If Abortion is Legal, So Should Killing 27-day Old Babies Be


Peter Singer is an atheist. He is also a proponent of abortion.

Here are some of his quotes on why the right to abort a fetus based on its mental capacity should be extended a little further:

“My colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggest that a period of twenty-eight days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.”

The calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy, while if we make the comparison with a fetus of less than three months, a fish would show more signs of consciousness.”

“Characteristics like rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness… make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings.”

Atheism and Child Murder, correlated by Wikipedia on Peter Singer

Get that? Peter Singer argues that fetuses in their mother’s womb can be legally, morally, ethically aborted because they have no conciousness… No self-awareness… No mind.

This is exactly what everyday pro-abortion groups argue.

The difference is that Peter Singer takes this argument to its logical conclusion – that since babies in the crib are similarly non-sentient, they should also be legal to ‘abort’.

Now, the everyday abortion-lover will decry such a horrific, monstrous worldview. That is not who we are!, they will protest.

But really, what’s the difference? Both are similarly un-sentient, un-self aware, not fully concious.

So by what logical disconnect do abortion supporters argue that killing babies in the playroom is worse than killing babies in their mother’s womb?

Is it because killing an infant is so visual and impacting, as opposed to a mother undergoing an abortion who does not see the bloody, gory mess that is ripped from her womb?

Bloody, gory mess such as in this video.

Because by 12 weeks (which is the First Trimester, totally legal to abort) the fetus already has hands, ribs and a face… Just like the 4-week old baby in the crib.

You go to this link, follow the links there to the pictures, and tell me you can guiltlessly go through with an abortion having those images in your mind.

Let’s take it further… If soundness of mind and mental activity is the criteria we use, then involuntary euthanasia of vegetable-ized hospital patients should be as legal as abortion.

Both the fetus and the mind-cripple do not have sentience or conciousness on par with human adults.

The only difference being, give them both another few months, and the fetus would be fully functioning and on its way to full sentience. Whereas the mental cripple would likely not.

So why is it moral to end the life of the fetus, but deplorable ‘eugenics’ to end the life of the mental handicap? Shouldn’t it be other way around? The fetus has up to 80 years more of life to go, the comatose geriatric only half a decade.

Oh, wait… Liberal doctors are already justifying their forced euthanasia of less-than-fully-sentient patients:

FIRST, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it.

Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities.

Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is “rational” will have their deaths facilitated.

Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer’s, it’s all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent.

And now they want to euthanize children.

Or imagine if your brain got zapped in some electromagnetic accident. Your conciousness and sentience get reset to zero, your vital systems cease to function without artificial aid.

However, you would begin to recover your thoughts in about, say, 9 months. After 5 more years, you’d be well on the road to 100% capability again.

How justified would it be to put you to sleep before those crucial 9 months had passed, on the basis of you having no discernible mental capacity? Would it be fair, knowing that you would begin to be self-aware after 9 months and then would become more sentient every day that passed?

So likewise, how justified is it to abort a human fetus before he or she is born, when it is certain that after 9 months he would be fully functioning physically and begin to develop full sentience not long after that?

How does killing an individual a few weeks before he gains full legal rights make it any more excusable?

To close, I conjecture that the pro-abortion liberal individual will never even attempt to address the logic that Peter Singer demonstrates.

Because if they agree with him that the right to live should be basd on mental capacity, that means that they advocate the legalized murder of infants less than a month old.

Whereas if they disagree with him that the right to live should be basd on mental capacity, that means they are guilty of the murder of 1.2 million human beings every single month.

A false dilemma? Less false than you might think.

As this report says, if the baby is killed with chemicals or a scalpel while in the mothers womb… It is a legal abortion.

If it is aborted yet survives the attempt, but left to die in the clinic… It is murder.

Killing a baby in a crib = MURDER

Killing a pregnant woman = DOUBLE MURDER (one for the woman, one for the unborn child)

Killing a baby in the womb = LEGAL ABORTION

WTF???!!!

Abortion is murder, any way you try and spin it.


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92 Responses to “If Abortion is Legal, So Should Killing 27-day Old Babies Be”

  1. sing lau Says:

    “Abortion is murder, any way you try and spin it.”

    Exactly. Depriving another human of his life UNLAWFULLY is murder.

    And by the law of God, the Creator of man, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

  2. Joshua Says:

    No, I mostly agree with Singer. His argument is logical. I don’t consider infanticide to be morally wrong in and of itself.

    I think that the only thing wrong with death is being forced to do it when you don’t want to. So, murder is the intentional killing of somebody who doesn’t want to die, and manslaughter is the accidental killing of such a person. Neither embryos or infants have any opinion on whether they live or die, so I have no issue with their (painless) death.

    If you’re interested, I explain my views in the last portion of this blog entry: http://hplusbiopolitics.wordpress.com/2008/05/04/what-pro-lifers-dont-realise-about-induced-pluripotent-stem-cells/

  3. Scott Thong Says:

    Neither embryos or infants have any opinion on whether they live or die, so I have no issue with their (painless) death.

    How about individuals with extreme mental retardation then?

    14-year old braindead vegetables?

    Comatose patients?

    Passed out drunks?

    A mentally damaged, braindead, vegetable comatose patient who also happens to be the President of the USA after a bad car crash where he was stone drunk?

    People who are soundly asleep?

    If you argue that the last example is frivolous because the sleeper will eventually wake up and protest his impending doom, then how does that not also apply to infants who will be able to protest in just a few years?

  4. Joshua Says:

    “How about individuals with extreme mental retardation then?”
    If they are retarded to the degree they can’t comprehend their own existence, then their death is not necessarily wrong.

    “14-year old braindead vegetables?”
    Likewise, if they can’t comprehend their own existence, then their death is not necessarily wrong.

    “Comatose patients?”
    That depends on their chances of recovering. If their coma has not destroyed their brain, so that there is a good chance of recovering, then we can say that they still value themselves. However, if their brain has been damaged to the extent that even if they recovered they would not be able to comprehend their existence, or it would seem like a totally new existence, then their death is not necessarily wrong.

    “Passed out drunks?”
    They likely still have the ability to value themselves (unless they have killed their brain already), they are just not currently able to use it. This is different to an embryo or infant, who hasn’t yet the ability to value themselves.

    “A mentally damaged, braindead, vegetable comatose patient who also happens to be the President of the USA after a bad car crash where he was stone drunk?”
    Again not necessarily wrong to be killed. However, they may be of such value to everyone else that their death would be wrong because of what it does to others.

    “People who are soundly asleep?”
    I go into this in depth in my blog post.

    “If you argue that the last example is frivolous because the sleeper will eventually wake up and protest his impending doom, then how does that not also apply to infants who will be able to protest in just a few years?”
    The sleeper is currently able to protest, but isn’t doing so because they are asleep. They have that ability. The infant does not.

    Just think of any other ability, say the ability to do algebra. A sleeping mathematician still has this ability, but is currently not using that ability. This differs from a young child, who doesn’t have this ability, but only the potential to acquire it through schooling. So, a sleeping person has the ability to value themselves, whereas an infant or retarded person likely does not have this ability, but only the potential to acquire it. And potential, logically, is not the same as actuality (try getting a pension based on the fact you can potentially retire in the future).

  5. Scott Thong Says:

    Well Joshua, I must say I like your style, even though I am diametrically opposed in my worldview.

    You don’t pull any punches or try to straddle both sides of the stream. You have your logical convictions, and you stick to it – the heck with what more softy-hearted abortion proponents might think.

    As such, I cannot fault your logic – if fetuses can be aborted based on their lack of current ability to think, then anyone else with that detriment is fair game too!

  6. Kathy Says:

    Scott, Thank you for this post — I posted something similar on my wordpress blog (katsyfga).

    @ Joshua, I would argue that the ability of the sleeping person is just as “potential” as the ability of an infant. Just as a sleeping person is not “using” his ability to protest but has the potential of protesting as soon as he wakes up, so an infant has the potential of protesting as soon as he matures enough. But as I said on the other blog we’ve both commented on, I say that the infant *is* protesting as much as he is able to — just because you don’t recognize the protest, or just because he isn’t strong enough to forestall his doom, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

  7. Joshua Says:

    So, Kathy, you would argue that a sleeping mathematician has just as much ability to do Borel functional calculus as you or I? I don’t think that a mathematician has to be doing functional calculus at all times for us to attribute that ability to him. We, on the other hand, have only the potential to acquire that ability.

    An infant is that same. We have the ability to value our lives, and to protest against our deaths, even when we are not doing so. An infant, on the other hand, has only the capacity to acquire such an ability later in development. There is no way that a 6-month old human infant could possibly be expressing an opinion on their own death, because 6-month old infants do not yet have a concept of ‘self’ or ‘death’. You can’t value something if you don’t even know what it is.

  8. Scott Thong Says:

    Joshua, since all infants have the very real potential to become sentient within, say, 5 years… What would you say to allowing them to reach age 5 before they themselves decide if they would prefer to live or die?

  9. Joshua Says:

    If there is a reason to kill an infant or have an abortion (like, if the parents don’t want to have a child), then I don’t see why that should matter. They only have potential, and potential isn’t the same as the real thing.

    I would not expect to be hired as a mathematician based on my potential to learn, within five years, the ability to do calculus. No, I would expect they would only hire those with that ability already.

    Likewise, I do not think infants should be have any claim to personhood. Only those with a sense of self are persons. Thus, it is the parents’ wishes that we should respect (because they are persons), and the infant has influence in the matter. There is absolutely no reason to forbid the parents from wanting to euthanize their infant, and forcing them to wait five years.

  10. Scott Thong Says:

    I would not expect to be hired as a mathematician based on my potential to learn, within five years, the ability to do calculus. No, I would expect they would only hire those with that ability already.

    A more accurate comparison would be the company placing a lifetime ban on you from ever working as a mathematician for them, just because you do not have the ability to do calculus at this current time.

    You could learn calculus starting now and eventually be up to their standards – but too bad, they won’t give you any chances.

    Unless someone in upper management revokes the hiring ban, you will never be allowed to work for them – regardless of your skills when you do decide to submit your resume in the future.

    Abortion involves ending a (potential) life, which is irreversible – upper management decisions or no.

  11. Joshua Says:

    Hmm, that analogy is flawed. But I can’t think of a better one.

    The reason it is flawed is, as you say, because later on in life if I did acquire that ability, then keeping me out of the job would be wrong. However, an aborted foetus or dead infant is not going to acquire consciousness (being dead and all), so that action will never become wrong.

  12. Kathy Says:

    Joshua,

    I believe that I have just as much ability to perform calculus in my sleep as the next person — which is none. One does not have to manifest that ability in order to have that ability — just to prove that the ability exists. You deny that fetuses and infants have the ability to value their life; I argue that not only do they have the ability, but they manifest that ability… you just don’t see or appreciate it. I argue that fetuses know only themselves — they are *only* self-aware; it is the awareness and appreciation of *others* that they gain. When a baby is born, he is most calmed by his mother’s presence — her smell, voice, heartbeat, and breathing are the only things he knew aside from himself and occasional other noises from “the outside world.”

    But this conversation has already gone past sickening to me. I just hope your opinion doesn’t become the prevalent one; but if it does, no one will be safe. We see that with the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands — step by step, the number of groups of people who can be “euthanized” with or without their request has grown. I don’t see that much difference between that and the Holocaust. What difference there is now will only grow smaller until there is none, as more people take on your sick values. Soon, there will be euthanasia of people who are very sick but could be treated with medical care and survive… but that care is just too expensive or time-consuming, so it will be more “functional” or “utilitarian” to society to euthanize them — regardless of the value they place on their own lives. The value they place on their own lives will be subjected to the value that society’s utilitarian philosophy places on them.

  13. Simon Thong Says:

    The weak, helpless, powerless…also those deemed of no utility to society (such as the mentally retarded): they are victims when society loses sight of their inviolable right to life. It is the same with foetuses and infants. Abortion. Infanticide. Two words that mean murder. Selfishness (I can’t afford a baby now!), shame (pregnancy from an affair), expediency (too may poor people giving birth) and various other reasons are hidden under utilitarian arguments. Murder is given an acceptable mask. Those in no danger from being euthanized sit in their comfortable armchairs and rationalize murder.

  14. John Says:

    Joshua writes:

    ‘An infant is that same. We have the ability to value our lives, and to protest against our deaths, even when we are not doing so. An infant, on the other hand, has only the capacity to acquire such an ability later in development. There is no way that a 6-month old human infant could possibly be expressing an opinion on their own death, because 6-month old infants do not yet have a concept of ’self’ or ‘death’. You can’t value something if you don’t even know what it is.’

    One of the tests done just after birth:
    The most commonly tested reflex during the examination is the Moro reflex. This reflex is elicited by gently allowing your baby’s head to safely fall a short distance. Your baby will respond by flinging out both arms with his fingers spread and stretching out his legs. He may also cry a little.

    If the baby is unaware of death, or even harm, what is the child reacting to? A possible response of it being an instinctual motor function simply doesn’t align with your view.

    You also write:
    ‘Likewise, I do not think infants should be have any claim to personhood.’

    Even in your irrational mind you can’t but rationally identify an infant as a person when using terms such ‘they’, ‘who’ and ‘This is different to an embryo or infant, who hasn’t yet the ability to value themselves.’

    Your reasoning simply does not float and is contradictory.

  15. Joshua Says:

    A possible response of it being an instinctual motor function simply doesn’t align with your view.

    Actually, it aligns perfectly. It’s a reflex – it requires no comprehension. All animals do similar things.

    Even in your irrational mind you can’t but rationally identify an infant as a person when using terms such ‘they’, ‘who’ and ‘This is different to an embryo or infant, who hasn’t yet the ability to value themselves.’

    Yes, I probably should have said ‘that’ and ‘itself’ instead of ‘who’ and ‘themselves’.

  16. John Says:

    ‘Actually, it aligns perfectly. It’s a reflex – it requires no comprehension. All animals do similar things.’

    Self preservation, or the reflex to protect oneself, already proves that there is a level of understanding regarding harm, which can lead to death.

    ‘Yes, I probably should have said ‘that’ and ‘itself’ instead of ‘who’ and ‘themselves’.’

    Some quotes:

    Studies have concluded that children evolve through three stages of understanding death.

    1. Three to five year-olds see death as a departure or sleeplike
    state that is reversible; “forever” is an impossible concept
    to grasp.
    2. Five to nine year-olds are unable to understand the finality
    of death. They see death in the form of the “bogeyman” or
    skeleton or angel.
    3. At nine years of age and older, children begin to see death as
    part of the life cylce. All living things are created, grow old,
    and die.

    Normally developed children ABOVE the age of two are able to achieve a BASIC understanding of “dead” IF they are ASSISTED in doing so.

    Children so EXPOSED to suffering and death did not have the luxury of either real or imagined innocence; indeed, their chances for survival depended on awareness of the risks.

    End of Quotes.

    Therefore, according to your philosophy, children under the age of three (even 3-4) should also be referred to THAT and IT, and hence, according to your statement:

    ‘Neither embryos or infants have any opinion on whether they live or die, so I have no issue with their (painless) death.’

    I am sure that such philosophy may well have been the inclusive view point of many of the mass murderers, though, taken to its logical conclusion (without the age boundary): Holocaust, genocide in Sudan, USSR atrocities, Ustaša, etc…

  17. Joshua Says:

    Self preservation, or the reflex to protect oneself, already proves that there is a level of understanding regarding harm, which can lead to death.

    No it doesn’t. No more then the knee-jerk reflex proves there is a desire to stand upright or the reflex to vomit bad food proves that there is a level of understanding about microbial infections of the digestive tract.

    Therefore, according to your philosophy, children under the age of three (even 3-4) should also be referred to THAT and IT

    A concept of forever is not necessary for my view on personhood. The being need only be able to comprehend their own existence over time, and value their continued or future existence. I’m fairly sure that three year olds can do this.

    I am sure that such philosophy may well have been the inclusive view point of many of the mass murderers

    Considering those people most certainly killed those who valued their own life, I really doubt it.

  18. John Says:

    ‘No it doesn’t.’

    Yes it does! What is the baby reacting to except for the sensation of falling, which could possibly cause harm, which is an inherent trait of self preservation. This is no different to the baby suckling the mother’s milk. The infant does not comprehend what food is for, yet the body needs it and the baby reacts in such a manner to alert his/her mother of that need. Also, when the infant is ill.

    ‘the reflex to vomit bad food proves that there is a level of understanding about microbial infections of the digestive tract.’

    You don’t necessarily need to comprehend that food is bad, nevertheless, the body is designed to protect itself.

    Self preservation plays a major role in life and the desire to live/survive.

    ‘Considering those people most certainly killed those who valued their own life, I really doubt it.’

    Yea right, you can take this ‘fact’ to the bank.

    You have proven to me that you have no concept of life and therefore am not surprised that you devalue it.

    I can almost promise you that Peter Singer’s philosophy, which may at the moment be marginally accepted as you have (though the disagreement seems to be over up to what age its permissible to murder a child… 27 days, 3 months, 6 months, 2 years, ….), will be become more mainstream. So don’t fret, your lust for blood will be satisfied. For now you’ll have to be content with the bloody murder of millions of unborn babies worldwide!

    This is my final entry on this topic.

  19. Joshua Says:

    The infant does not comprehend

    Precisely.

    Comprehension is the key criterion.

    If you can understand that comprehension is not involved in reflexes, then relying on reflexes as proof of awareness of one’s life is therefore useless.

  20. John Says:

    ‘This is my final entry on this topic.’
    Sorry, I mistakenly left this sentence in the text before posting.

    I need to clarify some of my points.

    When using the term comprehend, I was stating it in a generalized form. It is understood that there are cognitive functions which are manifested in the conscious and the unconscious. For instance, the heart-beat is not controlled by the conscious dimension/part of the brain, but by the unconscious. The reflexes/reactions mentioned earlier, are also controlled by the unconscious. The unconscious engine takes care of self preservation, survival, development, etc… The conscious deliberates and pieces together, like a jigsaw, information of various forms (even experiential). Nevertheless, both are designated a distinctive purpose.

    So yes, cognitive processes are involved even in reflexes. To say that the conscious (self awareness, etc…) is more important than the unconscious (and vice versa) is fallacy, likewise, to say that an infant has no cognitive processes is also erroneousness.

    Awareness of existence is instinctual at any age, in other words, the infant/teen/adult simply exists and has wants, needs…. Most people get this concept wrong when it is confused with ‘what the heck am i doing here?’ which relates to the purpose of one’s life and this is the truest sense of self awareness. Infants will not have this purpose set initially, but by a later stage of development including experiences, they will make their own choice. It is the parents responsibility to bring them to the point.

    I don’t know if this can be made any clearer, or is it that people like you and Peter Singer simply get off in believing that you have control over the parameters which determine whether a person/infant lives or dies.

  21. Joshua Says:

    To say that the conscious is more important than the unconscious is what makes killing me more wrong than killing a mouse.

    There is no other sensible reason that could possibly distinguish the moral difference between a mouse and a human foetus.

  22. John Says:

    You’re picking at straws now, signs of desperation.

    ‘To say that the conscious is more important than the unconscious…’

    Re-read my post!

    ‘To say that the conscious (self awareness, etc…) is more important than the unconscious (AND VICE VERSA) is fallacy…’

    anyway,

    ‘There is no other sensible reason that could possibly distinguish the moral difference between a mouse and a human foetus.’

    You are full of it, now you make reference to morality! The mind boggles!

    Let’s test your philosophy.

    I mentioned earlier about mass murderers, and genocidal regimes. What was the common trait of their philosophy (let’s not forget how the courts of America viewed black African slaves)?

    To categorize certain groups of people as SUB-HUMAN, and therefore justified in treating them like animals and ultimately murdering them like such.

    You, and Peter Singer, are guilty of the same, even though you may not have acted out your compulsive disorder…. or have you?

    ‘To say that the conscious is more important than the unconscious is what makes killing me more wrong than killing a mouse.’

    Well, since you have no concept of life, a mouse (by observation) has more sense than you. Therefore, you have declared yourself worth-less than a rodent.

  23. Joshua Says:

    I mentioned earlier about mass murderers, and genocidal regimes. What was the common trait of their philosophy (let’s not forget how the courts of America viewed black African slaves)?

    To categorize certain groups of people as SUB-HUMAN, and therefore justified in treating them like animals and ultimately murdering them like such.

    You, and Peter Singer, are guilty of the same, even though you may not have acted out your compulsive disorder…. or have you?

    That’s absolute nonsense. Neither I, nor Peter Singer as far as I’m aware, has ever said that human embryos or human infants are sub-human.

    I have simply echoed what Singer has argued, in that assigning moral rights to one group (a race, a gender, a species, etc) over another group is complete prejudice and therefore unjust. It is wrong to attribute rights to a human foetus over an adult mouse solely because one is human and the other is not, just as it is wrong to attribute more rights to a white man over a black man simply because one is Caucasian and the other is not.

    This is my argument. Human supremacism is just as wrong as white supremacism. A black man and a white man are equal in their morally relevant characteristics, just as a mouse and a human foetus are equal in theirs. To be non-human is as irrelevant as to be female, or to be old, or to be Jewish.

    Well, since you have no concept of life, a mouse (by observation) has more sense than you. Therefore, you have declared yourself worth-less than a rodent.

    I have a concept of life. I just don’t see what life has to do with anything we’re discussing here. Mice are alive, just as you or I are alive, and just as the plants in my garden are (mostly) alive.

    To say that I am less human because I don’t agree with you, isn’t that rather bigoted?

  24. John Says:

    ‘To say that I am less human because I don’t agree with you, isn’t that rather bigoted?’

    It is you that brought up the mouse, not I.

    You have proven that you have no concept of what it is to exist, which without life is no existence. You deliberately narrowed it down to one point, and have excluded its complexity. Therefore, a mouse, more so an infant, inherently knows more about their existence than you do….

    I am not here to force you to agree with me. You haven’t argued squat. If you weren’t so insular you would recall that I confirmed that in due time your philosophy, and those of Peter Singer, may well become the norm.

    So let me spell it out, the amoral atheistic philosophies you subscribe to, already, and predominantly, rule over morality and reason…… for a little while to come.

  25. John Says:

    ‘That’s absolute nonsense. Neither I, nor Peter Singer as far as
    I’m aware, has ever said that human embryos or human infants
    are sub-human.’

    ‘It is wrong to attribute rights to a human foetus over an adult
    mouse solely because one is human and the other is not,…’

    So if the ‘adult’ mouse has more rights than an human fetus then
    ergo a a human fetus is sub-human according to your logic.

    Wikipedia:
    ‘Supremacism is the belief that a particular race, religion, gender,
    belief system or culture is superior to others and entitles those
    who identify with it to dominate, control or rule those who do not.
    Examples include supremacism based on ethnic or anthropological origins
    (white supremacy, black supremacy, ethnocentrism), sexuality
    (male supremacy, female supremacy) and religion (see below).’

    I don’t see anything about Supremacism is relation to development, or
    for that matter an adult over an infant. So therefore you are trying
    to assert the Supremacism of your belief that babies (born/unborn) have
    no rights.

    ‘I have simply echoed what Singer has argued, in that assigning moral
    rights to one group (a race, a gender, a species, etc) over another
    group is complete prejudice and therefore unjust.’

    Are you saying that an unborn/born baby is ‘another type’ of human,
    if not than the unborn/born baby has the same rights as an adult,
    if so than you have once again deemed that an unborn/born baby is
    SUB-HUMAN.

    So I can safely state that your arguments expose you as an hypocrite.

  26. Joshua Says:

    You are twisting my argument to suit your viewpoint.

    I have said that human-ness is irrelevant to rights. You then immediately argue that because I am denying rights, that I must then be denying human-ness. But that doesn’t follow at all! They are not linked in the slightest.

    Human babies and human foetuses are just as human as you or I. That has nothing to do with whether they deserve rights or not (or at least, should have nothing to do with it).

  27. John Says:

    ‘I have said that human-ness is irrelevant to rights.’

    Shifting the goal posts again I see. It is you that brought up supremacism.

    ‘You are twisting my argument…’

    No you were quite clear, and yes you are twisted.

    ‘… to suit your viewpoint.’

    To say that ‘I have no right to my viewpoint’ because I don’t agree with you, isn’t that rather bigoted?

    Bud, there’s so much more I can say to destroy your arguments with your own statements (even the last post), but I’m getting bored.

  28. Jack Says:

    Joshua is clearly mentally deficient, and does not pass the test of SAPIENCE (not sentience you utter moron), ergo, by the same nonsense that that imbecile espouses, since the Joshua entity does not fit most peoples definition of sapience (being brain damaged and suffering for extreme pathological narcism) Joshua too does not have a right to life. You see this is the interesting thing about sick demented imbeciles like Joshua, their selfishness, hypocrisy and evilness is so extreme that it blinds them to all that is reasonable and equitable around them. To put it succinctly, Joshua sounds like an imbecile version of Hitler, bereft of logic, intellect, sapience, and empathy.

  29. Joshua Says:

    Jack, who is the utter moron for confusing sentience with sapience? I never mentioned sentience (my criterion was the ability to value one’s own life), so I can only assume you are referring to the author of this blog, who mentioned sentience 8 times?

    Now, even if I accept that sapience is a morally relevant trait (which I don’t), I would still need you to elaborate on your argument that sapience and extreme narcissism are inconsistent.

    Now, of the string of insults you have thrown in my direction, the only one which could possibly be true is that I have a lack of empathy – at least towards the 27-year old babies in question of on this blog (though I have made it clear that I don’t approve of causing such babies any pain). This lack of empathy is probably due to the difficulty of empathising with a being that is not even aware of its own existence.

  30. Kristy Says:

    Pure logic is a dangerous thing. Logic can be used to make any argument seem valid. After all Hitler used all of those same arguments to institute murder (he had actual “hospitals” for the mentally deficient where they were put to death). Slavery was justified by the argument that black people were less than other races. At some stage of Joshua’s argument you get to the point where any person who is a deteriment to the collective society is not worthy of life. The old, who are a drain on society are not worth keeping alive. I believe “Logan’s Run” was about that. That is why logic should NOT be used for sujects that are moral judgments. Being sentient or not does not matter. It is the very fact that babies (born or not) are HUMAN that is the moral argument against abortion. The arguments sound tempting until YOU are the one being murdered.

  31. Joshua Says:

    At some stage of Joshua’s argument you get to the point where any person who is a deteriment to the collective society is not worthy of life.

    Absolutely not, and I could only justify killing one person if it saved the life of many others. All persons are worthy of life – I just disagree with many people here about whether newborn infants are persons.

    It is the very fact that babies (born or not) are HUMAN that is the moral argument against abortion.

    Only if we accept that being human is enough to be morally worthy of life – something I think is just pure speciesism. Human or not, persons must be self-aware and able to value the rest of their life in order to qualify for the right to life.

    The arguments sound tempting until YOU are the one being murdered.

    By definition anyone capable of comprehending that they are about to be killed is a person, and therefore such killing would wrong. Anything not capable of comprehending their own life and death is not a person, and such killing is not wrong. Have you been paying any attention to what I wrote?

  32. Scott Thong Says:

    By definition anyone capable of comprehending that they are about to be killed is a person, and therefore such killing would wrong.

    Hypothetical question: What about in the case of a comatose person, or a brain dead person, dependant on people feeding him or on life support? He cannot comprehend what is being discussed about his fate.

    He may, however, wake up… Perhaps 19 years in the future.

    This draws parallels to fetuses… In just a few years, not 19, they will ‘wake up’ to full conciousness and comprehension.

  33. Joshua Says:

    Scott, you ask a very good question, but it’s not really parallel to foetuses.

    Think of it like language. I am an English-speaking person, because I am capable of speaking English fluently. I don’t have to be speaking English for you to be able to say I am an English speaker, I just have to be capable of doing so. If I go for 19 years without uttering a word of English, I would still be an English speaker because I still have that ability to speak English.

    On the other hand, if I take some person from the middle of China who has never spoken a word of English, I would be wrong to say they are an English speaker. Sure, with 19 years of practice they could surely develop the ability to speak English and to become an English-speaking person. There is a difference between having an ability and merely having the potential to develop an ability.

    I hope you can understand the analogy I am making. A sleeping or comatose person has the ability to value his own life, but isn’t using that ability. A brain-dead person may have permanently lost that ability, depending how the brain-death occurred. A foetus doesn’t have that ability at all and never did, but may develop it.

  34. Scott Thong Says:

    On other hand, I like to argue that a fetus naturally develops into a full human being without outside intervention beyond the provisions of the mother. It in fact requires outside intervention to prevent its development into a full human (abortion).

    Whereas a brain dead patient cannot survive, much less return to self awareness, without intervention.

    In this case, giving a comatose person life support is more similar to giving a born-baby food and care – without such intervention, they would both die. But it is much harder to argue that born-babies may be sumamrily killed in the way fetuses are routinely aborted.

    This can be linked to the English speaker example, in that while the Chinaman may not know the English language, he has the potential to learn it. Whereas, dogs and parrots do not. Chimpanzees might in the form of sign language, however.

    In the case of a fetus then, the fetus has the potential to ‘learn’ self awareness if allowed to proceed with growth in the womb, to birth, to survival outside the womb. Whereas a sperm cell of egg cell does not, dieing inside the same womb if no fertilization occurs.

  35. Joshua Says:

    This can be linked to the English speaker example, in that while the Chinaman may not know the English language, he has the potential to learn it. Whereas, dogs and parrots do not. Chimpanzees might in the form of sign language, however.

    That’s irrelevant, I’d say. Potential does not equal actuality. I have the potential to become a corpse, but you can’t treat me like a corpse just because, without intervention, that is what I will become.

    In the case of a fetus then, the fetus has the potential to ‘learn’ self awareness if allowed to proceed with growth in the womb, to birth, to survival outside the womb. Whereas a sperm cell of egg cell does not, dieing inside the same womb if no fertilization occurs.

    That doesn’t really make sense to me. A foetus can become self-aware if, and only if, certain events happen. A sperm and egg can become self-aware only if certain events happen. Either way, you start with something without any self-awareness until those events occur, so why treat either of them as if they have it?

  36. Kristy Says:

    I am not using logic to make my arguement, I am using morality-that is the mistake you are making. As I said, pure logic can be used to make any arguement. Call me a speciesist, because human life IS more valuable than any other life. In my opinion, being human is the reason to justifiy the right to life. The “logical” conclusion to your argument is that any one who is a drain on the collective society is not worthy of life. Just because YOU say that being self aware is the criterion, does not preclude anyone else from coming to a further conclusion that people with diasabilities are not worthy of life, or old people, or comatose patients (who already are sometimes allowed to die), or Jews. Whom do you trust to make those judgments? What’s to stop them from going further down the path to killing other segments of society/humanity? Other cultures have other values. Do you allow them to decide which segments of their society are undesireable and therefore should be eliminated. In India and China, baby girls are undesireable. They are frequently aborted or left to die of exposure. As a result they have too few women in relation to men and many men never marry. My point is this, there are ALWAYS unintended consequences to any systemic social behaviors/attitudes. Once you devalue one life, it becomes easier and easier to devalue others. It’s like anything, if you practice, you get better at it. After all, they made lampshades out of Jews. You can argue logic until you are blue in the face, but it doesn’t change the fact that your same arguements were used to exterminate a whole segment of society in Nazi Germany. Whether the arguement is true or not doesn’t prevent evil people from implementing evil actions based on your “logical” arguements. Ever hear of eugenics?

  37. Joshua Says:

    Just because YOU say that being self aware is the criterion, does not preclude anyone else from coming to a further conclusion that people with diasabilities are not worthy of life, or old people, or comatose patients (who already are sometimes allowed to die), or Jews.

    Yes, and just because YOU say that beloning to a group we call the human species is the criterion, that similarly does not preclude anyone else from coming to the further conclusion that certain groups within the human species are less valuable.

    What’s to stop them from going further down the path to killing other segments of society/humanity?

    If we can use a group like species as a marker of who/what can be killed, what’s to stop people from from using other groups, like race or gender?

    My point is this, there are ALWAYS unintended consequences to any systemic social behaviors/attitudes. Once you devalue one life, it becomes easier and easier to devalue others.

    Yes, and once you start drawing circles around certain groups and saying that just being in this group is enough to make their death more or less wrong, it becomes easier to draw lines around groups within that group.

    ou can argue logic until you are blue in the face, but it doesn’t change the fact that your same arguements were used to exterminate a whole segment of society in Nazi Germany.

    Arguments similar to yours were also used for such atrocities, arguing that being Jewish was all the reason anyone needed to justify your death (because, they would say, Aryans ARE more valuable than any other form of life). Speciesism is just another form of prejudice, just like racism and anti-Semitism.

    Just because our arguments can be twisted by others into immoral conclusions doesn’t make our arguments themselves invalid, only the twisted versions of them.

  38. Joshua Says:

    Sorry, the quoted sections are all messed up (must have forgot to close a quote tag). The last part, that says “arguments similar to yours…” should not be indented as a quote.

  39. Scott Thong Says:

    Fixed the code. Correct?

  40. Kristy Says:

    Contrary to what you say, I am saying that ALL human life is valuable. If all human life is valuable you cannot logically OR morally condone the killing of it. My arguement cannot be used to say one race is better than another. If everyone adopted my criterion (which will never happen), they could not kill other people, so how could it ever be used to classify groups as being inferior and worthy of death? Race or gender would have no influence since it would fall under the broader realm of human. Your arguement makes no sense. My circle encompasses all human life. It is the devaluation of human life that makes it worthy of death. My arguement was never used to kill other poeple in Nazi Germany, it is the antithesis of what they believed. If they indead believed it, there would have been no holocaust. To put is simply in example -If you love everybody, you cannot hate anybody. They are mutually exclusive. Valuing ALL human life prevents you from killing any human life. Your “logical” arguement cannot make that claim. “Speciesism” is not a form of prejudice. Humans and animals are not equal. But again, my arguement is moral. It is wrong to kill other people based on that morallity. You base your arguement that killing a month old baby is rationally OK since they are not self aware. What I’m saying is that if someone adopted your criteria it is possible to include other groups in to that criteria. Who decides where to stop. With my view/criteria there is no where else to go. All human life is valuable and worthy of existance. Period.

  41. Joshua Says:

    What I’m saying is that if someone adopted your criteria it is possible to include other groups in to that criteria.

    Kristy, people could very well say that some some other group is not worthy of rights as they are not being self-aware, even though they are still self-aware. People could also define some other group as not worthy of rights for not being human (or being sub-human) even though they clearly are still human. Don’t say they can’t do it, because they have indeed used that argument (look up the concept of the ‘Untermensch’ in terms of Nazi Germany). The fact that people can twist our criteria to suit their own purposes does not invalidate our criteria.

    “Speciesism” is not a form of prejudice. Humans and animals are not equal.

    By that logic, I could say that sexism is not a form of prejudice because men and women are not equal. The point I’m trying to make is, how do you know that humans and animals are not equal?

    Fixed the code

    And thanks for that Scott. Much appreciated.

  42. Kristy Says:

    Do animals have morality, art, music, commit suicide, have any higher thought, culture, the ability to reason, bravery, compassion, existentialism, etc? Can animals be good or evil? That is the distinction between us. If confronted with a tiger that is hungry, chances are the tirger isn’t going to pause and say “it’s wrong to kill this person.” You on the other hand have the capacity to to do that. This is the distinction between us and animals, Animals are ruled by instinct not rational thought. People can rise above instinct. In my opionion, sepeciesism is a word simply created by people like you who want to make humans and animals equal whan they clearly are not. If you believe in God (which I doubt you do) then humans also have a soul.
    Men and women ARE different and not equal in many respects. Men physically are stronger, women are more adept at language, men are better at math, women are more observant. Sexism is based on the thought that men or women are not as good as the other gender, in spite of evidence to the contrary. If you say that women are not as good at math, that isn’t sexism (though some say it is), it is fact, based on evidence. Saying women are more stupid than men, would be sexist since scientifically they are not. Evidence shows that animals are greatly inferior to humans in there brain capacity-especially in the frontal lobes that are devoted to higher thought. Therefore thay ARE inferior. Before you start sayng, well then people who lack the capacity to have higher thought should them be inferior, I say, my arguments are still that all people/humans/homo sapiens are valuable, morally, simply because they are human.
    So how are you disagreeing with my statement that if people had my criteria that all human life is valuable they would not commit murder. Being human is scientifically homo sapien. It is scientifically possible to define human/homo sapien. If that is the criteria then it is impossible to justify killing another person. That people would deny the truth of that, is in human nature (we can be evil). My point is that, it is erasier to twist, change, make allowances for your criteria. Mine can be quite easily determined. Yours on the other hand is very difficult to determine. They can’t even determine when someone is dead, let alone if they are truely self aware. Can you prove to me scientifically when some one is self aware? To what degree are they self aware? Are animals self aware? Do animals really know what death means or is it merely instinct that tells them to run from danger? The ambiguity of your criteria leaves it open to interpretation and therefore easier to manipulate. Mine is not open to interpretation. Even though some people would claim that we are not all the same, biologically we are. If they wanted to make the argument that we are not all human is would be impossible to scientifically show that (science is used to justify genocide). How could they possibly prove scientifically that some one was self aware and remove all doubt? How do you quantitatively measure sentients? All of the tests are subjective, not objective.
    Hypothetically, if your dog and a stranger were drowning which one would you rescue?
    Is it morally wrong to eat animals?
    Are an ant and a dog equal?
    Is it morally wrong to eat people?
    Why is it wrong to kill other poeple even if they are sentient?
    If you believe animals and people are equal, are they equally sentient?
    If you kill some one while they are sleeping is that OK ?(they are unaware of their imminent death)

  43. Joshua Says:

    Evidence shows that animals are greatly inferior to humans in there brain capacity-especially in the frontal lobes that are devoted to higher thought. Therefore thay ARE inferior.
    […]
    I say, my arguments are still that all people/humans/homo sapiens are valuable, morally, simply because they are human.

    You haven’t answered my question. I asked why are humans and animals not equal. You gave me a lot of information about cognitive differences between humans and other species, but then at the last minute you throw all that out of the window and say that simply being human is all that matters – no matter what your cognitive ability is.

    So, if an individual human is severely mentally disabled (to the level of being a mental equal with a cat), why are they not equal to a cat?

    Being human is scientifically homo sapien.

    Would a Neanderthal, Homo neanderthalensis, still be human? Evidence suggests they weren’t that much different to Homo sapiens, and that they could probably speak a language (though perhaps not one as complex as ours).

    Species is actually a very complicated thing to determine. Read the article on Species on wikipedia, where it discusses the difficulty in defining species.

    My point is that, it is erasier to twist, change, make allowances for your criteria. Mine can be quite easily determined. Yours on the other hand is very difficult to determine.

    Self-awareness can be scientifically assessed (by things such as the mirror test – if somebody can recognise themselves in a mirror), but in marginal cases that can be difficult. Nonetheless, the same is true of species – some cases are hard to determine.

    I shall answer your questsions, but I will first number them:

    1. Hypothetically, if your dog and a stranger were drowning which one would you rescue?
    2. Is it morally wrong to eat animals?
    3. Are an ant and a dog equal?
    4. Is it morally wrong to eat people?
    5. Why is it wrong to kill other poeple even if they are sentient?
    6. If you believe animals and people are equal, are they equally sentient?
    7. If you kill some one while they are sleeping is that OK ?(they are unaware of their imminent death)

    Answers:
    1. The stranger. Unless either my dog happens to have super-canine cognitive ability (such that it was equal to the stranger) or if the stranger told me that he wished to remain drowning.
    2. It is morally acceptable to eat all animals, once they have been killed. Whether it is acceptable to kill animals, on the other hand, is a different question.
    3. A dog is superior to an ant, because dogs can feel pain, whereas ants cannot.
    4. No, not if they are already dead.
    5. The same reason you think it is wrong to kill people if they are human. I think that being self-aware makes you more valuable, because then you can place a value on your own life, making you valuable to yourself – not just to others.
    6. I don’t think humans are equal with all non-human animals. I just think that being human or non-human doesn’t matter – being self-aware, and able to value one’s own life, matters.
    7. I already answered that question a few days ago for Scott, in terms of comatose individuals. Re-read my comments.

  44. Joshua Says:

    Scott, would you mind fixing my HTML tags again?

  45. Kristy Says:

    You are being intellectually dishonest. I did answer your question-you simply disreguarded it. I gave a whole list of things that make us different. People have the capacity to be good or evil, morality makes us different (as simply one example). Or are you saying that animals can be good or evil? Or don’t you believe people can be good or evil?
    It is easy to define the HUMAN species which is all I care about when discussing this topic. If you feel the need to abort some other species, have at it.
    The neanderthal argument is moot since they do not currently exist.
    The mirror test is exactly my point. It is a subjective test, as are the other tests for being sentient. You never answered when exactly people become sentient. If you kill the person 2 minutes before that moment is it OK? What if you are 2 minutes late? If we don’t become sentient until later in life (based on understanding of death at 8), then we should be able to kill 7 year olds justafiably. To what degree of self awareness is acceptable to kill? What about the fact that poeple develop at different rates. I understood death was permanent when I was 7. Science says that is not possible, but I knew because my grandmother died and I realized then, that death was forever. Had the criteria been based on what science says of awareness of death, I could have been killed leagally even though I knew the difference. Don’t say that you can test for understanding of death because I told a psych. teacher I had that I understood death at 7 and he didn’t believe me-it wasn’t possible according to him. Science trumps all regardless of personal experience.
    It is the marginal cases that are used to justify genocide. That is the whole crux of my argument against using your criteria. They go from using marginal cases, to questionable cases, to whom ever they choose using science to justify it.
    1. If you would choose the stranger, then you do not accept that animals are equal to humans. You would choose your dog (that is also to some degree sentient) because you have a personal/emotional stake in it’s survival as opposed to the stranger that has no bearing on your life.
    2. Is it morally acceptable to kill animals? Our species evolved to kill and eat them and have done so since the beginning.
    3. How do you know that ants cannot feel pain? They have to recognize that they are injured in some fashion.
    4. How come it is taboo in most societies to eat people? Would you feel it was OK for some one to eat your mother?
    5. So it would be OK to kill some one who was suicidal since they place no value on their own life, or someone who doesn’t fear death.
    6. You never answered whether we were equally sentient. Does a chimp really know what death is? If we do not know that, then we cannot determine how sentient they are. Being aware that you have a sticker on your head is not equal to wondering what the meaning of life is.
    7. I know you said it would be wrong to kill a sleeping person, but if he feels no pain and is not aware he is going to die what is the differnece between that and someone who isn’t sentient. At THAT moment he is not self aware. He cannot fear for, or value his life as he is unaware of what is about to occur. That he will become sentient is the same as a baby that will become sentient (just in different time frames). You say potential is not the same as actuallity, but just as you prevent the baby from achieving self awareness, so too with the person murdered in his sleep. That the baby never initially achieved it does not matter because at that moment they are equally unaware. The difference is that the baby will feel extreme pain when aborted.

  46. Joshua Says:

    Your argument can be summarised to this:

    1. Most humans are capable of higher cognitive functions, (like acting rationally and morally), than animals.
    2. Higher cognitive function is valuable.
    3. Therefore, all humans are valuable.

    So, do you see the slip? The part why I accuse you of being prejudice? You have gone from a ‘most’ to an ‘all’ – you have made an unwarranted generalisation. It’s just as wrong as saying “most black people are criminals, and therefore all black people are criminals”

    Everything else we’ve be arguing about, cannibalism, animal rights, etc is irrelevant. You’re arguing illogically, because your arguing purely from your prejudiced, and speciesist, gut-reaction.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t want a baby to experience extreme pain when aborted. That, at least, I think is wrong. But abortion, if painless (i.e. with anaesthetics) is in my opinion acceptable.

  47. Kathy Says:

    Joshua,

    In response to your response to Kristy…

    How ’bout:

    Humans are genetically capable of higher cognitive functions. Though not all humans manifest this ability at every stage of life, we still have the genetic ability. Higher cognitive function is valuable. Therefore all humans are valuable.

    And, just for your increased knowledge, most forms of abortion do cause pain — saline abortions used to be most popular in the United States (and elsewhere, but longer in the US, though they were known to be more dangerous to the mother), and they literally burned the skin off of the babies. Mothers who chose this form of death for their fetuses often reported wild thrashing about, as their babies were slowly burned to death by the salt solution. A form of abortion which is still common in the developed world is where they tear the baby limb from limb.

  48. Joshua Says:

    Humans are genetically capable of higher cognitive functions. Though not all humans manifest this ability at every stage of life, we still have the genetic ability. Higher cognitive function is valuable. Therefore all humans are valuable.

    Do all humans have this genetic ability? Wouldn’t some congenital mental retardation result in some humans not having this genetic ability, and therefore not being valuable at any stage in their life?

    And, just for your increased knowledge, most forms of abortion do cause pain

    I’m too tired to look at the statistics right now, but don’t most abortions happen before pain is able to be processed (which, if my memory serves, is around the 24-26 week mark)?

  49. Kathy Says:

    Mental retardation may result in some humans not being able to use this genetic ability, much as someone whose leg was broken and not set properly may always have a limp or never actually be able to use it again, but that doesn’t keep him from being genetically capable of walking. Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing at a very young age, and was not able to communicate much if at all until Anne Sullivan persisted and taught her sign language, and she eventually became able to speak, although she couldn’t hear what she herself was saying. Her brain functioned exceedingly well, although from the age of 19 months until several years old (I think 7-9), she could not effectively demonstrate that ability.

    I know a little girl who has a genetic disorder which has caused some degree of mental retardation; she also has autism, possibly/probably as a result of the genetic disorder. Yet I can see glimpses of brilliance in her, which make me think that had she not had an extra chromosome, she would have been the smartest child in her family — and her siblings are all quite smart. I believe her true capabilities to be lamed, if you will, by her condition; yet she is no less human for being as she is.

    Most abortions take place prior to 20 weeks, but not all; yet there is still a large degree of disagreement as to when pain is able to be processed by the fetus. Some agree with your memory; yet there are credible studies which demonstrate that the pathways that relate to pain are in place as early as 7-9 weeks post-conception; and many people (including scientists, researchers and doctors) believe that fetuses can feel pain at a very early stage, even if their bodily systems are not functioning in the same manner as an adult. What we know of pain comes from studies performed on people (typically adults, I would think, who could give informed consent) who can speak and say, “Yes, that hurts,” or “No, that doesn’t hurt.” Babies can’t do that — they can only cry; but they cry even when they’re not hurt, so that one form of communication is not reliable. Yet premature infants (including those born prior to 24 weeks — perhaps even especially them), are often kept in isolation at least partly to avoid hurting them because they are so sensitive that a light touch elicits a cry of pain. Whether you believe it is caused by pain, or that their nerves are so raw that everything elicits pain, or that their nerves are so dull that even light touch causes a cry which is not due to pain, is difficult to ascertain by studies. What is known is that they cry, which is commonly associated with pain or discomfort, regardless of which centers in the brain light up or not when confronted with the stimuli. For my part, I would rather err on the side of caution when confronted with the conflicting research and opinions on fetal pain.

    Just to throw in a bonus — babies marked for abortion can be given a shot of heart medicine (generic name digoxin — may be different in other countries) which will cause them to have a heart attack and die prior to the abortion procedure. While we may still continue to be at odds as to whether babies feel pain when aborted, we can agree that whatever they feel, being killed prior to being ripped apart or having labor induced early so that they die of prematurity (if indeed they survive the process) will minimize the pain. Although the babies may feel pain from the needle puncturing their skin and heart, once they die we are agreed that they no longer feel pain.

  50. Joshua Says:

    I believe her true capabilities to be lamed, if you will, by her condition; yet she is no less human for being as she is.

    Whether she is human or not is irrelevant. The key is whether she has the genetic capacity for those valuable features of cognition. For example, if an alien lifeform appeared tomorrow with those same genetic capacities, you’d logically argue that this alien lifeform is just as valuable as a human, right? So, humanness is irrelevant.

    Now, consider that there are some human children born with a genetic condition known as anencephaly – they have no forebrain, so can never think. Although this can be caused by environmental factors (like low folic acid intake during pregnancy), it can also be caused genetically. I don’t think you could argue that such an embryo has the genetic capacity for higher cognition, because its genetic makeup would not allow any cognition to form – ever. So, an embryo with congenital anenchepaly could be aborted, yes?

    For my part, I would rather err on the side of caution when confronted with the conflicting research and opinions on fetal pain.

    As would I. Painkillers, or pain-minimisation techniques, should be compulsory for all non-emergency abortions.

  51. Kathy Says:

    First, fewer than 10% of cases of anencephaly are even possibly associated with any genetic problem, much less “caused by” genetics. Your problem is that you are hung up on the use or manifestation of higher cognitive functions (but only as it is able to be *proved* by a few tests). What I have said is that humans as a species are genetically superior to animals. This superiority is valuable. Therefore all humans are valuable. Even if a particular human does not manifest this superiority (as “proved” by a few tests — due to physical or mental deformity or immaturity), the fact that they are still human still makes them valuable.

    You argue that only cognitive function is valuable; I argue that humanness is valuable. You say that humans are not valuable in and of themselves, but only as they prove that they think “high” enough. This is dangerous, because what if the “proof of higher thinking” becomes making a certain grade on an IQ test? I say that humans are valuable whether or not they manifest cognitive function — that human life has value just because it is.

    I’m not trying to make you see my side of things, because I can see that you are so stuck on your “cognitive functioning” position that you won’t change; I’m merely trying to defend my position — that human life has value. If you were to change your mind, that would be a bonus.

  52. Joshua Says:

    What I have said is that humans as a species are genetically superior to animals. This superiority is valuable. Therefore all humans are valuable. Even if a particular human does not manifest this superiority (as “proved” by a few tests — due to physical or mental deformity or immaturity), the fact that they are still human still makes them valuable.

    That’s prejudice – pure speciesism and blatant human supremacism.

    I’m amazed that so many people know that what group you belong to is irrelevant when that group is race, or sex, or ethnicity. But when that group is species, all of a sudden people become bigots.

    You argue that only cognitive function is valuable; I argue that humanness is valuable. You say that humans are not valuable in and of themselves, but only as they prove that they think “high” enough.

    Exactly. It is never wrong to treat somebody according to what they are capable of, provided that capability is morally relevant to the treatment. But is is very often wrong to treat somebody according to what other members of their group are capable of, even if those capabilities are relevant. For example, it would be wrong (sexist) to deny a woman a job in the army just because she is a woman and, in general, women have less physical prowess than men. It would be acceptable, however, to deny that woman the job if she failed a fitness test – it’s not sexist because her gender wasn’t considered (a male who failed the same test would similarly have not been accepted).

    This is dangerous, because what if the “proof of higher thinking” becomes making a certain grade on an IQ test?

    This ‘slippery slope’ argument is the one that Kristy was making, and I turned it around on her too. You are saying that some group (human species) is genetically superior to another group (other species). What if it becomes that Aryans are genetically superior to Jews, or that men are genetically superior to women?

    Seems unlikely that the circle would be contracted from ‘all humans’ to ‘some humans’, right? Well, I’d guess it is equally unlikely that I’d raise the bar from ‘self-awareness’ to some other criterion.

    I’m merely trying to defend my position — that human life has value.

    And I’m trying to explain why I feel that such a position is ethically wrong, and I hope I am explaining myself clearly.

  53. Kathy Says:

    “That’s prejudice – pure speciesism and blatant human supremacism.”

    That may be, but it’s also true that humans are genetically superior to the animals. It’s furthermore true that humans are superior to animals. Purely genetically speaking, we are what we are based on genetics, and animals are as they are due to their genetic make-up. There is a vast, unbridgeable gap between humans and animals, genetically speaking. And animals are inferior species. They are able to out-perform us in some ways (I’d hate to get into a wrestling match with a lion or a bear; many species have better sight, smell, hearing, etc., than humans), but we show our superiority in ways too countless to mention. It’s idiotic to require of every single member of a species evidence of a certain ability before making a blanket statement that the species can perform that ability.

    As far as “bigotry” goes — that term is reserved for human-to-human prejudice, not inter-species prejudice.

    “It is never wrong to treat somebody according to what they are capable of, provided that capability is morally relevant to the treatment.”

    But what if the treatment is immoral regardless of capability? Your prejudice and bigotry based on mental acuity makes you blind to that.

    “Well, I’d guess it is equally unlikely that I’d raise the bar from ’self-awareness’ to some other criterion.”

    You personally may not, but others might, and have — the Dutch in their euthanasia, for example. Saying that humans are equal because they are human and “a person’s a person no matter how small” does not allow the slippery slope argument of saying that somehow humans become non-human at some point. Your argument, however, is so subjective that it does open that door.

    You are explaining your position clearly; I just profoundly disagree with it.

  54. Kristy Says:

    Kathy, he does not see that our criteria is absolute. I used the same argument and he gave me some nonsensical statement about circles. You and I see his argument for what it is, an allowance for progression to genocide. I think it is a waste of time to try and convince him of his own argument’s failings-he will simply deny them. He never answered whether people were good or evil, or if animals were good or evil, or neither. He simply ignores what he wants to ignore. Most humans are capable of higher thought, therefore all humans are valuable- because WE have the capacity to value those who are not capable of higher thought. That’s what seperates us from animals. That is my argument.

  55. Joshua Says:

    There is a vast, unbridgeable gap between humans and animals, genetically speaking. And animals are inferior species.

    And you think this is better than saying “there is a vast, unbridgeable gap between the white man and the Negro. The primitive native is clearly an inferior race.”

    It’s idiotic to require of every single member of a species evidence of a certain ability before making a blanket statement that the species can perform that ability.

    Not at all. Unless all Chinese people were sneaky tricksters, you’d not be justified in saying that the Chinese are a sly race and treating all Chinese as such. Unless all men were guilty of rape, you’d not be justified in saying that men are rapists and treating all men as such.

    And, unless all humans have the cognitive ability required for one to be considered a person, you’d not be justified in saying that all humans are persons and all humans should be treated as such.

    Blanket generalisations underpin all prejudice, and you are not excused simply because speciesism is not yet recognised for the bigotry that it is.

    But what if the treatment is immoral regardless of capability? Your prejudice and bigotry based on mental acuity makes you blind to that.

    Certainly something can be immoral regardless of an irrelevant capability (hence why that capability is irrelevant), but something cannot be immoral regardless of any capability. Something can only be wrong if somebody, or something, is capable of being wronged by it. A rock, for example, has no such capabilities and therefore nothing you can do to a rock is wrong (unless the rock is property of somebody who is capable of being wronged by you doing things to his or her rock).

    You personally may not, but others might, and have — the Dutch in their euthanasia, for example.

    I wasn’t aware that the Dutch were allowing people who valued their life to be killed. I though it was only those people who thought their life was of no value who were assisted in dying.

    Saying that humans are equal because they are human and “a person’s a person no matter how small” does not allow the slippery slope argument of saying that somehow humans become non-human at some point. Your argument, however, is so subjective that it does open that door.

    Not at all. Your argument simply draws a circle around the group ‘all humans’, with no reason why the circle is not smaller or larger, whereas mine includes all objects (animals, machines, etc) that are capable of valuing their own life. My view stems from the premise that the only thing wrong with death is being forced into it against one’s wishes, and accordingly what cannot wish to live can also not be wronged by death.

    He never answered whether people were good or evil, or if animals were good or evil, or neither.

    People are, by definition, capable of good and evil. Animals might be – it depends if the animal in question is a person or not (my view leaves open the possibility of non-human persons and human non-persons).

    Most humans are capable of higher thought, therefore all humans are valuable- because WE have the capacity to value those who are not capable of higher thought.

    That’s perhaps reasonable, but it implies that those without the capacity for higher thought, such as embryos, are not intrinsically valuable but, like pets and objects, are only valuable to others. Whereas you seem to be arguing that all humans are intrinsically valuable, just because the species to which they belong is superior to other species.

  56. Kristy Says:

    I don’t believe animals are capable of good or evil- they are only subject to instinct (and science would agree with me- hence the don’t project human feelings on to animals). By definition a person is either a human or God -not an animal. If humanity were to accord animals the same status as humans, humanity would forget it’s unique status, and cease to demand a higher morality from humans. – Rabbi Avraham Yitzchack Kook. People who see themselves as superior to animals and view that as a responsibility are more likely to be merciful towards animals (and people). If we are equal to animals, then we are allowed to behave as animals, and then there is no place for morality. “It is only the human where every fiber of his being is pulling him in one direction and yet can defy that desire by listening to that irritating little buzz of his conscience…”-Miriam Kosman. It is precisely that ability that defines the difference between human and animal. The ability to value ALL human life, or value some, or value none, no matter what stage of development. I believe that because we as a species have that ability, it makes us unique, and therefore all of our species is unique, whether or not we manifest that ability.

  57. Kathy Says:

    Joshua
    “And you think this is better than saying ‘there is a vast, unbridgeable gap between the white man and the Negro. The primitive native is clearly an inferior race.'”

    Why, yes! There’s no comparison at all. My statement was true and yours was false. [The gap between animals and humans is obvious; whatever “gap” may exist between races is most definitely neither vast nor unbridgeable (as evidenced by mixed-race offspring).]

    “Not at all. Unless all Chinese people were sneaky tricksters, you’d not be justified in saying that the Chinese are a sly race and treating all Chinese as such. Unless all men were guilty of rape, you’d not be justified in saying that men are rapists and treating all men as such.”

    You’re twisting my words to suit your point. Either that’s deliberate, or you cannot understand what I’ve said.

    “I wasn’t aware that the Dutch were allowing people who valued their life to be killed. I though it was only those people who thought their life was of no value who were assisted in dying.”

    Well, you’d be wrong, then. You don’t have to search very far to find one definite case of a terminally-ill woman who was euthanized against her will when she entered a hospital for treatment. Her doctor had talked her into going into the hospital telling her nothing would happen; when he went off-duty, though, another doctor gave her a lethal dose of medication, and blew it off as saying it didn’t really matter whether she died then by his hand or in two weeks of natural causes and the hospital needed the space. It’s also troubling that there are many cases of “depression” treated with euthanasia rather than medications or other therapies that can alleviate the depression by means other than the death of the individual. Some Dutch doctors have spoken out against euthanasia because

    “…what cannot wish to live can also not be wronged by death.”

    But all living things (with the exception of suicidal cases) wish to live, as is evidenced by the fact that they continue to do such things as are necessary for life — breathing and eating, primarily.

    “Whereas you seem to be arguing that all humans are intrinsically valuable, just because the species to which they belong is superior to other species.”

    Um, yeah, exactly.

    Kristy–excellent response, and the quotes are most appropriate. 🙂

  58. Kathy Says:

    Oops — forgot to finish a sentence before hitting “send”:

    Some Dutch doctors have spoken out against euthanasia because they compare the standard of care in the Netherlands to that of other European countries and see that Dutch doctors are too willing to prescribe death as treatment rather than pursue alternatives, such as pain medication for cancer or (as stated above) anti-depressants for depression, etc. They are also doing what you find not abhorrent but I do, which is to euthanize infants born with problems. While you may say that it is not immoral because they do not wish to live, I say it is immoral because they do not want to die, yet they are being murdered anyway.

  59. Kristy Says:

    Kathy, thankyou for the compliment. I think your responses are actually more thought out than mine-I tend to ramble.

    As one of my favorite authors/speakers/thinkers Dennis Prager says, “Reason is amoral. Reason is only a tool and, therefore, can just as easily argue for evil as good. If you want to achieve good, reason is immensely helpful; if you want to achieve evil, reason is immensely helpful. But reason alone cannot determine which you choose. It is sometimes rational to do what is wrong and sometimes rational to do what is right…Did those non-Jews in Europe who risked their lives to save a Jew during the holocaust act on the dictates of reason? …what determines anyone’s moral views are, among other things, his values…and values are beyond reason alone…”

    I agree completely with you Kathy. It is a scary world in which the scientists/doctors are allowed to choose which of us lives and which of us dies. There is simply too much opportunity for abuse or accidents to occur. Unfortunately, the Neatherlands seems to be well on it’s way there.

  60. Bob Says:

    Joshua, you are are rare type of person indeed, one who simultaneously has the capability, patience, and will to carry any idea to it’s logical conclusion regardless of how taboo that conclusion may be. I think I am much like you in that regard and our lines of reasoning are very similar on this topic. I too, am not a speciest. However, we come to very different conclusions. I believe it is arrogant to use self-awareness as the sole litmus test of sentience and that cognition does not exist in a discrete sense but instead on a continuum. I believe that that embryos, fetuses, and infants have real value just as I believe all life has real value. I therefore argue that they should have rights, thus making abortion morally wrong.

    To Kathy and Kristy, Joshua made a good point when he asked about other human species which are not Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans). These other species were capable of reasoning, and of making moral choices. Many Homo neanderthals thought about the larger philosophical questions, including life after death as shown by their burying their dead often items of personal and symbolic importance. Burying their dead also strongly implies that they loved one another just as we do since it quite hard to explain why else they would bury their dead with items that would be of use to the living except for the reason they loved those who passed and were honoring their existence.

    Kristy, you brought up the issue of whether or not a species other than modern human is capable of making moral decisions and discerning right from wrong. I believe certain apes are entirely capable of morality and hence being good or bad. Please take a quick look at the following true story.

    http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/foundations_of_psychology/45973

    Additionally, chimpanzees have a complicated social structure. They occasionally murder each other to gain political status within their bands. The BBC documentary Planet earth actually shows extensive footage of a group of chimpanzees organizing to overthrow their leader. If you were to watch this footage, you would be immediately struck at how “human” they behave: their actions, body language, and facial expresses are intuitively understandable to any modern human since they are so remarkably similar to our own typical human actions. From watching them closely they seem to exhibit a sense that what they are doing may be wrong.

    If evidence exists that species other than modern humans are capable of understanding morality (and there is much more evidence the mere 2 examples I presented), then shouldn’t these species be afforded at least some similar rights to those of modern humans?

  61. Kristy Says:

    Just like I told Joshua, the question of other “human” species is moot. It is a red herring. As for your evidence of morality in apes I would say that anecdotal evidence is subjective, and therefore, depends on the point of view of the person. I see the evidence you presented, and see it merely as confirmation of my views that animals are not moral, but instinctive. Overthrowing a leader does not indicate in any way that they are moral. Hyena and wolves will do the same thing. Do you believe they are moral?
    If an ape didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to advance it’s status and rather advanced another ape (without gaining anything from that advancement)-that would be morality. Washoe also doesn’t show me any indication of morality. That apes feel emotions for other apes is without doubt, and I think it’s response to aid other apes was not a moral decision, but an emotional one. Animals can respond to emotion without contemplating what the result will be.
    In example, a lioness adopted two antelope fawns (consecutively) after her cubs were killed. I could argue that it was a moral decision by the lioness to attempt to save the antelope, but animal behaviorists would rightly say the lion was not capeable of that decision, merely responding to hormonal/emotional cues. I have never seen an ape help an ape from another troop. If the ape helps another it is unfamiliar with and gains nothing, or has a detrement from it, then I can conceive of that being morality.
    I would argue that apes have little impulse control, a component of morality, and are unlikely to be moral. I also believe that apes have poor self memory (they have a rudimentary sense of self). Memory of self is what makes people sentient. Without the ability to remember you cannot form an idea of self, or contemplate what you will do in the future (based on the past). Predicting the outcomes of any moral decision is key to what makes morality tick. After all-if you can’t see the end result of your decision, you have lost the moral component to it. I don’t believe apes have a developed enough memory to accomlish any of this. They are equated to 5 year olds in their capabilities and 5 year old do not comprehend morality the way you and I do. If they are told a man stole a piece of bread to feed his starving family, the five year old will respond that it is wrong to steal (not truely comprehending the moral delemma, merely repeating what is instilled in them). I postulate that apes don’t even get as far as the 5 year old. Check out http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA40E.htm .
    There is also evidence that crows are as intelligent as apes at problem solving. Would you say they are moral? I think you and I will have to agree to diagree. By the way, by definition a chimp cannot murder another chimp, that is reserved for human to human killing.

  62. Joshua Says:

    I believe that that embryos, fetuses, and infants have real value just as I believe all life has real value. I therefore argue that they should have rights, thus making abortion morally wrong.

    Would this not lead you to accept that all life has rights, making the killing of a crustacean to make lobster thermidor also morally wrong?

    Indeed, if an embryo at a blastocyst stage (where it has no nervous system whatsoever) has value, should not other organisms with similar capacities for sentience (i.e. none whatsoever) also be just as valuable as a human blastocyst, making the uprooting of a cabbage to make Kim-chee just as wrong as the ‘murder’ of a human blastocyst with a morning-after pill?

  63. John A Says:

    Scott could you please delete my previous post, I hadn’t finished it when I accidentally posted it.

  64. John A Says:

    For Joshua:

    “” I just disagree with many people here about whether newborn infants are persons. “”

    Here we go, more retarded statements. Isn’t personality linked to the person from whom the observation is made? Does an infant in actual fact have a personality and therefore qualifies as a person?

    There are various kinds of studies in the area of personality, let’s see how many ticks can be applied to an infant, or even an unborn baby:

    personality types: Yep
    Every baby has a distinct character that most likely matches one of the two main personality types: Type A (intense and highly motivated) or Type B (laid-back and content).

    personality traits: Yep,
    Each child is born with certain physical traits that underlie his basic personality.

    individual differences: Yep
    Without a question.

    personality development over time: Yep
    As expected.

    Let’s look at the definition of a person:

    a human being, whether man, woman, or child.
    a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.:

    So once again, you have stated that a baby is SUB-HUMAN, perhaps NON-HUMAN. Also, you have once again proven you have no concept of life or existence.

    ———————————————————–
    “” Do all humans have this genetic ability? Wouldn’t some congenital mental retardation result in some humans not having this genetic ability, and therefore not being valuable at any stage in their life? “”

    So you are proposing that for a minority, ALL should endure your criminal aspirations.

    ————————————————————-
    “” So, do you see the slip? The part why I accuse you of being prejudice? You have gone from a ‘most’ to an ‘all’ – you have made an unwarranted generalisation. “”

    Joshua, you are an an absolute hypocrite. You know very well that to implement your opinion on murdering a devalued life requires a legal mandate. Therefore, when minority assumptions are to be forced on everyone, the law is required to be changed/introduced so that it applies to ALL. Look at the Nazi programme, which was known as Atkion T4, and see how it mirrors your own philosophy.

    So for the sake of conceding that your wish will be implemented legally, what age should a limit be applied for infanticide, or perhaps later in life?

    “” The being need only be able to comprehend their own existence over time, and value their continued or future existence. I’m fairly sure that three year olds can do this. “”

    From your previous quotes I presume less than three years of age.

    “”… 6-month old infants do not yet have a concept of ’self’ or ‘death’. You can’t value something if you don’t even know what it is.’ “”
    “” Human or not, persons must be self-aware and able to value the rest of their life in order to qualify for the right to life. “”

    Since you’ve also made gross generalities, let me ask, in regards to teenagers involved in street racing (a frequent end result of wrapping themselves around a tree/pole), gangs, doping up, etc… Shouldn’t these humans also be regarded as unaware of self, let alone death?
    How shall the legal system dispense/administer the law to terminate self-unaware entities?

    ————————————————————-
    “” I have a concept of life. I just don’t see what life has to do with anything we’re discussing here. “”
    “” If you can understand that comprehension is not involved in reflexes, then relying on reflexes as proof of awareness of one’s life is therefore useless. “”
    “” Human or not, persons must be self-aware and able to value the rest of their life in order to qualify for the right to life. “”
    “” … not being valuable at any stage in their life? “”

    So the term life is valid only when it suits you?!

    “” Have you been paying any attention to what I wrote? “”

    You clearly haven’t!

    ————————————————————-
    “” By definition anyone capable of comprehending that they are about to be killed is a person, and therefore such killing would wrong. “”

    What an idiotic statement. So by your definition a ???? is qualified to be a person when he/she knows that they are about to be killed. So the whole time of existence before that, they are not qualified as one. Likewise, if a qualified person is driving along and crosses a set of train tracks, without knowing, a train plows into the car and the person dies. Since the person was not aware that he/she was about to be killed, the entity would be subsequently disqualified from being identified as a person.

    ————————————————————-
    “” making the uprooting of a cabbage to make Kim-chee just as wrong “”

    When was the last time you had a conversion with a cabbage? Did it tell you how was it’s day, and how it was fretting about been uprooted, only to be served on someone’s plate?

    Hey, Dr. Dolittle, what did the lobster tell you before it was turned into lobster thermidor.

    Once again proving that you equate babies with being some other kind of species (ie. SUB-HUMAN or NON-HUMAN).

    BTW, If you dare to parallel this with an unborn/born baby, let me direct you to google statements made by abortion survivors.

    ————————————————————-
    There have been some conclusions made regarding the adoption of such philosophy. I’ll add another, pedophilia. As long as there is no pain, as stipulated, then it is likewise logical to expect such proponents to be apathetic toward child molestation.. Let’s face it, since infants have no clue about self, they are fair game.

    ————————————————————-
    Bob said:

    “” If evidence exists that species other than modern humans are capable of understanding morality (and there is much more evidence the mere 2 examples I presented), then shouldn’t these species be afforded at least some similar rights to those of modern humans? “”

    Joshua said:

    “” Mice are alive, just as you or I are alive, and just as the plants in my garden are (mostly) alive. “”

    Let’s, for argument sake, say your points are valid. We must then include all species (ie. cows, chickens, fish, etc… and all plants and vegetables). Fine, I dare you and anyone else not to eat anything other than your own flesh, since all of these species have equal/similar rights. Or perhaps, since babies do not have the same rights, they should become the only food source!

    ————————————————————-
    Is this what is meant by Rational Atheism? Cannot fault it!

  65. Joshua Says:

    Isn’t personality linked to the person from whom the observation is made? Does an infant in actual fact have a personality and therefore qualifies as a person?

    If personality is the requisite attribute for a person, then surely you must admit that other apes (like chimpanzees) are persons too, for they surely have distinct personalities. Indeed, I’d say that pets (like cats and dogs) have distinct personalities too, so they would be persons as well, yes?

    Let’s look at the definition of a person:

    a human being, whether man, woman, or child.

    Yes, that is a common definition, and I think it is wrong, for the reasons I have outlined in my many comments here. It may be a useful generalisation, but there are surely non-humans who would be persons and humans who would be non-persons.

    So once again, you have stated that a baby is SUB-HUMAN, perhaps NON-HUMAN.

    Never have, and never will. Babies are human, just as much as you or me. But I’ve consistently argued that being human is entirely irrelevant to one’s status as a person. An intelligent alien race, for example, should be given the rights attributable to persons.

    So for the sake of conceding that your wish will be implemented legally, what age should a limit be applied for infanticide, or perhaps later in life?

    Eighteens months of age, I’d say, but I’d be willing to make it a year to negate any problems with boundary cases.

    Since you’ve also made gross generalities, let me ask, in regards to teenagers involved in street racing (a frequent end result of wrapping themselves around a tree/pole), gangs, doping up, etc… Shouldn’t these humans also be regarded as unaware of self, let alone death?

    In most cases, if you asked such teenagers if they wanted to die, they’d say they didn’t because they valued their life. If they are not intelligent enough to perceive that their actions endanger their life, that doesn’t change the fact that their life is of value to them, and shouldn’t be involuntarily ended.

    How shall the legal system dispense/administer the law to terminate self-unaware entities?

    The law should not aim to terminate such entities without good reason, as many such entities are property (for example, cattle are such self-aware entities, and the state should not go around killing all cattle).

    So the term life is valid only when it suits you?!

    No, it just needs to be defined. Distinctions between “(biological) life” (including bacteria, plants, etc), “human life” (living human beings) and persons (worthy of protection) who can value their life are key, though I may not have been clear enough on that.

    So by your definition a ???? is qualified to be a person when he/she knows that they are about to be killed.

    No, a being is a person when they are capable of valuing their life. Any being capable of realising they are about to be killed is clearly capable of such, and would therefore be a person, but another being who was not in danger (or did not realise it) would similarly be a person if they could value their existence.

    When was the last time you had a conversion with a cabbage?

    When did you last converse with a human foetus? And if you wish to link me to a site where an abortion survivor recounts a conversation they had while they were a foetus, then feel free.

    Once again proving that you equate babies with being some other kind of species (ie. SUB-HUMAN or NON-HUMAN).

    No, just that species is irrelevant.

    As long as there is no pain, as stipulated, then it is likewise logical to expect such proponents to be apathetic toward child molestation.

    Yes, as long as no long-term damage is done to the child.

    Let’s, for argument sake, say your points are valid. We must then include all species (ie. cows, chickens, fish, etc… and all plants and vegetables).

    I have criticised Bob for this viewpoint, because cows and chickens and fish are not capable of valuing their life, and are therefore (like babies) non-persons.

  66. Scott Thong Says:

    This ok, John?

  67. wits0 Says:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/02/obama-is-a-liar/

    EDITORIAL: Obama is a ‘liar’ on abortion

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    If you want to know Barack Obama’s real views on abortion, you should meet registered nurse Jill Stanek.

    Mrs. Stanek worked at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois from 1993 to 2001. When she worked in the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Department she saw that babies who survived abortion attempts were left to die alone in supply rooms. They could linger for as long as eight hours, without medical care, without even the dignity of a warm blanket or a soft touch. Their tiny bodies were then dumped in the trash. Mr. Obama’s spiritual mentor served on the board of the hospital. Mrs. Stanek went on a public crusade to protect these children…
    ———

    This is NOT okay 😦

  68. Kathy Says:

    Bob said, “As long as there is no pain, as stipulated, then it is likewise logical to expect such proponents to be apathetic toward child molestation.”

    Joshua said, “Yes, as long as no long-term damage is done to the child.”

    Joshua, you are SICK, SICK, SICK! Molestation, almost by definition, causes long-term damage to the child. It is the whole reason why it is outlawed. Not just because sticking a full-grown man’s penis into a baby or toddler girl’s vagina, or a small boy’s rectum is painful, but that touching a child’s private areas for lustful purposes damages the child. I for one will not be silent when I see such horrid things written by someone else, especially when you set yourself up as arbiter of good and evil. I rather suspect you will say that it would be perfectly all right for a man to father a daughter, rape and otherwise molest her until she is 18 months old and then kill her, because she is not yet “self-aware.” You’re sick, and you make me want to throw up.

  69. Kristy Says:

    +1 to Kathy. Like I quoted above, reason (Joshua’s methodology), is amoral, merely a tool that can be used to promote both good and evil. In this case Joshua’s reasoning is used to promote evil.

    Joshua I would argue that all animals value their lives-even without having full knowledge of what death is. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t run from danger or struggle once caught. Even a baby will struggle to breathe if smothered. I think valuing your life (not equal to sentience) is instinctual and ingrained in all animals.

  70. John A Says:

    Thanks Scott for doing that.

    I’ve been trying to submit my latest post for the last couple of days, but the blog continues to say ‘discarded’.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is there some kind of problem or limitation?

  71. John A Says:

    Nup, this is unworkable.

    Scott, I am truly sorry for asking you this. Delete all my messages from and including:

    ———————————
    Well that seem to work.

    I may have to break up my comments. Let’s see what happens.

    To Start
    ….
    ———————————–

    Thanks in advance

  72. Scott Thong Says:

    Okay John, held all the posts for Moderation until you can sort it out.

    Try Firefox or Google Chrome?

    Or sign up for a free WordPress and comment while logged in, just for the sake of commenting.

    Or send your stuff to me via email, and I’ll post the comment on your behalf.

  73. John A Says:

    Bob said, “As long as there is no pain, … ”
    Kathy, Bob didn’t say it, I did.

    Bob said:

    “Joshua, you are are rare type of person indeed, one who simultaneously has the capability, patience, and will to carry any idea to it’s logical conclusion regardless of how taboo that conclusion may be.”

    Yea he reminds me of, at least, Hannibal Lecter.

    —————————————
    “An intelligent alien race, for example, should be given the rights attributable to persons.”

    Crap, now you’ve spaced out !!!!

    —————————————
    “I have criticised Bob for this viewpoint, because cows and chickens and fish are not capable of valuing their life, and are therefore (like babies) non-persons.”

    You were able to ascertain this how? But wait a minute…

    “The law should not aim to terminate such entities without good reason, as many such entities are property (for example, cattle are such self-aware entities, and the state should not go around killing all cattle).”

    I’m confused, can cattle consist of cows? Do you even read what you’ve written? I guess not.

    —————————————
    “In most cases, if you asked such teenagers if they wanted to die, they’d say they didn’t because they valued their life.”

    Actions speak louder than words, so no it’s clear that they don’t value their own life and those of others.

    “If they are not intelligent enough to perceive that their actions endanger their life”

    So where does comprehending about self and death come from? These actions are not simply a work hazard, or an unforeseeable outcome, it is blatant. Speaking with these thrill seekers suggests that if the chance of dying wasn’t dangling like a carrot, it wouldn’t be worth it. I can see the goal posts about to be shifted.

    “that doesn’t change the fact that their life is of value to them”

    Well, the facts actually suggest that it is of no value to them, except for the continual attempt to test their invincibility.

    “The law should not aim to terminate such entities without good reason”

    How would the law (ie. law makers) determine what are the grounds for a ‘good reason’ to terminate a life? Could it be implemented in such a way that it would require the appraisal of, say, three doctors to execute the order?

    ————————————————
    “When did you last converse with a human foetus?”

    Answer my question first. You have been absolutely certain that some animals are self-aware (though confused as to which ones). Could you tell me which animals (and perhaps vegetables), when fully grown, have told you that they value life? In response to your question, Being pro-life and pro-choice (in the truest sense), I simply wait for the child to develop the verbal skills to converse with me about the past, present, and future, about life and death, and so on. Since the unborn/born baby/infant/toddler/teen/adult has the same human DNA, and is the same person, he/she has the same rights throughout his/her development. If the adult decides to end their own life, except for counseling, there’s not much that can be done. This is rational, reasonable, moral, and respectful.

    “Yes, as long as no long-term damage is done to the child.”

    Thank you for been candid and having no shame, morality and any sense or conscience for that matter.

    “Would this not lead you to accept that all life has rights, making the killing of a crustacean to make lobster thermidor also morally wrong?”

    Like I said, if you feel this way then don’t eat anything other than your own flesh. This may prove you are right and everyone else is wrong.

    ————————————————
    “Eighteens months of age, I’d say”

    How did you come to this conclusion? Now I must stress, you cannot make reference to any external sources, scientific, psychological or otherwise since you have already stated, as quoted below, that your view is the correct one and those of others are wrong.

    “Yes, that is a common definition, and I think it is wrong,”

    “… but I’d be willing to make it a year to negate any problems with boundary cases.”

    Sieg Heil !!! Sieg HEIL !!! SIEG HEIL !!!

    I can see your dilemma here. On one hand, you would like to see infanticide/molestation practiced on children as old as possible, but on the other hand:

    “to negate any problems with boundary cases”

    Try to imagine the following scenario:

    Mummy and daddy are preparing for a trip to the local hospital. Their 18 month old daughter, noticing that her favourite bag is being packed with the usual necessities, asks “Where we going?”, mommy is looking a little shaken, so daddy answers “we’re going for a drive honey”. Now being all excited, the little girl begins riffling questions…. “Where?”…. “ice-cream?”….. daddy successfully satisfies his child’s queries with vague answers. Before they leave, the child runs into her room, a few moments later, speeds back out with a photo of her favourite pet cat ‘fluffy’, which died just a few weeks earlier, and proceeded to jam it into her little bag. The trip was quite short, and as they drive up to a large distinctive building, the child utters “HOSPITAL!”. Now both are quite uneasy as though the child has figured out their diabolical plan. Whilst holding his daughter in his arms, daddy is trying to distract his child from noticing anything that might disturb her. As the family are walking down a white sterilized corridor, it is hard for the child not to be inquisitive as to what’s behind all those closed doors. They reach the end of the corridor where a nurse guides them through two sets of double swinging doors. There they are met by a doctor and in the middle of the room there’s a padded table, and beside it a tray which contains a set of preloaded syringes. The child, at this point frozen with fear, clutches to her hero. Prying the child out of his arms, dad sets her down on the cushioned table and attempts to comfort her. The doctor is handed one of the syringes by the nurse. As he squirts a few drops out of the needle, the child, crying, asks “I’M SICK?”… “WHY?”, daddy answers “you’re going to have a nice sleep and have beautiful dreams”, the frightened child further queries “HOW LONG?” In the moment whilst he was stumped searching for some calming words, his daughter stammers “like Fluffy?”. The child unconvinced makes her final pleadings, “I LOVE YOU MOMMY DADDY”…. “I’LL BE GOOD”… “I DON’T WANT IT”…. “I WANT TO GO HOME”… “TAKE ME HOME”….

    The potential of this scenario playing out with a 1 year old would logically be lessened somewhat.

    If anyone is skeptical of the child’s potential language skills, read the following:
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/afps-btt103008.php
    http://uofocogdevo.blogspot.com/2007/10/18-month-old-vocab-explosion.html

    ————————————————
    “Neither embryos or infants have any opinion on whether they live or die, so I have no issue with their (painless) death.”

    Could you do me a favor? Make an appointment with an obstetrician. Ask him/her to perform on you the very same procedures carried out on unborn/born babies to terminate them ‘painlessly’. Some of the procedures I would like you to report on, would be: getting stabbed in the skull with scissors; having your head crushed and your brain sucked out; being strangled; and anything else you can prove your point with.

    Another experiment you should undertake is as follows. Enlist a hypnotherapist/hypnotist, and authorize him/her to put you in a child like state, say, equivalent to a 20 month old child. Prior to this you should arrange to be placed in the care of at least one pedophile who doesn’t mind that the actual body is older. This experiment should be allowed to continue for, I’d say, at least two years. Once you have completed your task, and have been restored to your current mental state (however degenerate it is), report back how you feel and any flashes you may experience about those intimate moments with your preditor.

    You should invite Peter Singer, Richard Dawkins, and Barack Obama to join you, at least we can have a broader evaluation of any outcomes.

    ————————————————
    “If personality is the requisite attribute for a person, then surely you must admit that other apes (like chimpanzees) are persons too, for they surely have distinct personalities.”

    I think your perception has, once again, gone for a trip with the fairies to fantasy island. Was this the only submission I made regarding personhood? I simply alluded to another attribute which is significantly more identifiable in humans than those in the animal kingdom. There’s lots of complex/advanced attributes which identify humans as persons of which animals cannot be regarded as such.

    Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_ape_personhood

    In essence, the only reason apes were to be legally regarded as persons, was to protect them. Is it wrong to misuse and abuse animals? You bet!

    “Rights and responsibilities go together and I’ve yet to see a chimp imprisoned for stealing a banana because they don’t have a moral sense of what’s right and wrong. To give them rights is to give them something without asking for anything in return.”

    Do not even attempt to apply this to an infant. The question still remains, is an adult chimp (which is to be considered a person) responsible for its actions (eg. stealing, murder)?

    “Kenan Malik writes in Man, Beast and Zombie that demonstrations of apes appearing to use language have lacked rigor, and that there is no evidence that apes possess a natural capacity for language, abstract concepts, or symbolic thought; they do not, in Malik’s view, possess anything like humans’ awareness of self.”

    Also read http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/the-soul-of-the-ape

    It is believed that animals such as dolphins and apes MAY BE self aware, TO SOME EXTENT. However, it is agreed that some animals are at most aware only (environmental), and mainly as a result of external stimulus. Once again, if this was not already clear, save for certain rare lightly sprinkled coincidental sub-traits (which pales into insignificance), which takes observers weeks and months to even detect and distinguish, there is a massive chasm between humans and animals.

    You stipulated that being a person requires self-awareness. Since animals cannot even remotely be regarded as self-aware, and your opinion is simply that, I suggest you quit comparing animals to humans.

    In conclusion, you have failed miserably in your heavily opinionated case!

    So what’s left? I think the only thing left to debate is regarding the premeditated criminal tendencies of such views based on the following:

    To summarize, 12 to 18 month old babies can be murdered, molested, and cannibalized. Have i missed anything else that could be inflicted on defenseless babies? I guess this could also be applicable to anyone with, say, brain damage, retardation, etc…

  74. Kathy Says:

    John A — sorry for misattributing the quote. I failed to verify who said it, and simply assumed that Joshua was quoting the previous person (Bob). You’ve made some great points! 🙂

  75. Joshua Says:

    Joshua said, “Yes, as long as no long-term damage is done to the child.”

    Joshua, you are SICK, SICK, SICK! Molestation, almost by definition, causes long-term damage to the child.

    If it does, then it’s wrong, and I wouldn’t do it. Which is what I said anyway, so I don’t know why you needed to call me sick as if I’d go against what I said and cause such damage.

    I think valuing your life (not equal to sentience) is instinctual and ingrained in all animals

    An instinctual value of one’s life is not what I’m talking about here. Instinct is not something we control with conscious will, and therefore my premise that “the only thing wrong with death is being forced into it unwillingly” is not affected by any instinctual drive to self-preservation, but only by rational agents able to choose whether their life should be continued or not.

    To use instinctual self-preservation as an argument for personhood would make as much sense as using instinctual territorial behaviour as an argument for land property.

    “An intelligent alien race, for example, should be given the rights attributable to persons.”

    Crap, now you’ve spaced out !!!!

    If your ethical scheme cannot cope with what are logically, physically and biologically possible scenarios (such as non-human life with all the abilities of humans), then it fails.

    “The law should not aim to terminate such entities without good reason, as many such entities are property (for example, cattle are such self-aware entities, and the state should not go around killing all cattle).”

    I’m confused, can cattle consist of cows? Do you even read what you’ve written? I guess not.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I said that the state should not kill all cattle (because cattle are valuable to their owners), not that the death of one individual cow is tantamount to murder or some such strawman you are trying to set up.

    Could you tell me which animals (and perhaps vegetables), when fully grown, have told you that they value life?

    Currently, it appears that only the great apes have this capacity, although possibly elephants and dolphins do too.

    The potential of this scenario playing out with a 1 year old would logically be lessened somewhat.

    Exactly. Your scenario seems to feature no attempt to determine if the child is self-aware, or values her life. And, it is doubtful whether a parent would wait even a whole year to end their child’s life.

    Make an appointment with an obstetrician. Ask him/her to perform on you the very same procedures carried out on unborn/born babies to terminate them ‘painlessly’.

    You seem to assume I approve of those obviously pain-causing methods of abortion. I do not, and I do not see how you could assume that I do, given what I have argued in other comments.

    Enlist a hypnotherapist/hypnotist, and authorize him/her to put you in a child like state, say, equivalent to a 20 month old child.

    I am not sure this would be directly analogous to the situation of a neonate, but rather more like a reversible coma or even a sleep-like state, and I have addressed these above.

    The question still remains, is an adult chimp (which is to be considered a person) responsible for its actions (eg. stealing, murder)?

    No. Just as a four-year old child, who is also considered a person, is also not legally nor perhaps even morally responsible for those criminal actions.

  76. Kristy Says:

    You missed my point Joshua. It is that, how do you quantitatively determine who (or what) can rationally determine whether they wish to continue their life or not? How do you know it isn’t simply instinctual? As I said before, there is no objective test to determine that. I wasn’t arguing for personhood based on instinctual desire to live (if you’d read my other posts you’d realize this), merely that, that clouds your definition without having an objective test to differentiate the two. All of the tests used are subjective, and therefore not reliable.
    Your arguments are amoral since they are based on reason. They can be used to argue evil, and in my opinion that is exactly what you are doing. I’m not sure it’s worth debating you any longer, as you will never acknowledge this to be true.

  77. Kathy Says:

    Joshua said, “If it does, then it’s wrong, and I wouldn’t do it. Which is what I said anyway, so I don’t know why you needed to call me sick as if I’d go against what I said and cause such damage.”

    Saying that molestation is not wrong as long as it doesn’t cause pain is rather like saying murder is not wrong as long as it doesn’t kill anyone. If you agree that molestation does cause pain and is therefore wrong (so you disagree with whoever brought that into the conversation), why didn’t you just say that instead of making the idiotic statement that molestation that doesn’t cause pain is not wrong? Besides, there is physical pain and then emotional pain, in molestation. A child can be molested without being put into physical pain (it’s typically called “fondling”), yet it would still be wrong, and would cause mental and emotional trauma. Your litmus test of “pain = bad, no pain = no bad” simply fails. If you give a person a drug to render them insensible to pain (whether they stay awake and aware or not is immaterial), and then traumatize them — either sexually or in some other way — even if they don’t feel any pain, at that point or afterwards, it is still a violation and still wrong. There have been cases of women who were raped or otherwise violated while under the care of various doctors (typically of the gynecology variety), and they didn’t know it because they were unconscious or otherwise insensible of what was going on. The violation was only discovered when the women became pregnant by the doctor. It was still wrong, though it did not cause them any pain. There were other women similarly violated who did not get pregnant, and only suspected a violation — but it was still wrong, though it did not cause pain.

  78. Joshua Says:

    There have been cases of women who were raped or otherwise violated while under the care of various doctors (typically of the gynecology variety), and they didn’t know it because they were unconscious or otherwise insensible of what was going on.

    That is doing something to somebody who could give consent, but not respecting their autonomy by gaining consent before doing it. That’s different to doing something to somebody, or something, who/that is not capable of consent at all. In other words, in a typical adult human there is something else that is lost by such actions – autonomy – which stands apart from mere suffering. But autonomy does not yet exist in non-sapient beings like neonates, and as such cannot be lost.

  79. Kathy Says:

    Joshua, so I can be sure I understand you correctly, let me give you the following statements as though according to you — feel free to correct me:

    – it’s okay to molest or rape a woman who has is comatose and not expected to recover, but *not* okay to do so to a woman who *is* expected to recover

    – it’s okay to molest a child before the age of “self-awareness” but not afterwards

    – it’s not wrong to rape a woman with a mental deficiency, because she can’t really be violated since she does not have autonomy

    Am I understanding you correctly?

  80. Kathy Says:

    Also, this scenario:

    If a previously normal and sentient and autonomous woman is injured in such a way as to leave her mentally deficient — still aware, but functioning on a very low mental level — perhaps able to communicate on only a rudimentary level, and not expected to regain her full mental capacities — it would be okay to rape her in that state but not if she were expected to recover?

    And what of a person who remains mentally at the level of a two-year-old, is deaf, communicates on a very basic level with sign language — would it be okay to rape her, my cousin? After all, she’s not very aware, as far as we could tell.

  81. Joshua Says:

    Am I understanding you correctly?

    If you’d specified that the molestation won’t cause pain, then yes, mostly correct.

    would be okay to rape her in that state but not if she were expected to recover?

    If she doesn’t have the ability to consent, and isn’t hurt (i.e. physically damaged) or caused pain in the process (I assume by ‘aware’, you mean she is able to feel pain), I don’t see a problem.

  82. Kathy Says:

    I restate as I did before — you are sick. Simply because one cannot give consent does not give another person the right to molest or violate that person. I think I’m going to go lose my lunch right now.

  83. Scott Thong Says:

    (Note: I’m helping John A post this, since he can’t get the comment through WordPress. Neither could I when I tried to post as him.

    From John A:

    “Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I said that the state should not kill all cattle (because cattle are valuable to their owners), not that the death of one individual cow is tantamount to murder or some such strawman you are trying to set up.”

    Firstly I never commented on what makes it reasonable to kill 1 or 1000 cows, that’s the decision of the owner and NOT of the state (unless there may be something like foot-and-mouth disease involved). I commented on how you redefined what constitutes cattle in that you stated that cattle are self-aware and cows are not. Look who’s grasping at straws!

    ————————————————————————–
    “Currently, it appears that only the great apes have this capacity, although possibly elephants and dolphins do too.”

    So you’ve just gone or record to say that great apes, elephants and dolphins have verbally spoken to you and related their self-awareness…..
    Let’s break out in song….

    “If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it
    Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
    Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
    What a neat achievement that would be. …”

    ———————————————————————————
    “No. Just as a four-year old child, who is also considered a person, is also not legally nor perhaps even morally responsible for those criminal actions.”

    You are willing to compare an adult ape to a four year old? Is this is the best you can do?

    Read http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/10/free-loving-hip.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/6656661.stm

    And as for dolphins:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7446348.stm
    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-1025219/Dolphins-dead-Cornish-coast-committed-suicide-wildlife-expert-claims.html

    Elephants:
    http://www.greatdreams.com/eeyore/elecruel.htm (Read ELEPHANTS IN DISTRESS)
    http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/Morality/Speciesism/ElephantsSuicide.htm
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=x6dSK4HSsKI
    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=6ss_pvpf3_8&NR=1

    Which part screams out self-awareness (valuing life), not causing pain?!

    Do infants, let alone four year olds, behave like this?

    ———————————————————————————
    “An instinctual value of one’s life is not what I’m talking about here. Instinct is not something we control with conscious will, and therefore my premise that “the only thing wrong with death is being forced into it unwillingly” is not affected by any instinctual drive to self-preservation, but only by rational agents able to choose whether their life should be continued or not.”

    What prompts instincts toward survival and survival toward life? How do instincts decipher between surviving and dying if it cannot value either?

    Remove the unconscious from the equation, and you’d just be a corpse. Try then to value life! The unconscious and the conscious are mutually inclusive and PART of the same fabric which processes them. One cannot function successfully without the other.

    Nevertheless, the only chance an unborn/born baby has to escape your ideal regime, would be to be fully developed at conception/birth so that the child can be regarded as self-aware? If this could even be possible, be honest, wouldn’t you in fact come up with another logic to circumvent it for your own pleasure?

    ————————————————————————–
    “Exactly. Your scenario seems to feature no attempt to determine if the child is self-aware, or values her life.”

    Since you are too dense to pick up on it, the child compares long sleep with the loss of her pet, however undeveloped that understanding is.

    “And, it is doubtful whether a parent would wait even a whole year to end their child’s life.”

    Again I ask, are you that insular? The scenario deals with a time when the law exists to allow parents to terminate their infants, as dictated by you. I’ll propose a possible event which leads to their decision. What if the parents are in a state of financial hardship, and have tried to delay such a decision as long as possible within the legally allowable age limit? The parents come to the decision that it is impossible to make ends-meet, and by taking this step they could get back on their feet and try for another child later on. Vanity could also be used as a valid reason. Have women never said that they are not willing to sacrifice their figure by having a child, or their fun by having to look after one?

    Is your short-sightedness still unable to grasp this?

    The above scenario would be no more foreign than the tens of millions of babies aborted annually (worldwide), whether early or late term. As abortions have become just as natural as bowl movement, so to will infanticide.

    ———————————————————————————
    “I am not sure this would be directly analogous to the situation of a neonate”

    You are not sure? That’s the whole point of the experiment. Admittedly, if you are already enjoying being sodomized, than the results may well be tainted. Give it a go anyway, there might still be a psychological outcome worth evaluating.

    ————————————————————————–
    “If it does, then it’s wrong, and I wouldn’t do it. Which is what I said anyway”

    When does consenting absolve you from the same guilt? For posterity, could you cut and paste the statement which clearly shows that you wouldn’t do it? Clarify what exactly you wouldn’t do to the child? Cause pain while sticking it to the child, or molestation? I think the next quote may actually shed some light on what you really meant:

    “so I don’t know why you needed to call me sick as IF I’D go against what I said AND CAUSE SUCH DAMAGE.”

    Question: Did Joshua equate DAMAGE with molestation or pain? PAIN
    Question: Did Joshua denounce molestation? NO
    Question: Did Joshua reveal that it would not be his intent to hurt children when molesting them? YES

    Well Joshua, you did not in fact oppose causing such damage since, at the very least, you support it’s act. Just like a cockroach, you scamper when exposed to light. I’m expecting some spin doctoring.

    Later you make the following assertions:

    “That is doing something to somebody who could give consent, …”
    “That’s different to doing something to somebody, or something, who/that is not capable of consent at all.”
    “But autonomy does not yet exist in non-sapient beings like neonates, and as such cannot be lost.”

    Like a cockroach which runs away from the light, a dog returns to its vomit!

    ———————————————————————————
    After Joshua made a clear admission, Kathy responds:

    “If you agree that molestation does cause pain and is therefore wrong (so you disagree with whoever brought that into the conversation), why didn’t you just say that instead of making the idiotic statement that molestation that doesn’t cause pain is not wrong?”

    Kathy, do you believe molestation is or is not a likely outcome if Peter Singer’s views are adopted personally or made law?

    ———————————————————————————
    Let’s define Joshua’s understanding of self-awareness. Simply, it’s just about SELF. If anyone were to read back all his comments, one cannot but notice expressions of SELFishness, SELFcenteredness, SELFseeking, SELFimportance, SELFindulgence, SELFinterested, SELFopinionated, SELFrighteous, and SELFsatisfied, not to mention being narrow-minded.

    Joshua could you explain the difference between the following cases of self-awareness and yours:

    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Talk:Deadly_shooting_at_high_school_in_Finland
    http://www.westword.com/content/printVersion/217960

    Even Ted Bundy is considered self-aware, hence must have valued life:
    http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/define-consciousness-26378-2.html

    Do you not also claim to be self-aware and declare that babies have no rights and therefore can be killed and molested?
    Is championing for painlessness the only difference?

    However, you stated:

    “I am not sure this would be directly analogous to the situation of a neonate, but rather more like a reversible coma or even a sleep-like state”

    Since you equate an unborn/born baby with being comatose, your assertions of painlessness is just a red herring. It is used to make your obscene arguments seemingly acceptable.

    ———————————————————————————
    And with regards to cannibalism, if anyone has the stomach:

    http://www.heretical.com/cannibal/china.html
    http://www.weirdasianews.com/2007/04/02/cannibalism-in-china-acceptable-if-for-health/

  84. Joshua Says:

    Kathy, your emotional reactions do not a moral argument make. Please explain why you can’t do an action, one which would not cause suffering, to a being who is not capable of making a choice about that action. Why is it acceptable to touch the teats of a cow, but not to touch the nipples of a neonate?

    Now, for John’s post:

    I commented on how you redefined what constitutes cattle in that you stated that cattle are self-aware and cows are not.

    Oh sorry, I misread the emphasis on your comment. There was indeed a mistake in my previous comment, when I should have said that ‘cattle are not self aware entities’. I apologize for any misunderstanding this has caused, and for me not picking this up last time.

    So you’ve just gone or record to say that great apes, elephants and dolphins have verbally spoken to you and related their self-awareness

    The ability to verbally speak cannot be the sole evidence of self-awareness, for mute people are self aware. Likewise, people with certain forms of aphasia would be unable to relate their self-awareness, yet would be self-aware. There are other evidences for self-awareness that are indicative of those non-human animals I mentioned being self-aware, such as the mirror test.

    Do infants, let alone four year olds, behave like this?

    I would contend that if four-year olds went through puberty, while retaining their cognitive abilities at that same level, they would indeed behave much like chimpanzees and may even commit suicide too (especially if they were pain like those elephants). As for the dolphins, four-year olds have been known to get into situations which result in their death, just as dolphins beach when they get sick and lose their sense of direction.

    What prompts instincts toward survival and survival toward life? How do instincts decipher between surviving and dying if it cannot value either?

    Instincts towards life are produced by evolutionary processes. An animal that instinctively avoids dangerous situations will be more likely to reproduce and pass on the genes for those instincts. For example, crying when hungry or fleeing when in danger. It is much more likely that an instinct to survive will evolve, rather than a complex cognitive structure allowing for survival to be understood and valued.

    Nevertheless, the only chance an unborn/born baby has to escape your ideal regime, would be to be fully developed at conception/birth so that the child can be regarded as self-aware? If this could even be possible, be honest, wouldn’t you in fact come up with another logic to circumvent it for your own pleasure?

    Not at all. If a child was fully self-aware from birth, I would most certainly argue against that child’s death. I would probably argue against abortion if a foetus was self-aware too (although the fact the foetus is inhabiting the woman’s body against her will may be enough to allow abortion in many cases).

    Since you are too dense to pick up on it, the child compares long sleep with the loss of her pet, however undeveloped that understanding is.

    I am not sure whether this is adequate, but it seems on the face of it that this would be enough self-awareness to indicate the child values her life.

    The scenario deals with a time when the law exists to allow parents to terminate their infants, as dictated by you.

    Then you must surely have read that I would set the law at 12 months, to avoid marginal cases such as the one you have proposed.

    As abortions have become just as natural as bowl movement, so to will infanticide.

    I doubt it. Though I have no doubt that legalised infanticide would occur, the connection a mother forms with her child is due in no small part to the large amount of oxytocin in her system during and after childbirth, and abortion avoids this attachment it would remain far more commonplace. In addition, the prevalence of abortions would drastically decrease the demand for infanticide, so both cannot be ever present.

    You are not sure? That’s the whole point of the experiment.

    By not sure, that was my polite way of saying there is no way in the world that is anything at all like what occurs with neonates. The fact that this medical intervention is reversible makes it more like sleep, with an ability present but unusable rather than the not yet acquired.

    Clarify what exactly you wouldn’t do to the child?

    Very well. If the child is not able to consent, clearly doing something against that child’s will is not morally wrong (for the child has no will).

    So, causing pain to that child is wrong, because the child would still be able to suffer pain. In addition, causing damage to that child is wrong, because the child would find themselves in a worse state than before the damage was caused, and therefore being the utilitarian that I am, that would be a bad action. But, if you can molest a child in such a way that does not cause pain, does not cause any physical or mental damage and only do so to a child who cannot consent, I see no problem with it. This is consistent with everything I’ve said so far – I have never changed my view on this since this conversation began.

    Joshua could you explain the difference between the following cases of self-awareness and yours:

    Certainly. I use self-awareness to mean awareness of the self as a distinct entity existing over time, whereas those others use self-awareness to mean an awareness of what the self means to the world or society or some such.

    As I have argued previously with Kristy, that my view can be twisted into something evil is no more evidence against my arguments than the fact that the Nazis considered some people to be less than human is an argument against her view that all humans should have rights just for being human.

    Even Ted Bundy is considered self-aware, hence must have valued life

    Even if a person is self-aware, it doesn’t imply that they do value life, only that they are able to, and therefore their continued life is their choice alone. And it certainly doesn’t imply that they value the life of anyone else, as psychopaths like Bundy demonstrate.

    Since you equate an unborn/born baby with being comatose, your assertions of painlessness is just a red herring. It is used to make your obscene arguments seemingly acceptable.

    The fact that I said that a certain situation was not like being a neonate, but was like being comatose, would suggest strongly that I do not equate being an unborn/born baby with being comatose. I never have, and I gave some responses to Scott previously outlining the differences between the two.

    Causing pain in a being that is aware of its own pain is wrong and ending the life of a being who is aware of its own life is wrong, unless you have their consent.

  85. Kathy Says:

    John A. — it is not too big a jump from legally murdering a child who is younger than a certain age to legally molesting that child. I’ve read a few things from some pedolphiles who consider it as “liberating” a child to molest him/her in some way — whether through fondling or outright rape. They are so twisted that they think that normal childish behavior is somehow sexualized, and will even talk of little kids as coming on to them, when all they’re doing is playing or being just normal little kids. The subject disgusts me, so I don’t think too much on it, but I know it happens, and will happen more frequently as our society degenerates. Whether this happens in lock-step with other degeneration such as what Joshua and Peter Singer seem to advocate is difficult to say. Most likely they will feed off of each other to speed the downward spiral. After all, if it is utilitarian to murder defenseless infants simply because the parents could “have a better life” — financially, anyway — without a child, then why not find it utilitarian to make use of children younger than (fill in the blank — 7, 14, 18?) to gratify the lusts of adults.

    Joshua — it depends on what the purpose of touching is for. If a person touches the teats of a cow in order to extract milk, then that is fine; if a person applies cream, lotion, or soap to a baby’s chest and happens to touch the nipples, that is fine. If, however, a person is getting off on fondling a cow or an infant, then that is wrong. The plain action is not necessarily right or wrong, but rather the intent. For example, the main difference between sex and rape is the intent of the man and the consent of the woman. The act is the same or similar. It is wrong to perform certain actions against individuals that cannot give consent. At the very least, I err on the side of caution — I assume that lack of consent is denial, rather than allowance.

    I frankly don’t care whether this fits into a little logical box. You are an immoral person and you make me sick. I don’t bloody care if it’s an emotional response. It’s also a moral response to the blatant immorality you have presented to me.

  86. Hawaii Mentor Says:

    If you’re sitting down, read this shocking excerpt about Davis from the British Telegraph which was published almost two months ago:

    In a surviving portion of an autobiographical manuscript, Mr Davis confirms that he was the author of Sex Rebel: Black after a reader had noticed the “similarities in style and phraseology” between the pornographic work and his poetry.

    “I could not then truthfully deny that this book, which came out in 1968 as a Greenleaf Classic, was mine.” In the introduction to Sex Rebel, Mr Davis (writing as Greene) explains that although he has “changed names and identities…all incidents I have described have been taken from actual experiences”.

    He stated that “under certain circumstances I am bisexual” and that he was “ a voyeur and an exhibitionist” who was “occasionally mildly interested in sado-masochism”, adding: “I have often wished I had two penises to enjoy simultaneously the double – but different – sensations of oral and genital copulation.”

    The book, which closely tracks Mr Davis’s life in Chicago and Hawaii and the fact that his first wife was black and his second white, describes in lurid detail a series of shockingly sordid sexual encounters, often involving group sex.

    One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr Davis and his first wife of a 13-year-old girl called Anne. Mr Davis wrote that it was the girl who had suggested he had sex with her. “I’m not one to go in for Lolitas. Usually I’d rather not bed a babe under 20.

    “But there are exceptions. I didn’t want to disappoint the trusting child. At her still-impressionistic age, a rejection might be traumatic, could even cripple her sexually for life.”

    He then described how he and his wife would have sex with the girl. “Anne came up many times the next several weeks, her aunt thinking she was in good hands. Actually she was.

    “She obtained a course in practical sex from experienced and considerate practitioners rather than from ignorant insensitive neophytes….I think we did her a favour, although the pleasure was mutual.”

    http://www.dakotavoice.com/2008/10/obama-mentor-into-bisexuality.html

  87. Joshua Says:

    The plain action is not necessarily right or wrong, but rather the intent.

    I don’t see the relevance of intention in this purpose. If the person acts with intent to perform some action and the consequences of that action are the same regardless of intent, what relevance does the specific intention of the person have? (Note, I’m not talking about accidents, where the person did not intend to perform the action, but rather where the intended purposes of that action are different).

    It is wrong to perform certain actions against individuals that cannot give consent.

    Your comment I responded to above suggest that is is ok to perform those actions, provided you are thinking the right thoughts at the time. This to me suggests that these painless and non-damaging acts are acceptable actions, regardless of the state of mind of the person performing them.

  88. Kathy Says:

    If you don’t see the difference it is simply because you have a warped mind.

  89. manny rahimi Says:

    abortion should be good up to 6 months of pregnancy because up until then, the brain waves in the fetus are jumping all over the place. the fetus at 7 months sends brain waves of a normal human that is alive. this is the case in all mammals. please, and I mean PLEASE… if you disagree with me, prove it. I have many ways to prove it… one way is to google it, another is to ask any doctor you can think of, yes even your own! Getting rid of a fetus that doesn’t feel “pain” or this or that is and should forever be ok to do. just because YOU have a problem with it, doesn’t mean your friend, child, spouse, etc should think otherwise.

  90. Kathy Says:

    Manny,

    Are you suggesting that a fetus is not alive prior to the 7th month?

    Also, do you think that if a baby that is born at 24 weeks of gestation (which is still in the 6th month, or possibly the 5th month of pregnancy, at 22 weeks post-conception), that the parents should have the right to kill it after birth, since it was born prior to your definition of normal?

  91. vojo Says:

    thos is all stupid it is the woman`s choice to have her baby aborted i leave my will this is all shallow and pandactic

  92. Mad Bluebird Says:

    You know your a liberal when you have a window sticker reading KEEP ABORTION LEGAL and bumper stickers SAVE THE REDWOODS,SAVE THE RAINFORESTS

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