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Old 10-16-2005, 05:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Something to Ponder.....My favorite article of all time

I place this in here, primarily because I find this issue more a matter of personal Philosophy, than one of political leaning...I hope you do too. The authors wrote this prelude to the article, which should help you decide if it is interesting enough to read in full:

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You'd think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us--we're trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.


I have personally found this to be amongst the best interpretations of the information available, and it has helped me form my own understanding of this....delicate debate.

http://www.2think.org/abortion.shtml
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have always hated the term 'pro-life' as if those of us who believe in personal rights to choose are 'anti-life'.
My own feelings may be considered contradictory in themselves. Should a woman have the right to a safe, private abortion? Yes, no question. No one's business. Yet I stick that 'but' in there....that once this fetus is considered at a viable term, it's life should not be deliberately ended. Giving a child up should not have a stigma, but even in this day and age, it does.
As far as when life begins, it, like Mr. Sagan says, has always been.
After the birth of my twins, I had a major decision to make. A total of 15 eggs had been taken. Five were implanted, resulting in my children. That left 10. They were fertilized and frozen and after 3 months, checked for viability. Three survived the initial deep-freeze, so now what? I wanted more, but after a lot of discussion, decided we were done. Three potential lives now waited for me to decide their fate. I made the decision to sign them back to the clinic, but for 'research only', under no circumstances were they to be implanted. Did I destroy life? In my mind, not really, I may have enhanced it in the long term. Yes, I think of the if's...they were, after all, my possible children. But it was the right decision and I would never begrudge another to make a decision that ultimately affects their own life.
What truly angers me are these so-called 'pro-lifers' that use lie-riddled propaganda to further their cause. I know so many friends and even family members that have had abortions and it was, in each case, the most difficult decision they've had to make, but it was the right one when made. And what these fanaticals show and say isn't true.
We all try to do the best we can with what comes our way. It is not for me or some pompous rich senator to decide. What IS society's only responsibility is to ensure the safest most up-to-date care when these decisions are made. And to not judge...we all have to make some tough choices at one point in our lives or another.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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After reading that article my crotch is thoroughly sore from all the fence straddling. I really don't think there's room for compromise on this issue. Here is a much better article on the subject:
Quote:
OMG Pro-lifers need to shut the fuck up

So I was walking through campus the other day and there were some kids holding posters in support of Roe V. Wade. 'Bravo,' I thought, as I walked by. Then out of the corner of my ear I heard mockery of the activists in the form of “I’m bored, hey! We should go get abortions this afternoon! That would be fun!” which came from one male pro-life student to another.

Now, I know, I’m preaching to the choir here, but the abortion debate is quite a bit more complex than “baby-killing” versus “choice.” If it were that simple, I don’t believe that the battle over the issue would have been dragged on for this long. And, so, I’m curious as to why the argument, on both sides, has been driven to simplicity.

In case there are a few dip-shits out there reading this, I’m going to go through this comprehensively so as to, perhaps, enhance the debate within the minds of a few.

First and foremost: not a single person on Earth desires an abortion. In this case desire is not interchangeable with demand. Women do not want abortions the way they may want a new car, a warm home, or in the case of my girlfriend: a new pair of shoes.

Goods, services, and subsequent industries begin with demand; supply is purely reactionary. In the case of abortion, the legality of the practice is completely arbitrary. Meaning: demand is unaffected by the government’s administration over the industry sector.

If we create a typical profile of a woman that chooses to undergo the procedure, we paint the picture of someone that is 1) young, 2) lower to mid-middle class, 3) uneducated, 4) a minority and 5) living under social constraints that render un-wed motherhood completely unacceptable. This may be a generalization, but for the purposes of this experiment, we’re going to the peak of the bell curve.

When you think about this, it makes sense. In the animal kingdom, the only reasons a mother abandons her young are 1) the creature is too weak or disabled to keep up and 2) there’s not enough food/resources for the mother to survive and sustain her child.

How then, can the demand for Abortions be addressed and quelled? Also, how do the policies of pro-life proponents address these problems?

Lets just shoot down the list. We’ll use a median-voting pro-life individual to identify the problems with thinking about this problem too simplistically. That individual is: a republican, because lets face it, if you’re die-hard pro-life, you’re a fucking republican.

Since youth isn’t a variable that’s easy to change (and also not a very good reason to get an abortion) we’ll exclude it from the argument.

1) The person is poor. They cannot afford to sustain themselves and a child without adversely affecting the quality of their already shitty lives. The pro-choice left seeks to offer the lower class tax breaks and transfer payments from the upper class. The left increases funding to social welfare programs and public assistance. Republicans burden the poor with taxes while passing tax cuts to the wealthy. Welfare programs are eliminated.

2) The person is uneducated. They aren’t aware of birth-control options that are at their disposal. They are unskilled laborers and therefore have little to no potential to “make-it.” The left seeks to educate high-school students over birth control, offer birth control to teens, and make plan-B available without a prescription. The left supports education by increasing funding to schools. Republicans tend toward the opposite. Children are, with a degree of futility, taught to “wait until marriage” and are fed mis-information that claims birth control can lead to infertility. Public education programs are cut, creating more working class individuals while manufacturing jobs are exported to exploitable regions of the world.

3) The birth is unsupported by friends and family. Meaning the abortion seeker is afraid of alienating themselves from their friends and family, school and workplace, and their entire community. Leftists offer support centers and their families tend to be much more accepting. Right wing nuts threaten the woman with the wrath of god, disown her, or send her to a hospital where the child and mother are nurtured in a concealed and unfit environment.

4) The individual is a minority. Not a lot you can do about this one. However, I wish to point out that pro-life billboards preach that adoption is a viable alternative and that millions of loving couples are waiting to adopt. Here is the problem with the millions of couples that are waiting to adopt: they’re fucking racists. Millions of couples are waiting to adopt white babies while the baby market is flooded with brown ones. Recently, its been brought to the public’s attention that those children are being adopted by foreigners from Canada and Europe. Legislation is being introduced, by republicans, that will prevent those unwanted babies from leaving to other countries, where they are wanted, because they were “born in America and should stay in America.”

Pro-life republicans, while they claim to oppose abortion, create the very environment in which demand for the practice thrives. Pro-choice democrats seek to create an environment in which no one needs an abortion in the first place, while ensuring the practice is safe, sanitary, and performed by a licensed medical practitioner as we, as a society, are still in a transitional period. By eliminating the demand for abortion, practitioners will lose the ability to practice. The supply will cease to exist and the clinic will close. Which seems much more civil than blowing it up or shooting some doctors.

People are, in general, pretty fucking stupid. They are, however, programmed to survive. If a woman becomes pregnant, and that pregnancy threatens her economic, social, or political survival, she will resolve her problem by all means at her disposal. The legality of abortion is therefore not the issue and all of you conveniently Christian conservatives that lack the devotion to help the sick and poor should shut your fucking mouths.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's the best piece, ever, on this topic. /agree 100%
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Locobot - my own personal feelings aside that article is extremely biased, the basic assumptions made completely invalidate most of the argument by simply excluding the majority of the people that would be affected by a situation like this.

To chip in my own two cents on the thread, I've often been extremely perplexed by the total lack of compromise demonstrated by both sides of the spectrum. To preface this, I grew up extremely pro-life, and remained that way until around the time I graduated high school and started to learn certain things about the way the world really works, one of those things being what it truly means to be a parent. For the most part I am still against abortion for the simple fact that most of my experience with it has been people that got abortions out of simple selfishness, and I think that's just totally fucked up, pardon the pun.

I've said it in other threads, but why not simply add a level of mediation to the abortion process and grant both parties at least some measure of what they ask for. Introduce a trained counsellor to the system that reviews all abortion requests, so that things like the woman who's having her fourth abortion in 16 months because she's worried about her figure but too lazy to be on birth control and be referred to a psychologist instead of an abortion clinic, but the woman that's worried about her babies welfare could discuss future birth control options, speak with an adoption specialist, or get an abortion if it is in her and/or the babies best interest.

The rough system in my head is a lot more complex than that of course, there needs to be checks and balances in it to remove as much of the subjective decision as possible so that you don't stomp on the pro-choice options OR the pro-life options, though as much as I might think about it with the politics involved no sweeping change to the system is ever truly possible, there just isn't enough logic to facilitate it.

And these people denounce middle eastern religious extremists *shaking his head*
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's a pretty good article as far as it goes, but it can only assume republican/pro-life (gawd, I hate that term) and democrat/pro-choice. Our past governor, Christy Whitman, while being a republican, was not ultra-conservative in the matters of a woman's right to choose. And, I have a problem with some democrats who wear their catholism boldly, yet say they are pro-choice. Seems self-contradictory, although plausible, I guess.
There is an issue with abortions being available to the poor as well. Poor families, as a whole, have more children than middle class, who have more children than upper-class. Is this due to an ignorance of services available or a choice alone? Every woman I know who has had an abortion-and I do know more than 2-was NOT poor at all.
It's just a damned shame that instead of saying what side of the abortion fence one sits on, that not all can agree on the need for more education. The funds spent on educating everyone on the ways of birth control, etc would save so much in the future. *sigh*
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
After reading that article my crotch is thoroughly sore from all the fence straddling. I really don't think there's room for compromise on this issue.
I think you couldn't be more wrong. For some reason, people on both sides of the issue seem to think that there are two, and only two, positions that one can have on the subject of abortion. That is simply not the case, as Tecoyah's article makes very clear.

Perhaps more than any other, the debate about abortion has become one in which "either" side demonizes the other. Pro-lifers don't care about the rights of the mother: they are imposing their religious beliefs on us all, the pro-choicers scream. Pro-choicers think it's ok to kill living human beings just because they haven't yet exited the womb: they advocate infanticide, pro-lifers shout back.

I have adopted the policy of saying "no" when asked if I am pro-life or pro-choice, a reaction that perplexes those that are not aware of the depth of this debate.

I'll say a few words of my own:
1. Aborting a fetus in the last two or three months of pregnancy is a form of infanticide. We all know that if that same baby were born prematurely, killing it immediately after birth would be infantacide. Thus, the same rule should apply to fetuses within the mother.
2. It is impossible to prevent women from seeking and finding abortions. The government can only decide whether or not the abortions will be safe and legal. So, it is an obligation of the government to provide safe abortions to women who seek them.
3. It would be preferable to have as small a number of abortions performed as possible, as the act is disgusting and barbaric. For this reason, the government is obligated to teach the use of birth control devices in public schools. Including abstinence in the curriculum is acceptable only if it is accompanied by all the proper birth control information.

Conclusion: The government should allow women to receive abortions during the first trimester, no questions asked. If individual states want to add waiting periods not to exceed, say, a day or two, that is acceptable.

The government should ban all abortions in the third trimester, with exceptions made for if the health or the life of the mother is in danger, or if the fetus is gravely defective. The necessary level of defectiveness would have to be well-established because this provision has the potential of being misused.

Second trimester abortions are a very grey area. On the one hand, it seems like the fetus is not yet "human", at least in the physical sense. On the other, why wouldn't the mother have gotten an abortion earlier in the pregnancy? Certainly the same exceptions that apply in the third trimester apply here, but what should happen in other cases? I cannot provide the answer.

As mentioned above, the government is obligated to reduce the number of abortions through sexual education programs.

That's my opinion. I welcome yours.
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Last edited by politicophile; 10-19-2005 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 10-19-2005, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm a republican and can only say that I essentially agree with Dr. Sagan. There is a point at which a fetus is essentially human, and after that, abortion is essentially homicide.

Yes, I chose my words carefully.

What I hate about Roe v. Wade is that it is bad law. Now, every time there is a judicial nomination, the debate always seems centered over the candidate's views on abortion. This is asinine. What about eminent domain? What about the death penalty for minors? I can think of a thousand things more appropriate to ask a candidate.

The statehouses should legislate and end the fracas, so we can get back to civilized debate and worry about issues that have NOT been settled.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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uhhhh aren't there more major issues out there in the world...? like uhhh...the mass murder of people in foreign countries and the terrorization of the public masses by our own government?
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, and still we manage to discuss broken hearts, boob sizes and whether guys look good in pink shirts...
The philosophical stance one takes on abortion many times reflect their stand on other issues. Discussing position here is just as legit as discussing stands on foreign mass murder and government mass terrorism. If you have a position, you are more than welcome to either post on a thread pertaining to those or start one. Either way, what was your point of comment?
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidlight
Locobot - my own personal feelings aside that article is extremely biased, the basic assumptions made completely invalidate most of the argument by simply excluding the majority of the people that would be affected by a situation like this.
Of course it's biased! It's meant to persuade you! The title is "OMG Pro-Lifers need to shut the fuck up." That however in no way invalidates the central premise that "Pro-life republicans, while they claim to oppose abortion, create the very environment in which demand for the practice thrives." What I think is fucked up is that you somehow think you can abjudicate "selfishness" through some kind of mediation panel. No, sorry guys the standard is absolute, a woman must have the right to choose.
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Old 10-19-2005, 08:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
Of course it's biased! It's meant to persuade you! The title is "OMG Pro-Lifers need to shut the fuck up." That however in no way invalidates the central premise that "Pro-life republicans, while they claim to oppose abortion, create the very environment in which demand for the practice thrives." What I think is fucked up is that you somehow think you can abjudicate "selfishness" through some kind of mediation panel. No, sorry guys the standard is absolute, a woman must have the right to choose.
Incorect. Articles like that do nothing but preach to the converted and piss off the heathens. It's a complete waste of bandwith. How is one supposed to convince people by insulting them, stereotyping them and sounding like Jusus Christ on top a golden pulpit? The article changes the subject, generalizes, attacks the oposition and has an irrelavant conclusion - thats just for starters. The whole article can be summed up as: republicans are dumb-dumbs thus abortions should be legal. Well I am convinced! If that was a political add we would call it propoganda.

Further, fence sitting is the only option in this debate. The actual problem with this debate and any other debate concerning morality is that people want things in black and white but the world is all grey.

However I do agree with one common thread in both these articles. That is the fact that all the energy that goes into this debate (from both sides) is wasted. If all those people who fight so vigurously for or against abortion would put their energy towards improving our social health then this country would be a much better place to live in and there would be allot fewer abortion cases to bicker about.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politicophile
I have adopted the policy of saying "no" when asked if I am pro-life or pro-choice, a reaction that perplexes those that are not aware of the depth of this debate.
I say I'm pro-choice prior to conception, and pro-life afterward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by politicophile
Second trimester abortions are a very grey area. On the one hand, it seems like the fetus is not yet "human", at least in the physical sense.
I have yet to see a logical answer as to what it is at that point, if it isn't human.

I tend to limit my remarks on the subject, since you can argue for eons without the slightest movement from either position.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
I place this in here, primarily because I find this issue more a matter of personal Philosophy, than one of political leaning...I hope you do too. http://www.2think.org/abortion.shtml
This is a great statement and I completely agree with it. Makes people feel a little more comfortable about sharing their opinion. Makes people feel secure that their opinions will not be attacked. Anway...


I feel that a child should be aborted under no circumstances. It is not the childs fault for the circumstances under which he/she is being brought into the world. In a majority of cases Abortion is simply irresponsible. In the case of accidental pregnancy or consentual sex and unwanted pregnancy or inconvienant pregnancy, there are way to many ways in which to prevent pregnancy. Contraceptives although not 100% work very well. If you don't want to get pregnant don't have sex. Okay now onto the people who have no choice as to whether or not they get pregnant ie Rape, incest etc...
The child had no choice in the matter noether did the mother tough call but understand that their are families out there who wat and cannot have children and they are willing to adopt. Give that child the chance to make a differance. You could be aborting a great world leader or the anti-christ, there is no way of knowing. But wny would you want to take the chance. If you were given the choice do you think you would want to be aborted. A fetus has a heartbeat after 18 days and if you can abort a child after hearing that then maybe you have a few things to think about. Having heart my daughters heartbeat I couldn't imagine aborting that no matter how she came to be.
I want you to notice I used the word Abort and not Kill. I didn't want o offend anybody who may have had and abortion. My mother had an abortion after I was born and she tells me to this day she regrets aborting that child. Anyway that is my two cents worth.
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Old 10-22-2005, 03:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
I have personally found this to be amongst the best interpretations of the information available, and it has helped me form my own understanding of this....delicate debate.

http://www.2think.org/abortion.shtml
That is a very thorough and well done explaination on the abortion debate.

I know my position does not make sense but here goes. I think the termination of fetuses is wrong. Even if the 2nd trimester viability test referred to in the article is used as criteria for human status it is just a matter of time before science comes up with ways to make the fetus viable earlier and earlier.

That being said I cannot go along with the government dictating to women that they must carry the unborn child to term. So until something comes along to convince me otherwise I will err on the side of a woman's right to abort. I think this right should extend all the way to the final trimester since I don't know where to draw the line. I also understand those who are against abortion extending that belief all the way to conception since they do not know where to draw the line as well.

I guess the bottom line is, I believe a woman's right to the use of her body is more important to legally protect than the right of the fetus to live inside her.
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