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Ethical Argument for Abortion

Why it is moral to have an abortion

by: JohnSmith

The central argument against abortion is:
1: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
2: A human fetus is an innocent human being.
Conclusion: Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.
Instead of arguing about the second premise in this argument, I will approach the first one.
The weakness of the first premise in this argument is the acceptance of the special status of human life. The term 'human' can mean two distinct things: being a member of the species Homo sapiens, and being a person. The core of being a person includes rationality and self-consciousness. In this sense of the word, a fetus is clearly not a human.
I posit that whether a being is or is not a member of our species is, in itself no more relevant to the wrongness of killing it than whether it is or is not a member of our race/sex/community and so on. To refute the commonly accepted mistaken view that there is a sharp line dividing Homo Sapiens from other species in the value of their life, all that needs to be done is to mention the fact there are nonhuman animals (such as apes) at similar levels of self-consciousness and with similar capacities for suffering as certain humans (such as severely mentally disabled adults). My suggestion, then, is that we accord the life of a fetus no greater value than the life of a nonhuman animal at a similar level of rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel, etc.
Killing a self-conscious being is wrong because it is aware of itself as a distinct entity, with a past and a future, with desires about its own future. From a utilitarian perspective, to maximize present happiness, one must consider all existing interests and desires when making ethical considerations. On the other hand, painlessly killing a non self-conscious being is not immoral, as struggle against danger and pain does not suggest that such beings are capable of preferring their own future existence to non-existence. Being killed does not make one worse off; it makes one cease to exist. Once a being ceases to exist, it shall not miss the pleasure it would have experienced. Only a being who can grasp the difference between dying and continuing to live can prefer to remain alive.
One objection to this argument is that it permits the killing of unconscious persons. From a utilitarian perspective, taking into account the interests of all, to have had the concept of having a continued existence in the past is sufficient for the right to life. My desire to continue living does not cease whenever I am not consciously thinking about it. We often desire things without the desire being at the forefront of our minds. The fact that we have the desire is apparent if we are reminded of it, or suddenly confronted with a situation in which we must choose between two courses of action, one of which makes the fulfilment of the desire less likely. In a similar way, when we go to sleep our desires for the future have not ceased to exist. They will still be there, when we wake. As the desires are still part of us, so, too, our interest in continued life remains part of us while we are asleep or unconscious.
Another objection to this argument is that it takes into account only the actual characteristiics of the fetus, and not its potential characteristics. Thus the argument is changed to:
1: It is wrong to kill a potential human being.
2: A human fetus is a potential human being.
Conclusion: Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.
Yet there is no rule that says that a potential X has the same value as an X, or has all the rights of an X. To pull out a sprouting acorn is not the same as cutting down a venerable oak. To drop a live chicken into a pot of boiling water would be much worse than doing the same to an egg. The premise of the right to life is based on the fact that persons see themselves as distinct entities with a past and a future. They do not apply to those who are not now and never have been capable of seeing themselves in this way.
An additional argument is that an abortion deprives the world of something intrinsically valuable (such as a future scientist to cure cancer). But this stands up as a reason for objecting to all abortions, or even to abortions carried out merely because the pregnancy is inconveniently timed. Any reduction of future human population would then have to be condemned: contraception (artificial or natural), and celibacy. Additionally, if the world is already overpopulated, the argument provides no reason at all against abortion.
Finally, the last argument is that each human fetus is unique. Yet a canine fetus is also, no doubt, genetically unique. Mutated skin cells are unique. Pairs of identical twins are not unique, then would killing one out of a pair of twins be moral?
Clearly, such an approach to the moral dilemma through rational ethical examination leads us to conclude in favor of abortion.
Feel free to voice objections to any of the above.

reply from: JohnSmith

As would any person who approaches ethics from a preference utilitarian perspective.
The only objections could stem from people whose morals come from religious sources or have Kantian-like tendencies.

reply from: churchmouse

Well your views are similar to that of Peter Singer. He is the one that wrote the book, Animal Liberation. He said in that book, "It can no longer be maintained by anyone but a religious fanatic that man is the special darling of the universe, or that animals were created to provide us with food, or that we have divine authority over them, and the divine permission to kill them."
You like Singer seem to denounce "speciesism" or valuing humans above animals. He says that speciesism is just about as bad as sexism or racism. He also states, "It is speciesist to judge that the life of a normal adult member of our species is more valuable than the life of a normal adult mouse."
He stretches the conventional definition of PERSON beyond recognition by saying that not only can humans be nonpersons, but nonhumans can be persons.
He said and I quote...."If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog, or a pig for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capabilities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication and anything else that can plausibly be morally significant."
What you seem to be saying is that it is no worse to kill a human than it is an animal.
Our society has always acted on the premise that human life is regarded more valuable than that of the nonhuman animal. if we didnt then we would not be allowed to eat meat or kill any animal for any reason. We would jail people for killing any living animal, an ant, a bird, a fish. No zoos because to keep an animal locked up would be wrong. Equal rights.......cant move an animal out of its natural habitat etc. So if you had a bees nest on your porch you would not have the right to move it. Rats, snakes........off limits. Cant fish......swat a bug, mosquito.
And think of how many bugs are in grass.......couldnt walk on it because you might kill one. Also driving down the road in a car, or bike.....off limits.
We would have to build a lot more prisons, you know to jail all the people that were killing animals.
Obviously in your opinion backing out of the driveway and killing a dog would be the same as backing out and killing a child.
Say do you think the animals in the jungle feel remorse over killing their prey?
As PETA puts it......"When it comes to feelings, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy."
(Ingrid Newkirk, cited in Richard Milne, "Animal Liberation: Do the Beasts Really Benefit?" www.probe.org/docs/anim-rts.html.)
Now how sad is that?
Curious where do your morals come from? And do you think rape and slavery are bad?

I would like to mention that all our laws are based on morality. If we didnt have laws that prevented people from doing what they thought was moral....we would live in utter chaos.

reply from: JohnSmith

There are different degrees of self-consciousness but generally if both are equally self-conscious then it is equally immoral.
Yes, but what we have done in the past has no relevance for ethical considerations in the present.
That isn't true. It is permissible to kill any being that does not desire to continue to live. Most animals fall under this category.
no, no, and no. None of those three are self-conscious and thus have no intrinsic worth to their lives.
See above.
Perhaps not a dog, but a Chimpanzee yes.
No.
I disagree with both. Pigs have slight self-consciousness according to some studies as do dogs. Rats don't. Children have full self-consciousness after the age of 3.
From logical examination through preference utilitarianism. According to this line of thought both rape and slavery are immoral.

You are right, most laws are based on morality.

reply from: Banned Member

It is always wrong to kill or cause the death of an innocent human person in each and any circumstance. I, as will others who are pro-life, will concede and continue to proclaim that the human life always begins at conception. Being a concieved human person is not a "special status", but is in fact a normal state of our human development and can only be expected where a new human life begins. The right to be a human person exists by our virtue of being human persons. Such rights are not imposed exteriorally from other human persons and/or laws or societies.
All human persons begin their existance as newly conceived lives, without any exception. To cut short that development by the practice known as abortion, abortive contraceptives and partial birth abortions, is murder by virtue of the intent to end a human life that would otherwise be present troughout development and come be born after 9 months of gestation and in some cases much sooner where medical intervention is naturally and compassionately applied to preserve such life.
When we speak of humans we speak of human persons. There are no human beings that are not human persons. Nomenclature cannot change the essense of a thing. I can call the newly conceived human life a zygote, an embryo, a homo sapien or a ham sandwich but it does not and cannot and will never change the nature of the being that is being described. The core as you say of being a person, is being a person.
Levels of development, either physical, emotional, physiological are immaterial to the matter at hand which is whether or not a person has the right to end another persons human life. A conceived human person regardless of what words we use to describe the phase or state of development of the conceived human life does not change the object of our discussion.
Human beings are not animals in the usual sense of the word. We are fully biological creatures as animals are, but we possess a self awareness, and sense of being that other creatures do not. We, as human beings possess a consciosness that other creatures do not and cannot. That human identity involves to varying degress a sense of the human spirit, human compassion, empathy, charity and love which separate us more than marginally, but rather exceptionally from other creatures. Other creatures may display a sense of attachment to humans, but only the human person can display and act out love fully, with charity and self giving, and even self sacrifice for another human person. It is only the human person that is even presented with these moral questions and is free to act upon them or not act upon them.
All human persons, being human beings, must be accorded the full level of respect due even to the most healthy and vibrant members of the human condition and society, or else we degrade into a form of "social darwinism" where we begin to judge as gods would judge, who will live and who will die based upon arbitrarily imposed standards of fitness and worthiness for life. It is wrong to kill a human person, whether or not that human person is aware or unaware, relatively intelligent as compared to others or not, or is in any other way socially, mentally or physically equivalent to other human persons. That act of killing is wrong regardless of what stage the human person dwells within, whether in the first days of conception, or in the last years or even hours of their life.
That a person cannot, or would not miss the human experience is immaterial to the discussion at hand and could too easily be used to justify or excuse any act of killing and has in fact been used to justify countless acts of killing and human genocide either in wars or relative times of peace. The life of the human spirit after physical death is something we can neither scientifically prove or disprove, but I would remind people that the conscious who choose to live and do desire to live would miss their physical existance no more or less that one who is not able to choose and so the argument for that justification does not stand. All you have done is justify virtually any murder of a human person in any circumstances. There are a great many people that would otherwise be a burden upon individuals or socities whom you could justify the killing of with such a rationale. Again, your argument does not stand.
The conceived human person is not a potential human person but an actual human person and human life; they are in fact created, living and existing. I have no more right to live and exist than a person that was conceived five minutes ago. We are equal in value and dignity and worthiness of living until our natural end. Physical circumstances may favor the natural survival of one over another but that is the unsteady nature of our natural human existance but not a justification for our power or desire to kill others. A person who is conceived five minutes ago, may far outlive a person who is about to die of some accidental cause five minutes from now. It is not in our power to judge who should live, or who should die.
Again, we only play at god when we arbitrarily choose who is more fit to live and who is more fit to die. A conceived human person has a past and a future even if those states of past and future may seem to be very brief as compared to our own. Abortion exists as a method of ending human life, ragardless of its past and future and if often the avoidance of caring for human life as parenthood would naturally involve. Abortion is about one choice and one choice alone; the choice to kill an unborn person.
When we speak of the human person we are speaking of a unique creature in its entirety, not within its individual parts. We are more than the sum of our parts. A hand is not an eye. A leg is not an ear. The human person lives and experiences a human life with all the implications of a human life; health, sickness, intelligence, difficulties, success, failures, etc. You can in no way compare the human person either newly conceived, or fully developed to cancer cells, an animal such as a dog or cat or to a tree or any other kind of plant. A human person is unique in its capacity to live and experinece the human life.
The world is not overpopulated and yet if controling population were the real concern, abortion would not be a most suitable method for controlling where and when human life could best be sustained. Abortion is too random and arbitrary an act for that end. You would have to systematically destroy life where it is either too much of a burden on societies or environments. But what you are really advocating is eugenics and genocide and once you have conceded that abortion may be used as a method of population control you have already conceded that abortion is about the killing of human persons since populations are comprised of not potential human person, but of actual human persons.
But I think that your overpopulation defense for abortion actually reveals itself for what it is; a form pseudo-medical genocide that veils itself as compassion and prosperity; the same guises that mass acts of murder have tried to hide behind for many long centuries through brutal forms of human control by groups or persons over others.
Even twins are inique, so long as you can count to two. One is not the other, and even though they may be genetically identical, they are not the same matter, they are not the same flesh and blood, thinking the same thoughts, experiencing the same experiences in the same times and places. Yes indeed, every human life is unique! Every human person is different. There can be no justification for the killing one of a pair of twins than for killing one genetically unique human person. If there were a dozen genetically unique human persons not even the killing of one of them could be justified using your argument.
The killing of each and every human person is wrong. You have no justification for murder. You have no justification for abortion, which is murder.

reply from: JohnSmith

Where do you get this moral 'rule of thumb' from? If it is purely religious, you can not expect others who do not share your faith to abide by your morality in a country where separation of church and state exists.
That is an arbitrary placement depending on definitions.
Indeed.
You may call it murder, but that doesn't make it wrong.
You equate personhood with 'Homo-Sapien'ness. As I have said, the right to life we possess does not come from our being Homo Sapiens. That is unbased morally, and in fact is specieist, on par with racism.
By simply stating this you are not making it a moral universality. If I were to simply state that stealing from others is permissible, that would not be the equivalent of logically showing why it would be moral to do so.
You are wrong, and I invite you to research every known study regarding higher apes other than humans.
Yes, we are judging who will live and who will die based on moral, logical standards. Not arbitrary, very straightforward indeed.
If that human desires to continue to live, that desire must be taken into account. If not, then not. It's that simple.
In fact, at the moment of killing, one's desire exists to continue to live (in most cases) and thus makes the act an immoral one. Again, a really simple concept.
Morality is based on universability based on everyone's interests. You desire to continue to exist. A 5-minute old fetus does not.
Yes, we may 'play God' if you choose to call it so. It doesn't change the fact that the fetus has no interest in continuing to exist. Thus, it isn't wrong to kill it.
Perhaps that is the way you wish to define person. But on that basis alone, a human person does not obtain the right to life.
where is your argument here? I smell ad hominem.
Again, where is the argument?

reply from: Banned Member

John Smith is a pest of a little windbag. He needs to go away.

reply from: Banned Member

It is always wrong to kill or cause the death of an innocent human person in each and any circumstance.
I, as will others who are pro-life, will concede and continue to proclaim that the human life always begins at conception. Being a concieved human person is not a "special status", but is in fact a normal state of our human development and can only be expected where a new human life begins. The right to be a human person exists by our virtue of being human persons. Such rights are not imposed exteriorally from other human persons and/or laws or societies.
All human persons begin their existance as newly conceived lives, without any exception. To cut short that development by the practice known as abortion, abortive contraceptives and partial birth abortions, is murder by virtue of the intent to end a human life that would otherwise be present troughout development and come be born after 9 months of gestation and in some cases much sooner where medical intervention is naturally and compassionately applied to preserve such life.
When we speak of humans we speak of human persons. There are no human beings that are not human persons. Nomenclature cannot change the essense of a thing. I can call the newly conceived human life a zygote, an embryo, a homo sapien or a ham sandwich but it does not and cannot and will never change the nature of the being that is being described. The core as you say of being a person, is being a person.
Levels of development, either physical, emotional, physiological are immaterial to the matter at hand which is whether or not a person has the right to end another persons human life. A conceived human person regardless of what words we use to describe the phase or state of development of the conceived human life does not change the object of our discussion.
Human beings are not animals in the usual sense of the word. We are fully biological creatures as animals are, but we possess a self awareness, and sense of being that other creatures do not. We, as human beings possess a consciosness that other creatures do not and cannot. That human identity involves to varying degress a sense of the human spirit, human compassion, empathy, charity and love which separate us more than marginally, but rather exceptionally from other creatures. Other creatures may display a sense of attachment to humans, but only the human person can display and act out love fully, with charity and self giving, and even self sacrifice for another human person. It is only the human person that is even presented with these moral questions and is free to act upon them or not act upon them.
All human persons, being human beings, must be accorded the full level of respect due even to the most healthy and vibrant members of the human condition and society, or else we degrade into a form of "social darwinism" where we begin to judge as gods would judge, who will live and who will die based upon arbitrarily imposed standards of fitness and worthiness for life. It is wrong to kill a human person, whether or not that human person is aware or unaware, relatively intelligent as compared to others or not, or is in any other way socially, mentally or physically equivalent to other human persons. That act of killing is wrong regardless of what stage the human person dwells within, whether in the first days of conception, or in the last years or even hours of their life.
That a person cannot, or would not miss the human experience is immaterial to the discussion at hand and could too easily be used to justify or excuse any act of killing and has in fact been used to justify countless acts of killing and human genocide either in wars or relative times of peace. The life of the human spirit after physical death is something we can neither scientifically prove or disprove, but I would remind people that the conscious who choose to live and do desire to live would miss their physical existance no more or less that one who is not able to choose and so the argument for that justification does not stand. All you have done is justify virtually any murder of a human person in any circumstances. There are a great many people that would otherwise be a burden upon individuals or socities whom you could justify the killing of with such a rationale. Again, your argument does not stand.
The conceived human person is not a potential human person but an actual human person and human life; they are in fact created, living and existing. I have no more right to live and exist than a person that was conceived five minutes ago. We are equal in value and dignity and worthiness of living until our natural end. Physical circumstances may favor the natural survival of one over another but that is the unsteady nature of our natural human existance but not a justification for our power or desire to kill others. A person who is conceived five minutes ago, may far outlive a person who is about to die of some accidental cause five minutes from now. It is not in our power to judge who should live, or who should die.
Again, we only play at god when we arbitrarily choose who is more fit to live and who is more fit to die. A conceived human person has a past and a future even if those states of past and future may seem to be very brief as compared to our own. Abortion exists as a method of ending human life, ragardless of its past and future and if often the avoidance of caring for human life as parenthood would naturally involve. Abortion is about one choice and one choice alone; the choice to kill an unborn person.
When we speak of the human person we are speaking of a unique creature in its entirety, not within its individual parts. We are more than the sum of our parts. A hand is not an eye. A leg is not an ear. The human person lives and experiences a human life with all the implications of a human life; health, sickness, intelligence, difficulties, success, failures, etc. You can in no way compare the human person either newly conceived, or fully developed to cancer cells, an animal such as a dog or cat or to a tree or any other kind of plant. A human person is unique in its capacity to live and experinece the human life.
The world is not overpopulated and yet if controling population were the real concern, abortion would not be a most suitable method for controlling where and when human life could best be sustained. Abortion is too random and arbitrary an act for that end. You would have to systematically destroy life where it is either too much of a burden on societies or environments. But what you are really advocating is eugenics and genocide and once you have conceded that abortion may be used as a method of population control you have already conceded that abortion is about the killing of human persons since populations are comprised of not potential human person, but of actual human persons.
But I think that your overpopulation defense for abortion actually reveals itself for what it is; a form pseudo-medical genocide that veils itself as compassion and prosperity; the same guises that mass acts of murder have tried to hide behind for many long centuries through brutal forms of human control by groups or persons over others.
Even twins are inique, so long as you can count to two. One is not the other, and even though they may be genetically identical, they are not the same matter, they are not the same flesh and blood, thinking the same thoughts, experiencing the same experiences in the same times and places. Yes indeed, every human life is unique! Every human person is different. There can be no justification for the killing one of a pair of twins than for killing one genetically unique human person. If there were a dozen genetically unique human persons not even the killing of one of them could be justified using your argument.
The killing of each and every human person is wrong. You have no justification for murder. You have no justification for abortion, which is murder.

reply from: ChristianLott2

So you can kill them before they hit 3?
Sure, you can define personhood any way you want. However, as you just stated:
2: A human fetus is an innocent human being.
We're not talking about your definition of personhood, we're talking about a human. You do agree a human fetus is human?
Sure, there is no sharp line. Go marry an ape.
Honestly, humans are a distinct species. Can you breed with a chimp?
I don't think it's right to kill apes or their babies either.
Just like personhood, you can define self-conscious any way you'd like.
The beauty of a Culture of Life though is that we're not obsessed with attempting to validate our own worth. We are intrinsicly worthy of our own life.
Don't you see how much better that is than arguing why we SHOULD kill?
See, this is not an argument, it's a mess.
There you go arguing 'value' and comparing a maturing human embryo with an acorn. This is not an argument, this is grasping.
Whether you turn out to be a scientist or a bum, you are inherintly worthy of your own life. Just don't start murdering others.
Isn't that so simple? Wouldn't you like to be a part of that?
Btw, there is no overpopulation problem.
These explanations were not rational nor ethical

reply from: JohnSmith

Not women, but doctors with consent of both parents, in extreme cases, and with many restrictions.

reply from: JohnSmith

This can certainly not be meant to imply that if one were less "conscious," that would automatically make it "moral" for the more "conscious" one to kill the other?
No, you are right, that is not what is meant. What is meant here is that if there is a life-or-death situation and you must choose between saving a more self-conscious being or one that is less, a distinction can be made between an adult human and an ape.

reply from: yoda

That's a value judgment, not a "weakness".
Totally false revisionist definitions. ALL human being, in the vernacular, ARE PEOPLE.... bar none! Do you need for me to post the definitions that you so conveniently overlooked, ignored, or twisted into unrecognizable nonsense?
Once again, you are taking subjective value judgments and equating them to discernible facts. Opinions about the "sharp line between humanity and non-human animals" cannot be subjected to "refutation".
Fine. When will you ask someone to kill you while you are under anesthetic? Why haven't you done it yet?
Irrelevant. No class of living thing can be shown to "want to die". All life struggles to stay alive, period.
No, not at all.
If you genuinely believed the propaganda you just put out, you would off yourself right away. Why are you still here?

reply from: JohnSmith

So you can kill them before they hit 3?
Well, different studies indicate early levels of self-consciousness starting at a few months old children. Once self-consciousness at any degree exists, the life is of intrinsic value.
Sure, you can define personhood any way you want. However, as you just stated:
2: A human fetus is an innocent human being.
We're not talking about your definition of personhood, we're talking about a human. You do agree a human fetus is human?
If by human you mean Homo Sapien, then obviously so.
Sure, there is no sharp line. Go marry an ape.
Honestly, humans are a distinct species. Can you breed with a chimp?
I don't think it's right to kill apes or their babies either.
No, you cannot breed with a chimp. I'm glad you agree on this.
Just like personhood, you can define self-conscious any way you'd like.
The beauty of a Culture of Life though is that we're not obsessed with attempting to validate our own worth. We are intrinsicly worthy of our own life.
Don't you see how much better that is than arguing why we SHOULD kill?
Um, no self-consciousness is a scientifically defined term not subject to much interpretation.
See, this is not an argument, it's a mess.
There you go arguing 'value' and comparing a maturing human embryo with an acorn. This is not an argument, this is grasping.
Whether you turn out to be a scientist or a bum, you are inherintly worthy of your own life. Just don't start murdering others.
Isn't that so simple? Wouldn't you like to be a part of that?
Btw, there is no overpopulation problem.
These explanations were not rational nor ethical
Not rational?

reply from: JohnSmith

Yes. You are confusing matters of legality and morality.

reply from: JohnSmith

That's a value judgment, not a "weakness".
You're right, I was wrong to call it a weakness. It is a value judgment.
Totally false revisionist definitions. ALL human being, in the vernacular, ARE PEOPLE.... bar none! Do you need for me to post the definitions that you so conveniently overlooked, ignored, or twisted into unrecognizable nonsense?
These were the definitions I used for the sake of this discussion. Definitional arguments are of no concern to me.
Once again, you are taking subjective value judgments and equating them to discernible facts. Opinions about the "sharp line between humanity and non-human animals" cannot be subjected to "refutation".
This is what I am positing.
Fine. When will you ask someone to kill you while you are under anesthetic? Why haven't you done it yet?
Look below.
Irrelevant. No class of living thing can be shown to "want to die". All life struggles to stay alive, period.
No class of living (other than humans and perhaps some apes) can be shown to "want to die" but it can be shown to not be able to want to live. The struggle to live doesn't indicate that interest. Molecules 'struggle' to diffuse to lower-concentrated areas. It is not their interest to do so. A plant struggles to get to light. It is not in its interest to do so. Non-self-conscious beings avert from life-threatening situations. It is not in their interest to do so. Only a self-conscious being can have interests other than the desire to feel pain and avoid pleasure.
No, not at all.
If you genuinely believed the propaganda you just put out, you would off yourself right away. Why are you still here?
Why am I here? to discuss a moral dilemma through logical argumentation.

reply from: Banned Member

Definitional arguments? Since when is the definition of a word subject to argument?
Human person. What part of "human person" don't you understand?

reply from: JohnSmith

Yes. You are confusing matters of legality and morality.
No, I'm not. I'm questioning the logical consistency of your implied views. You support legal abortion on demand, do you not? If so, if I understand your arguments correctly, then you must logically condone the killing of born children. If you do not, how do you intend to address this obvious inconsistency in application of logic?
This discussion is primarily an ethical one. I have posed the logical view stemming from preference utilitarianism that leads to a conclusion that painlessly killing non-self-conscious beings is not internally immoral. Since newborns are not self-conscious, this applies to them as well. I am willing to defend this view.

reply from: Banned Member

It is always wrong to kill or cause the death of an innocent human person in each and any circumstance.
I will concede, as any rational and honest person must that the human life always begins at conception. Being a concieved human person is not a "special status", but is in fact a normal state of our human development and can only be expected where a new human life begins. The right to be a human person exists by our virtue of being human persons. Such rights are not imposed exteriorally from other human persons and/or laws or societies.
All human persons begin their existance as newly conceived lives, without any exception. To cut short that development by the practice known as abortion, abortive contraceptives and partial birth abortions, is murder by virtue of the intent to end a human life that would otherwise be present troughout development and come be born after 9 months of gestation and in some cases much sooner where medical intervention is naturally and compassionately applied to preserve such life.
When we speak of humans we speak of human persons. There are no human beings that are not human persons. Nomenclature cannot change the essense of a thing. I can call the newly conceived human life a zygote, an embryo, a homo sapien or a ham sandwich but it does not and cannot and will never change the nature of the being that is being described. The core as you say of being a person, is being a person.
Levels of development, either physical, emotional, physiological are immaterial to the matter at hand which is whether or not a person has the right to end another persons human life. A conceived human person regardless of what words we use to describe the phase or state of development of the conceived human life does not change the object of our discussion.
Human beings are not animals in the usual sense of the word. We are fully biological creatures as animals are, but we possess a self awareness, and sense of being that other creatures do not. We, as human beings possess a consciosness that other creatures do not and cannot. That human identity involves to varying degress a sense of the human spirit, human compassion, empathy, charity and love which separate us more than marginally, but rather exceptionally from other creatures. Other creatures may display a sense of attachment to humans, but only the human person can display and act out love fully, with charity and self giving, and even self sacrifice for another human person. It is only the human person that is even presented with these moral questions and is free to act upon them or not act upon them.
All human persons, being human beings, must be accorded the full level of respect due even to the most healthy and vibrant members of the human condition and society, or else we degrade into a form of "social darwinism" where we begin to judge as gods would judge, who will live and who will die based upon arbitrarily imposed standards of fitness and worthiness for life. It is wrong to kill a human person, whether or not that human person is aware or unaware, relatively intelligent as compared to others or not, or is in any other way socially, mentally or physically equivalent to other human persons. That act of killing is wrong regardless of what stage the human person dwells within, whether in the first days of conception, or in the last years or even hours of their life.
That a person cannot, or would not miss the human experience is immaterial to the discussion at hand and could too easily be used to justify or excuse any act of killing and has in fact been used to justify countless acts of killing and human genocide either in wars or relative times of peace. The life of the human spirit after physical death is something we can neither scientifically prove or disprove, but I would remind people that the conscious who choose to live and do desire to live would miss their physical existance no more or less that one who is not able to choose and so the argument for that justification does not stand. All you have done is justify virtually any murder of a human person in any circumstances. There are a great many people that would otherwise be a burden upon individuals or socities whom you could justify the killing of with such a rationale. Again, your argument does not stand.
The conceived human person is not a potential human person but an actual human person and human life; they are in fact created, living and existing. I have no more right to live and exist than a person that was conceived five minutes ago. We are equal in value and dignity and worthiness of living until our natural end. Physical circumstances may favor the natural survival of one over another but that is the unsteady nature of our natural human existance but not a justification for our power or desire to kill others. A person who is conceived five minutes ago, may far outlive a person who is about to die of some accidental cause five minutes from now. It is not in our power to judge who should live, or who should die.
Again, we only play at god when we arbitrarily choose who is more fit to live and who is more fit to die. A conceived human person has a past and a future even if those states of past and future may seem to be very brief as compared to our own. Abortion exists as a method of ending human life, ragardless of its past and future and if often the avoidance of caring for human life as parenthood would naturally involve. Abortion is about one choice and one choice alone; the choice to kill an unborn person.
When we speak of the human person we are speaking of a unique creature in its entirety, not within its individual parts. We are more than the sum of our parts. A hand is not an eye. A leg is not an ear. The human person lives and experiences a human life with all the implications of a human life; health, sickness, intelligence, difficulties, success, failures, etc. You can in no way compare the human person either newly conceived, or fully developed to cancer cells, an animal such as a dog or cat or to a tree or any other kind of plant. A human person is unique in its capacity to live and experinece the human life.
The world is not overpopulated and yet if controling population were the real concern, abortion would not be a most suitable method for controlling where and when human life could best be sustained. Abortion is too random and arbitrary an act for that end. You would have to systematically destroy life where it is either too much of a burden on societies or environments. But what you are really advocating is eugenics and genocide and once you have conceded that abortion may be used as a method of population control you have already conceded that abortion is about the killing of human persons since populations are comprised of not potential human person, but of actual human persons.
But I think that your overpopulation defense for abortion actually reveals itself for what it is; a form pseudo-medical genocide that veils itself as compassion and prosperity; the same guises that mass acts of murder have tried to hide behind for many long centuries through brutal forms of human control by groups or persons over others.
Even twins are inique, so long as you can count to two. One is not the other, and even though they may be genetically identical, they are not the same matter, they are not the same flesh and blood, thinking the same thoughts, experiencing the same experiences in the same times and places. Yes indeed, every human life is unique! Every human person is different. There can be no justification for the killing one of a pair of twins than for killing one genetically unique human person. If there were a dozen genetically unique human persons not even the killing of one of them could be justified using your argument.
The killing of each and every human person is wrong. You have no justification for murder. You have no justification for abortion, which is murder.

reply from: JohnSmith

Of infanticide:
A week-old baby is not a rational and self-conscious being, and there are many nonhuman animals whose rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel, and so on, exceed that of a human baby a week or a month old. The fetus does not have the same claim to life as a person, and the newborn baby does not either. The life of a newborn baby is of less value to it than the lives of several nonhuman animals are to them.
The implications of this position for the status of newborn life are at odds with the virtually unchallenged assumption that the life of a newborn baby is as sacrosanct as that of an adult. Yet I do not regard the conflict between the position I have taken and widely accepted views about the sanctity of infant life as a ground for abandoning my position. These widely accepted views need to be challenged.
It is true that infants appeal to us because they are small and helpless, and there are no doubt very good evolutionary reasons why we should instinctively feel protective towards them. In general, since infants are harmless and morally incapable of committing a crime, those who kill them lack the excuses often offered for the killing of adults. None of this shows, however, that the killing of an infant is as bad as the killing of an (innocent) adult.
In thinking about this matter we should put aside feelings based on the small, helpless, and - sometimes - cute appearance - of human infants. To think that the lives of infants are of special value because infants are small and cute is on a par with thinking that a baby seal, with its soft white fur coat and large round eyes deserves greater protection than a gorilla, who lacks these attributes. Nor can the helplessness or the innocence of the infant Homo sapiens be a ground for preferring it to the equally helpless and innocent laboratory rats who are 'innocent' in exactly the same sense as the human infant, and, in view of experimenters' power over them, almost as helpless.
If we can put aside these emotionally moving but strictly irrelevant aspects of the killing of a baby we can see that the grounds for not killing persons do not apply to newborn infants. Newborn babies cannot see themselves as beings who might or might not have a future, and so cannot have a desire to continue living. For the same reason, since a right to life is based on the capacity to want to go on living, or on the ability to see oneself as a continuing mental subject, a newborn baby cannot have a right to life. In all this the newborn baby is on the same footing as the fetus, and hence fewer reasons exist against killing both babies and fetuses than exist against killing those who are capable of seeing themselves as distinct entities, existing over time.
It would, of course, be difficult to say at what age children begin to see themselves as distinct entities existing over time. No doubt children vary greatly in the age at which they begin to understand these matters as they do in most things. But a difficulty in drawing the line is not a reason for drawing it in a place that is obviously wrong, any more than the notorious difficulty in saying how much hair a man has to have lost before we can call him 'bald' is a reason for saying that someone whose pate is as smooth as a billiard ball is not bald. Of course, where rights are at risk, we should err on the side of safety. There is some plausibility in the view that, for legal purposes, since birth provides the only sharp, clear and easily understood line, the law of homicide should continue to apply immediately after birth. Since this is an argument at the level of public policy and the law, it is still quite compatible with the moral the view that, on purely ethical grounds, the killing of a newborn infant is not comparable with the killing of an older child or adult.
(Note: I do hold that there should be at least some circumstances in which a full legal right to life comes into force not at birth but only a short time after birth - perhaps a month. This would still provide the ample safety margin mentioned above.)
If these conclusions seem too shocking to take seriously, it may be worth remembering that our present absolute protection of the lives of infants is a distinctively Christian attitude rather than a universal ethical value. Infanticide has been practiced in societies all over the world, ranging from the nomadic Australian aborigines to the sophisticated urban communities of ancient Greece or mandarin China. In some of these societies infanticide was not merely permitted but, in certain circumstances, deemed morally obligatory. We might think that we are just more 'civilized' than these 'primitive' peoples. But it is not easy to feel confident that we are more civilized than the best Greek and Roman moralists. It was not just Spartans who exposed their infants on hillsides: both Plato and Aristotle recommended the killing of deformed infants. Romans like Seneca, whose compassionate moral sense strikes many of us as superior to that of the early and medieval Christian writers, also thought of infanticide as morally permissible. The change in Western attitudes to infanticide since Roman times is, like the doctrine of the sanctity of human life of which it is a part, a product of Christianity. Perhaps it is now possible to think about these issues without assuming the Christian moral framework that has, for so long, prevented any fundamental reassessment.
None of this is meant to suggest that someone who goes around randomly killing babies is morally on a par with a woman who has an abortion. We should certainly put very strict conditions on permissible infanticide; but these restrictions might owe more to the effects of infanticide on others than to the intrinsic wrongness of killing an infant. Obviously, in most cases, to kill an infant is to inflict a terrible loss on those who love and cherish the child.
My comparison of abortion and infanticide was prompted by the objection that the position I have taken on abortion also justifies infanticide. I have admitted this charge - without regarding the admission as fatal to my position - to the extent that the INTRINSIC wrongness of killing the late fetus and the INTRINSIC wrongness of killing the newborn infant are not markedly different.

reply from: Banned Member

http://de.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2207986099&topic=6064
I can Google too John! Can you?

reply from: JohnSmith

Well, once they admit they advocate elective murder of innocent, defenseless, newborn babies, I generally make no further effort to reason with them. Perhaps a snide remark once in a while, but little more....
That's just fine. Every moral issue is worthy of discussion. Yes, even murder, rape, slavery, and so on. The conclusions we arrive at about these issues give us stronghold for our views. If you feel this is too trivial an issue to discuss, you are not obliged to, but nonetheless I urge you to examine arguments in opposition to your view.

reply from: KaylieBee

John Smith, do you own a TARDIS?

reply from: JohnSmith

yes, thank you. Indeed that is I as well. The discussion proceeded in several incoherent directions until eventually group members stopped posting. Note that the last post is mine. Also note that I responded rationally to every post made in objection to what I had said.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?

reply from: Banned Member

Methinks John Smith is one of these baby killing Nederlanders!

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm no physician, and the science is not yet conclusive, but it is believed that children begin to develop self-awareness in conjunction with rationality, usually beginning to develop between the late months of the first year of life and the early months of the second year.

reply from: yoda

You mean those were the definitions you made up for this discussion? And they're supposed to mean something to us?
Why on earth would your made up definitions mean anything to us?
You have the moral right to decide whether you want to live or not, IMO. But you have absolutely no moral right to decide whether or not any other creature on this earth wants to live, or to act upon your opinion in that matter. The use of force and/or violence to take the life of an innocent human being is the lowest, most despicable act imaginable. You have no moral right to rob that human being of their "expected life span" or their life, for that matter. You cannot in any way make it less horrific by claiming that "they won't miss it", because the act of taking an innocent life is ALWAYS WRONG... no matter how you try to rationalize it.
If you really believe life is so cheap, why are you still here?

reply from: yoda

I'm no physician, and the science is not yet conclusive, but it is believed that children begin to develop self-awareness in conjunction with rationality, usually beginning to develop between the late months of the first year of life and the early months of the second year.
Is your real name Peter Singer? Or are you just a disciple of his?

reply from: JohnSmith

You mean those were the definitions you made up for this discussion? And they're supposed to mean something to us?
Why on earth would your made up definitions mean anything to us?
I care not to discuss definitions.
You have the moral right to decide whether you want to live or not, IMO. But you have absolutely no moral right to decide whether or not any other creature on this earth wants to live, or to act upon your opinion in that matter. The use of force and/or violence to take the life of an innocent human being is the lowest, most despicable act imaginable. You have no moral right to rob that human being of their "expected life span" or their life, for that matter. You cannot in any way make it less horrific by claiming that "they won't miss it", because the act of taking an innocent life is ALWAYS WRONG... no matter how you try to rationalize it.
If you really believe life is so cheap, why are you still here?
See, it's not an opinion, but scientific fact. Rocks do not want to continue to exist. Neither do plants. Neither do ants. Or rats. Or feoti.

reply from: Banned Member

"Logical constinency" with abortion leads to the "let's just kill anybody" mentality.

reply from: yoda

And yet, you base much of your argument on your made up definitions! How hypocritical is that? You throw in made up definitions as an argument, and then you say you don't want to discuss definitions?
Fine. Then go kill rocks, plants, ants, and rats. But leave unborn humans out of your proclamations, because morally they have just as much right to have a say in their life as you do.
Would you care to ask some other human whether or not you should be allowed to continue to live? Would you abide by their opinion?

reply from: JohnSmith

Very nice to hear. But what your sig does not adress, is that morality can follow logical consequences. That is, unless your morality stems entirely from religious sources, which is perfectly acceptable as well. If we logically agree that morality is based on the universability of all parties' existing interests, then by simple implication, desires that do not exist are irrelevant to present-decision making (unless we are creating net desires that cannot be fulfilled). Therefore, a being that does not desire to continue to live, does not have a life with value to it, that would be immoral to take away.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm no physician, and the science is not yet conclusive, but it is believed that children begin to develop self-awareness in conjunction with rationality, usually beginning to develop between the late months of the first year of life and the early months of the second year.
Is your real name Peter Singer? Or are you just a disciple of his?
No, but I assume many of his views.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm no physician, and the science is not yet conclusive, but it is believed that children begin to develop self-awareness in conjunction with rationality, usually beginning to develop between the late months of the first year of life and the early months of the second year.
"Self awareness" is acquired in degrees, and not always at the same rate. This is just an attempt to find a philosophical justification for drawing an otherwise arbitrary line at which human life can be deemed to have inherent value. It's not about when it becomes "self aware," it's about deciding what level of self awareness we are personally comfortable with excluding from legal protection. It's a justification, but not necessarily a rational one...
You are right, it is acquired in degrees and not always at the same rate. Morally, if it is even slightly self-conscious then it is wrong to kill it. Otherwise, it isn't. That's pretty rational-sounding to me.

reply from: JohnSmith

And yet, you base much of your argument on your made up definitions! How hypocritical is that? You throw in made up definitions as an argument, and then you say you don't want to discuss definitions?
Fine. Then go kill rocks, plants, ants, and rats. But leave unborn humans out of your proclamations, because morally they have just as much right to have a say in their life as you do.
Would you care to ask some other human whether or not you should be allowed to continue to live? Would you abide by their opinion?
That human would behave immorally if he were to kill me, as it is in my interests to continue to exist.

reply from: yoda

To begin, you cannot establish the wishes of a creature that cannot communicate with you, can you?
And second, you have no moral right to assign a "value" to anyone else's life.
And lastly, it is immoral to "take away" the possessions of any other human being without their expressed permission.
You are trying to glorify and excuse the killing of innocent human beings, and so far it isn't working.

reply from: yoda

John, you have NO MORAL RIGHT to proclaim the "interests" of any other living human being. PERIOD!
BTW, why did you duck my comments about definitions?
Is that an admission of your hypocrisy in this matter?

reply from: JohnSmith

To begin, you cannot establish the wishes of a creature that cannot communicate with you, can you?
And second, you have no moral right to assign a "value" to anyone else's life.
And lastly, it is immoral to "take away" the possessions of any other human being without their expressed permission.
You are trying to glorify and excuse the killing of innocent human beings, and so far it isn't working.
Ah, but science CAN do these things. It is the beauty of the implications of modern science and technology on our morality.
It is not I who assigns that value arbitrarily, nor do I quantify it (although possible in some cases), I simply implore whether it exists or is devoid.
Call it what you want, it bears no significance to its verocity.

reply from: KaylieBee

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! Don't think you've fooled me, I can see the sonic screwdriver in your pocket!

reply from: JohnSmith

John, you have NO MORAL RIGHT to proclaim the "interests" of any other living human being. PERIOD!
BTW, why did you duck my comments about definitions?
Is that an admission of your hypocrisy in this matter?
I'm sorry I thought I established pretty clearly that I assigned definitions to words I used in the OP for the sake of presentation only and am not arguing about the linguistic nature of the english language.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! Don't think you've fooled me, I can see the sonic screwdriver in your pocket!
I'm sorry I don't follow..

reply from: ChristianLott2

So js, how do you find out if something is self conscious?
Exactly the point, yv.
kb, js is obviously not a time lord... unless he's... the... the... Master

reply from: JohnSmith

Very nice to hear. But what your sig does not adress, is that morality can follow logical consequences. That is, unless your morality stems entirely from religious sources, which is perfectly acceptable as well. If we logically agree that morality is based on the universability of all parties' existing interests, then by simple implication, desires that do not exist are irrelevant to present-decision making (unless we are creating net desires that cannot be fulfilled). Therefore, a being that does not desire to continue to live, does not have a life with value to it, that would be immoral to take away.
If someone puts a .44 cal. hollow point through my spine at the base of my skull, I would feel no pain, and would die instantly without ever having known I had ceased to exist. So what harm was done? My life was taken? What does that mean? What, exactly, did I lose? My past? My memories? No, these things have been long gone, already experienced... What has been taken is my future. Any time a life is ended prematurely and unnecessarily, what is lost is life beyond that point. This is true regardless of how "self aware" that human being was at the time.
If anything, I would argue that it would be a much more grievous offense to kill a human being that has not yet experienced any life than one who is near the end, since so much more is taken... Of course, as we ourselves grow ever closer to our own imminent ends, we tend to more appreciate how precious every second of life is to every creature...whether at the very beginning, the very end, or somewhere in between. "Like the sands in the hourglass..."
At the moment he killed you, you had the interest of continuing to exist. Thus his action was immoral. Because he didn't take your interests into account or put them below his. That's immorality.

reply from: JohnSmith

OK, the baby will be "self conscious" in 10 seconds. Can I still kill it?
Good question.
Two issues:
1. Self-Consciousness is a process and is not an immediate occurence.
2. If hypothetically it can be determined that a baby will have the first tiny speck of self-consciousness in a given time, until that time it would be moral to kill it.

reply from: JohnSmith

Exactly the point, yv.
kb, js is obviously not a time lord... unless he's... the... the... Master
It can be determined scientifically.

reply from: ChristianLott2

OK, the baby will be "self conscious" in 10 seconds. Can I still kill it?
at what point do atoms become visible? will one less atom make the object disappear?
don't expect us to stay up thinking about this one, js.

reply from: JohnSmith

OK, the baby will be "self conscious" in 10 seconds. Can I still kill it?
at what point do atoms become visible? will one less atom make the object disappear?
don't expect us to stay up thinking about this one, js.
Exactly right. In order to not take any chances, it would be safest to kill it much before any such speck can possibly arise. Not that that would ever be a practical problem as the future isn't predictible.

reply from: ChristianLott2

It can be determined scientifically.
Well, explain it. How do you determine this, js?

reply from: JohnSmith

Again, I'm no scientist but let me give you a few examples.
An experiment was conducted where monkeys were taught over 500 signals in sign-language. They often combined words they had previously learned to communicate certain ideas. Some showed the ability to know when their upcoming birthday would be. This showes a clear sense of time and the continual existence of one's self into the future. This implies self-consciousness.

reply from: JohnSmith

It is in all creatures' interest to continue to exist. You mean conscious desire, I believe...
I will assert that your conclusion is not necessarily valid. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that I did not wish to continue to exist...Is it still unethical to kill me? What would be taken from me if you did? My future, my life after that point, including every opportunity I might have had to decide I wanted to live... So what is taken from an unborn or newborn child when you kill them? Is it ethical to take this from any person, with or without their consent?
No, I mean any desire. The fact that creatures avoid pain doesn't mean they want to continue to exist. They don't. The only desire they have is to avoid pain and achieve pleasure. They have no future desires.
If you wished to continue to exist and could not kill yourself, I would argue that in certain circumstances it is even immoral to not kill you.

reply from: JohnSmith

As I explained in the OP, an interest does not go away when you don't consciously think of it. If you thought it in the past and haven't changed your mind since and will be able to continue to think the same in the future unless interference is introduced, then you still hold that interest.

reply from: JohnSmith

Sounds more like a measure of relative intelligence to me, which would certainly also measure "self awareness" at some level, but would by no means be the only method for doing so. So far, it seems that your position is based on higher brain function and intelligence more so than simply "self awareness."
You briefly addressed the issue of temporarily unconscious adults, which would appear to have no value according to your logic, but you argued for "capacity" rather than current consciousness, I believe. Do you assert that, since an adult can reasonably be assumed to retain a capacity to regain consciousness, "personhood" is still applicable? All unconscious (unaware) human beings are not "non-persons" by default?
No, it's not simply a measure of relative intelligence. Since morality is based on universability of existing interests, having interests that are future-oriented requires self-consciousness and rationality. Otherwise, a being cannot concieve of its future self and can therefore have no desires about that future being.
Someone, according to my previous definition is a 'person' if that being is self-conscious and rational. If that being had these qualities in the past and has not lost them since, it is still a person. Therefore you are right, not all unconscious beings are non-persons, only those who have never been self-conscious and rational or those who have died or the equivalent (as in have lost consciousness and will never retrieve it regardless of interference).

reply from: JohnSmith

No, for example, anencephalites do not have desires. I'm talking about the existence of future-oriented desires such as wishing to continue to exist.
It is not unethical to do so unless it doesn't want you to. If it doesn't care, it's like stepping on a spider, or blowing up a rock.

reply from: JohnSmith

why thank you. Although don't get too excited quite yet, because I have a feeling the conclusions here go against a lot of what you hold for granted. For example, this line of preference utilitarianism, would rule in favor of the fetus were it self-conscious, giving its life precedence over the woman's right to bodily autonomy.

reply from: KaylieBee

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! Don't think you've fooled me, I can see the sonic screwdriver in your pocket!
I'm sorry I don't follow..
Damn, I was hoping you'd be more honest, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who.

reply from: sweet

1. murder applies to humans, not canines/animals.
2. identical twins even have different/unique fingerprints!
THERE CRUMBLES your argument..
.
.
.

reply from: ChristianLott2

so you're trying to teach children sign language so you can decide whether they live or die?
ha.

reply from: JohnSmith

1. murder applies to humans, not canines/animals.
2. identical twins even have different/unique fingerprints!
THERE CRUMBLES your argument..
.
.
.
oh, I guess I 'lose' then because of a definitional counterargument and a counterexample to ONE of the refutations of a clearly absurd line of reasoning.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! Don't think you've fooled me, I can see the sonic screwdriver in your pocket!
I'm sorry I don't follow..
Damn, I was hoping you'd be more honest, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who.
sorry, still not with you.

reply from: sweet

there you have it...the truth right before you!
also,
1. you were innocent in your mom's womb.
2. it would have been wrong to kill you in your mom's womb!

reply from: KaylieBee

1. murder applies to humans, not canines/animals.
2. identical twins even have different/unique fingerprints!
THERE CRUMBLES your argument..
.
.
.
Lol, your attempts couldn't make soundstone crumble, sweet.

reply from: KaylieBee

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! Don't think you've fooled me, I can see the sonic screwdriver in your pocket!
I'm sorry I don't follow..
Damn, I was hoping you'd be more honest, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who.
sorry, still not with you.
Click the blue, it's a link. Or is your time lord technology so far developed that you've forgotten?

reply from: JohnSmith

But can an unconscious person engage in conscious thought? Of course not. The ability to engage in conscious thought processes is lost with consciousness. You argue that the unconscious adult retains the capacity to be "self aware" on the arbitrary level you have chosen, therefore it is still a "person." All human beings have that capacity, so the argument should protect unborn children as well, but you now impose a further qualification, it must have previously experienced the level of self awareness you arbitrarily impose. Why am I not surprised?
Why is having previously experienced "desire to live" significant? Do you dispute the contention that what is taken from a victim who is killed is their future life, regardless of any "desires" or even capacity to "desire?"
Not an arbitrary level at all. It seems rather obvious that when you think of something you want and go to sleep, you wake up with the same desire, it hasn't left you. Think of it this way, I'll give you an example:
You meet a woman at work that you like very much. One day you decide that tommorow you will ask her out on a date. You then go out that night with a close friend and tell him about your desire for tommorow. You then have a few too many beers, and are no longer thinking about the woman at work but about how nice the smell of strawberries is. If one were to ask you about this woman you would not be capable of expressing your desire to ask her out the following day.
Your sober friend, having heard about how great this woman is, promptly calls her and asks her out.
Was this action by your friend justified? Would he say that you no longer had the desire to ask her out the next day because you weren't consciously thinking about it?
This simply doesn't make any sense. I think this is a much clearer issue than you are making it as it seems fairly simple to agree with.
It isn't the capacity to desire that's required, it's the desire itself. If someone is capable of desiring to live but desires to die, it isn't internally wrong to kill him.
Yes I dispute that, because morality deals with the present existing interests people have (and with net created desires).
Let me try to explain this to you once more:
Utilitarianism, in the sense I am describing, judges actions by the extent to which they accord with the preferences of any beings affected by the action or its consequences. Killing a person who prefers to continue living is therefore wrong, other things being equal. If such a person is asleep or unconscious, such a desire cannot be simply disregarded. That the victims are not around after the act to lament the fact that their preferences have been disregarded is irrelevant. The wrong is done when the preference is thwarted. Since persons are highly future-oriented in their preferences, to kill a person is therefore, normally, to violate not just one, but a wide range of the most central and significant preferences a being can have. Very often, it will make nonsense of everything that the victim has been trying to do in the past days, months, or even years. In contrast, beings who could never see themselves as entities with a future cannot have any preferences about their own future existence.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is a TARDIS?
Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! Don't think you've fooled me, I can see the sonic screwdriver in your pocket!
I'm sorry I don't follow..
Damn, I was hoping you'd be more honest, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who.
sorry, still not with you.
Click the blue, it's a link. Or is your time lord technology so far developed that you've forgotten?
ok.....?

reply from: KaylieBee

Not very imaginative, are you?

reply from: JohnSmith

Can't say that's my stronger point. Care to explain?

reply from: sweet

not trying to be mean, but how pathetic...this logic! if this is the way you're justifying killing babies...how sad. you were a person/baby while in your mom's womb, just as you are now. it would have been just as wrong to kill you then as it is now. you have to be wiser than this.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry if you can't see how straight forward it is. I have done my best to explain it to you.
A victim's future is taken away from them, but that is not what makes it immoral to kill him. Their desires are the reason and the only reason it would be wrong. Not the capacity for these desires and not the loss of their future life. I have made this quite clear in the last post, I know not what more you are looking for.

reply from: JohnSmith

not trying to be mean, but how pathetic...this logic! if this is the way you're justifying killing babies...how sad. you were a person/baby while in your mom's womb, just as you are now. it would have been just as wrong to kill you then as it is now. you have to be wiser than this.
As I have clearly shown, it would not have been wrong to kill me then, and it is wrong to kill me know.

reply from: yoda

Balderdash. "Science and technology" has nothing at all to say on the subject of morality. The former is based on empirical evidence, and the latter on opinion and faith. There is no way for the two to interact.
Then someone else must be typing posts under your name.

reply from: yoda

And then you base your whole argument on the arbitrarily assigned definitions that you made up?
John? Don't you realize you're working in a "logical void"?

reply from: JohnSmith

And then you base your whole argument on the arbitrarily assigned definitions that you made up?
John? Don't you realize you're working in a "logical void"?
um, no?

reply from: yoda

Exactly the point, yv.
kb, js is obviously not a time lord... unless he's... the... the... Master
I got a lot more logic from Star Trek and Star Wars than from this thread.

reply from: yoda

No, "it" cannot. Self-consciousness cannot be determined in a creature that we cannot communicate with or even properly observe, for example an unborn human being.
You may worship science (or at least your version of it), but others here probably don't all share your faith.

reply from: JohnSmith

So is it ethical to take someone's future, as long as they are not "aware" at whatever level you have decided on?
It is ethical to take someone's future, as long as they do not desire to continue to live. Existing interests of all parties are what must be taken into account to evaluate whether an action is ethical or unethical. They don't have to be aware, only to desire to keep on living.
And your insistence on the arbitrarity of this 'decided level' is quite puzzling to me. Did you read throught the carefully thought out example I set forth. It is really a no-brainer. The answer is obvious, I don't see where your disagreement comes from.

reply from: yoda

No, it would be safest not to kill "it" at all.
What is your fascination with killing other human beings?

reply from: JohnSmith

No, "it" cannot. Self-consciousness cannot be determined in a creature that we cannot communicate with or even properly observe, for example an unborn human being.
You may worship science (or at least your version of it), but others here probably don't all share your faith.

reply from: yoda

And you expect to teach unborn human beings sign language any time soon?
You're not really serious about this subject, are you?

reply from: Banned Member

I sense a great disturbance in the force.

reply from: JohnSmith

No, it would be safest not to kill "it" at all.
What is your fascination with killing other human beings?
It is morally required of us in certain instances to kill. Not killing certain beings is the obscenity in my eyes.

reply from: sweet

you are contradicting and twisting your own twisted logic. like you have stated 'me then.' this means you were you then, just like you are you now. why didn't you say "it would have not been wrong to kill that thing then, and it is wrong to kill me now? "(because you know the truth, but your pride won't let you admit it). YOU WERE NOT A THING , BUT A PERSON/HUMAN/BABY EVEN IN YOUR MOM'S WOMB. you are putting your foot in your own mouth time and time again.

reply from: JohnSmith

you are contradicting and twisting your own twisted logic. like you have stated 'me then.' this means you were you then, just like you are you now. why didn't you say "it would have not been wrong to kill that thing then, and it is wrong to kill me now? "(because you know the truth, but your pride won't let you admit it). YOU WERE NOT A THING , BUT A PERSON/HUMAN/BABY EVEN IN YOUR MOM'S WOMB. you are putting your foot in your own mouth time and time again.
Nope, it was still me, I just changed *whoa*. Things change. For example, it's cool to eat scrambled eggs, but it's not so cool to take a bite out of a live chicken, yea? Different moral rules can apply to different states of the same being.

reply from: sweet

you get points for being creative! but you lose them for supporting the killing of babies...sorry.

reply from: JohnSmith

you get points for being creative! but you lose them for supporting the killing of babies...sorry.
aw man. Let me try an argument that would appeal to you (time out logic for all you others). A poor baby is born without a brain. It just doesn't have a brain. It needs to be connected to a machine to pump its heart. It can't swallow so it needs to have nutrients fed to its blood stream by another machine. And so on. It has a nerve center where it constantly feels pain. His whole life is really hurtfull. It wants it all to stop but noone will kill it. Eventually it dies after a week of unimaginable pain. If you were his parents, would you not have prayed to god that such a child not come to life? Would you not wish that it died earlier?

reply from: yoda

um, no?
When you basic premise is fatally flawed, every other premise you construct on top of it is likewise fatally flawed. And your made up definitions of "human being" and "person" are fatally flawed.

reply from: yoda

I feel a disturbance in the force..... Darth Vader must be near.....

reply from: JohnSmith

um, no?
When you basic premise is fatally flawed, every other premise you construct on top of it is likewise fatally flawed. And your made up definitions of "human being" and "person" are fatally flawed.
what a shame, I guess that just refuted all my points?

reply from: yoda

No, it is not ever "required". It is sometimes justifiable, but not ever in the case of elective abortion. That's purely an arbitrary action.

reply from: JohnSmith

No, it is not ever "required". It is sometimes justifiable, but not ever in the case of elective abortion. That's purely an arbitrary action.
ok, just curious, when is it justifiable to kill?

reply from: yoda

No, not really. The motivation behind the action is what makes the difference. If a starving man had no other way to eat but to consume a "live chicken", then it would be as moral as eating scrambled eggs.

reply from: yoda

There is no point in going there. No one here will argue for preserving the life of a baby without a brain.
We're in disagreement about healthy women killing their healthy babies. Care to discuss that?

reply from: JohnSmith

No, not really. The motivation behind the action is what makes the difference. If a starving man had no other way to eat but to consume a "live chicken", then it would be as moral as eating scrambled eggs.
All other things being equal was what was meant here.

reply from: yoda

No, you never actually made them in the first place, IMO.

reply from: yoda

IMO, in self-defense, or in defense of another innocent human being, where there is no other recourse to save your life or that of another who is innocent of any actions that would justify being killed.

reply from: JohnSmith

There is no point in going there. No one here will argue for preserving the life of a baby without a brain.
We're in disagreement about healthy women killing their healthy babies. Care to discuss that?
Really, I'm glad to hear that.
yeah, I absolutely would like to discuss that.
When making moral decisions, we should take everyone's interest into account. The only desire a fetus has is whether it wants to feel pain or pleasure (that too depending on stage). So assuming we can kill it painlessly, even rudimentary desires of the mother are enough to conclude that it is morally permissible to abort a healthy fetus.

reply from: yoda

But that's just the point... they never are. In real life, just about every situation is different. But motives can be the same, from one situation to another.

reply from: JohnSmith

IMO, in self-defense, or in defense of another innocent human being, where there is no other recourse to save your life or that of another who is innocent of any actions that would justify being killed.
I thought you just said noone here is against killing an anencephalite?

reply from: yoda

No, you can't define the best interests of any creature by assuming you know what "it wants".
A teenager might think s/he wants to die because their b/f or g/f dumped them, but we know that's not in their best interests most of the time, don't we?

reply from: MC3

It seems clear that this guy, John Smith, wants us to perceive him as some sort of intellectual. You can tell that by how seriously he advances these inane "how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin" philosophies.
I may be nothing more than a member of the "great unwashed masses," but when I see the logical and rhetorical gymnastics to which the intellectual elite must resort in order to rationalize the wholesale slaughter of innocent human beings, I am reminded of Orwell's observation that some things are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them. I guess Dr. Martin Luther King best defined such people when he said, "The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals."

reply from: yoda

No, I said "No one here will argue for preserving the life of a baby without a brain." BIG difference.

reply from: JohnSmith

I think I agree with Dr. King.

reply from: yoda

"The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals."
An excellent point.......

reply from: JohnSmith

No, I said "No one here will argue for preserving the life of a baby without a brain." BIG difference.
oh, so we've found ourselves a religious Kantian. Would you not inject such a baby with antibiotics if it was sick?

reply from: yoda

Kantian? No, I'm not egotistical enough. Religious? No, agnostic.
I have no position on whether it is moral to take life saving measures to preserve such a child, and that does mean that I would have no objection nor advice for the parents of such a child... except to hope that they treat it with dignity.
No, my interests lie with the debate surrounding the elective abortion of a healthy baby by a healthy mother. Care to comment on that?

reply from: JohnSmith

I did. See my post of 10:36 PM GMT on page 6.

reply from: ChristianLott2

It's just awful to read what lengths some people will go to rationalize murder.
Good people look for only the slightest reason to preserve life. Sociopath pro aborts look only for the slightest reason to end a life.
They have a 'higher power' - and it's telling them to subtract the unfit, unwanted and any they can't wheel off in their shopping cart.

reply from: JohnSmith

Stupid people look for slight reasons. Good people thoroughly examine every moral issue at hand and make their decisions based on logic.

reply from: yoda

Is that all you've got, John?

reply from: JohnSmith

Yep, that's everything so far, unless I've forgotten something. Was there anything else you were hoping for?

reply from: yoda

Well..... something that sorta made sense, and would've provided a real challenge, maybe. But you probably think you've provided that, so we've got a major difference of opinion here.

reply from: JohnSmith

quite the shame, considering you haven't been successfull refuting a single point I made. Maybe 'real' challenges for you constitute easy, simple ones.

reply from: yoda

Personal attacks are not a good substitute for a good argument, John.

reply from: JohnSmith

haha, coming from the instigator.

reply from: yoda

Yeah, you got me there, John.
BTW, do you have arguments to justify the killing of innocent BORN human beings, or just the unborn variety?

reply from: JohnSmith

Seems you haven't really read through much of the thread, look to post of 07:52 PM GMT on page 2.

reply from: yoda

Oh wait......now I remember....... yeah, you're the Peter Singer disciple....
Okay then, what if someone who thinks like you and Peter decides that s/he wants to move the line up to say...... puberty?
Any reason why that wouldn't be just as valid as your arguments?

reply from: JohnSmith

um, yea...pubescents are self-conscious? how much of this thread HAVE you read?

reply from: yoda

No, no John.... you misunderstand totally.
Suppose some other proabort decided that the ability to reproduce was the critical factor, rather than your concept of "provable self-consciousness".
Why would that position be any less valid than yours?

reply from: yoda

Well, I'm going to call it a day, John. I'll respond tomorrow.

reply from: JohnSmith

Um, because morality is based on people's interests and the ability to reproduce has no relationship to morality?

reply from: JohnSmith

I hope you actually read first.

reply from: yoda

No John, that may be how YOU support your personal morality, but that's far from how everyone in society does it. There are as many reasons and rationalizations for moral positions as there are moral positions.
For example, someone could say that we "really aren't alive/humans until we are able to reproduce", so therefore it's okay to kill people until they reach puberty, and after they become sterile. And their position would be just as valid as yours.
No, morality on the personal level is totally subjective, and can be based on whatever we say it is based on, your opinion notwithstanding.
So as long as we accept the killing of innocent human beings at ANY AGE, then we can fudge the line to whatever age we wish and have equally valid arguments as yours.
Once you accept that we have a moral right to kill innocent humans, there really is nothing to stop us from targeting any group we wish to target.

reply from: JohnSmith

No John, that may be how YOU support your personal morality, but that's far from how everyone in society does it. There are as many reasons and rationalizations for moral positions as there are moral positions.
For example, someone could say that we "really aren't alive/humans until we are able to reproduce", so therefore it's okay to kill people until they reach puberty, and after they become sterile. And their position would be just as valid as yours.
No, morality on the personal level is totally subjective, and can be based on whatever we say it is based on, your opinion notwithstanding.
So as long as we accept the killing of innocent human beings at ANY AGE, then we can fudge the line to whatever age we wish and have equally valid arguments as yours.
Once you accept that we have a moral right to kill innocent humans, there really is nothing to stop us from targeting any group we wish to target.
You're confused, because I'm not saying that people 'aren't really alive' until a certain age, and that that's why it's ok to kill them.
The reason it's bad to kill normal adult humans is because they don't want you to kill them and morality constitutes a universal standard that is not biased towards the individual. Hence, if you were to be 'moral', you must put the other's interests on par with yours, and their interest to continue to live has precendence over whatever interest you can have other than possibly continuing to live yourself.
It has nothing to do with age, but with whether it is wrong to kill something that doesn't care if it dies or not. This cannot be extended to any age and is not arbitrary at all.

reply from: yoda

No John, it's you who is confused. I never implied that you said that, read it again. I said that IF someone else said that, then their position would be just as valid as yours.
First, that's way too simplistic. Taking someone's life is like stealing their most valuable possession, no matter what you "think" they want. And stealing is wrong, John, no matter how you cut it.
Second, you have NO RIGHT to judge what is in someone else's "best interests". That's for THEM to decide, not you.
You seem blind to my words, John, so I'll address this to anyone else who is reading this thread.
John's argument hinges on his claim to have a monopoly on what is the origin of morality. He simply doesn't realize that such a claim is simply his opinion, and not worth any more than anyone else's opinion on what morality springs from.
Therefore is some other proabort wants to claim that morality with regard to killing innocent human beings depends on whether or not you classify them as "alive" or "human beings", then their position is just as valid as John's position that it depends on "whether it cares if it dies or not".
That then allows said proabort to construct whatever criteria the wish for the classification of "life" and/or "human being", such as the ability to reproduce in the present, or whatever other criteria they wish to adopt.
There's nothing in John's argument that is in any way superior to any other personal opinion about how to justify killing innocent human beings. It's just his rationalization to excuse cold blooded murder.
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne - Meditation XVII
When the Nazis arrested the Communists,
I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats,
I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat.
When they arrested the trade unionists,
I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist.
When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest.

reply from: JohnSmith

No John, it's you who is confused. I never implied that you said that, read it again. I said that IF someone else said that, then their position would be just as valid as yours.
Well, by writing that second sentence you show that you in fact still don't understand. I'm saying that if someone doesn't care if they die it's ok to kill them. The other person would be saying if someone hasn't reached the age of 12 it's ok to kill them. You see, one is a philosophical, ethical condemnation of killing based on the universal standard that is morality, while the other is truly an arbitrary, illogical absurdity. The fact that you're putting them side by side does by no means equate them or negate the first. Yea?
First, that's way too simplistic. Taking someone's life is like stealing their most valuable possession, no matter what you "think" they want. And stealing is wrong, John, no matter how you cut it.
That's not simplistic at all, that's the only intrinsic reason it's bad to take someone's life. If someone doesn't want to keep on living, then it's no more their most valuable possession, and in fact can be their least valuable one, one that is a burden on them. Again, it's not what I think they want, is what I know they want. Just like I know that rocks don't care if I blow them up. You're still very confused.
So now stealing is always wrong? You are a Kantian after all?
Second, you have NO RIGHT to judge what is in someone else's "best interests". That's for THEM to decide, not you.
That's right. It is for them to decide. Foeti don't want to continue to live. Not 'in my opinion', but as a scientific fact.
You seem blind to my words, John, so I'll address this to anyone else who is reading this thread.
I guess it isn't for me to respond then, is it? You've run out of counterarguments because I've refuted them all, so you adress the gallery. Interesting.

reply from: cracrat

First of all there's no such thing as a scientific fact, merely things which haven't been disproved yet. Only people who don't really understand what science is make such statements.
Secondly, the instinct to survive is the strongest of all instincts in every species from the lowest single celled organisms to the great apes and man. It is the quest to survive to reproduce that drives all life on Earth. Your suggestion that there are living organisms here on Earth that have no desire to live is even more laughable than nancyu's insistance that abortion is illegal.

reply from: yoda

And I'm saying that you're full of it, John. Lots of teenagers get so miserable that they think they really don't care whether someone kills them or not, so you're going to say it's fine and dandy to kill all of them that think that way? What will you tell their parents, John? What will you say to the young adult who has gotten over the "teen age crazies" and has their hormones all settled down...... and no longer has a death wish? Will you say that they should have been killed when they were miserable as teenagers? What is this fascination with killing people, John?
No, John, YOUR position is EVERY BIT AS ARBITRARY as the one I posed. You seem to think that just because it's YOUR opinion that it's not arbitrary. It doesn't work that way, John.
Did you ever have something that you thought was worthless, only to find out it had great value? Someone in a temporary depression might think that their life was worthless at the time, but change their mind completely when the depression had passed and life brightened up. But of course, if you had killed them in the meantime, they couldn't change their mind, could they John?
Yes, it is. And that's not Kantian, that's common decency.
You have NO IDEA what a fetus does or doesn't want, John, you're just looking for a rationalization to justify your lust for other people's blood.
When you respond to what I actually say, I can address you.

reply from: JohnSmith

First of all there's no such thing as a scientific fact, merely things which haven't been disproved yet. Only people who don't really understand what science is make such statements.
Secondly, the instinct to survive is the strongest of all instincts in every species from the lowest single celled organisms to the great apes and man. It is the quest to survive to reproduce that drives all life on Earth. Your suggestion that there are living organisms here on Earth that have no desire to live is even more laughable than nancyu's insistance that abortion is illegal.
Well, go ahead and laugh. Without self-consciousness a being cannot concieve itself as a continuous object into the future, thus its only desires can be the affinity for pleasure and avoidance of pain both in the present. To say that a plant wants to continue to live simply because its shoots are programmed to lean towards light is the absurdity.

reply from: cracrat

First of all there's no such thing as a scientific fact, merely things which haven't been disproved yet. Only people who don't really understand what science is make such statements.
Secondly, the instinct to survive is the strongest of all instincts in every species from the lowest single celled organisms to the great apes and man. It is the quest to survive to reproduce that drives all life on Earth. Your suggestion that there are living organisms here on Earth that have no desire to live is even more laughable than nancyu's insistance that abortion is illegal.
Well, go ahead and laugh. Without self-consciousness a being cannot concieve itself as a continuous object into the future, thus its only desires can be the affinity for pleasure and avoidance of pain both in the present. To say that a plant wants to continue to live simply because its shoots are programmed to lean towards light is the absurdity.
Self-awareness, the knowledge that we shall be alive tomorrow, the day after and the day after that until one day we die, is different from desire to live. The knowledge that we will one day expire, and fear of that event, may well be unique to humans but at this juncture we simply do not know. No meaningful method of communicating with even the smartest animals has been developed, so we just don't know if they know they will one day die or not.
Certain plants emit chemicals when under attack from pests to alert other members of the same species in the vicinity, allowing them to alter the chemistry of their sap and make them less palatable. They act upon the instinct to survive to lessen the impact of an impending attack. This may not be done on a conscious level as you or I would understand it, but undoubtably they are improving their chances of survival.

reply from: JohnSmith

And I'm saying that you're full of it, John.
Well that's always a good response to something you cannot counter.
Depression is a valid issue to address under this discussion. Hmm, one of your first arguments so far. If beings are capable of killing themselves and do not, this brings into doubts the verocity of their claims that their interests truly lie in halting their existence. In this case, because of the availability of communication, we must carefully make sure that it is truly in one's interest to die before assisting them in fulfilling their wishes. This means that they are communicating to others what is truly in their desires without interference from psychological problems. If someone exhibits a continuous, insisting, consistent, level-headed desire to die, and cannot kill himself, I believe it is our moral duty to assist them in doing so. Good question.
Like you say, it is the hormones and not a true interest. Sometimes, we can know what is in someone's interests even though they do not for some reason. Again, be carefull, it's not deciding what their interests are for them, but determining what would be in their interests had they been fully aware of information they do not currently possess or are capable of possessing.
Again, I believe there are times when it's highly immoral to not kill.
No, John, YOUR position is EVERY BIT AS ARBITRARY as the one I posed. You seem to think that just because it's YOUR opinion that it's not arbitrary. It doesn't work that way, John.
That's not why I say it's not arbitrary. You just haven't been reading. Let me help you and put things in really simple terms for you:
Morality is a universal standard that is not subject to individual bias. This means you must put yourself in the other's shoes to examine whether your action would be acceptable on a universal basis. If I put myself in a rock's shoes, I see that the rock doesn't care if I smash it up. If I put myself in a fetus's shoes, I see that the fetus doesn't care if I kill it. If someone could hypothetically talk to anything, he would talk to a rock and the rock would say I don't care what happens to me even in the present because I'm not conscious. If he could talk to a plant it would say I don't care either. If he could talk to a spider the spider would say I want pleasure and I don't want pain. But what is this future you talk about, I exist from moment to moment, I don't care what happens tommorow. Same with the fetus. Get it now?
Did you ever have something that you thought was worthless, only to find out it had great value? Someone in a temporary depression might think that their life was worthless at the time, but change their mind completely when the depression had passed and life brightened up. But of course, if you had killed them in the meantime, they couldn't change their mind, could they John?
Good point. You're absolutely right.
Yes, it is. And that's not Kantian, that's common decency.
Ok, what if you had to steal a piece of bread to save your starving child from dying?
You have NO IDEA what a fetus does or doesn't want, John, you're just looking for a rationalization to justify your lust for other people's blood.
Um, no, I KNOW that a fetus cannot want anything other than pleasure or pain. Thus, I KNOW it doesn't want to continue to live. It just can't. It's impossible.
When you respond to what I actually say, I can address you.
Yea, Ok, because I haven't been doing that this entire time. You must be right.

reply from: JohnSmith

First of all there's no such thing as a scientific fact, merely things which haven't been disproved yet. Only people who don't really understand what science is make such statements.
Secondly, the instinct to survive is the strongest of all instincts in every species from the lowest single celled organisms to the great apes and man. It is the quest to survive to reproduce that drives all life on Earth. Your suggestion that there are living organisms here on Earth that have no desire to live is even more laughable than nancyu's insistance that abortion is illegal.
Well, go ahead and laugh. Without self-consciousness a being cannot concieve itself as a continuous object into the future, thus its only desires can be the affinity for pleasure and avoidance of pain both in the present. To say that a plant wants to continue to live simply because its shoots are programmed to lean towards light is the absurdity.
Self-awareness, the knowledge that we shall be alive tomorrow, the day after and the day after that until one day we die, is different from desire to live. The knowledge that we will one day expire, and fear of that event, may well be unique to humans but at this juncture we simply do not know. No meaningful method of communicating with even the smartest animals has been developed, so we just don't know if they know they will one day die or not.
Certain plants emit chemicals when under attack from pests to alert other members of the same species in the vicinity, allowing them to alter the chemistry of their sap and make them less palatable. They act upon the instinct to survive to lessen the impact of an impending attack. This may not be done on a conscious level as you or I would understand it, but undoubtably they are improving their chances of survival.
Um, actually if you have read what I previously said, studies conclusively show that higher apes are self-conscious.
Like you said, it is an instinct. The exchange of chemicals. They are not conscious, nor self-conscious. They don't have cares or wants.

reply from: cracrat

How do you know this? Just saying science has proved it won't do. Provide me with a reference to a paper where a team of reputable scientists have tested the wants, needs and desires of a representative population of fetuses, then validly and reproducibly concluded that the only two are to feel pleasure and avoid pain (don't worry about a link, I have access to pretty much every journal through my uni library so a simple reference will do). Up until you provide me with such a study, keep your cakehole closed about what you think fetuses want.

reply from: cracrat

Then explain to me the difference between a desire to live, and the instinct to survive. When does one stop and the other begin? Where are you going to arbitrarily draw your line on the continuum from pure instinct to pure desire?

reply from: JohnSmith

How do you know this? Just saying science has proved it won't do. Provide me with a reference to a paper where a team of reputable scientists have tested the wants, needs and desires of a representative population of fetuses, then validly and reproducibly concluded that the only two are to feel pleasure and avoid pain (don't worry about a link, I have access to pretty much every journal through my uni library so a simple reference will do). Up until you provide me with such a study, keep your cakehole closed about what you think fetuses want.
haha wow someone's feeling picky. Feoti's brains have been compared to those of other adult mammals by countless studies in levels of development and rationality. You're just being plain ignorant to not accept this fact. Just to name an obvious one: Paul Mussen, John Conger, & Jerome Kagan. Child Development & Personality. Harper & Row, 1974.

reply from: JohnSmith

Then explain to me the difference between a desire to live, and the instinct to survive. When does one stop and the other begin? Where are you going to arbitrarily draw your line on the continuum from pure instinct to pure desire?
One must show signs of rationality, conception of self, and conception of time. Yes, there are different degrees of this, but newborns have no degree of any of these, so no risk is taken by killing them. It can be argued whether certain adult members of species possess self-conscious desires to continue to exist and is certainly an ongoing debate.

reply from: Banned Member

The human being has the right to live, and the right to be protected by other human beings by virtue of being a created being. Life is not not an arbitrary or random event, but a relevent fact that must be addressed. The human person is not an animal in the same sense that other creatures are animals. We are biological in nature and in function, but we are not "animals". We do not function by the graces of random higher brain function but are in fact, spiritual being with a spiritual character, whether each member choose to personally address that facet of their existance or not. That is one of the virtues of being a created being, with a unique spiritual aspect to our nature, is that we are able to choose certain things about how we live.
Among those things which we are not allowed to choose is the continued life or death of another created person. Each human life, and thus every human being, begins their existance as a conceived unborn person. This is a rule without exception. The fallacy of the "right not to live" has been addressed at length. Creatures of a normal healthy psychological makeup invariably desire to live and will in fact do most anything to preserve their own lives, relinquishing that desire to live only in rare instances and circumstances of self sacrifice for the welfare of another or for others who they may or may not even know; another uniquely human feature. For another human person we do not get to choose whether they live or die without their consent. The presumption must always be that the human person desires life, and that we owe that life to them, and care for them, by virtue of our own normal human compassion.
Apart from the normal desire and virtue to preserve human life and to defend and provide care for other human beings lives, such a desire to end life, and to destroy life can only be viewed as being outside the norms of human behavior. Such actions that take the life of the unborn, or the weak and defenseless should rightly be viewed as dangerous and murderous behavior. Abortion kills a human person. That is an unwavering truth and no rationalization either legal, moral, or philosophical can undue that truth. Larger views and mindsets that would advocate the largescale use of abortion as a fundamental right, or for the purposes of weeding out the sick or for population control can only be viewed as genecidal and babaric. They are the tools of radical totalitarian regimes that seek to destroy segments of population for political gain or practical control of environments and communities. It is my own hope that one day that abortion will globally be recognized as a human rights crime and a crime against humanity.

reply from: yoda

And of course, you are appointing yourself to be the judge of what is in the "best interests" of the suicidal teen, right? And you are also the judge of what is our "moral duty" to a person who exhibits long term suicidal tendencies, right? You've just appointed yourself executioner for hire, haven't you John?
And ONCE AGAIN, John Smith has been appointed to determine what is in the best interests of a suicidal person, right John?
I'm getting the idea that killing is high on your list of "moral things to do", John. Would that be accurate?
According to who? John Smith? No, personal morality is totally subjective and biased. "Universal morality" is a concept that belongs to various religious groups, but is not readily available to the individual newspaper, John. So unless you have a private connection to the creator of the universe, you're just another opinionated poster, like the rest of us.
You CAN'T put yourself in anyone else's shoes, John, that's JUST AN EXPRESSION. More than that, you're using it as just another way of saying "I, JOHN SMITH AM CAPABLE OF DETERMINING WHEN IT'S OKAY TO KILL SOMEONE".
That's the nastiest lie you've told so far, John. You CAN'T SEE ANYTHING FROM THE FETUS'S SHOES....... because YOU'RE NOT IN THEM!!
I don't consider that stealing, but I know that's a semantic argument. However, if you steal that bread from someone who has to have it to survive, then it's still wrong, wrong, wrong!
You know no such thing. There is no scientific way to read minds, especially not those still in the womb.
You have no right to take, or advocate that others take the lives of innocent human beings. To do so is barbaric, bloodthirsty, and extremely disgusting.

reply from: yoda

No risk to YOU, John....

reply from: Banned Member

The human being, and thusly the human person, has the universal right to live, and the right to be protected by other human beings by virtue of being a created being, regardless of race, sex, religion, ecomonic, geographic, political, enviroment or any other circumstance or standing in the world or among human cultures. The right to life is absolute and irrevocable. Life is not not an arbitrary or random event, but a relevent fact that must be addressed. The human person is not an animal in the same sense that other creatures are animals. We are biological in nature and in function, but we are not "animals". We do not function by the graces of random higher brain function but are in fact, spiritual being with a spiritual character, whether each member choose to personally address that facet of their existence or not. That is one of the virtues of being a created being, with a unique spiritual aspect to our nature, is that we are able to choose certain things about how we live.
Among those things which we are not allowed to choose is the continued life or death of another created person. Each human life, and thus every human being, begins their existence as a conceived unborn person. This is a rule without exception. The fallacy of the "right not to live" has been addressed at length. Creatures of a normal healthy psychological makeup invariably desire to live and will in fact do most anything to preserve their own lives, relinquishing that desire to live only in rare instances and circumstances of self sacrifice for the welfare of another or for others who they may or may not even know; another uniquely human feature. For another human person we do not get to choose whether they live or die without their consent. The presumption must always be that the human person desires life, and that we owe that life to them, and care for them, by virtue of our own normal human compassion.
Apart from the normal desire and virtue to preserve human life and to defend and provide care for other human beings lives, such a desire to end life, and to destroy life can only be viewed as being outside the norms of human behavior. Such actions that take the life of the unborn, or the weak and defenseless should rightly be viewed as dangerous and murderous behavior. Abortion kills a human person. That is an unwavering truth and no rationalization either legal, moral, or philosophical can undue that truth. Larger views and mindsets that would advocate the largescale use of abortion as a fundamental right, or for the purposes of weeding out the sick or for population control can only be viewed as genocidal and babaric. They are the tools of radical totalitarian regimes that seek to destroy segments of population for political gain or practical control of environments and communities. It is my own hope that one day that abortion will globally be recognized as a human rights crime and a crime against humanity.

reply from: JohnSmith

Really, why?
um, ok..?
I accuse you of being a specieist, the equivalent of a racist, sexist, and so on. There are some chimps who have more of the qualities you mentioned than some humans.
'not allowed' to choose. That sounds harsh. And sounds like you're lying because I'm quite sure you would kill someone who is about to kill 1000 people if you don't.
Spelled existence wrong, I'd correct that for sake of copy+paste repetitions.
Now you're just making stuff up. Unbased and just plain false.
Um, no the presumption must always be made that whatever the science shows is generally true.
Call whatever you want the norms. I see your view as the perversion.
I see your view as dangerous and worse than murderous.
I see your view as barbaric (I'm not sure what genecidal is). It is my own hope that one day abortion will globally be recognized as a human rights necessity and a blessing for humanity.

reply from: JohnSmith

No risk to YOU, John....
no, no, no risk to them.

reply from: yoda

Being killed is ALWAYS VERY RISKY, John......
But if you disagree, why not try it sometime? Hey, you could let someone put you under a general anesthetic so you wouldn't be "self-aware" when they turned out your lights, so no risk to you, right?
You're just in favor of killing helpless, vulnerable people, John.

reply from: cracrat

I shall have to have alook tomorrow when I'm next in.
How about:
Seems to me, the unborn are remarkably human-like in many respects. And certainly this is a little more up to date than your book from before my parents had even met.

reply from: JohnSmith

Nope, I'm appointing the science to be that judge. And I'm appointing logic to be the judge of what our moral duties are. No, I'm no doctor so would never execute someone.
Nope, the science again, is pretty conclusive on these things. Just because you are not familiar with the issue doesn't make it inconclusive. It is another one of those things that modern science has made sufficiently clear to our morality.
Yes.
According to who? John Smith? No, personal morality is totally subjective and biased. "Universal morality" is a concept that belongs to various religious groups, but is not readily available to the individual newspaper, John. So unless you have a private connection to the creator of the universe, you're just another opinionated poster, like the rest of us.
I'm sorry the definition of morality is a standard of behavior. We define what's right or wrong based on terms which are not subjective to individuals but universal. Sorry that's what right and wrong means. That's what ethics and morality consist of.
You CAN'T put yourself in anyone else's shoes, John, that's JUST AN EXPRESSION. More than that, you're using it as just another way of saying "I, JOHN SMITH AM CAPABLE OF DETERMINING WHEN IT'S OKAY TO KILL SOMEONE".
another way of saying, science is capable of determining, and does determine, whether a being cares if its existence is terminated.
That's the nastiest lie you've told so far, John. You CAN'T SEE ANYTHING FROM THE FETUS'S SHOES....... because YOU'RE NOT IN THEM!!
You, like picky mr. cracrat, are more than welcome to study any research done in the past 100 years on the subject.
I don't consider that stealing, but I know that's a semantic argument. However, if you steal that bread from someone who has to have it to survive, then it's still wrong, wrong, wrong!
haha, wow you sound like a preacher, are you one?
You know no such thing. There is no scientific way to read minds, especially not those still in the womb.
But there is. it's like magic. I know it can scare some people but we're pretty advanced nowadays.
But I do. I see you as the barbaric, painthirsty, extremely disgusting one.

reply from: Banned Member

The right to life is absolute and irrevocable.

reply from: yoda

You're taking all the fun out of John's "killing scenarios". I'm just extremely grateful that he's on the side of the proaborts, not our side.

reply from: JohnSmith

This is bordering flaming, yodav. I'd watch out.

reply from: JohnSmith

oh, ok, since you said so.

reply from: JohnSmith

Yup human-like in many respects, but not the three I mentioned, and not self-conscious or rational. These are all survival instincts, no different from those of any other non-self-conscious mammal. I don't see your point. You're just avoiding reality. The science is so clear and one-sided that I have no idea what you're talking about. You're changing the subject like that. You're just way out of line. I suggest you have a good read of psychological developmental literature and then come back to try and discuss your findings.

reply from: Banned Member

You want flaming? Go check out Dr Tillers ovens that he burns the aborted corpses in. Charming no? You JohnSmith are an advocate for murder!

reply from: JohnSmith

You want flaming? Go check out Dr Tillers ovens that he burns the aborted corpses in. Charming no? You JohnSmith are an advocate for murder!
You, Augustine are an advocate for experiencing immeasurable amounts of pain.

reply from: yoda

Ah but John, you're appointing YOURSELF as the "representative of science" to tell us what "science says". I'm fairly well read in many areas of science, and I can tell you for sure that "science" does not say ANYTHING OF THE KIND!
But how about "being killed by someone else", John? Is that also a "very moral thing to do"? Or are you just interested in doing the "killing" part?
No John, that's YOUR OPINION of what ethics and morality consist of. And it's ONLY YOUR OPINION, as far as I can tell. BTW, what is your SOURCE OF UNIVERSAL MORALITY, John? Yourself? ROTFLMAO....... that's a good one, John!!
Not without communication it doesn't. And "science" doesn't claim to be able to, John, ONLY YOU claim to be able to.
Yeah, I'm an agnostic minister..... ever been to my church?
NO, there is no "magic" way to read minds..... only a fool would believe that.
And for that, I am eternally grateful, John. Thank you for being a proabort, and for expressing your views here.

reply from: yoda

No, it's just the plain truth, John. But don't worry about me, I know the moderator here..... and he probably agrees with me.

reply from: yoda

And they're not able to reproduce at that age either, John..... so you've got an airtight case to slaughter them all, right?
My, what a thin excuse you accept for taking a human life.......

reply from: JohnSmith

Ah but John, you're appointing YOURSELF as the "representative of science" to tell us what "science says". I'm fairly well read in many areas of science, and I can tell you for sure that "science" does not say ANYTHING OF THE KIND!
For someone who claims to be fairly well read you sound like a complete ignoramus. I REinvite you to read any piece written on the subject of developmental psychology in the past 100 years.
But how about "being killed by someone else", John? Is that also a "very moral thing to do"? Or are you just interested in doing the "killing" part?
Yup. I'd very much beg to be killed in certain circumstances.
No John, that's YOUR OPINION of what ethics and morality consist of. And it's ONLY YOUR OPINION, as far as I can tell. BTW, what is your SOURCE OF UNIVERSAL MORALITY, John? Yourself? ROTFLMAO....... that's a good one, John!!
I'm sorry. We might be talking about different things. last time I checked the dictionary and society, Morality is a standard for behavior.
Not without communication it doesn't. And "science" doesn't claim to be able to, John, ONLY YOU claim to be able to.
See my invitation above. I'm no longer going to argue science in an age where the internet is availble to you.
Yeah, I'm an agnostic minister..... ever been to my church?
No sorry I've never heard of that.
NO, there is no "magic" way to read minds..... only a fool would believe that.
From now on when I'm directing you towards sceintific research I will say the cue word LIU (Look it up).
And for that, I am eternally grateful, John. Thank you for being a proabort, and for expressing your views here.
Your welcome.

reply from: Banned Member

If I am not mistaken death cures the person of both living and self consciousness does it not?
By JohnSmiths definitions for the justification for killing a human person, how many mental health facilities could be cleaned up and the cost of caring for these "vegatables" gotten rid of today? Euthanize the whole bunch, they'll never know the difference right? What do you say John?

reply from: yoda

Well, Hitler cleaned up quite a few mental institutions, didn't he?

reply from: Banned Member

Terri Schiavo... was she just little more than a plant John? Pain John? Ever died of dehydration John? Ever had a pair of shears stuck in the back of your skull and had a catheter shoved inside your head to suck out your brains? Want to take bets on what that feels like the moment before you die? How about having your arms and legs ripped off while your heart is still beating? What do you say John?

reply from: JohnSmith

Incurable vegetables that experience pain yes, but that's a different matter. I'm gonna take a break while everyone here refreshes their memories of basic science.

reply from: JohnSmith

I say I'm gonna go ahead and take a break while you start thinking of actual arguments and the other two go look up their science.

reply from: yoda

Been there, done that, was not impressed.
What's holding you back, John?
"And society"? You asked someone called "society" what morality means? Dictionaries tell us the meaning of words, John, they do not tell us the source of things like morality. Only pontificators such as John Smith do that.
You haven't actually started arguing yet, John, so that's just as well. All you've done is pontificate.
A "break" would be a good idea for you, John..... take a long, long one...

reply from: Banned Member

He is for euthanasia! He doesn't even deny it! It's Netherlands I tell you, the Netherlands. The Flying Deathmen!

reply from: yoda

John is for anything that involves killing helpless, vulnerable people, Augustine.
I rather imagine he enjoys torturing insects and small animals as well.

reply from: sweet

John is very lost and confused it seems.

reply from: yoda

Well, that's a charitable way of saying it.......

reply from: Jameberlin

His ethics seem to be on par with a certain 'bioethicist' i know of.
He may very well see the world as black and white, life has no real value, universally.. and anyone who assigns value to life is undereducated or simply a religious zealot. Honestly, it's sad for people who think that way.
I've often thought about animals altruistic instincts.. and i think, humans seem to be the only species who as a general rule, refuse to acknowledge that instinct... It's like some people actually fight the urge to help another person... they're repulsed by the idea of putting themselves at risk in any way to preserve the well being of another. It's my opinion that people who refuse to acknowledge their specie's natural instinct to preserve the species as a whole are not just less than human in that respect, but less than many of our animal cousins. Okay, maybe less than is not an accurate representation of my feelings... Perhaps those people are just instinctually deficient.
People of faith believe there is a reason that the powers that be created the world and it's inhabitants as they are... I would think that people who believe strictly in evolution and natural selection would also think that the world has a good reason for making us the way we are... To ignore that, is to ignore our very nature as a species.
It seems to me, that if it's okay to have an abortion, simply because the baby has no real concept of self, or desires for the future, it's should be perfectly ethical to euthanize a born child who happens to fall under the same category. My son, for instance, is 14 months old and has just learned that it is HIM in the mirror smiling back.. Does that mean that it would have been 'ethical' to kill him up until that point? Even now that he knows he's a unique individual, he operates on impulse and immediate gratification of his desires. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. I'm fairly certain he's not sitting there, waking up from his afternoon nap and planning out the rest of his day like a tiny adult. Were i to abandon him, he would be incapable of fending for himself, unable to plan and execute choices and desires. He can't even put the square block in the corresponding hole yet, for crying out loud.
I've heard it said that the only real reason that is suddenly becomes unethical to euthanize a child is because of the bonds the parents have established with them... But what about those parents who no longer desire said bonds or the children associated with them? Is it suddenly ethical for them to kill their children? How about if everyone involved with the child were to decide they'd rather burlap sack it and throw it in the river... they wouldn't miss it, they didn't want it anyway... besides, it was only a three year old. Is it ethical then? Satanic cults that practice child sacrifice... is it ethical then? Physical suffering is only so long anyway, and you could argue that a child up to two years old doesn't really remember exactly what they did the day before... those memories fade so quickly anyway...
If we're talking about it from a standpoint of "i think, therefore i am", we could effectively say that's it's okay to kill children up to a certain age. That stance poses a unique problem though, for instance, what level of thought constitutes "being"? Does a fully functioning adult's rights exceed those of mentally handicapped individuals? How about a person who has lost their ability to live in reality? Emotional distress and deranged individuals certainly operate on a different level than the "rest" of us, should we then determine the worth of their lives?
On the issue of the desire to live:
I think it's interesting, that even organisms who aren't capable of abstract thought recoil from harm and attempt to preserve their own lives... Plants release toxins, some even move... Starfish run, dogs and cats flee, rat pups even have an instinct to recoil from the touch of any animal other than their mother and siblings, they do this while they're still blind and deaf. Embryos who have the capability of movement shy away from touch in the womb, it's possible that they do this because of a self-preserving instinct. Regardless of their ability of abstract thought, they flee from potential danger... We are built with an instinct to survive. If wanting to live is the basis for the argument that abortion is ethical, then we should say, that because we have an innate desire to preserve our own lives, abortion could never be considered ethical.
On innocence:
I heard a quote once: "empty hands are hands waiting to grab a gun." It was justification of killing those incapable of malice at the time, in order to prevent them from ever becoming capable (this was in reference to war crimes). Most people refer to that as killing an innocent person. Not being incapable of becoming guilty at any time does not make one "incapable" of innocence. They're still, simply, innocent. If you disagree with the killing of an innocent human being (Homo sapien sapiens) it would follow that you would disagree with abortion, infanticide, homicide in general.
Innocent:
adjective
1. free from moral wrong; without sin; pure: innocent children.
2. free from legal or specific wrong; guiltless: innocent of the crime.
3. not involving evil intent or motive: an innocent misrepresentation.
4. not causing physical or moral injury; harmless: innocent fun.
5. devoid (usually fol. by of): a law innocent of merit.
6. having or showing the simplicity or naiveté of an unworldly person; guileless; ingenuous.
7. uninformed or unaware; ignorant.
- noun
8. an innocent person.
9. a young child.
10. a guileless person.
11. a simpleton or idiot.
Those are just my thoughts. They're not incredibly well articulated, and i'm sure more than a few people will see flaws that i've failed to notice. This took forever to write... and i'm not revising it now... take me as i is.

reply from: churchmouse

Man oh man JohnSmith your views are scary. You are all over the place often contradicting what you say.
Yoda you have done an excellent job discussing this with him.
I would only add that obviously Johnsmith does not believe in moral absolutes. He is confused as to when life starts and just what life means.
You won't find a scientist, embryologist anywhere in the world that will deny that life does NOT start at conception. Those who think that human lives are equal to that of an animal are in the minority because to think so would make life unliveable. We are above the animals on the chain. We are different than animals both physically and mentally. I mean think about it...... What animal ever built a building from a set of blueprints? What animal ever operated on someones life to same them? What animal ever got an academy award for acting? What animal ever taught at a university? What animal ever drove a car, or rode a bike? Do animals feel remorse? Do they feel emotions like we do? Of course they do not.
John you have no right to presume someone does not have the desire to live. That because someone might be unconscience for a period of time means that the will is not there.... that is ridiculous. That anyone should be able to kill that person is ......unbelievable.

It is not your life is it? What right to you have to presume it does not want to live. You obviously believe that there is no objective right and wrong.
I was discussing this topic on another debate site online and someone thought morality was nothing more than a by product of evolutionary and social development. While morality is considered relative by many in our culture this view just can not be sustained, not only because its illogical but because it simply is unlivable like I said. It wont work. Your views contaminate your entire worldview and what you call your brand of morality.

There is no life and death situation with an unborn child. Most abortions are done for no health reason on the part of the mother or the unborn child. The majority of abortion are done because of inconvenience.
And what is adult? What age? So when can we just kill someone on the basis that they are not an adult?
Yoda said,
That is exactly what he is stating. His views are Singers and Sanger, Hitler.
You cant reason with people like this. They are narcissistic and see nothing but themselves.
CONCERNED SAID THIS WHICH I APPLAUDE.
It would only be acceptable to do this if you are an immoral person that did not know right from wrong. Someone with no ethical system whatsoever.
Johnsmith said, "why thank you. Although don't get too excited quite yet, because I have a feeling the conclusions here go against a lot of what you hold for granted. For example, this line of preference utilitarianism, would rule in favor of the fetus were it self-conscious, giving its life precedence over the woman's right to bodily autonomy."
Well we value life for the most part on this site, which by reading what you are spewing here....you do not. Most people with a conscience cant comprehend living like you suggest.
Not so fast. If it is for the greater good of the community that you die.....then your death would be justified. If all parties thought your death was best, then you must go. Isn't that the utilitarian perspective? You state that in the comment you make below...........
How repulsive a thought. You think something is ethical here......(the killing of the unborn child) and the majority of us dissagree with you.
He does not value life.
You said this......
After you said this
Someone can see something as evil, while others see it as a good.
On 9-11 when the towers came down. People were mourning and crying (who thought the terrorists were immoral).....while across the world people were cheering and praising Allah for their deaths because it was the moral thing to do.
It would feel no pain if it didnt have a brain. How do you know that the unborn in the womb cant feel pain? The unborn can feel pain at some point.
I would have prayed this prayer. GODS WILL BE DONE. Whatever it is Gods will...let it be done. God will take someone when He decides, not when we decide.
When my mothers was dying I prayed the same prayer. "God take mom when you are ready. YOUR WILL BE DONE."
Because she is in pain does not give me the right to kill.
Excellent observations.

reply from: nancyu

In the end there is no ethical argument for abortion.

reply from: JohnSmith

You are correct.
As I said before, development of self-consciousness begins at the late months of the first year of a human's life. I don't know if you've read that or not. Most likely not.
That's an EXTRINSIC concern, not an intrinsic value to the child's life, which is what I've been talking about all along.
Yes, if those children are not self-conscious (assuming noone wants to adopt them and so on, also external considerations)
The pain is an issue but if it were killed painlessly then no harm done.
No. See above.
That has nothing to do with it. You are mixed up and confused.
yes, what about this do you wish to discuss?
You said it, chemical instinct, not desire.
A little mumble in the beginning but for the most part you've brought somewhat good arguments, as opposed to some other responses here.

reply from: JohnSmith

Man oh man JohnSmith your views are scary. You are all over the place often contradicting what you say.
I think you're views are the scary ones.
You are uninformed and a speciest. As I've previously mentioned, as bad as racism and sexism. There are chimps who can do all of the above better than some humans.
Not presumption, but fact. Things that don't want, don't want to live. Period.
There is no life and death situation with an unborn child. Most abortions are done for no health reason on the part of the mother or the unborn child. The majority of abortion are done because of inconvenience.
Right.
What are you talking about?
Not so fast. If it is for the greater good of the community that you die.....then your death would be justified. If all parties thought your death was best, then you must go. Isn't that the utilitarian perspective? You state that in the comment you make below...........
No it's not. Preferences have different weights. The desire to live comes before desires by others for one to die in most cases.
You are correct.

reply from: LiberalChiRo

I do not believe the unborn is capable of having ethics applied to it. Nevertheless, it is human. Since you are attacking that first statement I will disregard it as a premise for argument in the first place.
It is wrong to kill a human being, period. For any reason. It is murder. The only exceptions polite society allows are for self-defense. That doesn't make the action "good", but it is "excusable".
Pregnancy is a unique situation yes, and that is why there is an argument over abortion. It's still not ever desirable to abort, but if it will save the mother's life then it is "excusable".

reply from: JohnSmith

Incapability of malice has nothing to do with my argument. I'm not arguing that if something isn't aware it's being harmed then it's ok to harm it, but if something doesn't care what happens to it then you can do whatever you want to it. (with some exceptions - as in when we create net future unfulfillable desires but that's another matter). Like a rock - it doesn't care if you throw it. You could say it harms it because it fractures its surface but that's just semantics. Taking a flower from a plant could be called 'harm' to it, but it doesn't care that you took it and felt no pain in the process, thus it isn't bad. A fetus doesn't care if it dies painlessly, so it's not unethical.
Not what you don't know, what you don't care about. For example, I don't care what sweet or Augustine post, so it doesn't hurt me. What you may call harm someone else may call a blessing. It has no ethical bearing.

reply from: JohnSmith

I do not believe the unborn is capable of having ethics applied to it. Nevertheless, it is human. Since you are attacking that first statement I will disregard it as a premise for argument in the first place.
It is wrong to kill a human being, period. For any reason. It is murder. The only exceptions polite society allows are for self-defense. That doesn't make the action "good", but it is "excusable".
Pregnancy is a unique situation yes, and that is why there is an argument over abortion. It's still not ever desirable to abort, but if it will save the mother's life then it is "excusable".
Anything and everything has ethics applied to it. The present in a human world revolves around ethics.
Perhaps it is legally defined so, or you define it so, but that has nothing to do with ethics. Polite society has nothing to do with this.

reply from: JohnSmith

That's right, because I hold that it is morally neutral to kill a non-self-conscious being with no necessity. Thus, even the smallest reason to kill it would suffice to make it a moral act.
I'm not saying that it is a necessity, I am claiming that it isn't immoral. Don't confuse sentiency with self-consciousness.
no, I do. I'll give you another simple example. When you're 30 years old you sign a document saying that if you are late from work to pick up your kids from school one day you authorize the school to provide after-school babysitting services. 10 years go by, and it never happens. You've never once thought about that document or the circumstance since. In fact, you've forgotten that the school even provides this service. One day, you get caught in a snow-storm and you're not available by phone. Can it be said that it is still in your interests that the school provide this service? Obviously! For all they know, you could have fallen asleep in your car or have become comatose due to an injury. It is still in your interests that the school provide the service. This is as clear as I can make it. I don't know how you can still not accept this really trivial matter.
Legal issues are a different and complicated issue, which I would prefer to avoid. If you insist we can discuss it in another thread which you can invite me to. If it's ok, I would prefer to keep this thread's subject at one with its title: An "Ethical" argument. Thanks.

reply from: JohnSmith

Has my little story example STILL not convinced you that it is still your desire to continue to live? You are playing purposefully ignorant to this, in insistence that it is somehow arbitrary. It is clearly not. If I say that I desire something and then go to sleep, you cannot possibly claim that I no longer desire it. What is your problem with this self-evident tautology?
As I've said before, communication poses a problem that means the desire must be made explicitly, continuously, consistently, under level-headed circumstances, and without interference, over a period of time to conclude that that is a true desire.
A rock has no life to be taken. It can be damaged, but not "harmed" in the way a living creature can. No damage will make it cease to exist, and life, the most precious and basic element of meaningful existence can never be denied what has never had it, and never will.
I might find your arguments to be more compelling if you simply suggested that more fully developed and capable entities were of more "value" and significance than the less developed, but you seem to be arguing that those who have not yet reached a specified level of development have no value whatsoever. I can not view that as reasonable.
No, I'm not claiming that at all. I'm saying that a fetus is equivalent to a rock when it comes to morality other than the fact that it can feel pain and pleasure.
And if you steal from someone who has so much that they will never even miss what you stole, no harm was done, and no "wrong" was committed? Once more, your arguments do not seem to be well reasoned...
If they didn't care whether I took it or not, then NO!
So why would it be "unethical" to kill you in such a way that you would feel no pain and would not even be aware that your existence had ended? No more harm would have been done than if you had been the victim of abortion. The same thing would have been taken from you either way, your future existence.
Because at the moment of killing I had desired to continue to exist thus the act was immoral.
You can't care about what you are not aware of. Isn't that your argument? We might assume the unborn, like any other entity, if given the choice, would choose to continue to exist. You assert that human beings prior to more complete development, are physically incapable of "knowing" or "caring." You seem unwilling to accept the fact that all human beings are temporarily unable to "care" at regular intervals throughout their lives and how this effects your arguments. According to your logic, I should be allowed to kill any unconscious person, and certainly any very young child. The argument that an adult has previously experienced this level of "sentience" is logically irrelevant, since the temporary nature of the physical inability to "perform" on the prescribed level is also temporary in the case of a child, born or unborn. Previous experiences can not be taken from an unconscious adult any more than they could from a child (assuming it had any). What is taken in either case is future existence, future experiences...
Either that is ethical, or it is not. If you assert that it is, surely necessity must play some role in your reasoning...
No, my argument is that you can't have future-oriented interests for yourself when you don't know what the future is, don't know what yourself is, and don't know how to connect these things. If given the choice, would a rock choose to continue to exist? I don't think so. The fetus is no different. It wouldn't be capable of understanding your question just like the rock and thus wouldn't care. All it cares about is pain and pleasure in the present. I've adressed the issue of unconsciousness over and over again. You must answer: is it not an interest of mine to awaken tommorow when I am asleep? You're either playing dumb or honestly lying to yourself. This is a 1+1=? question, not some philosophical pondering.

reply from: JohnSmith

Why should it matter whether anyone wants to adopt them? Are you implying that it would be unethical to kill a child who is not "self conscious" if someone else is willing to care for it?
There are different external circumstances that may apply in different situations. In those cases we must consider the interests of the mother vs. adoptive parents and so on.

reply from: JohnSmith

Right, and if I shoot you through your spinal cord from behind, "no harm done?" Taking something from someone leaves them less than they had, which is certainly "harm." Taking life itself effectively deprives the victim of everything. No greater "harm" can be done to a living entity. "Pain" is not necessarily synonymous with "harm." A living entity can certainly be "harmed" painlessly.
At the moment you shot me, I didn't want you to. Hence it's immoral. End of story.

reply from: JohnSmith

When you are unconscious, you do not "want." Desire is a part of conscious thought processes...
It is in my interest to continue to be married to my wife although I hadn't been thinking about that while I wrote the previous post. Does that mean that at that moment I didn't desire to continue to be married to my wife? What are you talking about???

reply from: yoda

OR "not wanting anything", as he so hastily puts it.
I'm all torn up that "Killer John" isn't responding to my posts anymore. But I do see that others are filling in nicely for me, so I will leave his education in your capable hands.

reply from: JohnSmith

Then if I killed you in your sleep, it should be perfectly acceptable, being "morally neutral" (neither "right" nor "wrong").
WOW, you insist on this stupidity. How many times have I explained this to you. It would be ok if you actually addressed my arguments, but continuously repeating the same thing without responding to what I write. Wow, you're no different from Augustine. This is like your only pseudo-rebuttal that you keep using every time although I've smashed it down time after time. I'm getting bored quite frankly.
I don't think you understand what I'm saying. I'm questioning the fact that you seem to be implying that necessity plays no role whatsoever in determining the ethics of killing. Would it be ethical for me to just go about killing every creature who is not "self aware" (a measure of degree of sentience) for no other reason than my desire to do so?
Killing a non-self-conscious being is intrinsically morally neutral. There are external factors you must take into account before proceeding to such measures. For example, if you kill a mother deer, her children would be left to starve with no food and experience great pain in the process. You have caused this, thus it was immoral. Starting to get the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic (because seems like you haven't so far).
It is in the best interest of any human being not to be killed, whether it is currently capable of understanding that or not. We do not acknowledge children to have the ability to decide what is in their "interest" until, generally, 18 years of age. If the child doesn't care what happens to it, or even wishes for death, you think it's OK to kill it? I suppose you do not agree with laws that force people to do (or not do) what is in their own best interest? People who are suicidal can be used as target practice, raped, whatever, just because they don't care? You said we can morally do as we wish with them, right? Never mind the fact that they might feel differently later? Or mature sufficiently to enable them to consciously wish to continue to exist (as would be safe to assume in the case of a child who is not yet sufficiently "self aware" to give it's life any value in your opinion?
You are avoiding my questions directly. After you fail to quote me and I insist you quote back to my previous post like I demand and then don't address the question. You're a funny one.
No, as I've said over 20 times now, beings that aren't self-conscious don't desire to continue to live. Period. This is scientific fact, not a philosophical discussion. Stop disputing it, it's not up to question. If someone is fully aware of all the information involved, and level-headedly, continuously, and consistently expresses a desire over an elongated period of time, then we can believe that it is truly in his/her interests. I have said this, and you pretend I didn't. What is your problem? Do you have selective eyesight and memory, that you forget whatever doesn't fit into your view? Or is it just that you awaken each day with your memory from before erased, so that might be why you think that while you're asleep you don't maintain your previous desires?
Oh, no, buddy. We are discussing the ethics of current laws, are we not? So, is it "moral/ethical" for any person to kill any human being that is not currently "self aware" or not? Is it "ethical" to hold one person guilty of a capital crime for committing an offense that you deem "morally neutral," but allow another person to do so legally?
No, we are not at all discussing the ethics of current laws, we are discussing ethics. It is intrinsically morally neutral to kill any being that is not self-conscious. To address that second question we need to examine the ethics behind a whole range of things including sociology, criminology, and so on. I can't possibly address it within this thread.
You're confused again. Seems as if you still have not understood the concept of Intrinsic/Extrinsic. My consent would be an extrinsic factor.

reply from: JohnSmith

Unconscious people are temporarily incapable of conscious thought. You can not possibly deny this. While unconscious, you "desire" nothing. It might be safe to assume that, upon regaining consciousness, your desires will closely mirror those you held when last conscious, but while unconscious, you are no more capable of conscious thought than when you were in the womb. One might also safely assume that a child will eventually "desire" to continue to exist. Both are in the same boat, it seems to me, the only difference being that the adult has had previous experiences, none of which can be taken from them, since they have already occurred...
The fact that you're not consciouly thinking about something doesn't mean it's not your desire! What about the example of my wife that you completely ignored?!?!!
In dealing with interests, we must put ourselves in the other's shoes and see what we would have wanted. You get it? You don't have to be thinking about every desire of yours every moment of your life in order for it to have to be taken into account when making moral decisions. That is an absurdity. How do you not realize that?
Whatever is taken from them, AS I HAVE SAID, has NOTHING to do with it. If they don't care that you take it, then it's ok. If a rich person doesn't care that you take an apple from his orchard, then it's ok. If someone doesn't care if you take his life, then it's ok.
So, it's not about whether they can currently "care," but more about whether they wish to end their existence? And if we can not be certain they wish this, we can not ethically kill them?
You are correct. Wish, care, desire, interest, these are all semantics to me, but if to you they matter, have it your way.
I disagree. A rock is an inanimate object. It can not be compared to a living entity, especially one that will almost certainly achieve all the qualifications you impose to make it's life significant in your view if simply left to it's own devices for a matter of months.
I meant in regards to morality. Just like a fertilized egg is the same as a rock.
They won't know, so they can't care. If they knew, we can safely assume they would care. Are you really saying that stealing is OK if the victim is not aware they were stolen from? That no harm would be done? Your "ethics" are skewed...
No, you forgot that I had said 'knowing all the available information, putting yourself in the other's shoes'?
No, you would be unconscious "at the moment of killing ," and would therefore have experienced no conscious thought whatsoever "at that moment." You would not know, therefore you could not "care" at that moment. If I woke you, then you would "care." If I did not, no harm would be done according to your logic. The fact that you might "care" at a later time when conscious and self aware would seem to be irrelevant to your position, since you seem to be implying that the fact that a child can safely be assumed will also desire to continue to exist at a later time when it becomes capable. You can not "care" at any time when you are incapable of conscious thought.
Your continuing to act like an ignorant fool. How many times have I explained this to you. Just because you ignore it enough, won't make it go away.
When you are unconscious, you are incapable of any such conscious thoughts. That does not mean it is not in your interest to continue to exist. I would further argue that it is a universal requirement of all human beings to gradually achieve the level of sentience required in order to engage in such thoughts.
wow, the more you repeat more of the same without acknowledging my counterexamples, the more you sound like a fool.
Right.
Again with the inanimate objects? If you kill someone, their body does not cease to exist. It is life you have deprived them of...A rock is not alive, is it? It can not "cease to exist" in the way a living thing can, right? Only it's form can be altered.
From a rock? If left alone, will the rock eventually be able to plead for it's life?
By that same logic, an unconscious person "wouldn't care..."
Um, no. You can stop now. I've given you much more than enough examples why what you are saying is absurd.
As do many adults....
Wrong.
Fact: I am conscious at this moment, and able to express a desire to continue mt existence.
Ah, there's your problem. Expressing a desire is not the equivalent of having one. Big mistake.
Incorrect. Your brain is still functioning. The neural connections that have been made because of your desire remain.
Um - no.

reply from: JohnSmith

Answer the question: Does the fact that you're not consciously thinking about wanting to continue to be married mean that you don't desire to continue to be married?
Answer it. No more dodging. Take the question, analyze it, and respond.

reply from: JohnSmith

Right, and if I shoot you through your spinal cord from behind, "no harm done?" Taking something from someone leaves them less than they had, which is certainly "harm." Taking life itself effectively deprives the victim of everything. No greater "harm" can be done to a living entity. "Pain" is not necessarily synonymous with "harm." A living entity can certainly be "harmed" painlessly.
At the moment you shot me, I didn't want you to. Hence it's immoral. End of story.
You were unconscious, therefore you were incapable of "wanting" anything. You were unaware, just like when you were in the womb. According to your logic, no harm was done, and it was certainly not "immoral" based on an alleged desire that I can scientifically show you were incapable of experiencing at that time. If you were unconscious "at that moment," then it would have been physically impossible for you to "want" or "not want" anything "at that moment."
Now, if you would like to assert that the fact that you could safely be assumed to later "want" to live is significant, just say so, otherwise you are in the same boat as prior to birth...
You're avoiding. See the last post. Start by responding to the question. Otherwise you'll be repeating the same thing over and over again. This doesn't give more credit to your obviosly-absurd argument.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

It is not moral to kill another living human being. A legally binding contract has been entered into at conception. Mom and dad are required to provide for the new human being from conception until the child can provide for him or herself (usually age 18). Failing to care for one's own kids is the worst of crimes.

reply from: JohnSmith

Why isn't it moral to kill another living human being?

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Why isn't it moral to kill another living human being?
Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them." The Bible says Adam was the son of God. And Adam "became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth". Genesis 5:3, Gensis 9:5-6 "...from every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man."
Men are God's children, literally. He takes their murder seriously. Angels are not children of God; but Jesus is. We also can come to full maturity as sons and daughters of God. We are meant to be just like God; we are part of His family, His children.
Murder is immoral because it is the killing of God's own sons and daughters; just as if someone killed your little boy or girl.
God said He made everything for His purposes. Killing an innocent man, woman, or child goes against His express Will. You are His servant and are required to fulfil His Will.

reply from: yoda

Killer John doesn't go for scriptures, GL4U2L. Better watch out, you may be next on his list!

reply from: JohnSmith

Why isn't it moral to kill another living human being?
Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them." The Bible says Adam was the son of God. And Adam "became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth". Genesis 5:3, Gensis 9:5-6 "...from every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man."
Men are God's children, literally. He takes their murder seriously. Angels are not children of God; but Jesus is. We also can come to full maturity as sons and daughters of God. We are meant to be just like God; we are part of His family, His children.
Murder is immoral because it is the killing of God's own sons and daughters; just as if someone killed your little boy or girl.
God said He made everything for His purposes. Killing an innocent man, woman, or child goes against His express Will. You are His servant and are required to fulfil His Will.
Interesting. So God said it's bad to abort. The Flying Spaghetti Monster said it's good to abort. What are we going to do about this dilemma?

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Why isn't it moral to kill another living human being?
Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them." The Bible says Adam was the son of God. And Adam "became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth". Genesis 5:3, Gensis 9:5-6 "...from every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man."
Men are God's children, literally. He takes their murder seriously. Angels are not children of God; but Jesus is. We also can come to full maturity as sons and daughters of God. We are meant to be just like God; we are part of His family, His children.
Murder is immoral because it is the killing of God's own sons and daughters; just as if someone killed your little boy or girl.
God said He made everything for His purposes. Killing an innocent man, woman, or child goes against His express Will. You are His servant and are required to fulfil His Will.
Interesting. So God said it's bad to abort. The Flying Spaghetti Monster said it's good to abort. What are we going to do about this dilemma?
I make my decisions based on extensive study and examination of the evidence. It's my understanding the Creator has a book out, it's called the Bible. I like and agree with what I've read. Love is the most important thing, becoming one and living peacfully together are the greatest points stressed in His book.
I haven't read the Flying Spaghetti Monster's book. Not that I don't like spaghetti, it's one of my favorite dishes.

reply from: JohnSmith

Why isn't it moral to kill another living human being?
Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them." The Bible says Adam was the son of God. And Adam "became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth". Genesis 5:3, Gensis 9:5-6 "...from every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man."
Men are God's children, literally. He takes their murder seriously. Angels are not children of God; but Jesus is. We also can come to full maturity as sons and daughters of God. We are meant to be just like God; we are part of His family, His children.
Murder is immoral because it is the killing of God's own sons and daughters; just as if someone killed your little boy or girl.
God said He made everything for His purposes. Killing an innocent man, woman, or child goes against His express Will. You are His servant and are required to fulfil His Will.
Interesting. So God said it's bad to abort. The Flying Spaghetti Monster said it's good to abort. What are we going to do about this dilemma?
I make my decisions based on extensive study and examination of the evidence. It's my understanding the Creator has a book out, it's called the Bible. I like and agree with what I've read. Love is the most important thing, becoming one and living peacfully together are the greatest points stressed in His book.
I haven't read the Flying Spaghetti Monster's book. Not that I don't like spaghetti, it's one of my favorite dishes.
I make my decisions based on extensive study and examination of the evidence. It's my understanding the Creator has a book out, it's called the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I like and agree with what I've read. Love is one of the most important things, becoming one and living peacefully together are among the greatests points stressed in His book.
I haven't read the Bible. Not that I don't like Jesus, he's one of my favorite historical figures.
So, what are we going to do about this dilemma?

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Interesting. So God said it's bad to abort. The Flying Spaghetti Monster said it's good to abort. What are we going to do about this dilemma?
So, what are we going to do about this dilemma?
Each side will promote it's positions.
God said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. It's time for you to promote the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the best ideas devised by men. However, God does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, God will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?

reply from: JohnSmith

Interesting. So God said it's bad to abort. The Flying Spaghetti Monster said it's good to abort. What are we going to do about this dilemma?
So, what are we going to do about this dilemma?
Each side will promote it's positions.
God said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. It's time for you to promote the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the best ideas devised by men. However, God does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, God will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?
So it will be a sort of competition between all faiths whoever gets the most converts wins and gets to dictate morality? Well guess what, that's how it's been since religions were invented and still there is no winner, there isn't a majority in the world that believe in one faith. So how about you listen to my proposal? While we all engage in this competition of ideas, can we at least make an agreement to treat each other decently? (That is between people of different faiths). And can we, until the 'winner' is decided, say that things are right or wrong based on things that make sense to us?
For example, a Muslim has enough food to just barely feed his kids, but then a Jew comes along and steals some of the Muslim's food, even though the Jew isn't even hungry. So how do we decide whether he was right or wrong to do so? Well, we compare their interests. The Muslim wants to save his kids from dying, which is a stronger interest than that the Jew just wants some extra food for himself. Makes sense doesn't it? So we call what the Jew did 'wrong'. Maybe the two faiths decree different things about such actions, but since we don't have an agreement between them at the time, we need something to decide the morality of their actions, based on neither Judaism nor Islam. Do you agree? Maybe Judaism says stealing is right and Islam that it is wrong, but since we can't agree, to get along in society, we must establish these moral rules that make sense and allow society to function. Generally, this morality would be a universal standard that does not change based on individual circumstances. What do you think?

reply from: JohnSmith

By the way, the FSM said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. However, the FSM does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, the FSM will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

By the way, the FSM said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. However, the FSM does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, the FSM will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?
The Bible was written by many witnesses. It includes much prophecy. Centuries before Christ's birth the circumstances surrounding his life and death was written down. The Book of Daniel must be a later writing foisted off as prophecy is the cry of many because what is recorded came to pass. The Bible tells us what will be happening in the future. When things go down "according to the book", then you can have confidence in it. The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not have a large team of past witnesses, prophesies, and fulfilled prophecy verifying his word.

reply from: JohnSmith

By the way, the FSM said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. However, the FSM does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, the FSM will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?
The Bible was written by many witnesses. It includes much prophecy. Centuries before Christ's birth the circumstances surrounding his life and death was written down. The Book of Daniel must be a later writing foisted off as prophecy is the cry of many because what is recorded came to pass. The Bible tells us what will be happening in the future. When things go down "according to the book", then you can have confidence in it. The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not have a large team of past witnesses, prophesies, and fulfilled prophecy verifying his word.
But what did you think of my post of 4:09 PM GMT, 2 posts ago?
The Gospel of the FSM was written by many witnesses. It includes much prophesy. Centuries before Henderson's birth the circumstances surrounding his life and death were written down. The GFSM tells us what will be happening in the future. When things go down "according to the book", then you can have confidence in it. The FSM does have a large team of witnesses, prophesies, and fulfulled prophesy verifying its word.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

By the way, the FSM said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. However, the FSM does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, the FSM will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?
The Bible was written by many witnesses. It includes much prophecy. Centuries before Christ's birth the circumstances surrounding his life and death was written down. The Book of Daniel must be a later writing foisted off as prophecy is the cry of many because what is recorded came to pass. The Bible tells us what will be happening in the future. When things go down "according to the book", then you can have confidence in it. The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not have a large team of past witnesses, prophesies, and fulfilled prophecy verifying his word.
But what did you think of my post of 4:09 PM GMT, 2 posts ago?
The Gospel of the FSM was written by many witnesses. It includes much prophesy. Centuries before Henderson's birth the circumstances surrounding his life and death were written down. The GFSM tells us what will be happening in the future. When things go down "according to the book", then you can have confidence in it. The FSM does have a large team of witnesses, prophesies, and fulfulled prophesy verifying its word.
Why are you trying to be a goofball? Why so flippant? Those who argue for and support baby killing are usually outrageously divorced from the harsh realities of life and live in a joker's utopia like you. Fools make a mock (joke) of serious matters. Your type is disgusting.

reply from: JohnSmith

Why are you trying to be a goofball? What I said mirrored precisely what you did, so either both of us are or neither is. Personally I think both of us are. Too bad you couldn't even find a mere reply to the seriousness I was getting at with the discussion..

reply from: JohnSmith

A simple denial does not constitute "smashing" a rebuttal. Is an unconscious person capable of conscious thought? Yes or no?
No. I, unlike you, do not simply ignore whatever doesn't fit my argument. Yet, I clearly explained that a desire requires conscious thought. It is clear as glass that I cannot think of all my desires at the same time, yet I have quite a lot. To list a few: I want to succeed in my job, want to continue to live, want to continue to be married, want my kids to be successfull, and so on. I can't possibly think of all those things at every moment. Yet I assure you it would be an absurdity to say that I don't desire any of those things at any moment, just because I'm not consciously thinking of it.
Your argument involved no exceptions. You clearly stated that it is not "immoral" to kill an entity that is not "self aware." I am the one who raised the point regarding other factors, such as "necessity." If you have no reason to kill, no need, then I assert that it is immoral to do so regardless of the level of sentience of your intended victim. It is quite interesting that you have become willing to examine how necessity plays a role in determining "morality" as well as the concept of "weighing" interests, only after I pointed out the logical inconsistency in contending that it is not immoral to kill based solely on level of sentience, yet not applying the same "logic" to adults who are also temporarily "unaware" at regular intervals during their existence...
I don't see what you're trying to argue. Seems to me like you're trying to be right in some way after all your wrongness. And failing at that.
Surely you jest...I have not once "disputed" the contention that an unborn or recently born human being is incapable of higher thought! I have merely pointed out the indisputable fact that the same is true of any unconscious entity, even adult human beings! Are you even reading my posts, because you seem quite confused...
Oh no, I assure you I'm reading them quite carefully, and unlike you, actually addressing them.
In other words, if someone has stated that they do not wish to die, we can assume they do not want to die? Even when they are no longer capable of "wanting" anything?
Yes, if they haven't changed their minds.
Having not killed themselves previously, we can assume they desire to live.
We can assume they want to live while they're unconscious.
Most entities that prefer things in regard to their future existence, prefer to continue to live.
No, capabilities have nothing to do with it. If someone doesn't desire to live, then it is ok to kill him. If someone desires to live, then it isn't.
Most human beings that want things about themselves in the future, do want to live.
If it never desired to live and doesn't desire to live, it is ethical to kill it.
You are correct. A fetus wants neither to live nor to die. It doesn't want anything other than pleasure and avoidance of pain.

reply from: JohnSmith

Answer the question: Does the fact that you're not consciously thinking about wanting to continue to be married mean that you don't desire to continue to be married?
Answer it. No more dodging. Take the question, analyze it, and respond.
No, it does not, provided you are still conscious. The desire remains in your consciousness as a sort of background process even when you are not "thinking about it." When you are unconscious, that part of your brain is not functioning, therefore you are temporarily incapable of "consciously thinking," "wanting," or "desiring" anything. Come on, this is not rocket science....
Guess what, you need to refresh your memory of sleep psychology. Regions of the brain are more active during sleep than when we are awake. That is a lame excuse, and a wrong one. 'Provided you are still conscious', NOW we have found the arbitrarity you have been looking for, and you are the one who imposed it. How funny.

reply from: JohnSmith

I do so realize the absurdity. You argued that a child may be ethically killed because it is incapable of conscious thought at a specified level. I pointed out the fact that an unconscious adult is in the same boat, now you seem to be arguing that conscious thought is not necessary in order to "want."
You are again distorting what I say as a last resort having run out of arguments. It is not because it is incapable of conscious thought it is because it does not desire to live. This is indisputable. No matter how many times you try to distort it. I have never said it. Try quoting me. I invite you to.
That's right I'm saying conscious thought at the present has nothing to do with something being in our interests. For example, a parent knows that it is in their child's interests to take fish oil although the child may consciously think that it is disgusting and unnecessary (unless the child presents a reasoned thorough analysis of why they truly understand all of the facts and do not desire to eat it).
It is still in my interest, just as when I hadn't consciously thought about it when it was in the background of my mind, and just like when I'm sleeping. You don't understand the concept of interest.
You think not knowing and not caring are the same thing? Isn't that your argument? The child can't know, therefore it can't care?
Um, no that is not at all my argument. My argument is that the child doesn't care (the proof of that is that it can't care), not the other way around.
Exactly, just as when you are sleeping, you are morally equivalent to an inanimate object, and any conscious person may kill you for no reason ethically...
funny.
Oh, really?
Yes, really really.
Good question. One sign is that they were capable of killing themselves but didn't. Another sign is that we by default assume that unless they have shown otherwise they desire to continue to live because that is the norm.
No no, I never said that.
I didn't say the inability is what equates to neutrality, but having not made a preference.
Right.
So, you don't need conscious thought, only "neural connections"?" You're really reaching here. The fact remains that "wanting" and decision making are dependent on conscious thought! When you are unconscious, you are incapable of conscious thought! Your brain is still "functioning," but not on a conscious level.
Wanting isn't. I want my kids to be successfull and I wanted the same a minute ago when I hadn't consciously thought of it. Yes, I really did.

reply from: JohnSmith

Answer this (Mr. I accuse others of arbitrarity when I am the one imposing it)
(and don't try to avoid, because as you see, I catch on to that and don't just let you off), I'm looking for a clear answer, to THIS question.
1. What is the difference between not consciously thinking about something when awake and not consciously thinking about something when asleep?
And 2. Why does the first imply an interest is still present, and the second doesn't?

reply from: Jameberlin

The same goes for any child who has no concept of death, the little boy who died trying to get out of a hot car... do you think he was thinking "if i stay in here, i'll die" or is it more likely he was thinking "It's hot and uncomfortable and i'm thirsty and tired, i don't want to be here anymore". A three year old child cannot grasp the concept of mortality, but he still has the instinct to avoid pain, specifically to preserve his own life, even if he has no idea that's indeed what he's doing. We are endowed with this instinct so that we will continue to strive to live (our best interest), until we are capable of consciously desiring life (or the opposite).
Having not been successful in previous suicide attempts does not mean someone suddenly desires to live. On the flip side... I wonder how many people change their minds when it's too late? "repenting between the bridge and the water" so to speak.
................. then you could assume that a child who begins life without the capability of 'conscious' thought will want to live once their brain has developed enough for them to have a want for life, since it's universally accepted that children have a very strong instinct for self-preservation even when they can't fully grasp the concept of their own mortality.
What if it still exhibits instincts for self-preservation? What if it still shies away from pain, runs when it's scared and hides when it's being perused? Does that not constitute a desire to remain in the same state, the state of living?
It sounds to me that you're basically making an argument, not only for abortion, but infanticide and euthanasia as well.
I have a question, what exactly do you base your criteria for an organism "desiring to live"? Is it based on their instinct of self-preservation? Their mental faculties? The state of their emotional or mental health? Their age? Their ability to speak aloud their desires?
It seems you're selective in your understanding of interest. If a child does not have the capability to want to live, nor the capability to express desire to continue to live, living is still in it's best interest. We're programmed to live, and to do everything in our power to continue to do so. It's only when we become self-loathing adults that we rebel against that instinct.
a child doesn't have the capability to want death or life, yet they stubbornly continue to live... Therefore, by your argument, it follows that they would continue to desire to live, because it is the norm.
What is your criteria for having made a preference? A child runs when he feels he is in danger, this to me is clear indication of his preference for safety from physical or emotional harm. Avoiding pain is a clear indication of preference. You've undoubtedly heard the stories of embryos trying to get away from the tools the doctors are using to kill them, is that not a clear indication of their innate desire to remain unharmed?

reply from: JohnSmith

The same goes for any child who has no concept of death, the little boy who died trying to get out of a hot car... do you think he was thinking "if i stay in here, i'll die" or is it more likely he was thinking "It's hot and uncomfortable and i'm thirsty and tired, i don't want to be here anymore". A three year old child cannot grasp the concept of mortality, but he still has the instinct to avoid pain, specifically to preserve his own life, even if he has no idea that's indeed what he's doing. We are endowed with this instinct so that we will continue to strive to live (our best interest), until we are capable of consciously desiring life (or the opposite).
No, children do have a sense of tommorow and themselves as a continuing object in time. You are right that it is not well defined in them, and they certainly still act upon instincts as we all do, but they possess the three factors that make them self-conscious, and have future-oriented desires.
Having not been successful in previous suicide attempts does not mean someone suddenly desires to live. On the flip side... I wonder how many people change their minds when it's too late? "repenting between the bridge and the water" so to speak.
Perhaps you're right.
................. then you could assume that a child who begins life without the capability of 'conscious' thought will want to live once their brain has developed enough for them to have a want for life, since it's universally accepted that children have a very strong instinct for self-preservation even when they can't fully grasp the concept of their own mortality.
again, see my conversation with concernedparent. Conscious thought is not necessary to have interests.
What if it still exhibits instincts for self-preservation? What if it still shies away from pain, runs when it's scared and hides when it's being perused? Does that not constitute a desire to remain in the same state, the state of living?
A plant exhibits these instincts. No, it represents a chain of chemical reactions set off by a physical cause.
You are correct. Good observation.
No, it is not based on none of what you mentioned. It is based on their perception of themselves as a continuing object in time and having future-oriented desires. Like for example, 'tommorow, I want to have a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich'.
It seems you're selective in your understanding of interest. If a child does not have the capability to want to live, nor the capability to express desire to continue to live, living is still in it's best interest. We're programmed to live, and to do everything in our power to continue to do so. It's only when we become self-loathing adults that we rebel against that instinct.
There's a difference between an interest and an instinct, they are not one and the same.
a child doesn't have the capability to want death or life, yet they stubbornly continue to live... Therefore, by your argument, it follows that they would continue to desire to live, because it is the norm.
So does a spider. Neither desire to live, they only struggle against death in a series of programmed chemical reactions.
What is your criteria for having made a preference? A child runs when he feels he is in danger, this to me is clear indication of his preference for safety from physical or emotional harm.
That's correct.
That's also correct.
Well, I don't know about embryos, but you are correct that non-self-conscious beings can express a desire (only one) and that is to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And this preference must be taken into account as well when making moral decisions.

reply from: Jameberlin

You're incorrect, children have a limited concept of "tomorrow" after a period of years of development. I would say it begins to manifest itself around 3 -3 1/2 years. My 15 month old has no concept of tomorrow, indeed no concept of anything but the present, he is unable to do anything but live in the now. He is hungry NOW, he's tired NOW etc. Would it be 'ethical' in your opinion for me to smother him in his sleep based solely on the fact that he is incapable of thinking of the future?
By that train of thought, conscious thought is not necessary to have an interest to preserve life, since children express this interest, it would be unethical to kill them.
There is a difference between instinct and interest, but i say that the instinct to avoid death makes life our interest. The instinct was instilled to protect our interests. Even though they are different, one can compliment the other.
INTEREST:
- noun
1. the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something: She has a great interest in the poetry of Donne.
2. something that concerns, involves, draws the attention of, or arouses the curiosity of a person: His interests are philosophy and chess.
3. power of exciting such concern, involvement, etc.; quality of being interesting: political issues of great interest.
4. concern; importance: a matter of primary interest.
5. a business, cause, or the like in which a person has a share, concern, responsibility, etc.
6. a share, right, or title in the ownership of property, in a commercial or financial undertaking, or the like: He bought half an interest in the store.
7. a participation in or concern for a cause, advantage, responsibility, etc.
8. a number or group of persons, or a party, financially interested in the same business, industry, or enterprise: the banking interest.
9. interests, the group of persons or organizations having extensive financial or business power.
10. the state of being affected by something in respect to advantage or detriment: We need an arbiter who is without interest in the outcome.
11. benefit; advantage: to have one's own interest in mind.
12. regard for one's own advantage or profit; self-interest: The partnership dissolved because of their conflicting interests.
13. influence from personal importance or capability; power of influencing the action of others.
14. Finance.
a. a sum paid or charged for the use of money or for borrowing money.
b. such a sum expressed as a percentage of money borrowed to be paid over a given period, usually one year.
15. something added or thrown in above an exact equivalent: Jones paid him back with a left hook and added a right uppercut for interest.
- verb (used with object)
16. to engage or excite the attention or curiosity of: Mystery stories interested him greatly.
17. to concern (a person, nation, etc.) in something; involve: The fight for peace interests all nations.
18. to cause to take a personal concern or share; induce to participate: to interest a person in an enterprise.
19. to cause to be concerned; affect.
- Idiom
20. in the interest(s) of, to the advantage or advancement of; in behalf of: in the interests of good government.
It is in an organisms best interest to remain alive, it is in the child's best interest to avoid pain and danger. Hence the instinct to do so... The instinct that leads to avoidance of pain is expression of an interest in continuing to live, regardless of the organisms mental capabilities. The difference between a human's desire to live and that of the plant/insect/chicken is that one day, our minds do develop to the point where we are able to posses a firm grasp of both concepts of future and mortality. There is a difference, between plants chemical reactions, and people's chemical reactions. Ours actually aid in our personal development beyond the point of action/reaction.
Like i said, the instinct to protect one's life results in the expression or desire to live. It is in the spider's best interest to do everything in it's power to continue it's life. The spider is protecting it's interests by avoiding death, that is an expression of it's desire for life. Instinct instills in us a desire to protect our interests. We are interested (concerned with) in our desires (avoiding death).
Embryos and fetuses have been known to try and flee their attackers, they just have no where to run or hide.
The desire (instinct) to avoid pain/seek pleasure is essential in order for the desire to consciously preserve life to even exist. Without that instinct, there would be no desire to continue life, no possibility for that conscious desire to ever exist. Without that instinct we could say with honesty that children truly do not desire life, and therefore it is ethical to euthanize them. Once that instinct is in place though, the child is possessed with the incredibly strong desire to continue to live. It will, in fact, do everything within its physical capabilities to do so.
What it comes down to, imho, is that what we are really arguing is not that a embryo/fetus/infant/child/handicapped/senile individual lacks the instinct, the desire to live... but that they're simply not capable of defending themselves against those who wish assign value to different lives.

reply from: LiberalChiRo

Why isn't it moral to kill another living human being?
Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them." The Bible says Adam was the son of God. And Adam "became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth". Genesis 5:3, Gensis 9:5-6 "...from every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man."
Men are God's children, literally. He takes their murder seriously. Angels are not children of God; but Jesus is. We also can come to full maturity as sons and daughters of God. We are meant to be just like God; we are part of His family, His children.
Murder is immoral because it is the killing of God's own sons and daughters; just as if someone killed your little boy or girl.
God said He made everything for His purposes. Killing an innocent man, woman, or child goes against His express Will. You are His servant and are required to fulfil His Will.
Interesting. So God said it's bad to abort. The Flying Spaghetti Monster said it's good to abort. What are we going to do about this dilemma?
The flying spaghetti monster returns to the abortion debate

reply from: LiberalChiRo

I do not believe the unborn is capable of having ethics applied to it. Nevertheless, it is human. Since you are attacking that first statement I will disregard it as a premise for argument in the first place.
It is wrong to kill a human being, period. For any reason. It is murder. The only exceptions polite society allows are for self-defense. That doesn't make the action "good", but it is "excusable".
Pregnancy is a unique situation yes, and that is why there is an argument over abortion. It's still not ever desirable to abort, but if it will save the mother's life then it is "excusable".
Anything and everything has ethics applied to it. The present in a human world revolves around ethics.
So a thunderstorm is evil? A flower is vindictive? Assigning morals and ethics is called "personification", and it is considered an element only appropriate in literature, and completely inappropriate in a mature debate.
No, that is not why I define it as such. I came to those conclusions on my own despite being pro-life. Those are the most logical conclusions I can come to that not only protect the unborn from excessive personification by pro-lifers, but also protects it from ridiculous dehumanization and criminalization by pro-choicers.

reply from: Jameberlin

Excessive personification? It's either a person or it's not, it deserves the same rights as others or it does not. I don't think you can over personify an unborn person, but you can try to dehumanize and demean it.

reply from: JohnSmith

You're incorrect, children have a limited concept of "tomorrow" after a period of years of development. I would say it begins to manifest itself around 3 -3 1/2 years. My 15 month old has no concept of tomorrow, indeed no concept of anything but the present, he is unable to do anything but live in the now. He is hungry NOW, he's tired NOW etc. Would it be 'ethical' in your opinion for me to smother him in his sleep based solely on the fact that he is incapable of thinking of the future?
You're right it's limmited but it begins to develop. You might be right. This is a subject up for debate, as some developmental scientists argue that babies show signs of rationality earlier and thus must concieve of certain things. There are some who claim that it is indeed 3 years of age where true development of self-consciousness begins. Perhaps it wouldn't be unethical of you to kill him.
By that train of thought, conscious thought is not necessary to have an interest to preserve life, since children express this interest, it would be unethical to kill them.
Um, sorry I don't follow that.
you cannot possibly say that it is solely by instinct that we seek to continue to exist.
I disagree, and definitions are not really the argument here, I think you know what I mean.
Ah, that's where your mistake lies. The instinct is an evolutionary adaptation, and has nothing to do with interests.
Right, there is no difference in the present between a plant/insect/chicken and a fetus.
Like i said, the instinct to protect one's life results in the expression or desire to live. It is in the spider's best interest to do everything in it's power to continue it's life. The spider is protecting it's interests by avoiding death, that is an expression of it's desire for life. Instinct instills in us a desire to protect our interests. We are interested (concerned with) in our desires (avoiding death).
No, it is NOT in a spider's interest to continue to live. It has no sense of itself or the future, nor does it have reason. Those are necessary to have a future-oriented interest. Our evolutionary 'interests' that are expressed in our instincts are nothing like our true interests.
Embryos and fetuses have been known to try and flee their attackers, they just have no where to run or hide.
Interesting, I hadn't heard of this and highly doubt it, but it is insignificant to my point.
That I disagree with.
Instinct does not equal desire. You cannot say that bacteria desire to make you sick, that is personification, something that our human mind tends to mistakenly do, and is a barrier in understanding evolution.
Uh, no.

reply from: JohnSmith

I do not believe the unborn is capable of having ethics applied to it. Nevertheless, it is human. Since you are attacking that first statement I will disregard it as a premise for argument in the first place.
It is wrong to kill a human being, period. For any reason. It is murder. The only exceptions polite society allows are for self-defense. That doesn't make the action "good", but it is "excusable".
Pregnancy is a unique situation yes, and that is why there is an argument over abortion. It's still not ever desirable to abort, but if it will save the mother's life then it is "excusable".
Anything and everything has ethics applied to it. The present in a human world revolves around ethics.
So a thunderstorm is evil? A flower is vindictive? Assigning morals and ethics is called "personification", and it is considered an element only appropriate in literature, and completely inappropriate in a mature debate.
You didn't understand my statement. The present in a human world revolves around ethics, as all our actions and behaviors are governed by morality.

reply from: Jameberlin

You were citing sense of future, not sense of self. Which is why i stated that it doesn't begin to develop until around three years of age, sense of self begins to develop much earlier. It is only after a child has a firm grasp of sense of self that he is able to grasp the concept of himself in time. This doesn't happen until he's well into his toddler years. A child is around three years old before he exhibits all three requirements for person hood by your definition.
If you want to talk development, arguably it could be said that a child begins to develop the foundations for these faculties in utero. There is no point in a normal human child's life that it is not developing into a fully functional human adult with firm concepts of self, time, etc. If the age at which these faculties begin to develop that is your argument for the ethical killing of a child, it would never be ethical.. since these are developing from the beginning of the individual's life.
Sorry, let me try to make it a little more clear: you state you do not have to be conscious to have interests. Interests exist without consciousness, therefore unborn children have interests (preserving life) without consciousness, therefore it is unethical to kill them.
I cannot say it, and i didn't. I said that without our initial instinct to preserve life, conscious desire for the same would not have developed. How likely do you think it would be, if we had no instinct to bear and raise children we would ever desire to do so? If we had no instinct to procreate, would we desire sex? I'm not saying every abstract desire is based on instinct, but i am saying that basic desires are BASED on instinct. We want children because we have an INSTINCT to continue the species, we want to live because we have an INSTINCT for self-preservation. Instinct is the basis of our fundamental desires which include sex and life.
No, i don't know what you mean. By dictionary definition, interest is anything concerning any one individual. Are you saying an unborn child's life doesn't concern him? Because that's the only instance that i can think of that his life is not one of his interests. Even by your own personal admission, you don't have to be conscious to have interests, and indeed you're correct! You do not have to be conscious to want to preserve your life, you don't even have to know you want to preserve your life in order to attempt to do so. If any one organism makes an instinctual or conscious action in order to preserve his life or pursue pleasure, he is acting according to his interests. Surely you understand that?
Instinct is the foundation for all of our basic desires, including the desire to protect our interests. I think you're confusing my usage of the noun interest with the verb desire, they're not the same thing. One's life is his interest, preserving one's life is his interest. One can desire to preserve his interests, one can be interested in preserving his interests, and by so doing expresses a desire to preserve his interests.
Okay, maybe that's a little convoluted. Let me try to clarify: A man has interests(noun), he desires (verb) to protect those interests, he is interested (verb) in expressing (Adj.) his desire (verb) to protect his interests(noun). The expression of the desire to protect his interests and the expression of the interest in protecting his interests in manifested by his innate instinct to flee danger. The definition does make a difference, because in context the words mean different things.
I'll put it this way: Without instinct there would be no desire to protect our basic interests. However, abstract interests... say, poetry or sex with farm animals are not basic interests whose foundations are built upon instinct. Living, though, and the desire to do so, is based on the instinct to preserve our most valuable asset.
Don't twist what i said, there is a difference, and that is the potential to develop into a self-aware human with the capability of abstract thought.
YES, it IS. A spider's interest IS HIS LIFE, a spider is INTERESTED in protecting his INTERESTS, he expresses this by AVOIDING DEATH. If life isn't a true interest to you, what is? A spider cannot read Crime and Punishment, surely, but he HAS interests which include eating, breeding, sleeping and living. If these aren't TRUE interests, the most primal and BASIC interests instilled in every multi-cellular living organism WHAT ARE? Hobbies? Decoupage? Scrap booking? Those are abstract individual interests, they're not universal interests unlike self-preservation which is shared by all. I certainly hope you're not basing the worth of another person's life on their individual abstract interests.
It happens, look it up. I know a woman who's abortion doctor told the nurse "it's trying to get away, i have to try again." Babies who have to undergo various tests involving needles in utero have also been documented shying away and attempting to twist and writhe in attempt to escape the danger.
It may not be relevant to your point, but it is relevant to mine, in as much as i believe that the act of attempting to preserve your life is a manifestation of the desire to preserve your life.
You're kidding right? Do you really think bacteria have an instinct to make us sick? Bacteria have no instincts, they're single cellular organisms who simply exist and get passed on by host organisms, that is how they continue to survive, not by instinct for self-preservation. Our getting sick is just a by-product of the bad bacteria existing in our bodies, it has nothing to do with their survival at all. If a strain of bacteria lives in a person (say in the stomach) it doesn't always make one sick, sickness is an unintended consequence of SOME bacteria who just keep on living. Anyone with even the loosest grasp of biology knows bacteria do not have an instinct to make us sick.

Do you really think i was saying instinct and desire are the same? I'm saying instinct is the BASIS of desire. It leads up to [basic] desire, it is NOT desire. A foundation is the BASE for a house, but it is NOT a house.
I'm not personifying anything, you're dehumanizing people.

reply from: Jameberlin

What is your criteria for having made a preference? A child runs when he feels he is in danger, this to me is clear indication of his preference for safety from physical or emotional harm.
That's correct.
That's also correct.
You do realize you've just unraveled your own argument right? You stated that having not made a preference toward life or death means it's morally neutral to kill a child... yet you then agreed with me that fleeing from danger is in fact an expression of the preference toward life, making it unethical to kill a child regardless of their intelligence level.
You might try to turn it around and say "preference to avoid pain/danger but not death", to which i say, the instinct for self-preservation exists specifically to preserve one's own life.. Fleeing pain/danger exists because pain/danger are almost always precursors to death.
Any action that results in the subject attempting to flee from danger, whether consciously or subconsciously, is a clear indication of preference toward life.

reply from: churchmouse

How can being pro-life be scary? I do not condone the killing of human beings, YOU DO.
What chimp ever wrote a book, invented a cure for a disease, composed a musical masterpiece, flown an airplane, manned a rocket to the moon ?
So do you condone killing those with low IQ's? The mentally retarded? Those in comas?
No John........if it benefits the community that someone dies, they should die.
You are so right here Concerned. JohnSmith would kill the mentally retarded, the people in comas, people with low IQ's, brain damaged people.......etc.
His views are disturbing.
He most certainly addresses your arguments. You are in the minority here......we all get it, you don't.
The thing is.......you understand it because you obviously are a person with no morals and you do not value life. If you have morals and value life, none of what you say makes sense.
Now why dont you answer what Concerned asked?
So if you go to sleep.........its morally ok for someone to kill you?
Why? Why would you like Christ? He condems those to hell that do not believe in Him.
Well they do say opposites attract and your views certainly are opposite of His.
I find it odd that you have not read the Bible....but you know about Jesus. We know what we know about Christ from the scriptures. How could you know anything about Him unless you have read the scriptures?
It's no competition. It is for people that dont get it. Why do you talk about morality when your veiws seem to be immoral?

reply from: JohnSmith

How can being pro-life be scary? I do not condone the killing of human beings, YOU DO.
You advocate that a child that will live 6 months in pain every second of its existence not be aborted. That to me is sick.
What chimp ever wrote a book, invented a cure for a disease, composed a musical masterpiece, flown an airplane, manned a rocket to the moon ?
Guess what, some humans are less ept than some monkeys at doing any of those things.
No. no. and no unless they experience pain and will certainly never awaken.
No John........if it benefits the community that someone dies, they should die.
No, that may be your opinion, but it's certainly not what preference utilitarianism prescribes.
You are so right here Concerned. JohnSmith would kill the mentally retarded, the people in comas, people with low IQ's, brain damaged people.......etc.
You ask me and then claim to know the answer (when it is wrong), well then why do you ask me?
I think the same of yours.
I'm sorry, ask me any question and I will answer it.
So if you go to sleep.........its morally ok for someone to kill you?
um, no. Read what I wrote to concernedparent. I'm not going to write something twice because you're too lazy to scroll up.
Why? Why would you like Christ? He condems those to hell that do not believe in Him.
No, I don't really like Christ, I was just saying that.
I really have read the bible.
It's no competition. It is for people that dont get it. Why do you talk about morality when your veiws seem to be immoral?
Hmm, I don't know, why do you talk about morality when your views seem to be immoral to me?

reply from: JohnSmith

What is your criteria for having made a preference? A child runs when he feels he is in danger, this to me is clear indication of his preference for safety from physical or emotional harm.
That's correct.
That's also correct.
You do realize you've just unraveled your own argument right? You stated that having not made a preference toward life or death means it's morally neutral to kill a child...
yes.
Ah, no, no I didn't, and again I invite you to quote me.
nope.
Right, that's exactly what I say.
Unless you don't know the first thing about evolution (which seems that you don't), instincts don't have a purpose. They don't exist for any other reason other than because they ensure the higher likelihood of reproduction and survival of offspring in prehistoric humans.
that's somewhat true, yes.
Um, no.

reply from: JohnSmith

You were citing sense of future, not sense of self. Which is why i stated that it doesn't begin to develop until around three years of age, sense of self begins to develop much earlier. It is only after a child has a firm grasp of sense of self that he is able to grasp the concept of himself in time. This doesn't happen until he's well into his toddler years. A child is around three years old before he exhibits all three requirements for person hood by your definition.
If you want to talk development, arguably it could be said that a child begins to develop the foundations for these faculties in utero. There is no point in a normal human child's life that it is not developing into a fully functional human adult with firm concepts of self, time, etc. If the age at which these faculties begin to develop that is your argument for the ethical killing of a child, it would never be ethical.. since these are developing from the beginning of the individual's life.
You might be right. Some argue that it is around the end of the first year, some argue around the end of the second, and some in between.
Sorry, let me try to make it a little more clear: you state you do not have to be conscious to have interests. Interests exist without consciousness, therefore unborn children have interests (preserving life) without consciousness, therefore it is unethical to kill them.
No, you have to either be self-conscious now or previously to have future-oriented interests.
I cannot say it, and i didn't. I said that without our initial instinct to preserve life, conscious desire for the same would not have developed. How likely do you think it would be, if we had no instinct to bear and raise children we would ever desire to do so? If we had no instinct to procreate, would we desire sex? I'm not saying every abstract desire is based on instinct, but i am saying that basic desires are BASED on instinct. We want children because we have an INSTINCT to continue the species, we want to live because we have an INSTINCT for self-preservation. Instinct is the basis of our fundamental desires which include sex and life.
I don't see how this relates to morality.
No, i don't know what you mean. By dictionary definition, interest is anything concerning any one individual. Are you saying an unborn child's life doesn't concern him?
yes.
yes, you either have to be self-conscious or have had been in the past.
I understand but disagree. Acting upon instinct or conscious interest are two different things when it comes to self-conscious beings. Y
Instinct is the foundation for all of our basic desires, including the desire to protect our interests. I think you're confusing my usage of the noun interest with the verb desire, they're not the same thing. One's life is his interest, preserving one's life is his interest. One can desire to preserve his interests, one can be interested in preserving his interests, and by so doing expresses a desire to preserve his interests.
semantics..irrelevant to the discussion.
I don't see how that makes a difference.
I disagree. I don't know where you pulled this out of, but surely it is not a science textbook. In humans we generally refer to instinct as actions that do not reach the brain in their neural paths but are directed from the spinal chord. Thus instinct and desire do not interchange.
Perhaps in some complex way. But this has still no relevance to the point.
Don't twist what i said, there is a difference, and that is the potential to develop into a self-aware human with the capability of abstract thought.
Ah so now we are talking about potential. I encourage you to reread the section in the OP about potentiality.
YES, it IS. A spider's interest IS HIS LIFE, a spider is INTERESTED in protecting his INTERESTS, he expresses this by AVOIDING DEATH.
Nope. Sorry. Spiders can't want anything other than to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Period. The science is not disputable in philosophical terms.
But I am. If continuing to live is not in their interests (be that abstract as you wish to categorize it as), their life is worthless and has no intrinsic value.
It happens, look it up. I know a woman who's abortion doctor told the nurse "it's trying to get away, i have to try again." Babies who have to undergo various tests involving needles in utero have also been documented shying away and attempting to twist and writhe in attempt to escape the danger.
Absolutely irrelevant.
Nope, sorry, a series of chemical reactions that do not originate from a rational brain cannot be a future interest. Period. This is indisputable.
You're kidding right? Do you really think bacteria have an instinct to make us sick? Bacteria have no instincts, they're single cellular organisms who simply exist and get passed on by host organisms, that is how they continue to survive, not by instinct for self-preservation. Our getting sick is just a by-product of the bad bacteria existing in our bodies, it has nothing to do with their survival at all. If a strain of bacteria lives in a person (say in the stomach) it doesn't always make one sick, sickness is an unintended consequence of SOME bacteria who just keep on living. Anyone with even the loosest grasp of biology knows bacteria do not have an instinct to make us sick.
Their instincts are no different than that of the spider or the fetus. (except in that they don't feel pain).

reply from: BossMomma

Yes. You are confusing matters of legality and morality.
No, I'm not. I'm questioning the logical consistency of your implied views. You support legal abortion on demand, do you not? If so, if I understand your arguments correctly, then you must logically condone the killing of born children. If you do not, how do you intend to address this obvious inconsistency in application of logic?
This discussion is primarily an ethical one. I have posed the logical view stemming from preference utilitarianism that leads to a conclusion that painlessly killing non-self-conscious beings is not internally immoral. Since newborns are not self-conscious, this applies to them as well. I am willing to defend this view.
Dude, you think it's moral to kill a newborn? WTF is wrong with you?

reply from: JohnSmith

Sorry, I do. Moreover I think it's immoral not to kill newborns in certain circumstances.

reply from: JohnSmith

You said you can ethically kill a human being that has no conscious desire to live, then when I pointed out the fact that when you are unconscious, you have no conscious thoughts whatsoever, you altered your argument somewhat. You now imply that the entity need only unconscious interests, not any form of conscious thought.
Oh, no, don't you worry, my argument hasn't changed one bit, it had been well formed prior to this discussion. No, I said you can ethically kill a human being that has no desire to live. I clearly explained that you can have interests while you aren't conscious, if you had been self-conscious in the past.
It cannot be assumed so in both cases. To determine what's in someone's interest you must put yourself in their shoes, knowing the information you know, and make a decision based on what is in their interest. It cannot be assumed that a non-self-conscious being wishes to continue to live because they don't. Stop trying to say this. I thought you had understood it, but still you haven't.
Um, no, I hadn't changed a thing. I invite you to look for any inconsistency throughout my argument and present it in the form of two conflicting quotes of mine. Until you do this, you cannot claim such things.

reply from: JohnSmith

It's OK in your view to deny a human being that? And any other experience they might otherwise have had (had you not "ethically" killed them before they decided what college to attend....).
I'm not clear what you're getting at? deny a human being what?

reply from: JohnSmith

By the way, I still invite you to address the question I posted yesterday at 8:28 PM GMT, and if you still wish to pursue any of your fallacious arguments, also my posts of 08:15 PM, 08:05 PM, and 08:02 PM, unless you concede that you were wrong in those instances.

reply from: JohnSmith

Answer this (Mr. I accuse others of arbitrarity when I am the one imposing it)
(and don't try to avoid, because as you see, I catch on to that and don't just let you off), I'm looking for a clear answer, to THIS question.
1. What is the difference between not consciously thinking about something when awake and not consciously thinking about something when asleep?
And 2. Why does the first imply an interest is still present, and the second doesn't?
Obviously the difference is that information is only available in a (not very well understood) random sort of way. No "reason" or "desire" can be applied when unconscious, because that part of your brain is "turned off."
Are you making this up? Information is only available in a random sort of way? What does that even mean? The part of your brain that deals with a specific desire is also not firing any neurons in the desire's path if you will while conscious but not thinking about it.
Um, no, the assumption is that the sleeping person's brain still wants to live.
Um, no, I thought we've well established that a fetus's brain does not want to continue to live.
But this has no application to morality, because as I've previously said, if someone doesn't want something, it's not wrong to take it away from him. If I don't want my TV, good as it is, it wouldn't be wrong for the first passer-by to take it.
But irrelevant to rightness or wrongness.

reply from: JohnSmith

Yeah, you say you can kill someone who has no desire to live, you concede that "desire" is part of conscious thought processes, therefore does not exist in any unconscious entity, then you alter the argument, changing from "desire" to "interest," which are obviously not the same thing, right? Sure, nothing changed here....
I'm sorry when did I say that desire is part of a conscious thought process, again I invite you to quote me. When did I say it doesn't exist in any unconscious entity? Again, if you don't quote me, don't go making up things. Desire and interest ARE the same thing, and I've never said anything to the contrary. In fact I have said this and if you want I am willing to quote me.

reply from: JohnSmith

"Did you, or did you not, imply that there need only be an assumed "interest" in continuing to exist, and no conscious thought whatsoever? Explain how you could logically assume that a human being will have no "interest" in living?"
If someone can't have future-oriented interests, they can't have an interest in continuing to live. End of story. You can be 100% sure they don't want to live.
"You said it is reasonable to assume that a human being who has given no obvious indication that s/he is ready to die can be assumed to have an "interest" in living even when incapable of conscious thought, right? How does this not apply to that person at any point during their existence?"
I have said this again and again: for someone to have an interest in continuing to live they must have now or in the past been self-conscious, otherwise they would not want to continue to live not now nor never. If someone wanted something in the past and hasn't changed his mind, and is still alive, then he still has that interest, even if not thinking about it consciously. Pretty simple.

reply from: JohnSmith

By the way, I still invite you to address the question I posted yesterday at 8:28 PM GMT, and if you still wish to pursue any of your fallacious arguments, also my posts of 08:15 PM, 08:05 PM, and 08:02 PM, unless you concede that you were wrong in those instances.
I have addressed all relevant points. You have not. Repair the further damage to your argument, then we can proceed.
I'll take it that I have successfully refuted all the points you brought up in those three posts (namely, 08:02, 08:05, and 08:15) and you no longer wish to pursue those paths of argumentation. I'm glad we have made progress in the right direction.

reply from: JohnSmith

What if you promised it to your sister? I can still take it if I get to it first, right? Even though you don't know me? I mean, if you don't want it (or it can't be proven that you do), then you no longer have any say in the matter, right? If you don't want it, it's no longer "yours" and I can ethically just take it....
No, that would be an EXTRINSIC consideration, and you are right, it would then be wrong.
No, if I am asleep and had previously wanted my TV to remain mine, then it's still in my interests that it remain mine. Whereas if I am unborn, I never wanted to continue to live so it's not in my interests. Get it?

reply from: JohnSmith

Ummm, no, they're not. Desire is a product of conscious thought. Interests may be manifestations of desires (as well as other things), but they are certainly not the same thing. There's only one reason you changed terms, and that is to attempt to bolster a failing argument. It didn't work as planned, so now you rely on distractions.
Perhaps. But again - semantics. I have been treating them as the same all along. Want, desire, Interest. I don't see the big difference. We can use whichever one you'd like. I, unlike you, can actually quote, rather than make up things to try to somehow be right in at least one way (after all your arguments failed). I invite you to examine this post (addressed to you, no less!) funny how you forget quickly, it seems again, as if overnight. Maybe that's why you insist that you don't retain your interests from the day before while you sleep. 08/27/2008 02:33 PM GMT.
I really don't care about definitions, they have no leverage whatsoever on the argument. One can only have a future-oriented interest if he is or was self-conscious and is not dead (or the equivalent). I can't count how many times I've said this now.

reply from: JohnSmith

Is self consciousness a "black and white" line that can be clearly defined? Is there a point where a human being is not self conscious, then one second later, is?
No.
It has never been used in that way. Never. Again, invitation to quote me. (now will be used as the abbreviation ITQM)
Generally yes, as long as that person is self-conscious and hasn't pointed otherwise.
Exactly, because they don't have a preference.
As I've said, you're wrong. You already brought this up and I adressed it. It isn't the fact that you can't make a preference that makes you have no interest in living, but the fact that you haven't made a preference that makes you have no interest in living. The only use here for the inablity to express interest is as scientific proof that indeed no such preference exists.
right, because it doesn't. They had a preference to continue to live.
Um no, as we've argued before, making a preference in the past and not thinking about it anymore does not mean you no longer have that interest. We've discussed that, and you conceded that you don't have to consciously think about something for it to be your interest. What you haven't properly adressed is what difference does it make if you're sleeping or not. See my post today of 05:34 PM GMT which you have not replied to.

reply from: JohnSmith

Ah, so there's more to it than what you consciously want? Well, gee, what have I been saying here?
Definitely. Lots of other things matter. The parents, the potential adoptive parents, the law, Siblings, the possibility of making future children, an underpopulation problem, and so on. There are countless extrinsic considerations to be made. This entire time we've been discussing only the intrinsic value to the fetus's life (which I have valued at 0)
Oh, I get it alright....You think you just get to say "this is how it is" and it's a done deal, right? You can't take someone's past, only their future. Explain how any past desire, emotion, or thought can effect the ethics of killing a human being. You are essentially arguing that any human being who is not current conscious of it's own existence can ethically be killed, but only if they did not have some thoughts in the past that would indicate a level of "self awareness" you are uncomfortable with needlessly, permanently terminating.
Right. Except for the part about me saying this is how it is. It's self-evident that if you had an interest in the past and hadn't changed your mind, it is still your interest, no matter what state you are currently in (other than dead or the equivalent).
Hmm, interesting point. Perhaps not sleep but in another state where the brain is not functioning at all then you are right, you could ethically kill them.

reply from: BossMomma

Sorry, I do. Moreover I think it's immoral not to kill newborns in certain circumstances.
Please don't ever reproduce.

reply from: JohnSmith

I guess you're done then?

reply from: JohnSmith

Sorry, I do. Moreover I think it's immoral not to kill newborns in certain circumstances.
Please don't ever reproduce.
I already have, sorry about that too.

reply from: BossMomma

Sorry, I do. Moreover I think it's immoral not to kill newborns in certain circumstances.
Please don't ever reproduce.
I already have, sorry about that too.
So before your children were self aware or had a sense of self consciousness it would have been perfectly moral to you to kill them?

reply from: JohnSmith

If you define "interest" as conscious thought ("desire," etc.), then unconscious persons have no "future interests." If you define it as assumed reality (as you have in the case of a sleeping person), then an unborn child has "future oriented interest." Either way, the argument fails to justify needless killing of children.
It's really funny that you STILL have not responded to my post of 02:34 PM GMT. And continue to repeat your nonsense without addressing my counterarguments.
Let me try to use YOUR terms this time to see if it makes more sense to you.
1. To have a future-oriented interest, you must be or have been self-conscious.
2a. If you are self-conscious, then you desire to continue to live (Usually), turning it into an interest.
2b. If you were self-conscious, then you desired to continue to live (usually), turning it into an interest, which remains your interest until you either die (or the equivalent) or change your mind.
I don't see what's so complicated about this.

reply from: JohnSmith

Well intrinsically yes. Extrinsically: I live in a society where there are laws against that, I wanted them to continue to live, my wife had developed a sense of attachment to them, and so on.

reply from: JohnSmith

This obviously does not apply to an unconscious adult...I believe you previously said "or." Maybe I should start quoting you directly if you really can't see the inconsistencies here when I point them out. They would be harder to deny that way...I think you want to discourage me by insisting I continuously search the thread for quotes. I assure you I know what you have said. It is no offense to paraphrase you without quoting you directly...
An unconscious adult is still a self-conscious being, but that's semantics again. Where is your point, what are you trying to argue?

reply from: sweet

By the way, the FSM said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. However, the FSM does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, the FSM will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be] any praise, think on these things.(Phillipians 4:8)

reply from: JohnSmith

They are incapable, just like sleeping persons. No conscious thought.
Right, except sleeping persons have made a preference in the past, making it their interest (I have switched to your dialect now to make it easier to converse), until they either change their minds or die.

reply from: JohnSmith

By the way, the FSM said he was giving men their days to do their own work. He has commanded that men have eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear. However, the FSM does say that man is unable to direct his own footsteps and will go down many varied and crooked paths that lead to death. Eventually, the FSM will put down the rebellion and install His Government. Why not get on the winning team?
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be] any praise, think on these things.(Phillipians 4:8)
huh?

reply from: JohnSmith

You said the "interest" can be assumed if there is no indication of a wish to cease to exist in the case of an unconscious adult, but seem to be refusing to apply the same logic to a child. Your position is logically inconsistent.
Right, because that unconscious adult was once self-conscious and didn't kill himself or express desire to, that's why the assumption is made.

reply from: JohnSmith

This is only useful in supporting your assumption of "interest." Since you have asserted that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is safe to assume a human being has an "interest" in continuing to exist based on the assumption that this will be their desire when they are conscious. Obviously, this logically applies at any point in existence, regardless of level of sentience.
in absence of evidence to the contrary, it is safe to assume that a self-conscious being has an interest in continuing to exist based on the assumption that that had BEEN their desire when they WERE conscious. See you error?

reply from: JohnSmith

If you are defining interest, not as conscious thought, but as assumed reality (what is "best" for the entity), then, and only then, do I "concede" that "you don't have to consciously think about something for it to be your interest."
I have clearly said that you don't have to consciously think about something presently for it to be in your interest, but you could also have thought about it in the past. While examining someone's interests, we must place ourselves in their shoes, knowing what we know, and take into account what they right now desire, or have desired in the past without changing their minds. How's that for your terms?
I don't care at all about definitions! Decide what you want each term to mean and tell me and I'll talk about things any way you want. It doesn't change the argument in any way.
Thank you. That's more reasonable. I invite you to address the follow up post I wrote after I had asked you to explain why it is different to not think of something consciously while awake and while asleep. I felt that your answer was insufficient at best and urged you to respond to it. The post was posted at 05:34 PM GMT.

reply from: sweet

just keep it simple.....fancy doesn't cover up the TRUTH anyway....killing babies is evil.....it must be stopped and you encourage it to continue....correct?

reply from: BossMomma

Well intrinsically yes. Extrinsically: I live in a society where there are laws against that, I wanted them to continue to live, my wife had developed a sense of attachment to them, and so on.
So had no laws existed protecting your born child from you and your wife had no special attachment to the kid you'd have killed him or her at will? That puts you about on level with an animal. Once born that child is as much a person as yourself and it's as immoral to kill that child as it is to kill you. Humans go through instances of nonself awareness all the time, each time you sleep you are not self aware, under your twisted mind set it'd be moral to kill people in their sleep. Under your thinking it'd be justifiable to kill a patient under general anesthesia or in a coma or even unconscious from a concussion.

reply from: JohnSmith

just keep it simple.....fancy doesn't cover up the TRUTH anyway....killing babies is evil.....it must be stopped and you encourage it to continue....correct?
Yes.

reply from: JohnSmith

We can only assume this if they had previously wanted to continue to live.
No, that is unreasonable. A plant doesn't wish to continue to exist period. We cannot assume it does. It is not in its interests.
You didn't answer the question. Are you unsure? "Another state where the brain is not functioning at all?" Are you implying that the brain does not function at all while you are unconscious? Or that there is any point during the existence of a human being that their brain does not function at all? When? Death?
No, I was just saying that while we are asleep our brain still functions. Perhaps when we are in a deep coma or something of the sort.

reply from: JohnSmith

Well there are other extrinsic considerations as well, such as the time and effort we spent on them, potential adoptive parents, the effect on other people who learn of this, and on and on.
Really, why?
See almost the entirety of my discussion with concernedparent.

reply from: JohnSmith

If you define "interest" as conscious thought ("desire," etc.), then unconscious persons have no "future interests." If you define it as assumed reality (as you have in the case of a sleeping person), then an unborn child has "future oriented interest." Either way, the argument fails to justify needless killing of children.
It's really funny that you STILL have not responded to my post of 02:34 PM GMT. And continue to repeat your nonsense without addressing my counterarguments.
Let me try to use YOUR terms this time to see if it makes more sense to you.
1. To have a future-oriented interest, you must be or have been self-conscious.
2a. If you are self-conscious, then you desire to continue to live (Usually), turning it into an interest.
2b. If you were self-conscious, then you desired to continue to live (usually), turning it into an interest, which remains your interest until you either die (or the equivalent) or change your mind.
I don't see what's so complicated about this.
Here's your problem. You don't seem to understand that having had a conscious desire in the past can not make you have that same desire when you are unconscious, and therefore incapable of having any desires. If you are unconscious you can not be self conscious. Sure, we can assume that you will want to live later, when you regain consciousness, but while unconscious, you want nothing!
Either way, it is in your "interest" to continue to exist, whether you are currently aware or not.
I don't see what's so complicated about this!
Having had a conscious desire in the past makes something your interest. This doesn't change when you're not thinking about it whether conscious or not. Again, I have asked you to respond to the 05:34 PM GMT post.

reply from: JohnSmith

This obviously does not apply to an unconscious adult...I believe you previously said "or." Maybe I should start quoting you directly if you really can't see the inconsistencies here when I point them out. They would be harder to deny that way...I think you want to discourage me by insisting I continuously search the thread for quotes. I assure you I know what you have said. It is no offense to paraphrase you without quoting you directly...
An unconscious adult is still a self-conscious being, but that's semantics again. Where is your point, what are you trying to argue?
An unconscious adult is not currently "self aware." They retain the capacity for self awareness that is inherent to normal human beings, all human beings. Simple enough?
Sure, I guess, if that's how you want it to be said, but again it still is of no relevance to the argument.

reply from: JohnSmith

They are incapable, just like sleeping persons. No conscious thought.
Right, except sleeping persons have made a preference in the past, making it their interest (I have switched to your dialect now to make it easier to converse), until they either change their minds or die.
The situation affects the future, not the past. You are using an assumption of the past to make an assumption regarding the future. Accepting either assumption as valid does not show that the assumption of the future regarding one with no real "past" is not equally valid on another basis. It can be safely assumed that any human being will wish to live as soon as it is capable of conscious thought, regardless of past choices. There is no logical basis for any distinction.
I disagree with you. And you will too soon. I'm the boss of a factory that works 24 hours. I tell my workers one day to work all night. I go to sleep. Can they say that they don't have to work until I wake up because while I'm sleeping I don't really want them to work? It has nothing to do with the future, but with the present and the past. I expressed a desire that has not changed. I am not dead. Therefore that desire is still in my interest, no matter whether I'm conscious or not. How does present consciousness make a difference for whether something is in my interest or not?
Again, I'm still asking you to respond to the 05:34 PM GMT post.

reply from: BossMomma

Well there are other extrinsic considerations as well, such as the time and effort we spent on them, potential adoptive parents, the effect on other people who learn of this, and on and on.
Really, why?
See almost the entirety of my discussion with concernedparent.
Your dodging now to put your warped mind set in a more positive light. Lesser animals do not place the same value on their offspring as humans do, many would abandon their young to save their own lives, or kill their young if they percieve something wrong with it. And as for your discussion with CP, I have him on ignore along with a few choice others because he's a waste of time to debate with. I can't even see his posts unless they are quoted by someone else.

reply from: JohnSmith

You said the "interest" can be assumed if there is no indication of a wish to cease to exist in the case of an unconscious adult, but seem to be refusing to apply the same logic to a child. Your position is logically inconsistent.
Right, because that unconscious adult was once self-conscious and didn't kill himself or express desire to, that's why the assumption is made.
What logical basis would having once been "self conscious" have on the point? Didn't you say that if the person wants to die, you can kill him?
Such a person would be "self aware," right?
Right, with that being the only exception.
No, it isn't. It's being self-conscious and not desiring to die.
No.

reply from: JohnSmith

Then how in hell can you exclude young children? Obviously, it can be assumed to be "in their interest" that they not be killed, and if they need not currently be aware of that, your argument would appear to be quite useless for attempting to justify killing them...
Um, no, it's not in their interest, because they have no future oriented interests. How many more times do you need to hear this?
Are you really arguing that it is not in your interest unless you first think about it?
YES!!!!!!!! You finally got it!!
No. Realizing what you are, and what the future is, and being able to rationaly put those together and not killing yourself or explicitely exhibiting the desire to die shows a desire not to die.

reply from: JohnSmith

But does not having had a conscious thought about a particular issue in the past mean you have no "interest" in that issue?
YES!!! We're making progress!
Why not?

reply from: sweet

you know, i wouldn't want you anywhere NEAR my children...or any children...not only are you cold-heartedly admitting to being a raging murderer, you have no regrets, and you attempt to teach and pass on the insanity (God be with your children)! i worked in a Mental Hospital a few years ago and guess what.....the patients had EVERYTHING in common with you! i'm not sure what brought you this LOW in life, but I REBUKE THIS EVIL that possesses you IN JESUS' name!
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matthew 24:12)

reply from: JohnSmith

While you are asleep, you don't care one way or the other, so no, while you sleep, you do not "want them to work." "Wanting" is a result of conscious thought. You wanted them to work all night when you were last conscious, and their incentive to do so is that you will want this when you awaken, and there may be consequences if they do not. You don't "want" anything while you sleep. You are incapable of conscious thought...
Until you don't respond to my 05:34 PM GMT post as I've urged you to now over 4 times (and I had thought you agreed to stop evading), I have nothing to say about this. Either you want to discuss it or no. If you do, we can start by you answering to that post.

reply from: JohnSmith

Whatever harms the plant is not in it's best interests.
Incorrect. A plant has no interests. It doesn't have a brain and it doesn't feel pain. Saying that it has interests is a personification and a misunderstanding of biology.
Neither. There is no good or bad in such things. Nothing is best for the plant just as nothing is best for a rock.
No it isn't. It's that there IS NO best or worst for it. Everything is neutral.

reply from: JohnSmith

Well there are other extrinsic considerations as well, such as the time and effort we spent on them, potential adoptive parents, the effect on other people who learn of this, and on and on.
Really, why?
See almost the entirety of my discussion with concernedparent.
Your dodging now to put your warped mind set in a more positive light. Lesser animals do not place the same value on their offspring as humans do, many would abandon their young to save their own lives, or kill their young if they percieve something wrong with it. And as for your discussion with CP, I have him on ignore along with a few choice others because he's a waste of time to debate with. I can't even see his posts unless they are quoted by someone else.
Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.

reply from: JohnSmith

you know, i wouldn't want you anywhere NEAR my children...or any children...not only are you cold-heartedly admitting to being a raging murderer
I never killed another human. Isn't that necessary to make me a murderer?
No, I don't have any regrets, and yes, I attempt to propagate my thoughts on the subject.
What a coincidence.
Thank you. I hope it works.
Sorry, I don't understand your quotes.

reply from: BossMomma

Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.
I don't really care to follow your argument with CP, he goes round and round about a subject, twists every logical post and you wind up getting no where.

reply from: Jameberlin

Whatever harms the plant is not in it's best interests.
Incorrect. A plant has no interests. It doesn't have a brain and it doesn't feel pain. Saying that it has interests is a personification and a misunderstanding of biology.
Neither. There is no good or bad in such things. Nothing is best for the plant just as nothing is best for a rock.
No it isn't. It's that there IS NO best or worst for it. Everything is neutral.
I like how you never once used the word personification until LCR accused you of personifying everything when you said "THE WORLD OPERATES ON MORALS AND ETHICS". Now you throw it around like it's your mantra.
A life is an interest, BY DEFINITION, anything that concerns ANY ONE BEING is considered its INTEREST. IT FOLLOWS THAT THE LIFE OF AN INDIVIDUAL WOULD BE HIS INTEREST.
FLEEING FROM DANGER IS EXPRESSION OF THE DESIRE TO PROTECT ONE'S INTEREST I.E. PRESERVE LIFE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR MENTAL CAPABILITIES OR CONCEPT OF SELF IN TIME.
If an individual is fleeing from danger, and has made no previous attempts at harming itself, it has just expressed a desire to continue to remain unharmed. Period.
Therefore it is UNETHICAL to end it's life.

reply from: Jameberlin

Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.
Momma, Smith does the same thing, and he is fully in support of infanticide, as long as the individual in question doesn't meet his "three requirements" for person hood.
Certain animals are programmed to dispatch of their young if their circumstances aren't optimal, mainly because if the care taker dies, there will be no future offspring. Therefore in the animal world, it is in one's best interest to abandon it's young in favor of perhaps rearing another brood next season.
People do not operate in this fashion, we operate by morals and ethics... While i think it's important that we do not forget the role our instincts play in our lives, it's a fallacy to claim that because animals operate one way, we should do the same. Animals have no morals, like we do, it's my belief that this is what makes us different. Smith is on a quest to dehumanize... i wonder if he's also an advocate of sex with animals like Peter Singer.

reply from: JohnSmith

"I don't really care to follow your argument with CP, he goes round and round about a subject, twists every logical post and you wind up getting no where."
ok, then let me copy paste some of my answers to him. I noticed he's quite insistant on the same issue (unconsciousness) for quite a while. But at least he agreed to stop evading and answer my questions (although hasn't done that yet).

reply from: JohnSmith

No, and caps don't make it true.
No, that's an instinct.
No. Even if there was no true danger to its life it would flee. That's called instinct.
Um, no. Instinct is spelled I-N-S-T-I-N-C-T not I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T though I do concede they are similar. I myself mistake them at times. Gotta watch out for that.

reply from: JohnSmith

To BossMomma:
As I explained in the OP, an interest does not go away when you don't consciously think of it. If you thought it in the past and haven't changed your mind since and will be able to continue to think the same in the future unless interference is introduced, then you still hold that interest.
It seems rather obvious that when you think of something you want and go to sleep, you wake up with the same desire, it hasn't left you. Think of it this way, I'll give you an example:
You meet a woman at work that you like very much. One day you decide that tommorow you will ask her out on a date. You then go out that night with a close friend and tell him about your desire for tommorow. You then have a few too many beers, and are no longer thinking about the woman at work but about how nice the smell of strawberries is. If one were to ask you about this woman you would not be capable of expressing your desire to ask her out the following day.
Your sober friend, having heard about how great this woman is, promptly calls her and asks her out.
Was this action by your friend justified? Would he say that you no longer had the desire to ask her out the next day because you weren't consciously thinking about it?
This simply doesn't make any sense. I think this is a much clearer issue than you are making it as it seems fairly simple to agree with.
It isn't the capacity to desire that's required, it's the desire itself. If someone is capable of desiring to live but desires to die, it isn't internally wrong to kill him.
Yes I dispute that, because morality deals with the present existing interests people have (and with net created desires).
Let me try to explain this to you once more:
Utilitarianism, in the sense I am describing, judges actions by the extent to which they accord with the preferences of any beings affected by the action or its consequences. Killing a person who prefers to continue living is therefore wrong, other things being equal. If such a person is asleep or unconscious, such a desire cannot be simply disregarded. That the victims are not around after the act to lament the fact that their preferences have been disregarded is irrelevant. The wrong is done when the preference is thwarted. Since persons are highly future-oriented in their preferences, to kill a person is therefore, normally, to violate not just one, but a wide range of the most central and significant preferences a being can have. Very often, it will make nonsense of everything that the victim has been trying to do in the past days, months, or even years. In contrast, beings who could never see themselves as entities with a future cannot have any preferences about their own future existence.
I'll give you another simple example. When you're 30 years old you sign a document saying that if you are late from work to pick up your kids from school one day you authorize the school to provide after-school babysitting services. 10 years go by, and it never happens. You've never once thought about that document or the circumstance since. In fact, you've forgotten that the school even provides this service. One day, you get caught in a snow-storm and you're not available by phone. Can it be said that it is still in your interests that the school provide this service? Obviously! For all they know, you could have fallen asleep in your car or have become comatose due to an injury. It is still in your interests that the school provide the service. This is as clear as I can make it.
It is clear as glass that I cannot think of all my desires at the same time, yet I have quite a lot. To list a few: I want to succeed in my job, want to continue to live, want to continue to be married, want my kids to be successfull, and so on. I can't possibly think of all those things at every moment. Yet I assure you it would be an absurdity to say that I don't desire any of those things at any moment, just because I'm not consciously thinking of it.
for someone to have an interest in continuing to live they must have now or in the past been self-conscious, otherwise they would not want to continue to live not now nor never. If someone wanted something in the past and hasn't changed his mind, and is still alive, then he still has that interest, even if not thinking about it consciously. Pretty simple.
1. To have a future-oriented interest, you must be or have been self-conscious.
2a. If you are self-conscious, then you desire to continue to live (Usually), turning it into an interest.
2b. If you were self-conscious, then you desired to continue to live (usually), turning it into an interest, which remains your interest until you either die (or the equivalent) or change your mind.
I have clearly said that you don't have to consciously think about something presently for it to be in your interest, but you could also have thought about it in the past. While examining someone's interests, we must place ourselves in their shoes, knowing what we know, and take into account what they right now desire, or have desired in the past without changing their minds.
I'm the boss of a factory that works 24 hours. I tell my workers one day to work all night. I go to sleep. Can they say that they don't have to work until I wake up because while I'm sleeping I don't really want them to work? It has nothing to do with the future, but with the present and the past. I expressed a desire that has not changed. I am not dead. Therefore that desire is still in my interest, no matter whether I'm conscious or not. How does present consciousness make a difference for whether something is in my interest or not?

reply from: BossMomma

Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.
Momma, Smith does the same thing, and he is fully in support of infanticide, as long as the individual in question doesn't meet his "three requirements" for person hood.
Certain animals are programmed to dispatch of their young if their circumstances aren't optimal, mainly because if the care taker dies, there will be no future offspring. Therefore in the animal world, it is in one's best interest to abandon it's young in favor of perhaps rearing another brood next season.
People do not operate in this fashion, we operate by morals and ethics... While i think it's important that we do not forget the role our instincts play in our lives, it's a fallacy to claim that because animals operate one way, we should do the same. Animals have no morals, like we do, it's my belief that this is what makes us different. Smith is on a quest to dehumanize... i wonder if he's also an advocate of sex with animals like Peter Singer.
Well, I've debated a few others like smith and ultimately by human standards they can't back up their argument.

reply from: JohnSmith

Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.
Momma, Smith does the same thing, and he is fully in support of infanticide, as long as the individual in question doesn't meet his "three requirements" for person hood.
Certain animals are programmed to dispatch of their young if their circumstances aren't optimal, mainly because if the care taker dies, there will be no future offspring. Therefore in the animal world, it is in one's best interest to abandon it's young in favor of perhaps rearing another brood next season.
People do not operate in this fashion, we operate by morals and ethics... While i think it's important that we do not forget the role our instincts play in our lives, it's a fallacy to claim that because animals operate one way, we should do the same. Animals have no morals, like we do, it's my belief that this is what makes us different. Smith is on a quest to dehumanize... i wonder if he's also an advocate of sex with animals like Peter Singer.
Well, I've debated a few others like smith and ultimately by human standards they can't back up their argument.
Well, I invite you, as they say, to 'bring it on'.

reply from: churchmouse

Who is in pain and from what?
You advocate abortion which is the dismemberment of the unborn child. That is what is sick. You advocate killing even born a born child that is in pain.
And you would advocate killing them as well........that is sick.
You just seem to say a lot of things that are inhumane and dont make a lot of sense. Like I said, I am sure you are the opposite of what Christ stands for. I wouldnt think you would like Him.
What you have established there is that you lie. You said, you liked Christ but then said later you didnt mean it. You know all about Christ but you have not read the bible, but you have read the bible....when I called you to the table.

reply from: JohnSmith

Who is in pain and from what?
A baby. From say, a horrible terminal disease.
Yep I do. To me it's mercy, and not doing it is sick.
And you would advocate killing them as well........that is sick.
sorry what?
You just seem to say a lot of things that are inhumane and dont make a lot of sense. Like I said, I am sure you are the opposite of what Christ stands for. I wouldnt think you would like Him.
You're right. (About the second part).
Yes, I lied.

reply from: Jameberlin

No, and caps don't make it true.
No, that's an instinct.
No. Even if there was no true danger to its life it would flee. That's called instinct.
Um, no. Instinct is spelled I-N-S-T-I-N-C-T not I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T though I do concede they are similar. I myself mistake them at times. Gotta watch out for that.
You're really not that bright are you? READING COMPREHENSION IS NOT YOUR STRONG SUIT.
I never said caps make it true, caps are me shouting at you. It just so happens that by definition interest is anything concerning any one individual. An individual's life is his interest, his interests lie in protecting that interest. Apparently, you are unfamiliar with the definition of interest, which is why i cited it to you previously.
Did i ever say instinct and interest were the same thing, or even similar? I said INTEREST is any ONE THING concerning ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL. Instinct is there to incite and individual to protect his INTERESTS.
An individual who is fleeing danger (instinctually or otherwise) is in effect, protecting his interest. His life is his interest, it is a very real and concrete interest.
You are making yourself look a fool.
I will re-state... and this will be the last time:
Instinct is the basis for an organism's desires to protect his interest. If an organism ever exhibits outward signs of fleeing danger in order to protect his interests, he is effectively choosing safety(life) over danger(death). This is true regardless of the organisms mental capabilities. It (the organism) is showing a definite preference toward safety and life... therefore it is unethical to kill it, by YOUR definition.
If we are granting that a sleeping man still holds his interests, and we give him the benefit of the doubt and avoid killing him in his sleep, we should grant the same leeway to an unborn child because we can ASSUME that once he is CONSCIOUSLY ABLE to think of his "interests" he will exhibit a clear desire to remain living. The only things that the two individuals cited above need, is time.
Also your ethics allow for the killing of an unborn, or young child, but they do not allow for the death penalty of a convicted and dangerous child rapist/murderer. So long as any dangerous criminal exhibits a desire to live, it is unethical to kill him, correct?

reply from: Jameberlin

WHy is that whole post in bold? What the hell?

reply from: KaylieBee

I bet someone somewhere forgot to close a bold tag...

reply from: JohnSmith

Ouch, you shouted at me, I'm offended.
nope. Instinct does not show or reveal a preference. It occurs as the end-product of a chain of automated reactions to a stimulus. That's it. No more.
You too cannot see concernedparent's posts? If not I also invite you to look above at my post directed at BossMomma.
Generally, a desire to continue to live is among the strongest desires by far surpassing interests of others wanting for someone to die. Usually it is unethical to kill a self-conscious being when another/others is/are not faced with a life-or-death situation. It could be argued that there are certain other strong interests such as not getting tortured and so on. That is up for debate.

reply from: Jameberlin

How about your opinion? A convicted child rapist/murder meets all three of your requirements, and wants to live... do you let him? I'm asking you, personally.

reply from: JohnSmith

Personally, I believe that the statistics do not show that executing murderers deters further murder and so it does not directly save more lives. I also have opinions about criminology, such as that punishing someone for his actions is of no use and the main goal should be to rehabilitate criminals and prevent crime, that is caused by mostly socio-economic factors. So yes, I would let him live.

reply from: BossMomma

Personally, I believe that the statistics do not show that executing murderers deters furthur murder and so it does not directly save more lives. I also have opinions about criminology, such as that punishing someone for his actions is of no use and the main goal should be to rehabilitate criminals and prevent crime, that is caused by mostly socio-economic factors. So yes, I would let him live.
So it's more moral to kill the newborn than to kill the preditor who would get off on raping and killing say..your child? Logically speaking it makes more sense to want to make our world safer for our kids, not keep giving their preditors more and more chances to harm them.

reply from: JohnSmith

Personally, I believe that the statistics do not show that executing murderers deters furthur murder and so it does not directly save more lives. I also have opinions about criminology, such as that punishing someone for his actions is of no use and the main goal should be to rehabilitate criminals and prevent crime, that is caused by mostly socio-economic factors. So yes, I would let him live.
So it's more moral to kill the newborn than to kill the preditor who would get off on raping and killing say..your child?
yes.

reply from: Jameberlin

You know what, i'm done with this particular argument.
Here's my opinion:
Any person who takes the life of another living being without any need, is unethical. Any person who advocates the killing of a harmless being without any need, is not only unethical, but wasteful and cruel. Any person who advocates the painful destruction of a being just because it can't think of tomorrow is a danger to society.
People like you a danger to society. I'm so glad there are laws in place to restrain disgusting horrible people like you. Your 'ethics' are a load of horse sh*t, if i knew you in person, i would not allow you or your heartless callous attitude toward life anywhere near my family.
It's a good thing, for the survival of our species, that your sociopathic views are not accepted by society.
You are not the norm, you are the black sheep among the species, you go against the natural order of humanity. You lack empathy and altruism, both essential to human survival. People like you will die off, and the norm will continue to survive and thrive.
Now i'm going to place you on ignore, because i have fallen into the trap: "arguing on the internet is like competing in the special Olympics, wind or lose, you're still fu*cking retarded."

reply from: BossMomma

Personally, I believe that the statistics do not show that executing murderers deters furthur murder and so it does not directly save more lives. I also have opinions about criminology, such as that punishing someone for his actions is of no use and the main goal should be to rehabilitate criminals and prevent crime, that is caused by mostly socio-economic factors. So yes, I would let him live.
So it's more moral to kill the newborn than to kill the preditor who would get off on raping and killing say..your child?
yes.
Ooookay...

reply from: JohnSmith

Because people can't change their minds, right? A person who wished to live yesterday can not commit suicide today....A person who was suicidal yesterday can not wish to live today...You're just pulling contentions out of thin air here.
No, I had meant unless they change their minds. You know this well.
So "interest" can not be synonymous with "desire" then, or you would be incapable of having any "future interests" while unconscious. You can assert that "having had a conscious desire in the past makes something your interest," but it does not logically follow that not[/b[ having had a conscious thought in the past means you have no "interests."
The only way to make something your interest is to desire it or have desired it and not changed your mind (or died).
The post I had reffered to that you have been avoiding dealt with the following:
You conceded that you don't have to consciously think of something for it to be in your interests while you're awake. But failed to properly address what difference it makes whether you're sleeping or not. This is what you said:
"Obviously the difference is that information is only available in a (not very well understood) random sort of way. No "reason" or "desire" can be applied when unconscious, because that part of your brain is "turned off.""
To which I replied:
"Are you making this up? Information is only available in a random sort of way? What does that even mean? The part of your brain that deals with a specific desire is also not firing any neurons in the desire's path if you will while conscious but not thinking about it."
There is no difference between not consciously thinking about something when you're awake or asleep. Thus if you've conceded one, you must concede the other as well.

reply from: JohnSmith

I thought we had narrowed it down to a reasonable assumption that the human being will be conscious in the future, and will then "not desire to die."
No, my friend, you thought wrong. ITQM.

reply from: JohnSmith

No.
No? You claim it is ethical to kill a child because it is incapable of "planning a future," caring about what happens to it, etc....Obviously it is capability of some level of "higher thought" that you believe makes life significant, and those who have not yet reached that level can be ethically killed without any further justification in your view, right?
No, WRONG! It is not that one isn't able to care about his future that makes it ok to kill him, but it is that one doesn't care about his future that makes it ok to kill him. I have also said this several times.
That is a complicated matter that deals with numerous extrinsic considerations.

reply from: JohnSmith

YES!!!!!!!! You finally got it!!
I understood all along, I'm just incredulous that you believe this is a reasonable assumption. So it is not in the interest of a human being to live if they have never pondered it?
No! Precisely.
A desire makes something your interest until you change your mind or die.
No, I did not. ITQM.

reply from: JohnSmith

So, an entity that displays no desire to die can be assumed to have an "interest" in living? Even when they are incapable of conscious thought? Even though they do not currently realize what they are, what the future is, and are incapable of "putting it together?" How does this not apply to all human beings, regardless of current level of consciousness?
If they PREVIOUSLY had the desire to continue to live (and haven't changed their mind).

reply from: JohnSmith

But does not having had a conscious thought about a particular issue in the past mean you have no "interest" in that issue?
YES!!! We're making progress!
Why not?
Have you ever thought about having a bottle shoved up your @$$? (If you have, keep it to yourself, the question is rhetorical, intended to make a point) No? Then you have no "interest" in not having a bottle shoved up there, and anyone who wishes may ethically do so to you, right?
No, for example I have the interest not to experience pain, the interest to remain healthy, and so on. By doing so, you would disregard these interests of mine, which far surpass the amusement you might get from doing so to me, thus it's unethical.
Sorry, I cannot. Show it to me, and then I will. Otherwise, I can't.
When you are self-conscious, you begin to form future-oriented desires. Even if you don't specifically think about wanting to continue to live, you being to think about things like "in a few minutes, I want mommy to serve me food". Which means that you want to continue to exist until at least a few minutes more. By killing a being with future-oriented interests you are thwarting them. Since you didn't take those into account, it's immoral.

reply from: JohnSmith

While you are asleep, you don't care one way or the other, so no, while you sleep, you do not "want them to work." "Wanting" is a result of conscious thought. You wanted them to work all night when you were last conscious, and their incentive to do so is that you will want this when you awaken, and there may be consequences if they do not. You don't "want" anything while you sleep. You are incapable of conscious thought...
Until you don't respond to my 05:34 PM GMT post as I've urged you to now over 4 times (and I had thought you agreed to stop evading), I have nothing to say about this. Either you want to discuss it or no. If you do, we can start by you answering to that post.
Yeah, I knew this was coming. You're not the first to play this game... I told you that if you have a specific question, just ask it. I have addressed every point you have raised, and if you need clarification, you need only ask. Simply retyping "05:34 PM GMT" ad nauseum doesn't tell me what your beef is, it's just a variation of ad hominem attack...
No, no I really do want an answer. You are the one with the ad nauseum because you refuse to address my argument and instead continue to churn out the nonesense that I had already refuted.

reply from: JohnSmith

A plant has no "desires" in a way that we can relate to, but you can only say it has none in the way humans do. You can't say it has none at all.
I am saying that.
Both as automated chemical reactions. At times it does opposite of what would help it survive. Something with no brain or nervous system cannot have desires. It's just a bunch of molecules with no preference as to their arrangement.
Obviously not.
YOU might not fully understand, but we as humans certainly do.
haha, you continue.
No, I'm afraid you are making this up. A bacterium does not want to have sugars diffused into it (althouth it is a necessity for its survival), that's just the way things are.
Where there is life, it can be lost. To lose something, or be deprived of something is generally a "negative."
Not at all. To lose a cancerous tumor is positive. It all depends on whether you want something or not.
Neither if you don't care.
The placement of several trillions of molecules constitue the difference between a live plant or a dead one. Same for a fractured rock or a full one.

reply from: JohnSmith

Conscious desire does not exist in an unconscious mind. When consciousness returns, so do conscious desires, which may or may not be the same as the previous desires.
Here's an example for ya. I want a bowl of ice cream. I go to sleep. While I'm asleep, it is impossible for me to continue to want ice cream, since I am no longer capable of conscious thought! When I regain consciousness, I might want ice cream again, but if I do, that doesn't prove that I wanted ice cream while I was asleep! It couldn't! I was physically incapable of conscious desire while unconscious!
All right, let me try to make this really simple for you in a way that you can't possibly continue to evade (using all of your terms so there is no confusion):
1. When you have a desire for the future it turns into an interest.
2. If you don't change your mind or die (or the equivalent) that interest remains an interest of yours even when not consciously thinking about it.
3. You've conceded that 2 is true when you said that when we are awake and not thinking about something, it is still in our interests. I can quote you if you want.
4. There is no difference between not thinking about something when awake and not thinking about something while asleep.
5. Your attempt at making up why 4 would not be true was a terrible failure. If you want to try again I invite you to (just stop making things up will you?).
6. Otherwise, you must accept that when we are asleep, a desire we had in the past upon which we didn't change our minds, turned into an interest, and remained our interest, even while not consciously thinking about it.
Simple enough? Please inform me which course of action you've decided upon: Either disputing 4, accepting 6, or disagreeing about 1, 2, or 3.

reply from: JohnSmith

Aright, I now see our problem. It's your insistence on definitions. So here I will define things for you nice and clearly and then express your objections. What do you think? So whichever one of us is trying to play around these definitions can stop doing that?
Interest -
n.
1. A desire someone presently has.
2. A desire someone has had in the past, on condition that said person has not since changed his/her mind, and on condition that said person has not died or the equivalent.
Desire -
n.
1. A consiously-thought want a person has.
Want -
n.
1. A non-automated preference for the state of affairs or arrangement of molecules.
How's that? Can we start our discussion all over now, from the very beginning, as to what your objection is to this line of thought?

reply from: JohnSmith

Not at all, if you insist. Just to be clear, you are asking me to present my proposal for alternative legislation regarding killing newborn babies?

reply from: JohnSmith

So, an entity that displays no desire to die can be assumed to have an "interest" in living? Even when they are incapable of conscious thought? Even though they do not currently realize what they are, what the future is, and are incapable of "putting it together?" How does this not apply to all human beings, regardless of current level of consciousness?
If they PREVIOUSLY had the desire to continue to live (and haven't changed their mind).
Explain why previous desires would be necessary in order to make the assumption that an entity that is not currently "self aware" will desire to live when they become so? I thought it could be assumed in absence of any evidence to the contrary? Oh, right, you apply different "logic" to the human beings you want to justify killing....
That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that while not consciously thinking about one's interest, one can still retain that interest, whether awake or asleep.

reply from: JohnSmith

And were you born understanding pain? Death? Of course you were not! At some point, you came to understand these things. You could conceivably live to be a very old man without understanding them under controlled circumstances...Reasoning would not be enough with some factual basis for your conclusions, so if we just go on "desire not to die" (or be killed), you could conceivably be kept in isolation and be very much "self aware" yet still have no conscious desire not to be killed. You don't just instinctively know human beings die, right?
Any future-oriented desire shows interest to continue to live.
Your "interest" in continuing to exist is inherent. We can reasonably assume every normal human being will choose to live at any point when they are capable of conscious thought. Of course, there are times in all our lives when we are not capable of conscious thought, but the "interest" is the same even when we are unaware. To kill any human being, conscious or not ("self conscious" or not) "thwarts them." It is wrong to take things from others, and wrong to harm others. Ending their life harms them whether they are aware of it or not. It deprives them of their continued existence, and is immoral.
How is taking away something from someone who doesn't want it immoral? Give me an example where you think this absurdity might be true.

reply from: JohnSmith

There is no best or worst as I've said. everything is neutral to a plant.
Right. If you want a cancerous tumor, then it is good for you, huh? (shakes head in disbelief)
YES!!!! If you want something, knowing all the information involved (to avoid conflicting interests), it is unethical to take it from you.
When you're asleep, you don't care....
Kill a living thing, that living thing no longer exists. A vital element has been removed, "life." Fracture a rock, the rock still exists as an inanimate object (or objects). Nothing was taken from the rock...
There is no difference to morality if you call one state of affairs "life" and the other "death". It is still only the automatic arrangement of molecules when it comes to a plant or a rock.

reply from: BossMomma

No need, I've figured out for myself through your responses to me that you are less of a person than a newborn. To arrogantly claim that because a person doesn't meet your standard of humanity it is ethical to kill it is IMO, inhuman. It is that manner of robotic thinking that made Adolph Hitler feel it was ethical to exterminate millions of very self aware jews.

reply from: JohnSmith

No need, I've figured out for myself through your responses to me that you are less of a person than a newborn. To arrogantly claim that because a person doesn't meet your standard of humanity it is ethical to kill it is IMO, inhuman. It is that manner of robotic thinking that made Adolph Hitler feel it was ethical to exterminate millions of very self aware jews.
Oh, sorry, I already did. And even in a post addressed to you alone. You make me cry.

reply from: BossMomma

Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.
Momma, Smith does the same thing, and he is fully in support of infanticide, as long as the individual in question doesn't meet his "three requirements" for person hood.
Certain animals are programmed to dispatch of their young if their circumstances aren't optimal, mainly because if the care taker dies, there will be no future offspring. Therefore in the animal world, it is in one's best interest to abandon it's young in favor of perhaps rearing another brood next season.
People do not operate in this fashion, we operate by morals and ethics... While i think it's important that we do not forget the role our instincts play in our lives, it's a fallacy to claim that because animals operate one way, we should do the same. Animals have no morals, like we do, it's my belief that this is what makes us different. Smith is on a quest to dehumanize... i wonder if he's also an advocate of sex with animals like Peter Singer.
Well, I've debated a few others like smith and ultimately by human standards they can't back up their argument.
Well, I invite you, as they say, to 'bring it on'.
No problem, it's been brought, now I invite you to show where you as a person have the right to determine what makes the next human a person.

reply from: JohnSmith

Oh, ok, I didn't realize that. Then I invite you to look at my posts in response to him. I addressed the important parts.
Momma, Smith does the same thing, and he is fully in support of infanticide, as long as the individual in question doesn't meet his "three requirements" for person hood.
Certain animals are programmed to dispatch of their young if their circumstances aren't optimal, mainly because if the care taker dies, there will be no future offspring. Therefore in the animal world, it is in one's best interest to abandon it's young in favor of perhaps rearing another brood next season.
People do not operate in this fashion, we operate by morals and ethics... While i think it's important that we do not forget the role our instincts play in our lives, it's a fallacy to claim that because animals operate one way, we should do the same. Animals have no morals, like we do, it's my belief that this is what makes us different. Smith is on a quest to dehumanize... i wonder if he's also an advocate of sex with animals like Peter Singer.
Well, I've debated a few others like smith and ultimately by human standards they can't back up their argument.
Well, I invite you, as they say, to 'bring it on'.
No problem, it's been brought, now I invite you to show where you as a person have the right to determine what makes the next human a person.
I did, in the OP.

reply from: BossMomma

No need, I've figured out for myself through your responses to me that you are less of a person than a newborn. To arrogantly claim that because a person doesn't meet your standard of humanity it is ethical to kill it is IMO, inhuman. It is that manner of robotic thinking that made Adolph Hitler feel it was ethical to exterminate millions of very self aware jews.
Oh, sorry, I already did. And even in a post addressed to you alone. You make me cry.
You make me sick, and it's not just morning sickness.

reply from: JohnSmith

No need, I've figured out for myself through your responses to me that you are less of a person than a newborn. To arrogantly claim that because a person doesn't meet your standard of humanity it is ethical to kill it is IMO, inhuman. It is that manner of robotic thinking that made Adolph Hitler feel it was ethical to exterminate millions of very self aware jews.
Oh, sorry, I already did. And even in a post addressed to you alone. You make me cry.
You make me sick, and it's not just morning sickness.
haha, that was a good one.

reply from: JohnSmith

OK, desire + "interest," a conscious thought process that is impossible when unconscious, therefore an unconscious person has no "interest."
No, it turns into an interest and remains such until one dies or changes one's mind. Thus unconscious persons do in fact have interests. Are you playing dumb again?

reply from: JohnSmith

Not at all, if you insist. Just to be clear, you are asking me to present my proposal for alternative legislation regarding killing newborn babies?
You say it is ethical to kill a child, I'm asking for whom it would be ethical to do so. Is it ethical for me to just go out and start killing random newborns? You said they don't care, so it's ethical, right? I can kill your baby, and that would be ethical?
There are EXTRINSIC circumstances. Do you understand the word, extrinsic? Or does that need a clear definition for you too to understand anything?

reply from: JohnSmith

So, an entity that displays no desire to die can be assumed to have an "interest" in living? Even when they are incapable of conscious thought? Even though they do not currently realize what they are, what the future is, and are incapable of "putting it together?" How does this not apply to all human beings, regardless of current level of consciousness?
If they PREVIOUSLY had the desire to continue to live (and haven't changed their mind).
Explain why previous desires would be necessary in order to make the assumption that an entity that is not currently "self aware" will desire to live when they become so? I thought it could be assumed in absence of any evidence to the contrary? Oh, right, you apply different "logic" to the human beings you want to justify killing....
That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that while not consciously thinking about one's interest, one can still retain that interest, whether awake or asleep.
Not as you defined "interest." Unconscious persons are incapable of having any "interest" as you defined it.
Did you, or did you not just skip over my post where I clearly defined everything for you? Quite amazing!

reply from: JohnSmith

Desire is a product of conscious thought, and does not exist in the unconscious mind...
How about your example? The TV, remember? (or do you actually read my posts?) You have a TV you don't want, so can I just take it, or can you choose what will be done with it since it is yours? Is it really "absurd" to suggest that you retain control over what is yours whether you "want" it or not? It's still yours, right? I believe you said you can "do whatever you want" to somebody who does not care if they live, and you implied that lack of sufficient awareness/consciousness to "care" was sufficient to ethically kill a human being, no other qualification being given....So, if you don't want your TV, I can smash it if I want? You forfeit the right to decide whether you will sell it, trade it, keep it, destroy it, or choose to give it to whomever you choose, simply because you don't "want" it? And what's more, if you are currently incapable of conscious thought, and therefore incapable of "wanting" anything, you forfeit any consideration on those grounds?
So why can't I take your TV while you're sleeping? You can't "want" it then...Oh, right, we can reasonably assume you will "want it" when you become conscious, right? So why does this not apply to a child? Oh, that's right, you added an additional qualification, didn't you? You had to have "wanted" it before to be safe...So, if your mother bought it for you as a surprise, and let herself in to drop it off while you were sleeping, without waking you, then you wouldn't know you had it, and would not have previously "wanted" it, so it would be perfectly ethical for me to steal or vandalize it while you slept, right?
And you want to speak of "absurdity?" I have been kind thus far.
You have been the kind one? You continue with your blabbering after skipping, not just plain ignoring, but SKIPPING, no less, the post in which I clearly defined everything for you, hence demonstrating you are indeed the one playing games with definitions. You're trying to avoid logical argumentation by going in circles around the same thing after it has clearly been nullified. What is your problem? You don't understand, that this won't make you right somehow? You need to confront things head on or admit you can't. But ignoring is the act of a coward, who is not only dishonest to people he is arguing with, but dishonest to yourself. I will indeed, after preceding events proceed to proclaim you a hypocrit, the worst possible offense you can commit in a forum, until you stop with your B.S. and address the argument itself.

reply from: JohnSmith

I will no longer have this. See my previous post. You are now at a crossroads where you can choose to address my post or not. If you are not discussing, but are in a monologue, then obviously all counterarguments are void for you never address them. I will no longer address this point, that you have now repeated perhaps 20 times despite my post denying what you say. You can either choose to start discussing, or continue your monologue. Although I suggest you resort to a blog if you continue to choose the second, so that we others don't actually have to read it. I will now abbreviate this as AMP: Answer My Posts.

reply from: JohnSmith

If you agree to discuss, you will no longer claim that things are not defined clearly, and will not repeat things that have been refuted. I repeat (rare) here the definitions for our discussion. It would be highly recommended that you number your points in objection to what I say.
Interest -
n.
1. A desire someone presently has.
2. A desire someone has had in the past, on condition that said person has not since changed his/her mind, and on condition that said person has not died or the equivalent.
Desire -
n.
1. A consiously-thought want a person has.
Want -
n.
1. A non-automated preference for the state of affairs or arrangement of molecules.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is there not to know? I responded that there are varying extrinsic circumstances that you must take into account.

reply from: JohnSmith

"Skip over?" It was redundant. Surely you did not require a response?
Surely you didn't read it. You skipped over it, and continued to say that an unconscious person cannot have interests after I clearly defined interest as a desire made in the past that hasn't been changed. So yes, yes, I must say, you skipped over it.

reply from: JohnSmith

I can work with that. I already did, several times. You are defining "interest" as conscious thought, therefore you must concede that unconscious persons have no "interests."
Are we looking at the same words, or do they just mean different things to you?
Let's try this the simplest way possible, so that whoever here is evading can stop.
1. Definition #2 of the word interest says that once someone desires something, it turns into an interest until he dies or changes his mind.
2. An unconscious person that was previously conscious, had desires when he was conscious.
3. Therefore an unconscious person has interests.
Where is the problem here?

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is there not to know? I responded that there are varying extrinsic circumstances that you must take into account.
Why must I take them into account? I am not the one who asserts that it is ethical to kill someone who has no "interest" in living...Can you, or can you not tell me who has the right (ethically) to kill such a person? If you can not, then how can you assert that it is ethical?
Mr. A: It's ethical.
Mr. B: For whom?
Mr. A: I don't know.
Mr. B: WTF?
Stop being "evasive" and answer the question!
What do you mean for whom? Ethics are universal. If it's ethical then it's ethical for anybody and everybody. Legal issues are a different matter.

reply from: sweet

like CP asked....could someone 'ethically' KILL your baby?

reply from: JohnSmith

like CP asked....could someone 'ethically' KILL your baby?
As things stand right now no. I don't have a baby at the moment but if I did I would most likely not want someone to kill it. That's an extrinsic consideration. And my interest to have my baby not be killed is far stronger than someone's interest to kill it (in most cases).

reply from: JohnSmith

"Skip over?" It was redundant. Surely you did not require a response?
Surely you didn't read it. You skipped over it, and continued to say that an unconscious person cannot have interests after I clearly defined interest as a desire made in the past that hasn't been changed. So yes, yes, I must say, you skipped over it.
You said: "2. A desire someone has had in the past, on condition that said person has not since changed his/her mind, and on condition that said person has not died or the equivalent. "
For our purposes, unconsciousness is "the equivalent" since, like in death, the unconscious are incapable of conscious thought. You have certainly defined "interest" as conscious desire.
I have not defined interest as conscious desire. Being unconscious has nothing to do with equivalence to death. Equivalence to death means that you have ended your life in which you can have experiences.

reply from: JohnSmith

I'm sorry, what is there not to know? I responded that there are varying extrinsic circumstances that you must take into account.
Why must I take them into account? I am not the one who asserts that it is ethical to kill someone who has no "interest" in living...Can you, or can you not tell me who has the right (ethically) to kill such a person? If you can not, then how can you assert that it is ethical?
Mr. A: It's ethical.
Mr. B: For whom?
Mr. A: I don't know.
Mr. B: WTF?
Stop being "evasive" and answer the question!
What do you mean for whom? Ethics are universal. If it's ethical then it's ethical for anybody and everybody. Legal issues are a different matter.
Then it is ethical for me to kill your child within, say, a month or two of it having been born? Regardless of these "extrinsic circumstances" you keep going on about? A simple and clear "yes" or "no" will suffice.
No! You can't disregard extrinsic circumstances! They are as important as intrinsic ones when making moral decisions.

reply from: JohnSmith

like CP asked....could someone 'ethically' KILL your baby?
As things stand right now no. I don't have a baby at the moment but if I did I would most likely not want someone to kill it. That's an extrinsic consideration. And my interest to have my baby not be killed is far stronger than someone's interest to kill it (in most cases).
Ah, I see. You've been blowing smoke up our asses here. All of a sudden there are all these variables that complicate the issue, and it turns out you didn't really mean it when you said it was ethical to kill someone who is incapable of conscious desire. Come back when you come up with a logically consistent position to support your indifference toward the taking of innocent life.
You are now weighing the interests of others in direct contradiction to your original argument...
Not at all. I said intrinsic all along. Of course extrinsic interests matter. I said it wasn't intrinsically unethical to kill someone who doesn't desire to continue to live.

reply from: JohnSmith

Oh, please! You defined interest as a desire, then defined "desire" as being necessarily "conscious."
Sux to be you now, huh smart guy?
Are you being serious?
"Interest -
n.
1. A desire someone presently has.
2. A desire someone has had in the past, on condition that said person has not since changed his/her mind, and on condition that said person has not died or the equivalent.
"
Are we honestly reading different things? Are you pulling a joke on me?
If we use the replacement tool on definition 2 of interest and definition 1 of desire we get:
Interest - A consciously-thought want a person HAS HAD IN THE PAST, on condition that said person has not since changed his/her mind, and on condition that said person has not died or the equivalent.

reply from: JohnSmith

Did you not do that very thing in asserting that it was absolutely ethical to kill a human being who has no "interest" in living, with no qualifications or exceptions stated? What we now have is an argument that must be further qualified. Obviously you do not believe it is so clear cut as you originally implied....
It is clear as glass. Look at the OP again.

reply from: JohnSmith

The implication being that abortion is not "wrong," of course, but now you assert that it is irrelevant whether an act is "intrinsically moral/ethical, since "extrinsic interests" are more significant in your view, right? Like I said, you've just been wasting our time here. Come back when you decide what you really believe...
Intrinsic and Extrinsic interests have different weights depending on the interests. Of course it is relevant if something is intrinsically unethical, like killing an adult. You can make up whatever you want, without a quote from the OP showing what you say is true. It really isn't very hard to quote. But I guess you just can't. The fact that you viewed the implication as such doesn't mean that it's true. I am saying that parents choosing to have a painless abortion aren't doing anything wrong (debateable if there is a high adoption demand). If you don't like the way the argument has turned out you can admit that you've reached the point of inexistant ground and leave honorably. Or you can tell others to leave. Which you have. You've wasted your time? Probably, because you had maybe 2 or 3 relevant points all along.

reply from: JohnSmith

Right, that's how I defined desire. Are you playing games again? Interest doesn't equal present desire only but also past desire. What's your problem?
Not at all. You made that up. Wrongly.
Because dead people don't and won't have any more experiences, so all their still-existing desires for themselves aren't going to come true.
Wrong.

reply from: JohnSmith

According to your logic, it is not "intrinsically unethical" to kill an unconscious adult.
It's no longer funny. Not that it was before. You've stated this 20 times now with no justification at all. It's like me mentioning in every post of mine how the sky is green.

reply from: JohnSmith

No sir. You clearly stated that your "logic" applied to born human beings as well. I thought we were arguing about the "why" until it came to light that you really didn't mean what you said...Figure out where you stand and why, and we can give you another shot.
Hey, giving up is fine, it's allowed, as long as you say that you no longer have any more arguments against what I say. Any other way except confronting the argument, is avoiding the argument, showing that you in fact can't confront it.
Some might argue that the happiness that will be attained by adoptive parents surpasses the pain and effort a woman goes through in her pregnancy and labor, although very few would rule in favor of the adoptive parents over bodily autonomy and so on.

reply from: JohnSmith

You specifically stated that it had to be conscious desire, obviously in order to rule out the possibility of your argument being interpreted in such a way as to include the children in those who can not ethically be killed. That sure backfired on you, didn't it? You ended up excluding unconscious adults, who you are obviously unwilling to concede can be ethically killed on the same grounds! Come back when you get it worked out.
Urging me to leave seems like a really easy way out for you. Are you joking? I obviously said that unconscious adults can't have desires but they can have interests according to my definition. So what are you talking about?
At this point, there can only be one explanation left, and it's the following: You post for the gallery. You go around and around while people still respond to your posts and then when you have no way out, you urge them to leave! But guess what? You're the one who's out of arguments, not me. I have stated a long, elaborated argument, to which you have yet to pose a valid response. So urge me to leave as you may, with no logical arguments you can't be right, sorry.

reply from: JohnSmith

Not at all. You made that up. Wrongly.
Is that your rebuttal? I give you flawless logic, and you just say "nuh uhhhhh?"
The thing is, if they're unconscious, they have no "desires" as you defined it...Wasn't I the one who argued that what you are taking is their future existence by killing them, not their past? So now you're agreeing with me? He can be taught! Dead human beings will certainly have no more experiences, whether they have "interests" or not (and unconscious persons obviously do not according to your criteria).
Are you kidding me? Are you a robot? They have no desires, but they do have interests - their past desires.
Wrong.
"Wrong?" You think the dead are conscious?
It's wrong because it isn't the reason why they have no interests.

reply from: JohnSmith

According to your logic, it is not "intrinsically unethical" to kill an unconscious adult.
It's no longer funny. Not that it was before. You've stated this 20 times now with no justification at all. It's like me mentioning in every post of mine how the sky is green.
I can speak the truth as many times as you can deny it...
Can you tell me how after all I've said, you still mention that the unconscious don't have interests? how?
I'll tell you how, you're playing a game. Trying to see how many times you can say this despite me defining it differently and you pretending to accept it.

reply from: JohnSmith

Too funny!
Some might argue that the happiness that will be attained by adoptive parents surpasses the pain and effort a woman goes through in her pregnancy and labor, although very few would rule in favor of the adoptive parents over bodily autonomy and so on.
You certainly don't seem very sure of anything anymore....You implied that a demand for adoption would effect the ethics of killing the children, yet when I call you on it, you're noncommittal. You don't know what you believe now, huh? I didn't ask you what "some might argue." We're discussing your ethics here...
Like I said, come back when you're sure what your ethics are and we'll talk.
You're welcome to leave if you've run out of arguments but enough with urging others to. This isn't my ethics, this is the logical line of thought. And it will remain so until you bring up a good argument against it.

reply from: JohnSmith

You specifically stated that it had to be conscious desire, obviously in order to rule out the possibility of your argument being interpreted in such a way as to include the children in those who can not ethically be killed. That sure backfired on you, didn't it? You ended up excluding unconscious adults, who you are obviously unwilling to concede can be ethically killed on the same grounds! Come back when you get it worked out.
Urging me to leave seems like a really easy way out for you. Are you joking? I obviously said that unconscious adults can't have desires but they can have interests according to my definition. So what are you talking about?
At this point, there can only be one explanation left, and it's the following: You post for the gallery. You go around and around while people still respond to your posts and then when you have no way out, you urge them to leave! But guess what? You're the one who's out of arguments, not me. I have stated a long, elaborated argument, to which you have yet to pose a valid response. So urge me to leave as you may, with no logical arguments you can't be right, sorry.
You don't know me very well. I'm encouraging you to crawl off and lick your wounds, then come back when you can put up a fight, or if you prefer, restate your position specifying whatever qualifications you will now impose, since you have reversed your original contention.
I will definitely not do so. My OP stands as is. It will not change, as much as you may want it to. I hold by it 100%. Just because you don't have an argument against it is not cause for it to change. Sorry.

reply from: JohnSmith

Begging your pardon, but according to your definitions, one can not have "interests" without "desires." At least you concede that the unconscious have no desires....Now you need only refer to your own definitions to clearly see that without desires, there can be no interests. Since you must be conscious to have desires, the unconscious can have neither desires nor "interests."
According to my definitions, if one had desires in the past and hasn't changed them or died, then one has interests in the present. Yea?

reply from: JohnSmith

What "logical line of thought?" Yours? You said "some might argue...." Give me a break. You know you didn't answer the question. At this point, I don't have a clue how you, personally, intend to show that abortion and infanticide are "ethical" in your view. You have contradicted your original assertion, so what else ya got? I'm trying to fish it out of you, but you seem quite uncooperative. Tell us under what circumstances you believe abortion/infanticide are "ethical," and I'll be more than happy to address your views.
As long as the parents want to have an abortion and can perform it painlessly then it is ethical. For infanticide, as long as the law permits it, and there are no adoptive parents, and a certified doctor can perform it painlessly, then also if the parents want it then it's ethical.

reply from: JohnSmith

According to your "OP," it is ethical to kill any human being who has no "interest" (conscious desire) to live. You have now asserted that it would be unethical for me to kill your child who has no "interests." No offense, but if you're not feeling the smack down, you must be one dense mofo! I think you're one of those average guys who imagines himself extraordinarily clever. I hate to burst your bubble, but "POP."
I argued that it would be intrinsically ethical for you to kill it. I explicitly mentioned that. You're welcome to quote it, it's really not that hard to find, you go to the first page and it's still there!

reply from: sweet

like CP asked....could someone 'ethically' KILL your baby?As things stand right now no. I don't have a baby at the moment but if I did I would most likely not want someone to kill it. That's an extrinsic consideration. And my interest to have my baby not be killed is far stronger than someone's interest to kill it (in most cases). IS THAT A NO? LAST TIME I CHECKED 'no' was a two letter word...
*rolls eyes*shakes head*
it's for the best that you don't.....i don't know where to begin with you.....do you at least consider yourself 'male?'

reply from: JohnSmith

like CP asked....could someone 'ethically' KILL your baby?As things stand right now no. I don't have a baby at the moment but if I did I would most likely not want someone to kill it. That's an extrinsic consideration. And my interest to have my baby not be killed is far stronger than someone's interest to kill it (in most cases). IS THAT A NO? LAST TIME I CHECKED 'no' was a two letter word...
*rolls eyes*shakes head*
it's for the best that you don't.....i don't know where to begin with you.....do you at least consider yourself 'male?'
yes, why?

reply from: sweet

The implication being that abortion is not "wrong," of course, but now you assert that it is irrelevant whether an act is "intrinsically moral/ethical, since "extrinsic interests" are more significant in your view, right? Like I said, you've just been wasting our time here. Come back when you decide what you really believe...
EXACTLY...i've been waiting for him to make the least bit of sense.....
hasn't happened yet!
*crosses arms*

reply from: JohnSmith

What "logical line of thought?" Yours? You said "some might argue...." Give me a break. You know you didn't answer the question. At this point, I don't have a clue how you, personally, intend to show that abortion and infanticide are "ethical" in your view. You have contradicted your original assertion, so what else ya got? I'm trying to fish it out of you, but you seem quite uncooperative. Tell us under what circumstances you believe abortion/infanticide are "ethical," and I'll be more than happy to address your views.
As long as the parents want to have an abortion and can perform it painlessly then it is ethical. For infanticide, as long as the law permits it, and there are no adoptive parents, and a certified doctor can perform it painlessly, then also if the parents want it then it's ethical.
Well, that's not exactly your "OP," is it? If you've decided to be reasonable now, explain why it is ethical under these circumstances, but not others, and I'll address it later. See ya!
Because those are extrinsic interests to be considered. Since the baby has no interests to consider, the interests of the parents, other people in the society, and potential adoptive parents are the only ones that must be considered.

reply from: JohnSmith

You come on! I defined interest also as a past conscious desire. So if someone is unconscious but was conscious then he had desires and has interests. This is not complicated at all. You're making it so. Which to me is funny. Your entire argument has been about definitions and when I finally define things, you act like you don't understand them. I care not discuss substance-less things. I take it that in your leaving you concede that you have no further counterarguments to the original post. Thank you.

reply from: JohnSmith

There are always "extrinsic interests" to consider in every situation. It all boils down to which "interests" are deemed more significant. I asked you why you feel it is ethical to kill under the circumstances you outlined, but not others. Did you not understand the question? You certainly haven't answered it...
Like what others? Those are the only people involved, so those are the only interests that would exist.
Yea, I think both parents have a say.
Hmm, that's complicated. I think the woman might have slight precedence in her interests, since the baby is in her.
I guess, grandma can have interests too. But the parents' are probably more significant. Again, because they created it.

reply from: JohnSmith

You come on! I defined interest also as a past conscious desire. So if someone is unconscious but was conscious then he had desires and has interests. This is not complicated at all. You're making it so. Which to me is funny. Your entire argument has been about definitions and when I finally define things, you act like you don't understand them. I care not discuss substance-less things. I take it that in your leaving you concede that you have no further counterarguments to the original post. Thank you.
Yes, I understand that you deliberately made up your own definitions so that you felt they would support your views, but the fact remains that they were contradictory to some extent. You concede that an unconscious person has no "desires"
Yes.
No, I didn't concede that. The desires an unconscious person had in the past and didn't change are still his interests.
But it does.
Only if those interests were desired consciously in the past.
I don't see how or why.
I'm glad. And hope so, but am not too optimistic given past events.
Yes.
No, I am not saying that.
Well, then the 'reason' you used is in fact unreasonable. When someone dies or the equivalent, all their past interests for themselves didn't come true. Because they died. Indeed one must be able to recover after being unconscious to have interests that we still need to take into account, but only if he previously desired them, because that is how interests are formed. Yea?
No, while the unconscious is unconscious, his interests remain his interests. They don't disappear temporarily.
I am.
If they didn't change their minds then yes, they have the same interest in the present.
That's not the assumption made. While unconscious, it's in the person's interests to continue to exist if it is assumed that he previously desired it.
Right, we can safely assume that, but for one of the cases, they had previously desired it so it is now in their interests and in the other case they hadn't previously desired it, so it isn't in their interests.
If they will surely never recover and haven't explicitly said that they don't want to be killed, then they can be killed, because that is the equivalence of death. All their interests for themselves won't come true. They will have no more experiences.
Yes.
It doesn't matter at all.
Not at all. If I sign that while I'm drunk, I don't want anyone to punch me, you can't say while I'm drunk that since I have no recollection of that desire you can punch me. A past desire remains an interest until changed. Period. No matter if you never think of it again. Same thing with the parent and the post-school childcare.

reply from: JohnSmith

How do you figure? If "interests" are defined as "conscious desires," then every conscious person has them. The question here would seem to be who's "interests" are more significant in your view, and perhaps most important, why? Certainly you will not contend that every conscious person who is aware of the existence of another human being could conceivably have an "interest" in the fate of that human being?
No, I don't. Weight of interests can be debated and is certainly not as one-sided and straight-forward as the fact that the fetus has no interests. If you're getting at a point, make it. I have given this questionnaire of yours a chance. It's been over 4 posts back and forth now. If you're going somewhere, you need to do a better job with your lead-up questions. If you're not here to make a point, but just test people, to see if you can find flaws or inadequacies in their answers, then sorry, that is not debate. You can bring a hypothetical situation and ask a yes or no question about it, but throwing something out there, is just not the way to do it.
We're not really talking about who has a "say," are we? I thought the issue was who's "interests" are more significant. Obviously, if the parents are not in agreement, the "interests" of both can not be served.
That is very noncommittal. Are you unsure of which parent's interests should take precedent? Am I to understand that you are saying the mother is the authority?
I think the mother's interest comes before the father's in this case because it is she who must make the effort involved in pregnancy.
You don't have to "guess." It should be obvious that grandma, assuming she is conscious, can have "interests." Then you say "probably," as if you are unwilling to commit to a personal ethical position...
Do you have an opinion of your own on the ethics of abortion? If so, why not commit to a solid position? If not, then you are obviously not sure where you stand.
But this thread isn't about my opinion, it's about a logical line of thought to show that universal ethics lead us to conclude that to choose to have an abortion is ethical.
Not only, but certainly a great part of. But I will no longer partake in this. I am not here to discuss opinion, but ethics, a philosophical, rational topic. If you contend a point I have made, you are welcome to bring up that suggestion. Having run out of counterarguments, you resort to questioning to see if you can find any flaws within my opinion is not the way to go, sorry. This is not me evading, this is me declaring that opinion is off-topic.

reply from: JohnSmith

You conceded that an unconscious person is incapable of having any conscious desires. It logically follows that an unconscious person has no "interests" if we adhere to your definitions...
No. I can say no as many times as you want. You trying to say the opposite more times won't make it true sorry. Nor will I concede the point. You need to look again at the definitions I gave and take a second shot at what you're trying to say to make it right.
No. His past consciously made desires turned into interests that remained so until he either changed his mind or died.
But it is.
Not at all, that's not what I'm talking about.
You are. Look again at the definitions and stop acting like you don't understand them. They're perfectly clear. Let me give you a hint, a pointer. Try definition 2 of the word interest and analyze it carefully.
But it does.
No, it doesn't. A person who is currently incapable of conscious thought is currently incapable of having conscious desires. PERIOD.
Right, but he can have interests, those that were made by his past conscious desires.
Only if those interests were desired consciously in the past.
An assumption of future conscious desires can only be a current conscious desire if I had that same desire in the past?
There is no assumption of future desires involved, that you made up, wrongly.
Yes, as long as they didn't change their mind.
Right, but it remains an interest.
Either that or you are being deliberately obtuse. I have certainly made every effort to explain it so that you can understand.
Same here.
Yes.
Very good! So the fact that a child currently is incapable of having "interests" does not justify killing them (or make it "ethical" to do so as you have argued).
Nope, because he never had conscious desires in the past to continue to live.
Well, then the 'reason' you used is in fact unreasonable. When someone dies or the equivalent, all their past interests for themselves didn't come true. Because they died. Indeed one must be able to recover after being unconscious to have interests that we still need to take into account, but only if he previously desired them, because that is how interests are formed. Yea?
Since I am basing my assumption on your reasoning, you have essentially just declared your own reasoning to be faulty...I fail to see how this can be construed as supporting your position in any way.
Well, sucks for me. Regardless, my position is unchanged by your empty definitional quarrels.
No, having previously desired something is how interests are formed. When a word has two definitions, they are two alternative ones, not one and the same.
While you are unconscious, your conscious desires are still conscious desires, even though you are incapable of having conscious desires?
No, your past conscious desires are still your interest. Get it?
Are you? I certainly am not.
But that's not what I'm saying.
I am.
You are what? Expecting me to accept an illogical assertion? You assert that it is not reasonable to assume that a child will have a desire to live once it develops to a point where it is capable of having such a desire? Do you assert that it is unreasonable to assume that every human being who is capable of wanting to live will want to live (barring evidence to the contrary)?
Neither. I expect you to accept the implication that only human beings who have previously experienced conscious desires or presently do can be assumed to have an interest in continuing to exist.
Even when they are not capable of having any "interests?"
But I'm saying they are capable of having interests while unconscious.
No, a person who is physically incapable of having any[ conscious desires can have interests, through his unchanged past conscious desires.
I'm not. You just misunderstand.
I'm afraid it is quite illogical to assume a person who is currently incapable of conscious thought currently has any conscious thoughts....
I never said an interest was a present conscious thought. That is one option for an interest. The other is a past conscious thought. That's why there's two different definitions. one, two. 1 - 2. One and one more.
In both cases, we can be absolutely certain the person has no interests, since they are physically incapable of having any as you have defined it!
No, I defined it also as past conscious desires, which an unconscious person can certainly have.
If your desires will not be fulfilled, they are not "interests?" And there is no "assumption" that you previously had an interest in living unless you have explicitly stated that you do not wish to be killed?
If your interests didn't come true, then they are over. For example, I wanted soup for lunch, but there wasn't any soup and there was no way that there will be soup, so therefore my interest in having soup is over with, it hasn't come true, we no longer need to take it into account in making moral decisions because it has been nullified.
It doesn't matter at all.
What doesn't matter? I'm asking if it is ethical to kill them. They are unconscious, but like a young child, have no previous "interests" to imply that they will wish to live. Is it ethical to kill them or not?
They have interests because they had previous conscious desires that were unchanged. Thus, it is unethical to kill them.
Not at all. If I sign that while I'm drunk, I don't want anyone to punch me, you can't say while I'm drunk that since I have no recollection of that desire you can punch me. A past desire remains an interest until changed. Period. No matter if you never think of it again. Same thing with the parent and the post-school childcare.
Having brain damage that destroys any memory, essentially erasing any conscious thought you ever had is obviously not the same as temporary lapses in judgment based on inebriation. The past "conscious desire" would essentially no longer exist, just as, when unconscious, no conscious desire exists.
The past conscious desire remains someone's interest until they die or change their minds. That's in the definition!
Neither do I. When a being doesn't have interests, only extrinsic interests can affect whether it is ethical to kill it or not.

reply from: JohnSmith

Both parents play a role in procreation. You are simply asserting that the mother's role makes her interests more significant, right? Is this case whether she wants the child to live or die? Either way it's her choice? If she wants to let the child live, but the father wants it dead, her interests must prevail?
That's a tough question. I think it could be argued either way.
Again, same thing.
Uh huh...What is and is not "ethical" is a subjective determination, or "opinion," though, isn't it?
No.
And this thread is about yours, right?
You assert that ethics are "universal?" I disagree.
But we can.
Right.
Right.
That's a cop out. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of your personal ethics. Of course I am attempting to discover inconsistencies in your reasoning or application of same! That is the only way a subjective issue like ethics can be evaluated!
But it isn't subjective. I am taking a logical procession from the statement ethics are universal to the statement it's ethical to have an abortion. No opinion involved.
Nope.
Absolutely.
This thread wasn't about my views, it was about logic.

reply from: JohnSmith

John! You certainly did, and a fact is a fact. It wouldn't matter if it was stated 1000 times or not at all.
I certainly did not. The same goes to you.
Right, but he can have interests.
Or "the equivalent," right John? Being unconscious is the equivalent of death in the relevant respect, which is absence of consciousness.
No, that isn't the relative respect. That is what you made it to be in your mind. The relative respect is that one can no longer have experiences and thus all interests for himself have not come true.
A coma from which one will certianly not come out of. There is no difference between dying on the spot and eing in a coma 10 years and then dying. It is morally equivalent.
But it is.
John, John, John...Being conscious today is the same as being conscious tonight while you sleep? I know you know better than that...
Having unchanged interests today is the same as having interests tonight unless you changed them.
An unconscious person can never have a conscious desire, John, and that is true regardless of your definitions. The definitions you provided only clarified the fact that when you say "interest," you are referring to conscious desires, therefore no unconscious person can have "interests." You can not simply define the terms so as to change reality. The defining of terms only makes your meaning clear so that you can be understood. Get it? If an assertion is factually inaccurate, you can not define the terms so as to make it accurate. You could redefine the terms so as to change the meaning, and thereby change the statement itself, but the definitions do not change reality.
Right, I defined the term in a way to clarify the statement. You can attack the statement based on the terms I defined, or attack individual terms, but you cannot say the statement is wrong because of the terms, unless it is logically inconsistent.
Then, I would take issue with your definition of dog and explain why. It is a poor qualification of dog as "an animal with wings" because really a dog doesn't have wings.
That's right. If you have a problem with the WAY I defined interest, I invite you to address it.
Right, but he can have interests, those that were made by his past conscious desires.
You might be confusing yourself with your definitions...Perhaps you should not say "interests," but "conscious desires." You have defined "interests" as "conscious desires," right?
No. That's one possible definition of it. The other is what were unchanged past desires.
yes.
Past ones become interests even when not desired anymore.
But it is. Unless they were changed or you died.
I am denying that.
No, that isn't why you no longer have desires. I have said why. That isn't why.
But that has nothing to do with the moral difference between the two.
Thank you. It's about time!
Because then they wouldn't have interests.
No, a current interest to continue to live.
You can not see that a desire that no longer exists has "changed?" If you lose consciousness, you lose any conscious desires along with the ability to actually have any. That is definitely a "change."
The ability to have conscious desires has no application to morality at all. That's not a change in state with regards to morality. Not desiring something while awake and not desiring something while asleep are no different. You can retain an interest from the past in both situations.
What if it didn't exist while conscious before going to sleep? Then no change there.
Umm, no. They are "past" because you no longer have them.
No, they are past because you had desires, and you no longer desire them, but they are still in your interests until you change your mind or die.
And yet, according to your argument, the interest must exist until you change your mind, or "die or the equivalent."
Right.
No, an interest ends when the possibility of its coming true is 0. We can disregard it, because it will have no application to our moral decision making.
But a person who will not recover from their coma also had past conscious desires, yet you maintain they can be ethically killed.
They had interests whose chance of fulfillment was 0, therefore they are irrelevant.
If an interest will not be fulfilled anyways, then we cannot take it into consideration while making our moral decisions. For example, if it is in an equivalent-to-dead person's interests to "only be called grandma, after age 70", but can't hear anymore, then this interest is nonesense, her grandkids can call her grandma if they like, the interest is nullified because she will never have further experience. She's the equivalent of dead.
"The equivalent" is also in the definitions....Are you forgetting the "equivalent?"
Not forgetting at all.
No, that's what you, illogically, say you undersand from it. That's not at all the case.
Well, that is just your opinion,
Not at all. That's a tautology.
Can be intrinsically ethically killed.
I have yet to acknowledge it.
This isn't about what I support. It's about what logic prescribes for our morality.

reply from: JohnSmith

OK, then I'm about to kill you, therefore you have no interests and it will be ethical. It doesn't matter that you are conscious even, because you still have no interests. Any interest you might have had can be disregarded because it will never come true. You're a hack, John. You're making this stuff up as you go along, and there's no logic in any of it...You keep sticking on additional qualifications, and it gets more complex. but no more logical...
At the moment you killed me you disregarded my interests. Therefore it was unethical.

reply from: JohnSmith

OK, then I'm about to kill you, therefore you have no interests and it will be ethical. It doesn't matter that you are conscious even, because you still have no interests. Any interest you might have had can be disregarded because it will never come true. You're a hack, John. You're making this stuff up as you go along, and there's no logic in any of it...You keep sticking on additional qualifications, and it gets more complex. but no more logical...
At the moment you killed me you disregarded my interests. Therefore it was unethical.
Nope. Since your interests have no possibility of ever "coming true" they can be "disregarded." You said so yourself.
You can't predict the future. At the moment right before killing, they still had a possibility of coming true. By killing, you choose to diregard these interests. Unethical.

reply from: JohnSmith

Because then they wouldn't have interests.
(rolls eyes) OK, so why does "not having interests" make it OK to kill someone? Why does "having interests" make it unethical?
There we go, finally a question to the point. Since ethics are universal, killing someone would be diregarding someone's interests, or placing yours before theirs. Since the interest to continue to live is among the strongest interests, killing someone who has an interest in continuing to exist is highly unethical. If such an interest doesn't exist, then it isn't intrinsically wrong to kill them.

reply from: JohnSmith

In other words, a current "past conscious desire to live."
RIGHT! You finally got it. Congrats.

reply from: JohnSmith

OK, then I'm about to kill you, therefore you have no interests and it will be ethical. It doesn't matter that you are conscious even, because you still have no interests. Any interest you might have had can be disregarded because it will never come true. You're a hack, John. You're making this stuff up as you go along, and there's no logic in any of it...You keep sticking on additional qualifications, and it gets more complex. but no more logical...
At the moment you killed me you disregarded my interests. Therefore it was unethical.
Nope. Since your interests have no possibility of ever "coming true" they can be "disregarded." You said so yourself.
You can't predict the future. At the moment right before killing, they still had a possibility of coming true. By killing, you choose to diregard these interests. Unethical.
If I'm about to kill you, I can predict that you are about to die.
No, you can't. There are two options:
1. You have already made the decision. It is close to 100% sure that he will die (although nothing can be predicted accurately with truth for the future). But when you made the decision, you disregarded his interests. Unethical.
2. You have not yet made the decision. It is not 100% sure that he will die, therefore you must take his interests into account.
You can't have it both ways, buddy, sorry.
No, no, it's quite different. I assure you.
but how can you say that imminent death is the equivalent of death? You still have experiences until you actually die.
Nope. You're trying to play games. It's not working. Sorry.
A wrong one.

reply from: JohnSmith

Because then they wouldn't have interests.
(rolls eyes) OK, so why does "not having interests" make it OK to kill someone? Why does "having interests" make it unethical?
There we go, finally a question to the point. Since ethics are universal, killing someone would be diregarding someone's interests, or placing yours before theirs. Since the interest to continue to live is among the strongest interests, killing someone who has an interest in continuing to exist is highly unethical. If such an interest doesn't exist, then it isn't intrinsically wrong to kill them.
Ethics are not "universal."
How are they not? Ethics are an unchaging standard, one and the same for all. That's universality.
Only if it is in their interest to continue to live.
On what grounds?
Not at all. It is a logical procession from the starting point. If you wish to debate it logically I am willing to.
Well, sucks for you. Doesn't it? It has not been defeated no matter what you say. To say it is defeated is far, far away from actually giving an argument to counter it.

reply from: JohnSmith

In other words, a current "past conscious desire to live."
RIGHT! You finally got it. Congrats.
LOL! This was obviously sarcasm. A conscious desire that does not exist in the present can not be "current." You can not have a "current" past desire! (reductio ad absurdum)
You can currently have had desired something.

reply from: JohnSmith

CP said:
Both parents play a role in procreation. You are simply asserting that the mother's role makes her interests more significant, right? Is this case whether she wants the child to live or die? Either way it's her choice? If she wants to let the child live, but the father wants it dead, her interests must prevail?
John said:
That's a tough question. I think it could be argued either way.
CP said:
What of the born child with no "interests" of it's own? Who may ethically determine that it must die based on their interests?
John said:
Again, same thing.
If you can not answer these questions definitively, how can you assert that abortion is ethical?
Under some circumstances it is. Namely, when extrinsic interests add up to a net positive.
Well, once you point out a hole, then you can assert there are holes. It's like me saying the sky is blue. And you saying there are holes in your argument. OK, but you saying that doesn't make it wrong. It can only be shown to be wrong by actually pointing out the holes. Get it?
It can sound to you whichever way you want it to sound, but as long as the argument is sound, it doesn't matter which way I did it, does it? Sorry, you're at a losing position here clinging for some rightness. Try to find a better way to do so.

reply from: JohnSmith

According to the rules as you have outlined them, I can be certain that your interests will never "come true," therefore they may be "disregarded" and it is ethical for me to kill you. If my attempt on your life, by some miracle, is unsuccessful, then I have not killed you, and therefore have not interfered with your interest in continuing to live. Either way, it would ethical by your standards as you have outlined them.
How can you know they'll never come true? Only if you've previously decided to kill me. See the catch?
Sure I have. I have decided to kill you, I just haven't acted on my decision yet. It can take a few seconds for me to squeeze the trigger...
If he doesn't die, the ethics of killing him is a moot point, since if he doesn't die, I would not have killed him, right? You can't have it both ways. You can not assert that interests can be disregarded if they will never "come true," yet assert that I must "take his interests into account" if I'm not sure that his interests will not "come true."
I am doing that.

reply from: JohnSmith

A lot of a lot. Yet still no argument against my logic. You're willing to go on and on, write so much, yet you can't come up with a single point against my case. I understand that you may 'reject' it, but that's certainly not the same as giving a logical argument in opposition to what I said. You talk about opinions, about who'll read this, and how wrong I am, and on and on, yet with nothing to back it up. Thus, my argument stands, until you can give (or give up trying to give) a sound argument against it. That's how it works. So far you're on your way to the second, yet not quite there. Again, it's ok, just say that you can find no fault with what I presented. Or, as you so cockishly write, actually show how it is wrong. Until then, we can go on sneering at each other, but that isn't reasonable debate.

reply from: JohnSmith

Right now, I had a hot dog (conscious desire) yesterday, therefore I still have a hotdog (current conscious desire that I no longer have)! Well I guess if you think ethics/morality are objective truth rather than based on point of view (opinion), I should not be surprised that you have trouble understanding other basic and seemingly obvious concepts....
I'm not saying you still have a hot dog I'm saying the following: Yesterday you wanted to have a hot dog. You said to yourself: "man, it would be really nice if I had a hot dog sometime in these next few days". Today you have completely forgotten about it, but if someone gave you a hot dog, you'll be like "sweet, I really want a hot dog, I just forgot about it for a while". Get it? Your interest doesn't disappear just because you're not consciously desiring it at the moment. It's enough to have donsciously desired it in the past.

reply from: JohnSmith

All I really get from this is that sometimes abortion is not ethical in your view, but you apparently are not sure when, so I repeat, how can you say abortion is ethical? You seem undecided on the issue, yet you clearly support legal abortion on demand, and have declared homicide against a young born child to be ethical as well. If you are unsure about when it is ethical, how can you be sure it is at all?
I had said when it is ethical, when extrinsic interests add up to a net positive. And I had mentioned the main interests involved.
Read my responses! I have pointed out so many that it boggles my mind! I'm incredulous at the depth of your denial!
Point out one single hole in my logic. Please.

reply from: JohnSmith

Exactly. Since I have already decided to kill you, I can "disregard" any interests you might have otherwise had, since they can not "come true, as per your own reasoning (such that it is...).
If you deciding to kill me started an unstoppable chain that will inevitably lead to my death, then deciding to kill me was the unethical act. And at that time, you didn't consider my interests.

reply from: JohnSmith

A lot of a lot. Yet still no argument against my logic.
Surely you jest....Start with this: You obviously can no longer assert that it is ethical to kill a person simply because they have no "interests," since you have conceded that I may not ethically kill your child who has no "interests." You assert that, in the event a person has no "intrinsic interests," the "extrinsic interests" of others are the determining factor, yet you have thus far failed to clarify who's. Explain how you could possibly deny that this is "an argument against your logic!"
Because my logic all along was about the intrinsic wrongness of abortion, which is 0. Whose interests do you think matter? It's pretty self-evident. As I've already said, the mother's, the father's, other family members, whoever is performing the killing, the law, the rest of society, and so on.

reply from: JohnSmith

Right now, I had a hot dog (conscious desire) yesterday, therefore I still have a hotdog (current conscious desire that I no longer have)! Well I guess if you think ethics/morality are objective truth rather than based on point of view (opinion), I should not be surprised that you have trouble understanding other basic and seemingly obvious concepts....
I'm not saying you still have a hot dog I'm saying the following: Yesterday you wanted to have a hot dog. You said to yourself: "man, it would be really nice if I had a hot dog sometime in these next few days". Today you have completely forgotten about it, but if someone gave you a hot dog, you'll be like "sweet, I really want a hot dog, I just forgot about it for a while". Get it? Your interest doesn't disappear just because you're not consciously desiring it at the moment. It's enough to have donsciously desired it in the past.
But it actually boils down to "wanting to live," right? You can't ethically kill somebody (according to your views) without their consent.
You can. They only need to not have an interest to live. That can mean two different things. Either they have an interest to die, or they have no interests.
No, it's not. They can still have interests.
No, it reinforces the assumption that they do have it in their interests to continue to exist while unconscious.
No, it doesn't.
Same thing when conscious but you forgot about it.
Once it is desired.
Right.
Yes.
You assert incorrectly.
But they still want to continue to exist.
All they need is the interest to continue to exist.
I agree, there isn't a clear line. Most agree upon somewhere between end of the first year and end of the second year of life.
Some is, some isn't. When we touch a hot object, it is instinctual, as in from the spinal chord. When we experience gradually increasing pain, it comes from the brain.
No, sorry, I don't see how this is a hole.
Yes. That is a tough issue. To not take any chances or unnecessary risks, it's best to avoid killing anyone well before they might become self-conscious, and in practicality there really never is a good reason to kill someone after a very small amount of time after birth.

reply from: JohnSmith

I don't see a reason to argue about it, nor do I see what exactly you are looking for. I have said that most likely while a baby is inside a mother, her interests have some precendence over others.

reply from: JohnSmith

Exactly. Since I have already decided to kill you, I can "disregard" any interests you might have otherwise had, since they can not "come true, as per your own reasoning (such that it is...).
If you deciding to kill me started an unstoppable chain that will inevitably lead to my death, then deciding to kill me was the unethical act. And at that time, you didn't consider my interests.
I didn't have to consider your interests. According to your logic, they can ethically be "disregarded" based on the knowledge that they will never "come true." Come on, man, I'm using your reasoning! If it's flawed, discard it, don't expect me to allow you to apply it inconsistently! You made the rules, not me, I'm just following them!
You're not following them very well.
You know my interests won't come true. How do you know? Only if my death is certain. How is my death certain? because you already decided to kill me. At the moment before you decided to kill me, my death wasn't certain. Therefore to arrive at the decision to kill me, you disregarded my interests. Unethical.

reply from: JohnSmith

No, your original argument was that abortion is "ethical," if I'm not mistaken. The "intrinsic wrongness" is not an issue if it doesn't make abortion "ethical," right? The issue is whether or not a mother can ethically kill her unborn child. You went even further and contended that it is generally not unethical to kill even a born child because it has no "interest" in continuing to live. Let it go, John. You already contradicted that contention, thus invalidating it.
Choosing to have an abortion is ethical in our society, yes. There can be circumstances where it wouldn't be. Like, if the world is about to run out of people, and yours is the only baby left to continue humanity. Or some other crazy circumstance like that.
Then I can kill your child, John? If your wife wants it to live, you can kill it anyway? If you want it to live, your wife can kill it anyway? If both of you want it to live, "society" can kill it anyway? If both parents want it to live, grandma can still kill it? "The law?" It's sibling?
Seems like you're not listening. There are an infinite number of different circumstances in which it might be ethical or unethical. If you want, you can present a hypothetical situation and I will attempt to evaluate it based on the weights of interests. I cannot answer such a general question, sorry. And I won't.
I don't care about my views, and neither should you. Because you cannot clarify such a thing. There are unlimmited circumstances to consider.

reply from: JohnSmith

It doesn't matter though, does it? Even if they don't have interests, that doesn't mean you can ethically kill them, since the interests of others then become the determining factor.
I'm willing to bet you will say somebody who has interests can ethically be killed, that it all comes down to a weighing of interests.
You bet correctly.
In certain situations yes, the extrinsic interests can overpower the intrinsic ones.
No, it is only intrinsically ethical.
You assert incorrectly.
Well, go ahead and try to prove that a human being automatically consciously considers their own mortality the instant they become "self aware." I'm giddy with anticipation...
I am. Once you understand that you are an entity that is continuous through time, you automatically begin to anticipate events. You associate things that give you pleasure in the present with upcoming events that will give you the same. Thus, you begin to look forward to events. This means you have desires for the future, and thus an interest in continuing to exist.
That's irrelevant. They must have consciously considered the possibility of death in order to arrive at a conscious desire to continue to exist.
Not at all. They only need to want to continue to exist. Look! I said it below, right where you quoted me!
And that would require that they had consciously considered the issue. It is not reasonable to assume a child immediately ponders death upon becoming "self aware." It is reasonable to assume some observation at some point afterward would prompt them to do so, but no person can be assumed to automatically do so.
You don't need to ponder death in order to want to have dinner this evening.
Source, please. Substantiate the claim that "most people" assume the child has consciously considered the reality of their own mortality and thus arrive at a conscious desire not to die by 1-2 y/o.
It is parallelled with the development of rationality. I invite you to read: Paul Mussen, John Conger, & Jerome Kagan. Child Development & Personality. Harper & Row, 1974, if you should so wish.
Yes. That is a tough issue. To not take any chances or unnecessary risks, it's best to avoid killing anyone well before they might become self-conscious, and in practicality there really never is a good reason to kill someone after a very small amount of time after birth.
I thought people were "neutral" regarding their continued existence until around 1 year after birth? This statement makes no sense in light of the arguments you have presented thus far...
Ethically intrinsically neutral, yes.
Yea, it's a tough issue. For example, people begin to form attachments after birth.

reply from: JohnSmith

I don't see a reason to argue about it, nor do I see what exactly you are looking for. I have said that most likely while a baby is inside a mother, her interests have some precendence over others.
I'm looking for you to outline your position on abortion! If it's not "wrong," I want to know why. You came here and posted this thread, promising an "ethical argument for abortion," but have yet to deliver a consistent one. I'm still waiting. Are you OK with the one that already fell apart? Are you one of those people who supports legal abortion without regard for whether it is moral/ethical or not?
I'm not at all arguing it's legality or illegality, but simply its morality. As I've said countless times now, if parents choose to have an abortion then it's ethical.
Of course it does.
Not at all. It's really pretty simple. Except for the father does complicate the situation a bit, yes. I think that while it's in the woman, her interests have precendence. Once it is outside, they both have equal interests.

reply from: JohnSmith

You created your own "catch 22" on this one, sport. Now you have to deal with it. I'm about to blow your head right off, so yeah, your death is about as "certain" as it could get. Since I'm certain your interests will never "come true," I can disregard them. It's your logic, not mine.
If you're about to blow my head off, then when you decided to do so, that was an immoral act. End of story.

reply from: JohnSmith

Now you're confusing ethics with legality. Just because the law allows it doesn't mean it's ethical.
That's right. Good job. Figured that one out, huh? nice..
What a cop out! You certainly don't mind declaring abortion and the murder of very young children to be ethical, even though that is even more "general!"
Well, call it what you want. It honestly has no baring on my position.
If this is true, how can you declare abortion itself to be generally "ethical?" Since that is an even more general question, it would stand to reason that you could not possibly declare it to be ethical!
Logic. Magic (to some).

reply from: JohnSmith

So why are you here, John? Why did you post this topic?
To logically show that it is intrinsically ethical to abort babies.

reply from: JohnSmith

But it absolutely does imply a desire to continue to exist. Which is all that's necessary.
But you must ponder death to have a reasoned, conscious desire to continue to exist. Wanting to eat later does not imply that you have consciously deliberated your mortality. It might never have even occurred to you that you might die before then, and if that were the case, you would have no conscious desire to live.
You don't have to know death to want to eat dinner this evening.
It is parallelled with the development of rationality. I invite you to read: Paul Mussen, John Conger, & Jerome Kagan. Child Development & Personality. Harper & Row, 1974, if you should so wish.
Please quote a valid source so that I can verify that your conclusion is substantiated. I am highly skeptical that you can prove the contention that "most people" assume the child has consciously considered the reality of their own mortality and thus arrive at a conscious desire not to die by 1-2 y/o.
Paul Mussen, John Conger, & Jerome Kagan. Child Development & Personality. Harper & Row, 1974. Perfectly valid.

reply from: jujujellybean

Yes, but what we have done in the past has no relevance for ethical considerations in the present.
Ummmm, I'm pretty sure we still hold to that principle. Human beings have more rights than animals, don't they? Even "non-sentient" newborns....
Not necessarily. read this: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010817/ai_n14418212

reply from: JohnSmith

Ah, progress...So now you get to explain why you think (implied uncertainty?) the mother's "interests" take precedence over all others prior to birth...
Because of bodily autonomy and all the old reasons you hear constantly on this forum from other pro-killingers.
yes.
I think so, yes.
yes.
If it is illegal, or grandma wants it to live, and so on, then it matters how much they want it dead. If enough, then yes, their interests prevail.

reply from: JohnSmith

But you must consciously deliberate and arrive at an understanding and acceptance of your mortality in order to have a reasoned, conscious desire to live.
Not at all.
Paul Mussen, John Conger, & Jerome Kagan. Child Development & Personality. Harper & Row, 1974. Perfectly valid.
Please provide the relevant quote. I don't have the book in front of me, but I'll find you a ready alternative. Just from a quick google search (as if you couldn't do so yourself):
http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/devsequence.shtml
AGE 2: "beginning a sense of personal identity"

reply from: JohnSmith

Because of bodily autonomy and all the old reasons you hear constantly on this forum from other pro-killingers.
That wasn't much of an explanation, was it? "All" the reasons we hear on this forum? Like what? There is no specific reason you found compelling that caused you to arrive at your position? I also need a "why" to go with that if you don't mind....
Well, since it's IN her, it's up to her. You know, this really isn't very complicated. I really don't know what you're trying to look for.

reply from: JohnSmith

Because of bodily autonomy and all the old reasons you hear constantly on this forum from other pro-killingers.
That wasn't much of an explanation, was it? "All" the reasons we hear on this forum? Like what? There is no specific reason you found compelling that caused you to arrive at your position? I also need a "why" to go with that if you don't mind....
Well, since it's IN her, it's up to her. You know, this really isn't very complicated. I really don't know what you're trying to look for.
Oh, well, I'm wondering why you didn't just come out and say that. This has been like trying to milk a f***ing hamster...
What about the born children? They aren't inside anybody, right? So who gets to decide they have to die just because that is their "conscious desire" ("interest")?
The mother and the father have equal precedence in their interests over others involved, because they created it and 'own' it.

reply from: JohnSmith

And if they disagree? One wants the child dead, and the other wants it to live....Which parent gets to decide?
The one who wants it alive usually. Because the interest of the connection formed between the parent and the child is much stronger than whatever reason the other wants it dead usually.
I was assuming that if they disagree about whether it should live or not, the father is not very supportive. But yes, you have a slight point there. Still, since it's in the woman, it's her body with a being inside of it, so she gets to decide before the parent who doesn't have it in him.
Pretty much, I think so.
Not really, that could probably be said accurately in most cases, that whoever is affected more usually has the heavier interests.

reply from: Cecilia

I agree adoption should be advocated for more vocally, but that will not go far to solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy.
I can see you'd be frustrated due to your sterility but women aren't obligated to be pregnant for you, no offense.

reply from: Cecilia

I am offended - that you'd think I was stupid enough to have such an obvious fact pointed out to me.
Have you interacted with society lately? There are many people with less than half a brain. I have never conversed with you so I know nothing of your intelligence level, but now I have a clue about your insecurity.
This is not what you have said exactly, but I have heard it before; "I cannot have a child, so no one should be allowed to have an abortion". It implies a certain obligation from the woman who can towards those who cannot, when in fact there is no obligation present.

reply from: Cecilia

There may be obligations to your children, but there are no obligations to sterile individuals.

reply from: Cecilia

We are on the same page.
I am sorry for making an assumption about you.
One other thing, the comment "have you interacted with society lately" was not a veiled insult. More of a colloquial "can you believe the way people think and act lately? There are alot of idiots out there" statement of camraderie.

reply from: Cecilia

Sorry, sometimes my English is not precise.

reply from: JohnSmith

So emotional (I'm assuming you mean the emotional connection) is the most significant factor in your view? It would not be ethical in your view to kill a human being that another feels a strong "connection" to, even though the potential victim has no "interests" of it's own?
Yes, think of it like a pet.
Well, other family members can have connections too, you're right.
Pretty much, unless its adopted or something. But again, we're into the realm of legality not morality.
No. Once it's self-conscious, it is a person.
No. If it has an interest to die, it must be ethically killed.
That doesn't really answer my question...What is it about the fact that the child is inside the mother that makes her desires more significant in your view?
That it is HER body. That's it.
So it's about who is most significantly effected? Why would this not apply to any person who is effected by the child's existence, especially once the child has been born?
Probably does.
Well, unless there is a legitimate strong interest by one of the parents that it dies, then another's interests for it to live probably have more weight. These are issues of the legality of owning live beings and such things have countless factors involved. I've had enough of this storm of general questions on your part. They aren't welcome or relevant to the topic. I'm not here to discuss legal issues, on property ownership, authorities, and extenuating circumstances. As I've said, if you want to make up a hypothetical situation and ask me my opinion of it, I will do so. I'm not going to sit here and answer your questions unless they're leading up to a point. Which I have given you a chance to do, for over 8 posts now. You haven't. I'm getting tired. Make your point, or lead me to it better, but I could care less wasting my time on your irrelevant questions.
So the effects must be weighed in order to determine whether a person with no "interests" can ethically be killed? What if the effects on every effected party are trivial? What if none has a compelling reason to want the child dead? Must we still determine which "interest" is more compelling of a list of interests of which none are really very compelling, and declare that whoever has the most compelling interest (even though none are very compelling) gets to decide whether the child will live or die?
No, it's not a competition of interests, but instead we must weight ALL interests involved to attain a balance. If positive, it'll live, if negative, it'll be killed.
Probably. I urge you to get to a point, and soon. Otherwise this is pointless discussion, and I reiterate, not the aim of this thread. It is about the ethics of choosing to have an abortion. Which I have said as clearly as possible that we have brought to the logical conclusion that if a woman chooses to have an abortion, it is ethical to do so. If you wish to argue this point I am up for it. All this surrounding nonsense for you to try to find some possible loophole in my opinions is irrelevant.

reply from: JohnSmith

Of what significance is "personhood" if it has nothing to do with whether a person can ethically be killed? You are simply saying that a "person" can not be the property of another person? A "person" can still be ethically killed though, right? You are defining "person" as a human being who is self conscious? You conceded that "self consciousness" exists in varying degrees though, didn't you? So at what level of self consciousness does a human being become a "person" in your view?
If you go back to the OP, you will see that I define person as a self-conscious being. Yes, it exists in different degrees. A being should be treated the same as a person once it has any self-consciousness at all, although if it's an either-or, usually the more self-conscious being comes before.
Hmmm. We went from "can ethically be killed" to must be? So it is an obligation? Who's?
All of ours.
Yeah.
Probably does.
"Probably?" I'm talking about in your view. Are you unsure of your own position? Please clarify whether or not any person who is effected by the child's existence should be considered in determining who will decide the child's fate in your view. This will become increasingly tiresome if you continue to compel me to repeat my questions simply because your responses are deliberately noncommittal....
yes, all parties' interests should be considered, always.
Again with the noncommittal responses....You are implying that a desire (interest) to kill the child is not enough, in and of itself, to justify killing it, but that there must be a compelling reason for killing the child. This is, of course, exactly what I am getting at here.
Good for you.
I'm not concerned about legality here, only what is "ethical" in your view. I have clarified that several times already.
Well, if you were more cooperative, this would be easier for both of us. We are discussing a general ethical determination, and my questions are designed to allow me to fully understand your reasoning. The questions are no more "general" than the topic at hand, and I assure you there is a point behind every question I ask.
I surely hope so. Make it. Soon.
They are leading up to a point, or more accurately, several points. I have made several points already, and each time, you add qualifications or alter your arguments in some way in an attempt to invalidate my point, which necessitates further discussion and clarification. I realize it can be tedious, but that is the nature of discussion and/or debate. If you lack the patience to engage in discussion, I do not understand why you actively sought discussion.
Well, to make it 'easier' as you say, why not just make your point (if you think it is valid) and see if I have objections to it, instead of trying to fish it out of my answers, as if trying to trap me into an incomplete or partial reply on my side to one of your questions.
You're trying to speed things up? make your point, and we'll work from it. You ask general questions with countless circumstances to consider. Instaed, YOU make it easier, and ask about either specific situations, or specific ideas that you wish to bring up.
We've already been through the whole "quote me, I didn't say that," and the rest of the little game some people play when engaged in casual debate, and I fully realize that I must be absolutely clear on where you stand in order to formulate valid arguments that do not lead to pages of denials, and some points regarding your views must be clearly established before a counter argument can be offered.
Very well, I hope you have a counter in mind. And if so, it shouldn't take you very long to reach it.
I am the one whose been going along with your questioning with no aim, inappropriate for any style of debate.
No, it's not a competition of interests, but instead we must weight ALL interests involved to attain a balance. If positive, it'll live, if negative, it'll be killed.
I thought you previously asserted that the person who's interests were most compelling was entitled to determine the fate of the child, but now you seem to be implying that it is the "interest" itself that determines whether the child will live or die... You say that a "balance" must be attained by weighing all interests (interests are still "desires," right?) and if "positive," the child will live, but if "negative," it will die. I'm not sure I understand that...An "interest" is a "conscious desire" (past or present), so we are weighing the desires of all parties who are effected by the child's existence in order to determine whether the "balance" is positive or negative?
Yes.
For example: the law allows that if both parents want their child dead, there are no adoptive parents, and a certified doctor is willing to perform a painless killing, then that would constitute a negative balance.
There are different weights of interests. The interests of parents wanting their child dead usually are pretty strong. The attachment others have towards the child are usually very weak. The law has weight, and potential adoptive parents' interests have weights. These must all be weighed together and considered, to determine whether something is ethical or not.
Yes, that's generally the case.
Probably.
Here we go again....
If you think it is enough to simply state that a woman can ethically kill her offspring if she chooses, just because she wants to, then do not falsely claim that you are making an "ethical argument for abortion" (which is the topic title).
The reason it is so, is because I logically showed that the child has no interests that need to be taken into account.
You need to learn the difference between cross-examination/interrogation, and the presentation of a logical counterargument. The latter can be stated given the arguments already at hand (which certainly are sufficient to prove the point), and needs not to fish for irrelevant extras. Again, either lead better, or make your point and we'll work from it, but I will not answer lengthy general questions with a supposed aim not in sight.

reply from: JohnSmith

Intrinsically ethical. Don't pervert what I said.
All extrinsic. Regardless of how YOU view the conversation to have proceeded, the argument, as it is right now, still stands. You have no counterargument, and apparently also no points at all against what I said.
Yup.
Ah, then nothing you have posted shows abortion to be generally "ethical," as you contended in your original post?
When a woman has an abortion, it is 99.9% because she chooses to. Therefore having an abortion (assumption made that the woman wants to have it), is ethical.
I have repeatedly said, that if a woman wants to have an abortion, it is ethical under the realm of possibility (yes, there might be a .1% chance that for some crazy reason it wouldn't be, like perhaps if it's the last fetus on earth). Also, it was clear that I was talking about the present state of society. Your argument rests on virtual inexistance. It's like me saying the sky is blue, and you pointing out, that once, in the year 1567, the sky was seen as green above a city in France. No, sorry, the sky is still blue.


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