue to me. I have always had a clear definition in my mind. Live begins when birth is decided on, and the birth is preformed. If abortion is decided, then it is not a life, even if live birth abortion is preformed. People have a hard time understanding my take on it. I only know 3 other people (my mom, my best friend, and a very close friend), who agree with me on this front.
     
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  11. OP
    TheLastMohican

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    What I don't understand about your position is why you have a problem with parents killing or discarding the infant after birth. If it's okay prior to birth, and even during birth, then why not after birth?
     
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  12. IndigoSensor

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    And the problem occurs! I truly can't explain why I feel this way, it just makes sense to me. After birth was decided, the parents decided to give it life. Tough cookies if you change your mind, you already agreed on it. Imagine what would happen if parents started deciding "hmm, I'd rather not have this baby after all, time to get rid of it", it would cause alot of problems. Again I see a fetus up until the decision has been made that it is to be born, as a potential life, nothing more.
     
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  13. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    I agree.

    This argument may shed some light into the abortion issue, but it legalizes a rather problematic parent-child relationship. Someone could use this argument to defend himself of, for example, abandoning his newborn baby. In other words, it may open up new fronts.

    Note that abortion is legal in my country.
     
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  14. arbygil

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    Here's my take on the issue: I believe in education first. Once people know both the pros and the cons without bias, then the decision is up to them. Unfortunately we don't tell them all the pros and the cons. I think women should see pictures of infants/fetuses growing, and they should see movies of it moving in a human body. They should see it tasting its fingers and moving and wriggling about. They should see this *before* they get pregnant. It should be taught in sex ed classes, along with safe sex.

    And then, once they know what happens from conception to birth, I think it's up to them to decide what to do. Personally, I think it's a child, and I see it as a baby and not tissue. Growing, yes. Not complete, not totally cognizant, but growing nonetheless. But we all make decisions in our lives and we have to live with the decisions we make, for good or for ill. I'll explain how I feel but I won't come down on a woman who has decided to abort her child. She chose to do what she felt she needed to do.

    And I can't blame people who get pregnant via rape or abuse, because in such circumstances I don't know how I'd feel. I'm also not sure of cases when the mother is mentally incompetent or mentally disabled...or when the mother is dead but the baby is still clinging for life. I know how I feel about it and I can try and help counsel someone who is making a decision in their life, but ultimately that decision is the mother's. I'd rather she make an informed decision in a safe hospital than an informed decision in a back alley, risking her own life as well as her infant's (TMI: Happened to my mother and her first pregnancy).
     
  15. TenorKite

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    This is a message I sent off to a friend a number of years ago after a very vocal anti-abortion rally was held near my house. It seems very poorly written now, not that I'm any better of a writer, but I can now summarize it as: "We're defined by our relationships."

     
  16. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I'm sure you are aware of the forum I am speaking about and the argument I made was generally that a woman's womb was a "residence" and since it was her property she had the right to "evict" the fetus.
     
  17. OP
    TheLastMohican

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    Okay, I can guess where you presented that argument; I just didn't see it. (I haven't been very active at you-know-where recently.)
     
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  18. the

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    I think parents should be allowed to destroy their offspring at any time any age.



    How can you know anything without bias?
     
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  19. OP
    TheLastMohican

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    What gives a parent the right to kill a grown, self-sufficient descendant (assuming that a person who is not the parent does not have that right)?
     
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  20. IndigoSensor

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    ... do you realise how HORRIBLE those implications would be? I truly hope you are joking.
     
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