I feel like the other thread got way off topic and we could all benefit from a more streamlined discussion.
Basically, the question is: "Does life have any intrinsic value?"
Is it wrong to abort a child when the family can't properly take care of it? Is it wrong to ask people to adopt a child instead of having a new one when the world is already overpopulated and so many children need good families?
For my stance on this I try to be as intellectually honest as possible. When a child is born, it never signs into a contract of life. We (as parents and society) allow the child to be born, so we therefore have a responsibility to nurture and take care of it. Personally, if I had known I was going to go through all the **** I did (specifically religion), I wouldn't have signed the "life contract", meaning I would have preferred non-existence. To me, that shows a fundamental failure in the responsibilities of my parents and society.
As a student of Psychology, I've seen that many people in America seem to feel the same. If you truly value your life, then why would you overeat and become obese, increasing your chances of many health problems, diabetes, or even a massive heart attack? If you truly value your life, then why would you start smoking cigarettes, one of the most unhealthy habits of all time, for which we have conclusive statistical evidence that it shortens your life significantly? If you truly value your life, then why drink so much that it starts damaging your liver or doing illegal drugs that are dangerous for your health?
To me, anybody who does these things, on some level, wants to die. If your health and life were your number one concern, you would do everything to protect and preserve it. I don't think, by a long shot, I'm alone in feeling that if I could go back, I may not sign my "life contract".
So the question is, who are the real villains - the people trying to protect certain children from a harsh life, or the people whose motto is "life at all costs"?
Let's try to keep it civil shall we?
I have mixed feelings about abortions, but I support it IF the parents have financial problems, under-aged, inexperienced,immature and clueless. Other than that no, if whores get abortion I don't care
Scarecrow Madman http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/sh...arecrow-MadmanRe-voice El Gauntelete:http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/sh...telete-s-Voice
I disagree. I think smoking is a subtle method of self-destruction. If you know it's cutting years off your life, and you don't care, that says a lot about how important your life is to you.Just because people smoke does not mean they are not in a "self-destruct" mode. That is just bullshit.
Abortion has always had to do with the would-be parents itself rather than the kid. It has always been that way. Ask anyone who supports abortion why they do so. They response you will get 99% of the time is that they don't want to be a parent when they are not ready for it. It's that cut and dry. You can talk about 'intrinsic value of life' all you want, but the reality is when you have something to lose from it your views will change fast. Same concept with money.
Besides that the opening post, with all due respect, reeks of emo. We've all had our difficulties, learn from them and make yourself a better person. If someone is too unmotivated to do anything about a shitty quality of life, that isn't something anyone can help them with. I'm sure you've heard people say 'I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself' or something similar.
I'm sorry I didn't mean for it to sound so emo. Basically, I am doing the best I can in spite of the unfortunate circumstances I went through, and in the end I know I'll be a happy, successful person; but that's not the point. The point is that if I had to do it all again to get to where I am today, I wouldn't, and I don't think we should be forcing that decision on other innocent children either. I think we have a responsibility as a society to make sure nobody lives a life of suffering just because it conflicts with some ridiculous moral value on our part.Besides that the opening post, with all due respect, reeks of emo. We've all had our difficulties, learn from them and make yourself a better person. If someone is too unmotivated to do anything about a shitty quality of life, that isn't something anyone can help them with. I'm sure you've heard people say 'I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself' or something similar.
edit: Also I think your elitist optimism is a bit unrealistic. You ask children who have been raped in foster homes or brought up in a neighborhood full of gangs to "suck it up and help yourself" and they'd probably tell you to shove it up your ass. It's not as black and white as "It's your fault if you're suffering". Sometimes your life can be so miserable that it takes years or decades to sort through all the baggage. You may have been raised by a nice, middle-class white family, but don't sit there and judge others because you feel like you can - with all due respect of course.
Last edited by Hat_Truck; 07-25-2012 at 10:12 AM.
Not sure since it's not all black and white. I personally support abortion if there's a real problem with birth of the child like financial problems or anything else. Could be that there's a war going on or something so parents don't want their child to grow up in such kind of situation. But I disagree if the abortion is because of the fact that parents suddenly don't want to have kids anymore. That's cruel
Besides that, my mind isn't normal. I was evaluated as a kid, and they diagnosed me as having 'traits of Asperger's syndrome', whatever the **** that means. I quickly learned throughout my childhood and my teens that I was inherently very self-aware and extremely selfish. That was simply how my brain worked. So I have had to work very hard to get to where I am. I went from being a strange, awkward nobody to being someone who, despite all his flaws, can put his best foot forward everyday. I used my borderline OCD to study topics that would benefit me, like the stock market. I share my learnings with people who don't have the time or energy to study these topics.
If you knew me and my friends, and talked to them, I would guarantee you not a single person would say I am remotely normal. And yet they all appreciate what I do. That has become my reality, and I've learned to embrace it.
There is no such thing as a "contract of life". Life is a biological constant, and/or a heavenly one dependent on your personal views.
This is why the topic of abortion is so heavily contested (beyond the religious angle(s) which hold sway in primarily-religious first world nations) - life itself is hard to define. Sentient life, even harder. Not to mention the rather arrogant (imo) notion we place on human life above all else.
Additionally, I don't think abortion has anything to do with smoking, (over)eating, over(drinking) or anything else. Nor does it have anything to do with whatever issues you may have with your parents, so I'm confused as to why they were raised at all.
EDIT: I personally class "with all due respect" in the same category as "no offense intended" in that it's completely superfluous. If you feel you have to append such a statement it's because your text will either suffer from a lack of respect or contain such a phrasing that is going to cause offense. This is, as ever, my opinion.
Last edited by Gorb; 07-25-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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off-topic, but I'm 100% chinese, and my pic is in macrohard's OT album.
There's a few different ways to understand this problem. Let's start from the beginning. When thinking about this ethically, we don't ask 'does life has inherent value?' That's assumed in the discussion (not that it's inherent before the discussion, but it is inherent to the discussion - kind of). So, we ask then, 'when does life begin?' That's difficult to say. We can get some clues by looking at when people die - the beginning and end of life should be marked by similar indicators.
Is someone dead when they stop breathing? Obviously that's too primitive. It used to be the case that the legal definition of death was heart failure, but people come back from heart failure regularly now. The legal definition now is brain death, but how accurate is this definition these days? How many people still come back from the 'dead'? At this point in time, and perhaps for all time, the definition of life is fuzzy. When it begins and when it ends is kind of fuzzy. For purposes of abortion, then, life can be assumed to begin at conception.
This leaves us with the premise that you're always killing a human life. Many abortion activists try to deny this point, but I don't see a reason too. There's two directions to go from here to make abortion permissible.
One direction is the violinist thought experiment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violini..._experiment%29
This argument is persuasive because it shows how abortion is permissible even when we admit what we are working with is fully human and fully alive. Essentially, it establishes an ethical boundary for which someone can interfere. Rights are important ethically because they establish these interference boundaries which recognize that some things are not worth sacrificing control over to other people. While abstract ethical decisions have an answer, an agent has to carry out that answer and an agent has to arrive at that answer. Some number of humans should not be able to take control of your life in this way using imperfect knowledge and imperfect methods. Now, if there was a way to hook the violinist back up to a machine or another person volunteered, that would be demanded in this situation as the responsible and humane thing to do. Unfortunately, removing a fetus from the body will kill it - we have no artificial wombs and we have no way to move the fetus to a willing recipient (which might be for the best).
Some say the violinist argument only gets you as far as rape or dangerous cases, however. I think it does a great deal more.
I think the second approach is to create different levels of ethical relevance to different stages of human life, but I feel this option is much riskier. We recognize that the feeling of humanness or personhood isn't something we have immediately when we gain consciousness (our first memories of this are around age 1-2). There's a lot of different factors that contribute to our personhood and it's not really a binary distinction. It would be more accurate to, instead of labeling someone 'human' here and dead here, to accurately describe HOW human someone is. A fetus is hardly human at all by what gives something ethical relevance (borrowing from animal ethics). A fetus is incapable of acting, experiencing (in most cases), developing relationships, contributing productively to society, etc. If we want to try and redefine personhood in such a way, it does open the door for doing so amongst freely living humans. Children, then, would get lower moral relevance (although might still get heightened protection) since they aren't fully developed. Infants would get even less. I would posit that the safest thing to do, however, is to never remove humanness until death. Thus, old people, sick people, or insane people will not be dehumanized. But I think a recognition of the spectrum of 'humanness', while interesting, is not the correct approach to this argument.
Personally, when in doubt, allow for more freedom. Many people, those who believe in souls, tend to think a little more foolishly about the subject. I don't think it's so easy myself. But I do think it should be the woman's choice in recognition that the decision can be difficult. Who is anyone else to usurp that choice and her rights. "But what about the rights of the baby!" they will cry. They rights of an individual matter so long as they don't infringe on another's. If the baby wants to take away the rights of its mother and then demand, vicariously, that its right to life be respected - fine. Only so long as it can live without hijacking another's body. The action is ethically permissible, in my view. Is it something people should do? Hard to say (and obviously context dependent).
I think the last thing I'll point out is that this means a couple different things need to change legally.
1) Double homicide on a pregnant woman should be reconsidered. Yes, the violinist experiment can allow for them both to be fully human, but, legally the fetus is not typically treated as human (and I don't think it should be). I think this legal aspect needs to be re-examined.
2) If this becomes a woman's choice entirely, then the biological father has no legal say in the decision. This is fine. But he should not, then, have responsibility for the decision. This means a woman cannot trick a man by saying she would have an abortion and then not have one - forcing the man into a situation where has has to be responsible for the child and pay child support. Once the woman has decided to have the child, it should become a decision between the woman and the father whether or not he will care for the child - if her decision to have the child was contingent on his support, then she needs to get his consent to fatherhood in some sort of written or recorded form before or as soon after a pregnancy as possible to ensure that, should he bail, he will have to support this child.
That's all I have to add.
I agree with abortion, i dont see how Life can have any real meaning in the grand scheme of things, the Universe has been around for Billions of years before any of us came along, and it'll be around for several more after we're gone.
from a personal pov i hate the fact i was born, im not emo-depressed 24/7 i make the best of my life because you only live once so why not have fun, plenty of time to be dead, but i was born with a hereditry problem that i wont go into details but i wouldnt want anyone else to have it, a few years ago i learnt that my Mother got pregnant twice but aborted them both, i was pleased because i knew they wouldnt suffer the same fate.
learning of my issue also changed my outlook on kids myself because i know full well chances are i can pass it on, so i've come to the terms that i wont even consider having a child atleast outside of adoption because i refuse to pass on my condition.
i would never want to be the person to tell my child that they were a mistake and because i wasnt smart enough to use protection/abort they have to life with it.
i agree wholehartedly with Abortion, as previously stated there are way to many people on the earth and there are many good reasons that vastly outweigh the badside of it imo, makes me sick everytime i see the emotinal blackmail charitys do with showing you the kids in Africa starving and i cant help but say, why have kids if your in that bad of a situation that you cant even feed yourself? should be sending contraceptives not food.
sorry if it sounds too emo or w/e but just adding to the discussion.
My opinion is that abortion should be alowed in certain cases, yada yada, etc...
What baffled me was this:
I agree with abortion up to a certain point in the pregnancy, and beyond that it's just creepy. But it shouldn't even come to abortion in the first place. Better education, less religious 'you have to pop out as many babies as possible to please the lord' bullshit, and possibly though I would hope it wouldn't have to come to it, more restrictions on the number of children people can have before they need to start adopting if they want more. If people feel like they're doing a good thing and it's something to be proud of by having 1 or 2 at most children, they'll be happier about it than if they're breaking the law by having 2 or more.
Avoiding the 'oops we're pregnant' thing avoids the 'should we get an abortion?' thing (duh). Which then in turn avoids moral and religious debates on the subject of 'ending a life' before it's even born.
Humans have been selectively breeding other species for at least the past 7 thousand years, possibly even longer than that though I haven't really heard of any real evidence of it (but probably canines if anything). What's wrong with selectively breeding out serious hereditary health problems as best we can in humans too? Well, depending on who decides who breeds with who, quite a bit. But if people only decide it for themselves, and more than just a handful (too few to make a difference), I can only support the idea.
Can't see why human life is any more valuable than any other life on the planet. I think that all life is valuable, but I don't think that human life is somehow more valuable than others.
In contrast, the other meaning to this idea doesn't help its case. Say you make abortion legal except in certain circumstances. Thus, the burden of proof is on the authority to prove this exception and disqualify someone from an abortion. What then are the criterion you define? A well-off individual who conceived their child in wedlock through consensual sex? Beyond the fact that no one would support this, it sort of shows the absurdity behind restricting them at all. What say should the government have in this at all about whether or not someone is deserving of an abortion? Why should we pay the government to investigate women and decide whether or not they have permission to perform a certain procedure? This seems like it should be the woman's choice. All we can do is offer the best guidance we have.
Why exactly is human life above all else, is the more important question. And even if there's a good reason (I'm not sure there is), it doesn't really make it any less arrogant.I'm one of those crazy people that thinks that human life is above all else. Can you give me an example of something that is more valuable or of equal value then a human life in your opinion???
You know nothing about self destruction if you truly believe smoking is one of them.
Just because you dislike smoking doesn't mean everyone on them is trying to kill themselves. Live and let live, or die whatever.“Why do people measure life by the years instead of how good the years were?”
Chimps and Bonobos would have to be pretty damn close, considering they have 99% of the same genes as us. You could also make absurd arguments like, "would you rather have one person die, or an entire animal species?", or "would you let 5 people die, so you could ride a T-Rex?"I'm one of those crazy people that thinks that human life is above all else. Can you give me an example of something that is more valuable or of equal value then a human life in your opinion???
You haven't really offered a good argument against mine other than "everybody dies". That's not an argument - by your logic, if everybody dies why don't we just constantly do things to bring our death sooner? Just because everybody dies doesn't mean that we shouldn't take precautions to lengthen the span and quality of our lives - statistically, smoking does neither; it's very bad for you.Disagree on what bases? Because you die? Newsflash: everyone dies. I know this is a real hard and harsh reality check for you... but it is true.
You know nothing about self destruction if you truly believe smoking is one of them.
I'm going to take it that either you or someone you really care about smokes so I've hit a hot spot.
^ read that. What other people do does not concern you, and if you are a real pansy about smoking you'd stay clear of it. I don't get this "All smokers are bad they ruin everything blablabla"Just because you dislike smoking doesn't mean everyone on them is trying to kill themselves. Live and let live, or die whatever.
The biggest whiners are those who smoked and quit.
Like I said earlier you know nothing about self-destruction...