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Posted by Alan on June 21, 2002 07:17:04 UTC

Hi Mike,

I may lapse in my responses as I'm not using a computer often enough.

Briefly: You wrote: "Humanity is a vague term. I think you are saying
that science proves anti-abortionists are correct in all cases because you feel no woman should be allowed to decide not to complete her pregnancy."

There was a television documentary about circumcision, and the horror experienced by infants who are subjected to this unnecessary ritual. It was interesting to see the medical experts explain (and finally wake up to!) the (to me obvious) tortured reaction of the infants.

It was interesting to see them give detailed anatomical explanation of how the undeveloped anatomy of the infant actually made it more pain sensitive.

It was interesting to see the medics starting to realise just how really present the person of the infant is, and to start to realise the story told by the infant's facial expressions. Frederick Leboyer wrote a book "Birth Without Violence" many years ago; probably the first book I've come across where a doctor showed some real understanding of the real presence of a person in their infancy.

Somewhere on the web, David Chamberlain has written something that also shows some appreciation of the reality of personal presence in infancy.

A technical biological science account of the life of the unborn child gives no cause to draw a line at some micro-second with "human" on one side and "O.K. to kill them" on the other.

The term "anti-arbortionists" is misleading. One doesn't call someone an "anti-astrologer" just because they oppose compulsory lessons in astrology. I am against coercion; abortion is an act of coercion against an unborn child.

"Abortion" is a negating concept; it is destruction.

Also, to claim say that the child is "coercing the mother" by appearing in her womb; might that not be like claiming that "gravity coerces her to stay on the ground"?

The laws of physics and biology and whatever, determine that gravity exerts its force on humans on this planet, and that certain actions can cause pregnancy.

I do not particularly regard myself as an "anti-abortionist", nor do abortionists regard themselves as "anti-life-ists". I am against coercion; they are for coercion.

Consider; do they complain about the consequences of the laws of physics and biology, as if that were coercing them?

I find it kind of impossible to be anti-anything, even Osama Bin Laden. It's more like: I am pro-honesty; and honestly the abortionists are apparantly acting in a way that is anti-you if you happen to be a designated target in your mothers womb! Osama seems to act in ways anti-civilians.

Instead of say being say anti-something for example;
it's more a case of that something might be anti-me.

It's kind of impossible to criticise anyone or anything ultimately; rather: let them criticise me!

You said "her pregnancy"; another interpretation is that it is no more "her pregnancy" than it is "a baby's womb-mothering stage". What about the baby being allowed to complete his womb-mothering stage?

Neither party in this equation resorting to coercion seems to be the answer. The baby is defended by the laws of physics.

Quote: "then do you oppose all things that cause death of "humanity," including letting persons of lower IQ rule persons of higher IQ by sheer majority rule and mob rule cunning?"

I agree that low-IQ majority rule might lead to calamity in some instances. As a safeguard, rule consistent with minimum coercion is needed. Without coercion, errors by so-called low-IQ would be less serious perhaps. IQ is a rather questionable concept; some so-called low-IQ may not be so dumb as people think.

I have heard that this planet can easily support a lot more people than it does presently. Most population-stress problems are greatly exagerated by the bungling of repressive regimes and poor government.

Quoting: "The difference we are talking about is whether a mother may choose not to carry her pregnancy to term and terminate it before the "little human-seed" she was carrying even becomes self-aware."

This does not stack up against the scientific facts. I gave an example of in-the-womb babies recognisig music a year later, that they had only heard 3 months before birth. Many women can tell you that their experience during pregnancy is that the baby is very much alive and aware inside her. The baby even reacts to external stimuli while in the womb. There is an abundance of evidence available that shows the notion of "seed-human" to be absurd.

As a matter of LOGIC; there is no evidence to draw a line at some micro-second and regard one side of that line as "self-aware human" and the other side as "that which may be killed for convenience of another".

If science cannot establish a micro-second where your proposed line be drawn; no line may be drawn. It is "the fallacy of arguing from ignorance" to infer a lack of awareness in the unborn child because of an absence of data before an approximate age. Nothing can be infered from no data. However, logic and the evidence available support any doubts be resolved in the baby's favour.

Quote: "What I think science shows, among other things, is that the wiring for self-awareness is not present yet until after 4 months. Will you dispute this? "

I completely dispute this. The track record of humans shows a gross under-estimating of the capabilities and self-awareness of infants; an under-estimating that is being steadily eroded with more understanding of anatomy etc.

Are you proposing that some vague theory about some vague 4 months line should be sufficient to risk executing people?
With insufficient evidence to the view you propose, the bias must be in favour of avoiding such possibility of executing people.

There are certain 'experiments' that one may carry out to shed light on the matter you raise re: spirituality of unborn children.

I wasn't saying that some persons are killing for their pleasure implying they figure it out beforehand. They only think, I guess, about the pleasure; and the killing comes later and they might not have accurate ideas about what they are doing.

But I am saying that logically, as in a math equation, the price of their pleasure appears to be death.

Until I, you, or someone else recalls what it is like to have a body of 4 cells; I say logic and current science resolve the debate in favour of awareness being present at that age. I also strongly suspect that the quality of self-awareness at age 4 cells is actually so much higher than your average adult; and the thrill of growing one's body so awesome, that it is as if one is in a heaven-like state back then.

I appreciate your challenging debating; we agree on some things.

Sincerely,

Alan





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