Frozen Embryos

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Shannon - posted on 08/05/2009

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Wow, I go off to class and sure miss a lot... I'm glad you all had a productive day today and I'm sorry I missed it. Looks to me like Mary and Christa morally feel roughly about the same on the base issue but legally are polar opposites. That's what I love about this country - you can think almost the same thing and be extremists on opposite sides of the political spectrum!

Nah, I'm just teasing! Actually just stopped in to see what happened today before heading to bed - so g'nite!

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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There is a double standard though. How many IVF docs have been killed? How many IVF clinics are subject to regular protests? Not many.

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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I wasn't refering to you directly Christa with those comments. Just speaking generally.

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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Why not the huge uproar to save the frozen fetus' that were paid for to be created into life? If a woman is not capable of caring for a baby or doesn't want one they are called a murderer but these women are literally throwing conceived (albeit in a petri dish) fetus' in the trash, donating them to science or leaving them in a freezer yet they are treated with more respect because they wanted to take one or a few of them and complete a pregnancy. Why the double standard?

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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Our presidents mother had parents who, basically, raised him. The girls I worked with all came from LONG histories involving many generations of poverty stricken, mentally ill, abusive, drug addicts...I knew one baby who was raised in a meth house run by her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother...nice, her life was totally respected...Most of the girls and other kids I worked with had it just as bad...where are they to learn about the value of hard work...forget that, the value of anything? I wish I thought you were unaware of the problems for poverty stricken children, but you clearly just don't care.

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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No the thread is about frozen embryos, not murder. I believe they should go to science.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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And no, I'm picking the 40% + over trying to legislate the other 60%...I don't see how you legislate for all the possible ways a person may legitimately need an abortion...I have plenty more stories I could share, but I seriously doubt that you care...Like I said, as long as the baby survives the pregnancy, it doesn't seem like it matters to you what happens after that. It should just pull itself up off it's lazy butt and start doing things for itself..."personal responsibility" was it?

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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I know three people who have had abortions. Two were due to becoming pregnant with an IUD implanted and the other was on medication that causes severe birth defects that also interfered with her BC pill being effective.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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Also...I think your stats speak for themselves...21.3 % cannot afford the baby, and 12.2 % are too young (which means they cannot afford the baby), and 6.1 % are done due to health concerns...add this to the 1% done for rape, and you have 40% of abortions done for legitimate reasons...40% is a huge #...

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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If those stats from an obviously anti-choice website are true and only 1% of all abortions are the result of rapes, then 1% 1.31 million is not an insignificant #. I have read elsewhere that the number of actual pregnancies resulting from rape is 5% of all rapes. In the US alone, this # could be as high as 3,000 + a year. This, of course, only accounts for those who report the crimes (as many as 60 % of women do not report sexual crimes due to the stigma, and the knowledge that they will be victimized again by the "justice" system). Perhaps you think 3,000+ women and girls living through pregnancies that are the result of rape is not significant...but I fundamentally disagree.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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Every drug addict I've worked with had a psychological diagnosis as well. Bipolar disorder, depression, etc...they were all addicted to Meth, Crack, Heroine, or Cocain...I don't necessarily think the babies would be better off dead, but who is going to care for them? You? The Government? A federally or state funded agency? Believe me, the private agencies who take care of such people are over crowded, and understaffed, so don't tell me that private agencies and charities should foot the bill, they can't keep up with it. Many homeless and mentally ill people do not have families, or if they do, they are mentally ill or addicted to drugs also. They are just as unfit to care for unwanted children as the individual you suggest should practice "personal responsibility" while living with mental illness, poverty, and drug addiction. Your respect for life seems to begin and end at conception (unless the person is mentally ill)...this makes no sense to me at all. Life is never easy or fair, and I don't make excuses, I exercise compassion.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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If you respect life, why would you want an innocent child born to a homeless (most likely schizophrenic) person? If you respect life, why would you want MORE drug addicted, rarely adopted, often abused babies in this world. If you respect life, why would you force the victim of a crime to suffer needlessly through a trial (likely taking more than 12 weeks) in order to prove that she had been victimized, only to be told that she now cannot have an abortion because it's too late. 1 in 3 women and girls are the victims of sexual crimes in this country, you are fooling yourself if you think that only a very small percentage of those crimes end in pregnancy. Based on personal experience (as you've pointed out recently in other threads is very important) I know that you are not only fooling yourself, you are factually wrong. If you respect life, what are you saving these "millions" of babies for? For a life of drug addiction, abuse, poverty, crime, pain, illness, psychological problems...is this the way to respect life? I think not...

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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What I have made clear in previous conversations is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to legislate for all of the possible reasons why MOST REASONABLE people agree that abortion should be legal (rape, incest, abuse of child by parent, homlessness, drug addiction, VERY low functioning children, etc.) I told the story of a 14 year old held hostage, raped and force-fed drugs until it was too late for her to legally have an abortion...I would not want to be the one who had to tell that 14 year old girl that she didn't fit the regulation and had to carry the result of a horrendous crime in her uterus for another 6 months. I also have made it clear that it is unreasonable to claim that it is ok to have an abortion in the case of a sexual crime, but then FORCE a woman through some kind of trial to prove it...because of my feelings about sexual crimes agains women and children, I support a woman's right to choose. NO WHERE in any comment I've made have I ever stated that abortion is just swell, and I love it; no where have I claimed that I do not believe life begins at conception, and no where have I suggested that I do not value life in all of it's forms. You are being unreasonable, and I never run away.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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It's clear you don't know me, and shouldn't be putting words in my mouth...I do value ALL life, as I clearly pointed out...what other forms of life do you value...or is it just embryos? I would certainly never make that assumption about YOU, since I don't know you...but whatever...I'm sick of having unreasonable conversations with unreasonable people...

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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I do value all life: I'm a vegetarian, I dissaprove of war, the death penalty, torturing others for the "benefit" of some, the mass production of nuclear weapons by any nation, and leaving single (or the poor in general) moms/parents and their helpless children to fend for themselves in a broken social system...All life deserves concideration, including adult life. I would never (outside of very dramatic circumstances) make the private decision to participate in any manipulation of the natural birth process either...but that IS a privacy issue as it is defined by our laws (I'm sure you've had to read that privacy form at your doctors office...it's a law)...

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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So it's ok to play god a little bit? Who decides how much is too much? Personally, I would never do IVF, I'd sooner adopt a child who needs a loving home than try bringing something into the world that wasn't meant to be.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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I actually think IVF is "playing god too much", but I also think that it's a private medical decision made by a family and their doctor, and none of my business...

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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Lets say I want two kids, make six embryos (as science would suggest), and get triplets the first time around...Should I be forced to have the other embryos implanted, or to continue paying to store unwanted materials? I just think it should be left up to the people who have to live with the decisions...like so many other things in this world...it's none of anyone elses business but the client and her/their doctor. Privacy is still important in this country, I think?

Shannon - posted on 08/05/2009

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I agree Jenny. I don't have any set thoughts on freezing embryos, although others have strong feelings. Reading the article made me see it through the eyes of the mother and understand their side better.

I do respect Christa's and Traci's feelings on this - it does make sense to me. Only make the embryos you are willing to use.

The only only argument I don't understand is the argument for discarding embryos instead of doing research. While I do understand that argument is precluded by the argument that no embryo gets to that point.

Jenny - posted on 08/05/2009

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That could create more scenarios like Octomom. The point of making more is because they don't all take, doesn't mean they all have to be used. I would definately rather they go to science than being thrown out or staying in a freezer.

Shannon - posted on 08/05/2009

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It would be tough to have your deceased husband's children, but I know sometimes people donate sperm or freeze embryos for just that reason. I think it is a way of trying to cheat death and continue your bloodline.

To go back to the divorce- I'm guessing the husband just didn't want to pay child support on children he hadn't yet had. Perhaps that is why the court sided with him. Now it could have been less cynical than that - maybe he just didn't want any more children. I can understand and respect that to an extent.

HOWEVER -

In the eyes of the law destroying entities may be fine, but in the eyes of the mother court-ordered destruction of embryos seems quite harsh. I do wonder how often that happens.

I am glad we at least agree that instead of destruction they should be donated to science after the decision has been made to give them up. I do think if it is possible more people should donate them to other couples.

Shannon - posted on 08/05/2009

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To play devil's advocate - what if the husband is going to war and they make them just in case he doesn't come home?

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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I love the idea of donating them to another couple, if that is even a possibility. I abhore the idea of throwing them in the trash bin however, and I certainly think it is sad that people feel compelled to pay endlessly for the storage of embryos that they never plan on using. Science can use these embryos, but people have every right to make their own decisions.

Shannon - posted on 08/05/2009

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Great - let's go back to the article. We're all moms on here & I think this bit in the beginning sums it up:

"Like many women struggling with infertility, Cinnamond was delighted when a laboratory took sperm and egg and provided five chances for a second child after Kaitlin's birth. In many ways, infertility is a numbers game -- more embryos created means more tries for success. She was asked in the beginning about the matter of surplus embryos, but how could she think about those she might not want when her thoughts were consumed by the children she longed for?

When the time came to decide about the extras, she says, "I thought I was going to be calm and casual." And she was, until the first bill arrived to keep the embryos frozen. "I was petrified," she says. "There was no practical reason to keep them. I just wasn't ready to make the decision not to keep them." She paid the $600, hoping that her thoughts would crystallize as time passed. This year, she's paying the bill again."

I know many of you think every embryo that is created should be implanted, but I think it just must be such a difficult thing to make a decision on.

Then there is this:

"study last year of more than 1,000 fertility patients from nine clinics, 20 percent of couples who wanted no more children said they planned or expected to keep their embryos frozen indefinitely. Couples have held on to embryos for five years or more, waiting on an epiphany that never comes. Nadya Suleman, the now-famous mother of octuplets, told NBC News that she had all eight of her embryos implanted because she couldn't bear to dispose of any of them."

I'm not really throwing around an opinion or judgment of these parents at all, only saying that this must be a VERY difficult decision to make. I cannot put myself in their shoes as I conceived within the first month of trying.


The only thing I do believe is the ones that ARE disposed of should go to science instead of in the garbage bin. This obviously comes AFTER the moral dilemma of what to do with the extra (implant them, don't make them, donate them to another couple, etc.) This is a separate issue than whether people should be allowed to make more than they will use. These embryos or lives, if you prefer, can go in the bin or to help others and I feel it would be better to help others than be discarded.

JL - posted on 08/05/2009

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Context is always important it is better to understand something than not even if you do not agree with the sentiments of the theory or fundamentals of a study.

ME - posted on 08/05/2009

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I'm sure anti-intellectualists find academia a waste of time...academics rarely do however...we also find blatant falsehoods and irrationality annoying...travesties of logic kind of get on my nerves also...in fact I find having a "discussion" with anyone who can't use truth, reason, and logic successfully to be "a waste of time"...

ME - posted on 08/04/2009

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lol Shannon...Notice, I said "most"...*wicked smile*...But yes, exactly...understanding historical context is also very important. My other MA is in Pychology, so I understand what you are saying...even tho I totally disagree with Freud, I recognize the need to study his work in order to understand the discipline...very good point.

Shannon - posted on 08/04/2009

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I'm kind of a Marxist ;)

I do agree with you, though, Mary. In order to figure out what you DO believe and agree with you have to study all sorts of disciplines and points of view. You can then figure out what you also DON'T agree with. Plus you need to understand the history of the discipline you are studying and how it would apply in today's society.

This goes for most/all fields of study I imagine. I'm studying psychology. I need to understand what Freud and Jung would think of today's society, for example. I also need to know what their society was like to understand how they came to their conclusions.

ME - posted on 08/04/2009

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No...I don't agree, but Philosophy is one of my "loves", I studied it for half of my life, and now I teach it. If you don't understand the theory, then please don't use it to defend an argument. I don't think it makes sense to attack something that "you" know nothing about, and use that as a defense of your values...it's irrational...My point all along has been just that...My last post was a defense of logic and philosophy, not of Singer...Traci was suggesting that this man has no right to present a logical argument in a college classroom (or that it's somehow immoral to let him do so). Ummm...It's PHILOSOPHY...we also study Marxism, but most of us aren't Marxists...ugh...

ME - posted on 08/04/2009

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Utilitarianism is a hundreds of years old theory developed by J. Bentham and J.S. Mill...It has been studied and debated by brilliant minds the world over ever since. P. Singer is only one person to look at the theory OBJECTIVELY and try to develop a coherent understanding of what being a pure Utilitarian would mean based on modern issues. Vegetarians (such as myself) have many reasons for not eating meat, and they aren't all about the precious nature of animal life. I am not surprised at your anti-intellectual rhetoric, but I think COLLEGE/GRAD students (not "young minds") can deal with a little bit of controversy. Philosophy is about a REAL/LOGICAL debate of the issues, and a determination of what one believes. Most ethics courses also teach religious, deontic, and value ethics; they certainly don't ever pretend that Singer's point of view is the only possible one that a person can hold. Certainly, no one I know in 12 years of studying philosophy at the college/graduate level has EVER suggested that the world would be a better place if we all became Singeresque Utilitarians. In fact, most philosophers suggest that, despite the aesthetic beauty of the Utilitarian philosophy, outcomes such as the permission to torture people for the benefit of others would be horrifying. I hope you never have any say over what students get to study anywhere, but particularly not in college. God help us all...

Shannon - posted on 08/03/2009

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Read Mary's post above, or better yet - read Singer's essays - and he'll tell which societies he's referring to. Remember - none of us have endorsed his view, only tried to clarify it. Ancient Greeks often practiced euthanasia and infanticide - which our culture finds 'sick' (as you said). However not living then I hold that it is difficult to judge their practices. Aside from them Mary's post refers to Eskimos and Singer may reference other societies that DIFFER FROM OURS.

Shannon - posted on 08/03/2009

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According to his philosophy, that Mary clearly spelled out above, one is not obligated to euthanize if there are enough resources to provide for them. Obviously if he was able to put his mother up he had the resources to do so. There is nothing 'funny' about that.

Shannon - posted on 08/02/2009

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I feel I am somewhat of a Utilitarian, however I do not feel that view of abortion/infanticide fits in our society. I feel our society would greater benefit from making adoption easier/cheaper. However in the case of other societies (Ancient Greeks, etc) where infanticide was commonplace I feel we cannot judge based on today's values and circumstances. (To take the conversation in a different direction)

ME - posted on 08/02/2009

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Yes Shannon...that was my original point. Traci, and Dawn seem to not understand Utilitarianism, the philosophical theory upon which all of Singer's arguments are based. I explained (briefly) that Utilitarianism, not emotion, requires him to hold his particular view...which I never supported. Actually understanding philosophical arguments is important if you want to use them as support for your point (or if you want to argue against them).

Shannon - posted on 08/02/2009

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Plus, as Mary will know, many philosophers have written arguments for or against abortion based on when personhood is achieved and have been attacked for supporting infanticide. Philosophical arguments can not be taken at face value (media value) they must be read in depth to understand their point. Taking Singer's view out of context is completely unfair, whether you agree with him or not.

ME - posted on 08/02/2009

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Professor Singer also agrees that life starts at conception. I didn't disagree with that fact either. He simply says that "life" is not enough to outlaw abortion. My point WAS that you all rarely address what is said by any of us, and jump straight to the assumption that we are attacking personal values or religious beliefs, even when the clarification of a point, not the support of it, is all that is going on. I have pointed out multiple times, in many threads, that people's values are important personally, and people's religons have no place in POLITICS (not necessarily no place here, unless we are discussing possible POLITICAL outcomes) because we have a mandated seperation of church and state. As a professor of logic and ethics, I guarantee you that emotion and logic DO NOT coexist in ANY coherent argument. This, as I pointed out above, does NOT mean that you cannot base your personal values on emotion, but responding to fact, reason, and logic with emotion makes for a very difficult, if not impossible discussion. If you are all wondering why we get no where in these discussions, this would be the main reason...imo.

Crystal - posted on 08/02/2009

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I wasn't talking to you or about what you explained Mary....once again you read into something that wasn't there.

I used logic and backed it up with my emotions and was told that I wasn't arguing logically even AFTER I explained the logical part of it.

Science says that conception is the start of life, which agrees with my emotional view of it as well. I believe all life should be valued, and therefore life, even at the stages of an embryo should be valued because scientifically it IS a life.

ME - posted on 08/02/2009

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I always read what is written, usually several times before responding. I do feel like logic is continuously ignored in favor of emotionally based opinions in this forum. It is fine if you base your values on your emotions, no one is trying to stop you from doing this. To have a reasonable argument or discussion with a scientist or a philosopher when you have no evidence to support your claims, or when those claims are based on blatant falsehoods (like the one I was trying to address above) is very difficult. No one is saying that there is anything wrong with your values, and no one is attacking you personally. A couple of you were talking about an Ethics Professor who's argument was clearly misuderstood by those attacking it, and they presented it incorrectly. I presented that argument correctly, and was asked if I think my sons life was less important than my own. I clearly did not support Singers argument, but I did explain it correctly. I would appreciate it if people READ what I have to say, and think about it before making outlandish statements.

Crystal - posted on 08/02/2009

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I didn't say anybody had to leave....I said if she doesn't like the way we debate then feel free not to. I use logic and emotion for my debates, and I don't appreciate that just because she doesn't feel I'm using logic then it's not worth debating with, but I do use logic, and just because she doesn't agree doesn't mean it's not true.

You people don't seem to actually read what's written, no, you don't agree so therefore it's not valid.

Isobel - posted on 08/01/2009

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Dear Crystal:

"If you don't like the way we debate then feel free not to debate with us."

i was under the impression that this group was designed for the free-flow of ideas. If everytime somebody disagrees with a republican (or a pro-life advocate) they are requested to leave the group, then perhaps you will be left with a group of "agreeing moms" It seems to me that if this is what you want then a new group is needed.

ME - posted on 07/31/2009

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Wow! I seem to have missed a lot here, sorry. I was merely pointing out that Traci was Incorrect about her opinion of P. Singer. I am a professor of ethics, so I thought I could help with that. P. Singer bases his argument 100% on logic, and does not allow his emotions to get in the way. Emotional arguments are ALWAYS the result of logical fallacies (feminist ethicists argue that emotion should not, and cannot be completely left out of our ethical theories...you crazy feminists you). I find that to be a very difficult way to approach the world, and I disagree with a lot of his arguments, BECAUSE I disapprove of the Utilitarian Calculus. I do not, for example, believe that it would be ok to torture anyone for the benefit of others; this is a utilitarian theory and I am profoundly against torture. I do understand, however, that some societies differ dramatically from our own. For example, eskimos often allow the elderly and newborn children to starve/freeze out in the wild. They have a hard time (due to poor hunting and changing climate) some seasons, and cannot support all of the members of their tribe. Since it would be foolish to allow a hunter, gatherer, child-rearer, or some other productive member of their group to die in favor of someone who can contribute nothing, they have to make a difficult and often devastating choice. As you can see, they actually value life just as much as you or I, they are protecting as many lives as they can. This is the basis of P. Singer's argument. I NEVER supported it, I simply explained it.

Crystal - posted on 07/31/2009

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I did not personally attack you I asked that you all stop attacking us just because you don't like our arguments. I don't think I'm out of line for asking that. I just also explained how the logical argument also backs up my emotional one, so you didn't really pick apart my argument.....

Shelley - posted on 07/31/2009

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Wow. You acknowledge that basing an opinion or thought on emotion is different than basing it on logic. So, you're saying that your opinions are based on emotion, and then you seek out logic to back it up..? If your logic is driven by emotion, it is NOT logical. Hate to be the one to pick apart your argument and tell you that you didn't make sense, but...



You would like for "the liberals on here" to stop engaging in personal attacks, so how to stop us? Personally attack me. Brilliant. Just brilliant. You really are emotional. I'm not attacking Christa. I'm making an observation. If you don't like it, "feel free not to debate with us."

Crystal - posted on 07/31/2009

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Emotions are what I base all my opinions and thoughts on, if you don't like it tough shit. I can also see things logically. I can see that even science agrees that life starts at conception and therefore destroying an "entity" which by science's laws has declared a "life" should not be allowed. Yes I realize it is right now legal, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

If you don't like the way we debate then feel free not to debate with us.

I'm tired at how the liberals on here start attacking us personally when we make our points. We see things differently, and our logics are obviously different also, but it does not mean we are not thinking logically just because you don't agree with our views.

Shelley - posted on 07/31/2009

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Obviously this issue is too emotional for many of you to ever consider logically. Mary is stating the theory as a utilitarian approach to this issue (meaning the greatest good for the greatest amount of people). She's not saying he's right. It's just a different perspective. It would be nice if you could acknowledge it as such instead of saying she doesn't value her son's life. Christa, you said something similar to me on the abortion thread. Like I should be able to go in my twins' bedroom and murder them b/c I think abortion should be legal. C'mon. We know you're pregnant and emotional, but please try to be logical. It's very similar to your response to my "entities" comment. That is exactly what they are in the eyes of the law, whether that is right or wrong in your eyes. It is just a fact put there for consideration, not just to be dismissed b/c you refuse to think about this issue from any perspective other than your own. It is a legal fact, until common law changes. You are clearly passionate about your views on this issue. I'm just asking for logical arguments, not emotional ones.

Crystal - posted on 07/31/2009

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I think that type of view is disgusting! Killing a newborn is just as if not more horrible than killing an adult imo.

ME - posted on 07/31/2009

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Peter Singer is a Utilitarian, all of his Philosophical and Ethical arguments are based on this theory (like some people's are based on their religious views).

Peter Singer on Abortion:



[The argument that a fetus is not alive] is a resort to a convenient fiction that turns an evidently living being into one that legally is not alive. Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognise that the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being's life.[27]



Singer states that arguments for or against abortion should be based on utilitarian calculation which weighs the preferences of a mother against the preferences of the fetus. A preference is anything sought to be obtained or avoided; all forms of benefit or harm caused to a being correspond directly with the satisfaction or frustration of one or more of its preferences. Since a capacity to experience suffering or satisfaction is a prerequisite to having any preferences at all, and a fetus, at least up to around eighteen weeks, says Singer, has no capacity to suffer or feel satisfaction, it is not possible for such a fetus to hold any preferences at all. In a utilitarian calculation, there is nothing to weigh against a mother's preferences to have an abortion, therefore abortion is morally permissible.



Similar to his argument for abortion, Singer argues that newborns similarly lack the essential characteristics of personhood — "rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness"[28] — and therefore "killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living."[29]



As you can see, he is NOT arguing for abortion up to the age of two, he is saying that abortion and the practices of some communities (like the Eskimos) of killing babies who cannot be supported by their families IS NOT EQUIVALENT to killing an adult. Interesting leap from equivalence to an argument for...

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