Abortion

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Re: Abortion

Postby TeneReef » 2014-08-21, 2:35

Atheist author Richard Dawkins says unborn babies with Down's syndrome should be aborted and parents should 'try again'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... orted.html


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Re: Abortion

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-08-21, 5:18

I don't know about Down's syndrome, but if it's a fatal disease, then it's the ethical thing to do.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Michael » 2014-08-21, 8:13

At first, it seemed that I wouldn't agree with him, but after reading why, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Marah » 2014-08-21, 10:29

Can't people with Down's syndrom have happy lives? :?
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Re: Abortion

Postby Yserenhart » 2014-08-21, 12:36

Of course they can't; Down's syndrome is a disability after all, and no person with a disability can have a happy life. They're just people to be pitied, who shouldn't be allowed to be born now we have the means to stop it. Likewise, it's far better to avoid vaccinations; a dead child is better than one with autism. Finally, if you really want to help a disabled person today, go and kill them—death is a better option to such an unfulfilling, pitiful life.

Disclaimer: I'm being sarcastic. However, those attitudes are very much real; often promoted by celebrities, big films, and other people with the power to spread them widely or even potentially enact laws to give such outcomes. Do the world a favour, and help counter those attitudes, instead of spreading them.
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Re: Abortion

Postby Varislintu » 2014-08-21, 13:34

If I understand correctly, people with Down syndrome are mostly mildly or moderately developmentally challenged. However, the consequences of Down's symdrome apparently vary on a great spectrum, and at the severe end of the spectrum we are talking about people who can not live a life integrated into the rest of society. We don't see those people, because they need constant assistance and live in institutions. What I don't know is whether the severity of the Down's syndrome can somehow be estimated already in the womb.

I think what Dawkins does wrong, in his typical tone deaf, splaining way, is stating what is moral for others in that situation to do, as if the situations are all the same. Down's syndrome is also a horrible example for him to bring up, because many Down's syndrome people don't suffer from their condition (unless others make them suffer).

His atheism hasn't much to do with this, though. In Ireland, Catholic orphaneges for illegitimate children neglected babies so badly they had to dump the dead into mass graves. And those people apparently believed in souls, eternal punishments, divine monitoring, and the specialness of fetuses.
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Re: Abortion

Postby Патрислав Андреевич » 2014-08-21, 13:43

meidei wrote:I'm pretty sure everyone here is against infanticide, as it is a form of homocide.
This thread suggests otherwise, a fetus is a human too (or not?)

mōdgethanc wrote:
to me, the kid starts being a kid, the moment the sperm enters the egg
http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m59hnrYytc1qbpwkro1_1280.jpg

That don't look like any kid I ever heard of!
So you need to look like one. When does one “become a human” anyway? Is it after developing into a fetus? Later (when)? Or ( :shock: ) at birth? I was taught it’s the moment of fertilisation, which to me is the most logical one.

Varislintu wrote:
xivrox wrote:Yeah, there is one wrong. Murdering babies, i.e. other human beings. I will never understand how people can be so insensitive and heartless.


(I'm going to assume you mean embryos/fetuses.) That's fine as an opinion. You shouldn't ever have to have an abortion if you don't want to, and if it's against your moral principles. The really messy ethical issues arise if and when you want to take choice away from others. What happens if they refuse? In Ireland, the woman who refused to snap out of her suicidal mental state and carry her rapist's baby to term like a good little girl was pretty much completely stripped of all bodily autonomy. She was forcibly fed through a gastro-nasal tube. My personal opinion is that that is so far from sensitive, heartful, empathetic or life-celebrating that I cannot even comprehend it. Not even livestock should be treated like that.

Yes, it is messy. I prefer when people have choices than when they don’t, and (roughly) that they should have liberty to do anything as long as they don’t harm others. The problem is that when you’re pregnant it’s not only about you anymore… Abortion is equal to harming another human being, the biggest harm there is: taking their life away.

If you want to take bodily autonomy away from women, you will face cases when a stern word is not enough to make them comply, and they will call your bluff. You may have to detain them, strap them to beds and force feed them for weeks or months, and then deliver an unwanted, probably premature baby. Is that really right in your opinion? Do you really feel that when you yourself were 8 weeks in development in the womb, that something like that could morally have been done to your mother, just to ensure you came to be? :shock:

No, no detaining, or anything you describe here, that’s horrible as well. But they should take the responsibility and expect that harming (and especially killing) another human being is punishable by law… But I find it terrible to even think about a mother who wants to kill her own child, whenever I hear in TV how another baby was splashed on the ground or something (which is equal to abortion)… It’s just beyond my understanding.

---

About killing children with diseases… It’s just terrible. It sounds like “in order to have a happy society we must eliminate those who have a chance of being unhappy.” And it’s only a step away from saying that people with deformations or even just ugly people will have pitiful lives anyway, so let’s kill them. Maybe let’s let live only healthy, white, blue–eyed Aryans… oh that will be a happy society! No diseases, no bullying, no discrimination! And who cares about the billions unborn children undeveloped fetuses that will be killed aborted on the way, they’re not humans anyway.

Talking about that without being sarcastic is nearly impossible.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Varislintu » 2014-08-21, 14:41

xivrox wrote:
meidei wrote:I'm pretty sure everyone here is against infanticide, as it is a form of homocide.
This thread suggests otherwise, a fetus is a human too (or not?)


Well, fetuses aren't considered to be 'babies'. Technically a 'baby' has been born. I think that was meidei's point.

xivrox wrote:So you need to look like one. When does one “become a human” anyway? Is it after developing into a fetus? Later (when)? Or ( :shock: ) at birth? I was taught it’s the moment of fertilisation, which to me is the most logical one.


I don't think that's necessarily a logical moment. To me, if I think about human life, it's all a big continuum really. The egg cells are alive, the sperm are alive, stem cells are alive, cancer tissue is alive. Chimeric individuals are alive, are they two human beings? I don't think one can teach anyone when human beings become human beings, unless one first defines it very specifically. For some Christians, for example, "becoming a human being" is somethimes linked to being given a soul. But then the schools of thought on when that happens differ quite a lot. But if we ignore souls, then it's back to biology, which doesn't settle into the clear-cut way humans like to categorise. But for me personally a buch of undifferentiated cells definitely is not yet a human being.

xivrox wrote:Yes, it is messy. I prefer when people have choices than when they don’t, and (roughly) that they should have liberty to do anything as long as they don’t harm others. The problem is that when you’re pregnant it’s not only about you anymore… Abortion is equal to harming another human being, the biggest harm there is: taking their life away.


Yes, it's a conflict of interests. But personally I've come to the conclusion that it is not morally sound (in my moral system) to conclude that the interest of a fetus can trump the bodily autonomy of a grown woman. There is just no way I can make that work if I also believe in people's bodily autonomy. So for that reason the issue is settled for me --- not because I don't think the fetus has any interests at all. Grown women just have more and only one can be given precedence.

xivrox wrote:No, no detaining, or anything you describe here, that’s horrible as well.


Thank you. I really needed to hear that from someone on the abortion-opposing side. You're the first so far, so thank you.

xivrox wrote:But they should take the responsibility and expect that harming (and especially killing) another human being is punishable by law…


But what if they don't? This is what I meant when I was talking about "stern words" not being enough. If you make abortion illegal, and worse, make it a punishable crime on par with homicide, you may need to "walk the walk" and exercise some really coersive power over women whose cases may be very hard to ethically pinpoint. The woman in this case stopped eating. That is, she made her own body stop eating. She was starving her own body. If this is enough to count as killing someone else (a human being no less!), then that effectively means that a pregnant woman is no longer the owner of her own body. Her body primarily belongs to the fetus. Are you ready to go down that road? I know you don't endorse the type of coersion that the woman in Ireland endured, but if you want to make those kinds of laws you may have to. If abortion is homicide, is miscarriage due to some kind of action (like stopping eating) homicide? If a fetus counts as a human being and has primary right to usage of another's body, don't we need to make sure it gets to use it, so we aren't complicit in homicide? Don't we as a society then need to incarcerate pregnant women who we deem to be a threat to the life of a fetus? How do you make such harsh rules without having harsh consequences? I don't think you can.

I can't see any other way of not inadvertently (or deliberately) promoting a type of slavery (someone else owning your body and its functions) than having legal abortion that women can resort to on personal discretion. No panels, no psychiatric evaluations, no "only if you were raped or are suicidal" clauses. Swift, safe, affordable legal abortion coupled with ample good quality sex education, affordable contraceptives and a social security net for parents is the best way to truly minimise both abortions and the negative mental and physical effects surrounding unwanted/unplanned pregnancies.

xivrox wrote:But I find it terrible to even think about a mother who wants to kill her own child, whenever I hear in TV how another baby was splashed on the ground or something (which is equal to abortion)… It’s just beyond my understanding.


These are apparently babies? I think there are many ways society could aid women who are pregnant and have recently given birth, so that they never feel so trapped that they will resort to killing a child. Legal abortion is one of those ways.

xivrox wrote:And who cares about the billions unborn children undeveloped fetuses that will be killed aborted on the way, they’re not humans anyway.


In the process of trying to get a wanted pregnancy, the female body usually spontaneously aborts a good deal of fertilised eggcells and even implanted ones in various stages. Do you ever lose sleep over those trillions of lost human beings? :hmm:
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Re: Abortion

Postby md0 » 2014-08-21, 15:11

I'm just going to say that is convenient how xivrox chooses to ignore wasted sperm. It must be easy to just set moral standards for others to follow.
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Re: Abortion

Postby TeneReef » 2014-08-21, 21:21

meidei wrote:I'm just going to say that is convenient how xivrox chooses to ignore wasted sperm. It must be easy to just set moral standards for others to follow.


It's because you cannot get an embryo from sperm only,
you can create embryo from one egg cell (as in parthenogenesis, or in cloning).

All attempts at creating embryo from sperm only
resulted in formation of embryonic membranes with no embryo in it.


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Re: Abortion

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-08-22, 3:25

God, the idea of forcing someone to undergo a psych evaluation before having an abortion (as if wanting to have one is a mental illness) pisses me off so much. As if people didn't stigmatize both women who have abortions and people with psychiatric disorders enough, now you want to do both at the same time? Fuck off.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Lur » 2014-08-23, 18:08

mōdgethanc wrote:God, the idea of forcing someone to undergo a psych evaluation before having an abortion (as if wanting to have one is a mental illness) pisses me off so much. As if people didn't stigmatize both women who have abortions and people with psychiatric disorders enough, now you want to do both at the same time? Fuck off.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-11-17, 10:50

Interesting article:

http://www.jpands.org/vol18no2/calhoun.pdf

ABSTRACT
Introduction
National data on maternal and neonatal health sequelae over
more than 40 years of legal elective abortion in jurisdictions of
Great Britain are compared with data from the abortion-averse
jurisdictions of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Both
Irish jurisdictions show more favorable data than the British. The
Republic of Ireland has a maternal mortality rate over the last
decade of 3/100,000 compared with about 6/100,000 in England
and Wales; a stillbirth rate in 2010 of 3.8/1,000 live births
compared 5.1/1,000 live births in Great Britain; and a preterm (<
37 weeks) birth rate in 2010 of 42.7/1,000 live births compared
with 48/1,000 in England and Wales and 72/1,000 in Scotland.
Legal elective abortion is associated with higher rates of maternal
mortality rates, stillbirth rates, and preterm birth
. Cerebral palsy
rates in Northern Ireland, at a prevalence rate for birth years 1981-
2007 of 2.3 per 1,000 live births (95% CI, 2.2-2.5), are low.



Do you think it's a serious research?

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Re: Abortion

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2014-11-17, 11:14

TeneReef wrote:Atheist author Richard Dawkins says unborn babies with Down's syndrome should be aborted and parents should 'try again'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... orted.html


:ohwell:

Oh, I've just read this. That is a weird thought, especially with the advances within genetic modifications. If we start with eradicating severe congenital diseases, go on to disabilities, then even colour blindness we could end up with a society populated only by genetically perfect individuals.


mōdgethanc wrote:I don't know about Down's syndrome, but if it's a fatal disease, then it's the ethical thing to do.

Life itself is a fatal disease.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-17, 17:13

On the other hand, we already do screen for serious birth defects and syndromes.

I've been thinking about the Down syndrome comment. Dawkins was definitively wrong in implying that it would be an immoral decision to not abort a fetus with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is not severe enough to make that kind of statement.

But what if it is something truly horrible? What if it is, for example, the condition of my nightmares, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. It's a genetical condition where the layers of the skin don't stick together properly, and the skin rubs off easily from the flesh, sometimes from even a light touch. There's no cure. I have seen in a documentary children under 10 with the illness expressing how they wish they would never have been born. Could one say that a pregnant person who knows their fetus carries this illness, is immoral if they carry the pregnancy to term, even if they could have a safe and affordable abortion?
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Re: Abortion

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-11-17, 17:24

If we start with eradicating severe congenital diseases, go on to disabilities, then even colour blindness we could end up with a society populated only by genetically perfect individuals.


I don't understand if you're being sarcastic here. Honestly to me that looks like some kind of fallacy.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2014-11-18, 14:48

Varislintu wrote:On the other hand, we already do screen for serious birth defects and syndromes.

I've been thinking about the Down syndrome comment. Dawkins was definitively wrong in implying that it would be an immoral decision to not abort a fetus with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is not severe enough to make that kind of statement.

But what if it is something truly horrible? What if it is, for example, the condition of my nightmares, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. It's a genetical condition where the layers of the skin don't stick together properly, and the skin rubs off easily from the flesh, sometimes from even a light touch. There's no cure. I have seen in a documentary children under 10 with the illness expressing how they wish they would never have been born. Could one say that a pregnant person who knows their fetus carries this illness, is immoral if they carry the pregnancy to term, even if they could have a safe and affordable abortion?

I really don't know. I'd abort it, but I don't think that giving birth would be immoral.

IpseDixit wrote:
If we start with eradicating severe congenital diseases, go on to disabilities, then even colour blindness we could end up with a society populated only by genetically perfect individuals.


I don't understand if you're being sarcastic here. Honestly to me that looks like some kind of fallacy.

Why? Trying to eradicate congenital diseases and disabilities is already a reality. We have pre-natal screenings. Gene therapy is developing nicely. At first we'll use those new technics for serious conditions, then all conditions and in the end for aesthetic purposes. If surgery went down this path, why wouldn't genetic modifications? Genetic modification opens up even more possibilities. Enhancing intelligence, for example. And it is done before you're born, which means that you don't have to deal with the painful and inconvenient recovery after a surgery. It's simply what every human wants. Bigger boobs without an operation for our women! Longer cocks for our men! Higher IQs for our people men elites!

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Re: Abortion

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-11-18, 17:04

You didn't talk about aesthetic purposes in the previous post, you said:

Oh, I've just read this. That is a weird thought, especially with the advances within genetic modifications. If we start with eradicating severe congenital diseases, go on to disabilities, then even colour blindness we could end up with a society populated only by genetically perfect individuals.


Which is quite different, but also quite unscientific IMO because how do you know what the perfect genome is? Perfect for what? Moreover, AFAIK we still have a lot to find out about how genes work, how they interact with one another and with the external environment, so provided that we manage to define what "perfect" is, in any case, for now, yours is just sci-fi speculation.

So I really don't like it when someone (purposely or not) casts a shadow over a legit practice just because in a possible future (one of many), for which we don't have any particular evidence that it's going to come true, this practice might lead to extreme consequences.

Furthermore, I'm going to tell you why IMO your future is actually quite unlikely:

Your scenario is extremely dangerous from the point of view of the future survival of our species, because what you call "a society populated by genetically perfect individual", I call population bottleneck, and everybody who knows a little bit of evolution knows how dangerous it is to eliminate variation in our genetic pool, because what may be "perfect" for the present, may be absolutely unfit for a future environment, whereas those who are outsiders in the current Gaussian distribution of our population, may be those who will have more possibilities to reproduce in the future and hence save humanity.

This aside, we also know how unhealthy it is to always pass on the same few genes, the Amishes who have 6 fingers knows that quite well... or also all the people who have a dog, they know that quite well; it's not coincidential that "bastard" dogs live longer and are usually healthier than those purebred.

For these reasons, I really have a hard time seeing your future come true.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2014-11-18, 18:44

IpseDixit wrote:You didn't talk about aesthetic purposes in the previous post, you said:

Oh, I've just read this. That is a weird thought, especially with the advances within genetic modifications. If we start with eradicating severe congenital diseases, go on to disabilities, then even colour blindness we could end up with a society populated only by genetically perfect individuals.

The way you look is extremely important in our society.
IpseDixit wrote:Which is quite different, but also quite unscientific IMO because how do you know what the perfect genome is? Perfect for what? Moreover, AFAIK we still have a lot to find out about how genes work, how they interact with one another and with the external environment, so provided that we manage to define what "perfect" is, in any case, for now, yours is just sci-fi speculation.

I'm not a scientist.

Perfect for surviving in todays world. I mean actually in the world where genetic modification is an everyday occurance. You get what I'm saying.

I know that this is just sci-fi speculation. I like sci-fi, don't you?
IpseDixit wrote:So I really don't like it when someone (purposely or not) casts a shadow over a legit practice just because in a possible future (one of many), for which we don't have any particular evidence that it's going to come true, this practice might lead to extreme consequences.

The shadow is in your mind. I think that it's actually really cool to tinker with genes.
IpseDixit wrote:Furthermore, I'm going to tell you why IMO your future is actually quite unlikely:

Your scenario is extremely dangerous from the point of view of the future survival of our species, because what you call "a society populated by genetically perfect individual", I call population bottleneck, and everybody who knows a little bit of evolution knows how dangerous it is to eliminate variation in our genetic pool, because what may be "perfect" for the present, may be absolutely unfit for a future environment, whereas those who are outsiders in the current Gaussian distribution of our population, may be those who will have more possibilities to reproduce in the future and hence save humanity.

Yeah and we know that people never do anything that's eventually going to kill them! People don't smoke and don't do drugs, don't cause global warming and do not create nuclear bombs that could destroy life on Earth.
IpseDixit wrote:This aside, we also know how unhealthy it is to always pass on the same few genes, the Amishes who have 6 fingers knows that quite well... or also all the people who have a dog, they know that quite well; it's not coincidential that "bastard" dogs live longer and are usually healthier than those purebred.

For these reasons, I really have a hard time seeing your future come true.

I see no reason why the future humans wouldn't eventually start to experiment more. Fuck the norm! Why should we all look like Ken and Barbie? I want to look like the Hulk! I'll smash everything! And there we go, let's modify genes to create a real-life Hulk. And then the real-life Barbie would fall in love with the real-life Hulk and would probably need a C-section.

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Re: Abortion

Postby Varislintu » 2014-11-18, 21:30

Ludwig Whitby wrote:I really don't know. I'd abort it, but I don't think that giving birth would be immoral.


I don't know either. It's a really difficult topic to consider from that point of view.
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