Abortion and the Second Amendment

Let’s discuss one’s right to choose.  Of course which side of the political aisle you find yourself on determines which choices you like to exercise.  If I may generalize a bit here, the political Left generally and full-heartedly support unfettered choice when it comes to abortion, but not so much when it comes to guns.  If the political Left is anything, they’re passionate.  Hypocritical, but passionate.  They are champions of people’s rights… well, some rights of some people anyway.

What I find most interesting is how the Left debates these issues.  Abortion, they say, is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  Not one explicitly stated, but falls under the “penumbra” of the right to privacy.  Thus the abortion defender concludes that elective abortion is a right somehow guaranteed by the Constitution.  Regardless of the intellectual gymnastics required to make this argument, you will find abortion defenders up in arms, so to speak, any time a State legislature passes laws which they believe hinders mother’s ease of access in any way to obtain an abortion.  Laws which require the mother to make an informed decision, i.e., hear the baby’s heartbeat, or view an ultrasound picture of their baby in utero, requiring parents of minor children seeking abortion to be notified, etc. are decried as taking away rights, guaranteed rights.  I have even heard it said that implementing restrictions will lead to full confiscation of the right to an abortion, a slippery slope after a fashion.

Given how passionately they defend a mother’s right to choose abortion based on a mere penumbra, for consistency’s sake you’d think they would just as passionately defend a right explicitly stated within the Constitution.

bear arms(Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States) — A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

When it comes to the people’s right to keep and bear arms — a right that shall not be infringed — the political Left has no qualm using any politi-speak necessary to restrict, regulate, and even infringe the citizen’s explicit right: “This type of arm or ammunition is not protected, guaranteed, or ‘necessary’.”

I wonder, if laws which are perceived to inhibit unfettered access to elective abortion are abhorrent because they violate some overarching penumbra of a Constitutionally guaranteed right; why aren’t laws which inhibit a person from being able to possess and carry (keep and bear) firearms considered by the political Left to be an infringement of a Constitutionally guaranteed right?  Granted, the political Left (broadly speaking) doesn’t agree that a citizen should have an unfettered right to keep and posses arms, but then again, the political Right doesn’t believe a mother should have unfettered access to an elective abortion and the Left has no problem essentially saying “too bad you don’t agree, abortion is a right!”.

Does anyone on the political Left see this as overtly hypocritical?  They regularly argue issues as though their detractors need to fall in line and be on the “right side of history”, as though their view on issues is the right side of history.  With all the big talk about concern for rights, they really give the impression that it’s not actual rights they’re concerned with, but rather it’s their politics they revere.

This overt hypocrisy leaves me wanting to ask, is the political Left earnestly concerned with the actual rights of the people, or is their concern more for their politics?  How can you claim on one hand that any restriction or regulation of elective abortion is a deprivation of a right, and on the other restriction or regulation of firearms is not?

Comments

  1. “How can you claim on one hand that any restriction or regulation of elective abortion is a deprivation of a right, and on the other restriction or regulation of firearms is not?”

    I think most (I can’t speak for all of us) are not against regulation of abortion in some circumstances. Just like I’m not against the regulation of firearms in some circumstances.

    • Ok, so what do you think of the kinds of supporters for abortion I am talking about? Are they hypocrites?

    • Mainstream Mike says:

      I don’t care what you are or are not against. The Constitution is clear:
      – no restrictions on firearms are ever constitutional.
      – the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” precludes any and all abortions.

      These are the only Constitutional, American positions on these issues.

  2. Maybe? If you gave me specific circumstances I could certainly tell you. I’d rather not speak in vague generalities.

    I also would not be surprised to find people being hypocritical who I might, in part, agree with. People hold positions for any number of reasons, sometimes irrational, and doing so leads to unintended hypocrisy all the time.

    • Do you follow the news? Specific examples are in the news all the time. Even former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that Republicans “want women to die on the floor” because they sought regulations on abortion.

      • Again, give me specifics. I’ve read very little about Republicans wanting to regulate abortion. I’ve read a lot about them wanting to ban it, with no allowance for rape or the life of the mother.

        • So then click the above link “States which pass laws…” those are republican legislatures passing regulations and restrictions, which, as you demonstrate Liberals perceive as “wanting to ban”

  3. If you make it so your state doesn’t have any locations where abortions can take place, or very very few of them, you are clearly working to effectively ban abortion.

    From reading your writing, don’t you want to ban abortion? I never got the sense that you wanted to have it regulated.

    • Of course I want it banned, but I’m not a politician in a position to do so. But States haven’t made it illegal, they have regulated the conditions under which abortion is permissible. It’s not the state’s fault that abortion providers find it better or easier to close shop than comply, is it?

      • Um, yeah, it’s specifically their fault when the politicians have said what their goal is.

        But whatever. Banning abortion won’t stop abortion. Better education and birth control will do that.

        • And banning assault weapons wont stop murders. However, there is more education and birth control available now than ever in the past and abortion is still prevalent. Planned Parenthood alone does more than 300,000 a year.

  4. NAS,
    Removing abortion mills from states is to ban the abortion-on-demand for convenience. Those of medical necessity should be in a hospital with real doctors, as well as proper facilities to handle what ever happens,

  5. NotAScientists failed to answer your specific questions, John…

    Well, there’s a f***ing surprise!

  6. “And banning assault weapons wont stop murders. ”

    Agreed. It may make mass murders in which assault weapons are used to be less likely, however.

    “and abortion is still prevalent.”

    Is ‘prevalent’ the right word? We never kept records of it until recently.

    Yes, there is more education and birth control. Access to both are being prevented by some, however. And the studies have shown that places without comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control are the places with the largest amount of unplanned and teenage pregnancy.

    • Really, urban Democrat governed cities are lacking birth control and sex-ed? Sounds fishy to me, especially since Planned Parenthood supplies free birth control to anyone who walks in the door and Democrats push sex ed on grade-schoolers.

  7. Nope. Rural, Republican governed cities that teach abstinence only and try to ban birth control have the largest amount of unplanned and teenage pregnancy.

    And how dare we teach grade schoolers, who around the end of their grade school careers are going through puberty, that their actions have consequences. Why don’t we just pretend that they aren’t humming with hormones? Maybe it’ll just go away by itself.

    • First of all, there’s no such thing as a “rural city”. Second, which cities are run by republicans whose education departments teach abstinence only, and have higher teen pregnancy rates than urban cities?

      Citations please.

    • Did you miss this: “Because correlation does not imply causation, our analysis cannot demonstrate that emphasizing abstinence causes increased teen pregnancy.”

      Probably.

  8. “Probably.”

    It’s not an absolute certainly, of course not. But it’s an interesting bit of data. And the correlation is there.

    “Okay, young man, two options. Have sex with this young lady who wants to have sex with you, or don’t. We don’t want you to. We won’t really go into the reasons why.”

    What do you think he’ll do?

  9. “You think abstinence-only programs only say “dont do it”? You seriously think that?”

    Yup. They may mention that, if they have sex, it will hurt the baby Jesus. :)

  10. “as you are on the biological ontology of a fertilized egg.”

    Afraid not. A fertilized egg is still not a human being. An obvious difference would be the ability to freeze a fertilized egg and then unfreeze it without killing it. But there are more.

    And I was joking about baby Jesus. Abstinence only is still inadequate as it refuses to acknowledge that children will have sex, even if the abstinence only program tells them not to. And rather than preparing them for that possibility, it pretends that possibility won’t ever happen. Or it just doesn’t care. Not sure which.

    • Afraid not. A fertilized egg is still not a human being

      Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania to the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session 1981, stated:

      I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….
      I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.

      The same report concluded,

      Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.

      Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2:

      Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoa development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.
      A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo)….[B]irth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change of environment.

      Reality and science beg to differ.

  11. “human life begins at the time of conception”

    And oak tree life begins at the time of an acorn. But an acorn is not an oak tree.

    BTW, Do you think fertilized eggs are given souls? I’m curious, because that would mean heaven is full of fertilized eggs. Also, when you get an identical twin, I suppose the soul splits in half?

    • You’re right, an acorn is not an oak tree. An acorn is an oak, though. Acorn and tree are stages in the life of an oak, one denotes maturity. A fertilized egg is one stage in the life of a human being, and adulthood is another stage.

      It would be my view that every human being possesses a soul. Souls aren’t “assigned” to an egg, it is given to a human being. Twins are two different human beings. Does being a smart ass make you feel like you’re accomplishing something?

  12. “Does being a smart ass make you feel like you’re accomplishing something?”

    Does insulting people make you feel superior?

    “A fertilized egg is one stage in the life of a human being, and adulthood is another stage.”

    Correct. And if, at a certain stage, you have only a handful of cells, and no mind, and no organs…you are not, as far as I can tell, a human being.

    • “you are not, as far as I can tell, a human being”

      Reality and biological sciences beg to differ.

      • No they don’t. Your interpretation of reality and biological sciences beg to differ. Your interpretations are wrong.

        • Actually, I cited medical professionals and a textbook.

          • You cited the opinion of a few medical professionals. They don’t all agree. And I don’t necessarily think their interpretations are correct either.

            • can you cite any who think a fertilized egg is not human?

              • You’re muddling your terms. When you say “human” do you mean “of the human species”, “a human being”, “a person”? Spermatozoa are ‘human’ depending how you define it.

              • I dont see “person” as a substantive distinction for any purpose. Human and human being are synonymous as I use them. They refer to a a genetically unique complete (but not fully mature) individual member of the human family.

              • “They refer to a a genetically unique complete”

                I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. If I don’t have a brain, nor internal organs, am I complete? Are not spermatozoa complete?

              • No, Spermatozoa are not complete human beings. Only when one fertilized an ova do the two actually become a complete human being. It depends on at what stage of life you’re talking about. If you’re an adult human being with no brain or organs then no, you’re not complete. At 3 days post-fertilization, yes, you’re complete. This equivocation that somehow a moments old human being isn’t a human being because it doesn’t have the attributes of a mature human being is foolish. I dont mean that in a condescending way either. It implies you are unfamiliar with ordinary terms and concepts and are not honestly approaching the issue. Should I suggest that a person who is missing a finger isn’t a complete human being and is open for death? Are you just wasting my time on this, or are you really this confused?

              • Is a person who is brain dead alive or dead? The lack of brain and organs and nerves is not the equivalent of the lack of a finger. To suggest they are is incredibly ignorant.

              • Are you suggesting that what constitutes the end of life should be applied to the beginning of life? The difference between a brain dead adult and a zygote is that one will not gain brain function and the other is very likely to. Is that difference not significant?

              • “Is that difference not significant?”

                Not terribly. But then, I don’t believe souls exist, so the mind is the key thing.

              • I certainly didn’t mention a soul. I don’t think it matters in this discussion. What do you mean “the mind is the key”? The key to what? Humanness? Life?

  13. I think the point is that what is expressly stated in the constitution to be a right that may not be infringed should be defended as much as any right that is merely said to be implied. I’ve asked pro-abortion folks what value makes them fight for abortions so hard. They’ve told me that the constitutional right to it is enough. “It’s protected by the constitution”, they say.

    Why then is the clear wording of the 2nd not their value?

  14. “The right to bear arms. How that possibly be misconstructed?”

    There is, at least, a way of doing that: intentionally “forgeting” the first part of the 2th amendment: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State[…]”

    By means of this cheat, the constitutional right is misconstructed converting a militia related right to an absolute and unconditional right.

    At the time it was redacted there were no practical regular army, so militia was “necessary to the security of a free State”.

    • The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, “Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” See J. Tiffany, A Treatise on Government and Constitutional Law §585, p. 394 (1867); Brief for Professors of Linguistics and English as Amici Curiae3 (hereinafter Linguists’ Brief). Although this structure of the Second Amendment is unique in our Constitution, other legal documents of the founding era, particularly individual-rights provisions of state constitutions, commonly included a prefatory statement of purpose.

      It is simply saying why a right is necessary to protect before claiming that it is a right does not obviate the existence of the right once that reason ceases to be in effect.

      Here’s a compilation of the Founders on an armed general public: http://cap-n-ball.com/fathers.htm

    • Isu,
      Read this again and again and again:

      The first 10 amendments were added by popular demand to give “the people” specific guarantees. The amendments clearly indicated reference to individual rights, not states’ rights.



      The term “militia” referred to all able-bodied male citizens at least 18 years old.

      

In 1903 an act was passed creating the federal control, funding and training of state forces as organized militia. It designated all other adult male citizens as the unorganized militia.

      

An act of 1916 designated the organized militia as the National Guard. This was further clarified by the National Defense Act of June 4, 1920, and this act again designated all other adult male citizens as the unorganized militia.



      Title 10 U.S. Code, Section 311, states that the militia consists of all able-bodied males 17 to 45. It also specifies two classes of militia exist; the organized and unorganized.

      

In U.S. vs Miller, 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court said that when militia members were called to service, there were “expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the same kind in common use” at the time.



      The 2nd Amendment mentions the need for a militia as the primary reason for the right to bear arms, but it does not limit it to solely the militia, be it organized or unorganized.

      http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2013/01/02/why-the-2nd-amendment-n1476632/page/full/

      “No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950])



      The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])



      “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169)

      

”What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty…. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

      

”…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)



      “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

      

”the ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)



      “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States” (Noah Webster in `An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution’, 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

      

”…if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?” (Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, Johnathan Elliot, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (2d ed., 1888))

      

”…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.)



      “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)

      

”As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” (Tench Coxe in `Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’ under the Pseudonym `A Pennsylvanian’ in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)

      

”Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people” (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

  15. John.

    “It is simply saying why a right is necessary to protect before claiming that it is a right does not obviate the existence of the right once that reason ceases to be in effect.”

    That’s illogical.
    A conditional right disappears when the condition disappears. That’s a logical consequence.
    You can stand for that right by other ways, rights don’t need to be constitutionally granted.

    And, by the way, the purpose is meaningfull for a right.

  16. John,

    I’m arguing with you.

    • Isu

      I can see how you’d think that seeing as how I exhibit the brilliance of a Supreme Court Justice. But I have to say, the portion of text in my last comment to you was from a SC Justice. But not only him, American courts have long upheld that the 2nd amendment pertains to the individual citizen and his right as an individual regardless of association with an organized militia, a right to own and carry firearms for personal reasons.

  17. John,

    And SC court has passed abortion as a right under privacy right (Roe vs Wade).
    That makes me doubt about SC argumentation skill.

    If you are asking me to agree with courts argumentations, you should do the same first.

  18. And oak tree life begins at the time of an acorn. But an acorn is not an oak tree.

    Oh, oh, oh. Let me try!

    A baby is not an adult!

    I feel like repeating that Sonic commercial. “Fifty-fooooouuur!”

  19. NotAScientist,

    Perhaps you should have your mythical doctor-wife sit next to you as you communicate with John. You are contradicting yourself…

    John said:“A fertilized egg is one stage in the life of a human being, and adulthood is another stage.”

    NotAScientist Responds: “Correct…”

    Okay. Well enough. You agree that a fertilized egg is a human being in an early stage…

    But in the same paragraph, you say: “And if, at a certain stage, you have only a handful of cells, and no mind, and no organs…you are not, as far as I can tell, a human being.

    So, which is it, NotAScientist…Is a fertilized egg a human being or not?

    John, I’ll be back later. I’m building a shed out of square-circles!

  20. Glenn.

    Good sayings.

    I know now a way to improve your national budget: disband your regular armies and comply the purpose of militia: “prevent the establishment of a standing army” that “might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens”. Why do you spend money in this potential perversion?

    You as militia “constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be”. Why do you spend money in an ineffective and potentially dangerous regular army?

  21. When it comes to abortion, the left would have you believe that choice is good. In fact there are some on the left that will protest almost any restriction of choice when it comes to abortion.

    However when it comes to guns, and education, the left would prefer that choice be as limited as possible.

    I think hypocrisy covers it nicely.

  22. Craig,

    Abortion is the red button issue for me. I’ve discussed at length nearly everyday for 10 years with liberals all over the world. So trust me when I say there are more than a few on the left who protest abortion restrictions, even common sense restrictions,

    However when it comes to guns, and education, the left would prefer that choice be as limited as possible.

    The Bill of Rights: A Liberal View

    First Amendment: Good. (Occupy Wall-Street. Keystone XL Protest. Gay Parades. “Choice” Marches.)

    Second Amendment: Bad. (“I don’t believe people should be allowed to own guns.”

    Third Amendment: Good. (“We don’t want those ‘baby-killer’ soldiers staying with us!”)

    Fourth Amendment: Good. (“I can carry a bag of dope without worrying about police harassment.”)

    Fifth Amendment: Good. (“O.J. didn’t have to testify!”)

    Sixth Amendment: Good. (“Government can’t hold the brutha’s forever.”)

    Seventh Amendment: Good. (“No tort reform!”)

    Eighth Amendment: Good. (“He’s just a poor child, Judge. He didn’t mean to rob that old lady. Give him bail!”)

    Ninth Amendment: Good. (“Meh. Sounds okay.”)

    Tenth Amendment: Bad. (“The remnants of slavery!”)

  23. Stages of development are not stages of existence. At some point an individual’s life actually begins. How can that point be anything other than when the individual’s DNA is established? It’s the beginning of the individual. After fertilization occurs, a thing exists. If that thing CAN grow to become an older human being… as soon as it has that likely future, it is a human being.

  24. Look, I don’t understand why we even argue with these halfwits. It’s like arguing with people who claim grass is made of cake frosting.

    Science is clear on this issue. And it’s not simply “the opinion fo a few scientists,” but a biological fact taught in biology classes. Don’t believe me?

    Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primoridum, of a human being.

    Moore, Keith L. Essentians of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p. 2

    The development of a human beings with fertilization a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.

    Sadler, T.W. Langman’s Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p.3

    Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote). The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.

    Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New Yorkl McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3

    Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.

    O’Rahilly, Ronan and Muler, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, p. 8.

    Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.

    Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1

    So, it’s clear when the life of a human being begins. It’s not debatable. It’s a biological fact that life begins at conception. Period. You can accept that fact and still support abortion, but you cannot support abortion because you deny the fact, otherwise you aren’t to be taken seriously.

  25. Terrance,
    No argument from me. I just can’t fathom how anyone can live with the inconsistency. Either choice is good or choice is bad. It is beyond comprehension to hear some lefty argue that a 12 year old girl should be able to choose to have an abortion without parental involvement, but the same 12 year old shouldn’t be able to choose what school to go to. Inconsistency seem to go hand in hand with much of American progressive thought and policy. It seems as though most on the left revere choice. As long as you choose what they think is the best option.

  26. …I don’t believe souls exist,..

    You really didn’t need to tell us that, NotAScientist. Your nihilistic worldview is clear – and disgusting.

    And that’s the thing about baby-killers. So many of them – I would suggest something close to 90% – are atheists. The other 10%? Retarded.

  27. Conservative,

    He’s saying that since the zygote doesn’t have a fully functioning brain, it is therefore not a human being. We Christians believe people have souls and are human beings regardless of their brain’s functionality.

    • Yes, but being a human being doesn’t require either brain activity or an eternal soul. A thing either is or is not a human being, dead or alive. We don’t have to say it has a soul (though I think a fetus does). And NAS’s assertion that brain activity determines a thing’s humanness is ridiculous.

      “I think. Therefore I am” seems to be what they’re saying. I’ve never thought about what flawed logic that statement is. “I think. Therefore I know I am” is more accurate. “That rock doesn’t think. Threfore it doesn’t exist”?

      A thing doesn’t have to know it exists to exist. A thing that is is a being. A thing that is human is a human being. A zygote is and is human. It’s a human being. No knowledge or soul is required for that to be true.

  28. “He’s saying that since the zygote doesn’t have a fully functioning brain, it is therefore not a human being.”

    It’s not a person, at any rate.

    “Your nihilistic worldview is clear ”

    My worldview isn’t nihilistic by any definition I understand of that word.

    As I’ve said to other people, if a fertilized egg is the equivalent of a person, then every woman’s uterus becomes a crime scene when she miscarries or spontaneously aborts or the egg doesn’t implant. Are you prepared to do that?

    • The uterus is no more a crime scene than any other location of an accidental death or death of natural cause. Did you think this through?

      • I certainly did. And as a vast majority of a woman’s fertilized eggs do get naturally aborted, you have to have one of two positions: either those naturally aborted fertilized eggs are not the equivalent of fully grown people, or they are, in which case we should investigate to make sure there is no foul play.

        • A “naturally aborted” fertilized egg is a foul term. It isn’t “aborted”. It is a fertilized egg (human being) which experiences a natural death. An accidental natural death doesn’t have the moral implications of an intentional killing, does it.

          • And yet we would still investigate such a thing to make sure no foul play happened, wouldn’t we?

            • Not always. Sometimes, it’s obvious. And since miscarriages are common, as you say, there is no reason to investigate every one. Just as it’s common for sick old people to just die, many are not investigated.

              This is true. But, old people are persons, right? Why aren’t all old people deaths investigated, as you suggest would be necessary IF the fetus was a person?

              Answer: It was not a very well thought out thing for you to say.

            • I have to say that “NotAScientist” is an excellent appellation for the individual who goes by that pseudonymn

    • You seem to think that a thing needs to be registered with the government (assigned a Social Security Number, perhaps) to exist as a person. Is the native in the rain forest not a person? He is not even known by the government. His death in the middle of the jungle will never be a crime scene. If his death was caused by another, and no one else knows, was he a person? Does personhood require that the police know of your existence and death?

  29. Just to be clear, the word “abort” simply means “to terminate”. So a miscarriage is indeed an abortion of the pregnancy, though a natural one. What makes it confusing is how the term is most commonly used these days, which is a willful act rather than a spontaneous elimination of what is generally a defective zygote that had not rendered itself as being part of the mother so as not to be rejected as alien. In a sense, the conceived “disguises” itself to prevent rejection as a foreign entity. If this did not happen, no one would come to term and the species would have died out ages ago.

  30. It’s not a person, at any rate.

    By arbitrarily imposing my own definition of “person,” I could exclude you from humanity. That’s probably why our legal system traditionally has not accepted arbitrary definitions. Legally and morally, all human beings are “persons.”

    My worldview isn’t nihilistic by any definition I understand of that word.

    Then you don’t understand the definition.

    As I’ve said to other people, if a fertilized egg is the equivalent of a person, then every woman’s uterus becomes a crime scene when she miscarries or spontaneously aborts or the egg doesn’t implant. Are you prepared to do that?

    Most late-term abortions are illegal, so the woman’s uterus can already be a crime scene. Besides that, hospital rooms do not automatically become crime scenes unless foul play is suspected. The same is true for late-term miscarriages, and would be true for early-term miscarriages.

    ,..those naturally aborted fertilized eggs are not the equivalent of fully grown people, or they are, in which case we should investigate to make sure there is no foul play.

    By definition, unborn children that are “naturally aborted” are – surprise – naturally aborted, thus excluding the possibility of foul play.

    Regardless, it would work in much the same way as it works now with late-term miscarriages since late-term abortion is illegal.

    Your arguments are pathetic…

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