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   Abortion Debates
     A hypothetical situation or 2
       Why abortion should be/remain legal

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iangb

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No, don't ask me for technical persnickety details for the scenarios. I'm working on general principles here.

Scenarios first, then rationale later.

Scenario 1
I am going to deep-fry a baby, and you (yes you, unknown reader) cannot stop me. You have a gun, but for unknown reason X you cannot affect me with it. You can, however, shoot the child before I deliver it to it's grisly doom.

What do you do?

Scenario 2
You are sat, alone, in a... meh, call it a submersion chamber. At the press of a button, the chamber will instantly fill with water and you will drown. There is a second chamber next to yours, sealed off so you cannot see the contents. All that you know is that there is second person in that sealed-off chamber, slowly reaching towards the button that will seal your fate. You have the button for their chamber within reach in front of you.

What do you do?

Rationale
I think I've disguised these two scenarios incredibly thinly, so you should really have guessed where I'm going with them.
Scenario 1 relates to a situation where an unborn child is scanned and found to have 'Crippling Disease Y' - where, should they survive until childbirth, it is a guarantee that they would not survive for much longer and would be in constant pain until they inevitably die.
Scenario 2 relates to a situation where the mother of the child would be killed should she give birth (or, in some situations such as having a  weak heart, should she become heavily pregnant).

In both scenarios, at the very least they should have the right to make the decision over what happens next.

P.S.: to pre-empt the inevitable 'she chose to sleep with someone, she knew the risks'... argument, I would ask that you consider a rape victim being put in these scenarios. Or, as is so often the case, individuals who simply do not know that there is a possibility of harming themselves or their unborn child through (possibly planned) pregnancies.

(Edited by iangb 4/10/2008 at 10:41 PM).


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 10:39 PM on April 10, 2008 | IP
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but what choice should the baby have in the second situation? what if the first person was the baby and the second reaching for the button was the doctor?

Oh, and to give a technical reason as to why you could not shoot the person could be an electromagnetic force field.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 8:06 PM on April 14, 2008 | IP
iangb

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Because babies do not and can not make decisions.

Maybe in the first situation the baby would 'choose' to live just those few minutes longer, but you have no qualms about making the choice for it then because the choice appears to be more clear-cut. The second choice is much, much harder. But making abortion illegal denies parents that ability to choose, in either situation.

Oh, and an e/m 'force field' would be lovely... should such a thing actually exist.


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 07:11 AM on April 15, 2008 | IP
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Actualy electromagnetic force fields do exist, that is why you haven't been fried yet, because of the one around the world.

And since the baby can not make any decisions yet shouldn't we at least opt for life, or at least wait till the baby is old enough to make that kind of decision?


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 3:45 PM on April 16, 2008 | IP
iangb

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Actualy electromagnetic force fields do exist, that is why you haven't been fried yet, because of the one around the world.

...that's (primarily) a magnetic field, induced by the motion of charged particles in convection currents (amongst other things) in the earth's mantle. It is not an electromagnetic force field: particles of solar matter are merely diverted to the poles because they have an electric charge. Bullets don't have an electric charge - they wouldn't be affected in the slightest...
Oh, and if the earth's magnetic field was removed, the atmosphere would still shield us from the 'solar wind' that is emitted occasionally.

Sorry, you're talking to a third-year physics student. The Core (link) is to blame for so much.... But I digress (also seem to have said that quite a bit recently...).

And since the baby can not make any decisions yet shouldn't we at least opt for life, or at least wait till the baby is old enough to make that kind of decision?
Well, in both scenarios 1 and 2 by that point the baby will either be dead or will have caused the death of another. It's a bit late, by that time...

(Edited by iangb 4/16/2008 at 7:01 PM).


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 6:31 PM on April 16, 2008 | IP
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I will not argue the magnetic field, only because in this regard you are vastly more qualified to debate, I was just trying to give a reason that I couldn't just shoot you.

In the case that you it would be too late and that you would have already caused the death of another, you would have to consider that in aborting the baby you guarantee the death of some one, while if you let the baby die their is no guaranteed that one or both will die, just a good chance that one or more will die. So in this case a small chance is still a chance, which is better than no chance.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 5:24 PM on April 17, 2008 | IP
iangb

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heh, no problem. I only went off on a mini-rant because I really dislike what The Core (and other movie physics) has done to the public view of modern  physics.

In my second scenario, I am very doubtful. You are preferring to risk the very likely death of two individuals over the certain death of one. If I give you the option to either kill one individual or press a button that has a 99% chance of killing two individuals, which would you do?

For the first scenario, I was originally angling specifically for cases where death is guaranteed. Where there is merely a high risk of death (but a certainty of suffering), the decision, again, becomes much much harder. But if abortion is illegal then this decision is irrelevant, even if to have an abortion is the best option for all concerned.


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 11:17 AM on April 20, 2008 | IP
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As for the second situation I would shoot you, or retaliate until I was unable to move in any way.

As for the first way, you are now opening the door to Euthanization, which will not necessarialy stop at unborn babies.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 01:48 AM on April 27, 2008 | IP
iangb

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As for the second situation I would shoot you, or retaliate until I was unable to move in any way.

Hypothetical situation? You must make the choice.

To re-phrase it - I am going to press a button that has a 99% chance of killing two individuals, and you cannot stop me. You have the option to press a second button that is guaranteed to kill a particular one of the two, and save the other. What do you do?


As for the first way, you are now opening the door to Euthanization, which will not necessarialy stop at unborn babies.

As it happens, I also support euthanasia in the case of the terminally ill. Your argument doesn't sway me.


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 2:25 PM on April 28, 2008 | IP
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So if there is a slight chance for survival you still say that the person must die?

And in the first situation with that wording, I would do nothing. Except to still attempt to stop you.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 10:04 PM on May 6, 2008 | IP
iangb

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No, if there is a slight chance then it is the decision of the parents. making abortion illegal removes that choice, even if there is a certainty of death.

So you would prefer a near-certainty that two people die over the certainty that one will? I don't know how many would agree with you... again, making abortion illegal removes the possibility of choice from the matter.


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 8:45 PM on May 11, 2008 | IP
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So the child still has no say as to whether or not it dies. Why not let parents decide to kill there 3 month old.

And even if it remained legal to terminate a baby because it may have a flaw, should it remain legal to kill a baby just because it was inconvenient?



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Darkside Enterprises were the impossible meets possible.

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Posts: 681 | Posted: 11:53 AM on May 14, 2008 | IP
iangb

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The child is never going to have a say whether it lives or dies - it is going to die regardless. Aborting in this case merely saves a child a short life of agony.

As to the 3 month old, that is a case for euthanasia. I would support that too however, given the right circumstances.

It's not just 'a flaw', it is a life-threatening 'flaw'. There's quite a significant semantic difference here.

As for 'inconveniance', that's not a matter I aimed for in this thread. I personally believe that abortion is not 'killing a baby' - it is just removing a potentially life-destroying collection of cells. But that's something for another thread, which I may go into later. For now, I'd ask you the question - what is more important? Preserving life that already exists, or creating new life?


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 5:05 PM on May 14, 2008 | IP
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So the question is save what is or save what may be?


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 12:40 PM on May 15, 2008 | IP
iangb

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No, the question is this -

What is more important? Preserving life that already exists, or creating new life?

A secondary question to ask would be this - which is better in your eyes? A woman who has no children, or a woman who has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc...?


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 5:29 PM on May 15, 2008 | IP
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correction, both the "fetus" and the mother are considered living organisms. both are alive. we are talking about killing one ore the other. saving one or creating one, would be the mother not not having sex or having sex. Rape is more complicated, however the "fetus" is still alive.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 6:13 PM on May 27, 2008 | IP
iangb

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What is this relevant to? I'm struggling how this has anything to do with the previous couple of posts.

That said, a third question. At what point do an egg and sperm become 'life'?


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 7:28 PM on May 27, 2008 | IP
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the moment that they have the ability to reproduce, about one second after they meet.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 11:48 PM on June 18, 2008 | IP
iangb

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so would you consider the morning after pill as 'abortion'?


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 11:33 AM on June 19, 2008 | IP
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The Morning after pill is to my understanding based on the idea that the egg and sperm haven't met yet, which is why it doesn't work a month later. Please however correct me if I'm wrong. If i am than I would be against it.


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Posts: 681 | Posted: 10:40 PM on July 16, 2008 | IP
iangb

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Some pills kill the sperm, but many/most (as far as I am aware) prevent the fertilised egg from attaching to the walls of the womb, so it is just passed naturally with the menstrual cycle.


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Posts: 81 | Posted: 09:11 AM on July 17, 2008 | IP
TheWrathofOtis

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Scenario 1:
I believe this to be an invalid analogy. You are making the case that the situations compose the same moral parameters, and they do not.
First, the person (the reader) has no ability to help in any way (except to murder the baby). However, when a child is born with infirmities, doctors can help. Maybe the child will not survive, maybe it will suffer some, but they can do something, even if it is as simple as alleviating the pain.
Second, even doctors (as talented and dedicated as they are) make mistakes. Who is to say the scan is 100% accurate? How do they know the prognosis will not improve? You would be killing the child for no reason.

Scenario 2:
Why is this always what people use when defending abortion?
Let me illustrate with my own hypothetical:
You are standing on top of a building holding two ropes, each with a person dangling on the end. You only have the strength to pull up one person. Do you drop them both, or pull one up? (Answer: pull one up.) THEREFORE - dropping people off of buildings should be legal!?!

Do you see my point? Because a drastic action is justified in a situation where someone will die regardless, that does not mean it is justified in other circumstances. But that does NOT mean that the action is valid in every situation.

If the mother's life is in danger, then choosing between lives is up to the family. That is far and away the vast minority of abortions. The real discussion is whether or not abortions should be legal for other reasons.

These scenarios are only used to "get a foot in the door" - if we can justify abortions in these extreme (and rare) circumstances, people will become desensitized (or misdirected) and the real issue is completely lost in a hazy maze of ridiculous hypotheticals.
 


Posts: 4 | Posted: 11:52 AM on July 24, 2008 | IP
    
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