Douchebag Argument for Abortion

How a total tool would argue in favour of abortion

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Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#1  Postby Mononoke » Jul 15, 2019 5:53 pm

Sorry for the incendiary sounding thread. I just wanted to get attention. :mrgreen:

I have come across a thought experiment in favour of abortion in favour of choice when it comes to abortion that is very interesting. It's a little heartless, but quite interesting. Also let me make it clear this is not my original argument, but i've moulded it a tiny smidgen because i can't remember it in the original form.

Basically, if you accept the silly premise of the pro life people that a fetus is alive at birth and has all the rights of personhood, then it naturally follows that by taking away the choice of aborting the state is forcing you to risk your life, sacrifice your convenience to take care of the another person. more over, the state is saying if you don't take care of this fellow and sustain their life for so many months it will punish you.

But if you extrapolate that logic to other activities have a rather strange state of affairs. For example, if i agree to donate an an organ to save someone's life i can't back out at the last moment, rather the state would force me to go ahead with the procedure. because i am killing that person by not offering it some form of assistance. Clearly, we don't live in such a society and no one would say its right to force someone to give an organ. So by that extension, if you believe that a fetus is a complete person at inception then you should be ok with abortion. Well either that or agree that the govt has the right to force you donate your organs.

QED

What do you guys think? please tell me if it doesn't make any sense
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#2  Postby Sendraks » Jul 15, 2019 6:05 pm

The long standing argument is that in most states you can't remove someone's organs after they are dead without permission.
By removing the right to abortion, you're giving a corpse more rights than a pregnant woman has.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#3  Postby Thommo » Jul 15, 2019 6:30 pm

Like a lot of these analogies, I think it works to some extent. That is to say it analogises with some, but not all, of the features of the situation of pregnancy that people tend to think are relevant. It may justify abortion in some situations.

If we call the organ donor "Donna" and the organ recipient (who is the analogue of the fetus) "Fergus", to keep things clearer than using pronouns, here's a brief summary of (some of) what we can say about the situation.

  • Fergus's life, and hence right to life are at stake.
  • The situation is not of Fergus's making.
  • The situation is not of Donna's making.
  • Donna may not be the only person who can save Fergus's life.
  • Donna is not going to kill Fergus in either eventuality.
  • Donna's bodily autonomy, and hence right to bodily autonomy, is at stake.
  • The consequences on Donna's body are likely to be permanent and potentially severe.

In this situation I would fully agree that Donna has a right to withdraw consent at any time.

The question is how many of those factors a person views as being in common with pregnancy. Does it, for example, have more in common with pregnancy than another situation where Fergus's life is in Donna's hands?

Here's one to consider. Fergus and Donna are potholers. They regularly explore dangerous and dark caves using expert gear like scuba gear or rock climbing gear. On one expedition there's a dark and dangerous cliff. Fergus and Donna agree that Fergus will abseil down, and that on top of securing his climbing equipment Donna will stay at the top to provide tension to the rope and stop it slipping. Part way down the rope begins to slip. It's quite a strain on Donna, but nothing she doesn't think she can handle although some skin is being torn away from the palms of her hands and it's quite painful. Is she entitled to withdraw her consent to hold the rope?

This time:
  • Fergus's life, and hence right to life are at stake.
  • The situation is of Fergus's making.
  • The situation is of Donna's making.
  • Donna is the only person who can save Fergus's life.
  • It is ambiguous whether Donna is considering killing Fergus or letting him die in this situation.
  • Donna's bodily autonomy, and hence right to bodily autonomy, is at stake.
  • The consequences on Donna's body are likely to be short term and not severe.

So a lot of differences from the first situation, and a different set of factors in common with pregnancy. Here my moral intuition (and I would hope other people's) is the opposite - Donna cannot release the rope and potentially let Fergus die out of convenience, she cannot withdraw consent.

But if we change one factor - what if Donna cannot be sure of holding Fergus up? What if she's being pulled over the cliff too? Then the verdict immediately reverses. What if Donna is not responsible for Fergus's situation, what if she's simply a bystander who happened upon his gear as it started to slip?

ETA: I should also have said that both of us have assumed, without making it explicit, a certain rights based form of reasoning which vindicates our legal position on issues as mentioned by both of us as well as Sendraks. Some people will reason in other ways, maybe using some form of consequentialism, for example. Those people may not agree with our moral intuitions about some of the analagous cases.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#4  Postby Mononoke » Jul 15, 2019 6:57 pm

Very interesting!

This rearranges the pro-life argument in an interesting way. Instead of the argument that all life is precious, the argument becomes contractual almost. Much like guardianship obligations of the parents.

its 1230 am here, so i shall sleep on this.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#5  Postby Thommo » Jul 15, 2019 7:01 pm

You might find this an interesting read, if you're not already familiar with it
https://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phi ... homson.htm

It's a famous piece of philosophy on the subject, published in 1971. And like your example it considers the consequences of conceding fetal personhood, concluding that it does not actually end the debate after all.

It's part of a longer series of arguments which are worth a read in their entirety (if you find that sort of thing interesting or informative).
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#6  Postby laklak » Jul 15, 2019 9:59 pm

The best argument for abortion is other people's kids.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#7  Postby aban57 » Jul 16, 2019 12:05 am

Mononoke wrote:Very interesting!

This rearranges the pro-life argument in an interesting way. Instead of the argument that all life is precious, the argument becomes contractual almost. Much like guardianship obligations of the parents.

its 1230 am here, so i shall sleep on this.


You need to stop calling them pro-life. They're not pro-life. They don't care, for he most part, of life outside foetus'. They're just anti-abortion.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#8  Postby zoon » Jul 16, 2019 1:07 pm

Mononoke wrote:…..
This rearranges the pro-life argument in an interesting way. Instead of the argument that all life is precious, the argument becomes contractual almost. Much like guardianship obligations of the parents. …

I think for those of us who accept that we are almost certainly mechanisms which follow the laws of physics and chemistry, moral arguments have to cash out in the end as contractual?

Morality is about relationships between persons, and there is no clear scientific definition of a person. As far as I can tell, the scientific consensus is that the judgment as to whether an individual being is or is not sentient, or a person, depends on the evolved social brain of the human observer, and this leaves room for intractable differences of opinion which cannot be resolved by science. If some people think a late term foetus is a person and other people think it is not, any resolution of the argument will have to be, in the end, political and contractual rather than scientific. Science can provide relevant data, for example, a late foetus apparently has a full complement of pain receptors, but is anaesthetized while it remains in the womb and not breathing, as discussed here, but this cannot in itself settle the question as to whether the foetus has or should have the rights of a person.

Humans are unique in the extent to which we cooperate closely with other individuals who are not close relatives. As discussed, for example, in a 2018 paper here, cooperation within a species has to evolve at first through relatedness, but can become less dependent on relatedness as the individuals become cleverer. With high intelligence, we can agree to specialise, or we can take each other’s perspective and set up rules that benefit everyone, while also, perhaps, tweaking them as far as we can to our own advantage, and noticing and punishing cheats. I imagine that our ancestors were getting into heated arguments about moral questions since well before our subspecies evolved. Who counts as a person would probably have been among those arguments; for example, infanticide has been practised in many societies, before abortion was feasible, as discussed in the Wikipedia article here, and presumably those babies were not regarded as having the full rights of persons? Quoting from the article:
Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of infants.

Parental infanticide researchers have found that mothers are far more likely than fathers to be the perpetrators of neonaticide[1] and slightly more likely to commit infanticide in general.[2]

Anthropologist Laila Williamson notes that "Infanticide has been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of cultural complexity, from hunter gatherers to high civilizations, including our own ancestors. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule."[3]:61

In many past societies, certain forms of infanticide were considered permissible.
…..
Many Neolithic groups routinely resorted to infanticide in order to control their numbers so that their lands could support them. Joseph Birdsell believed that infanticide rates in prehistoric times were between 15% and 50% of the total number of births,[7] while Laila Williamson estimated a lower rate ranging from 15% to 20%.[3]:66 Both anthropologists believed that these high rates of infanticide persisted until the development of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution.


In the context of modern technology, I feel happiest giving a late foetus some of the rights of a person, but as Thommo has been pointing out, even if this is generally accepted it certainly doesn't end the arguments.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#9  Postby OlivierK » Jul 16, 2019 11:37 pm

aban57 wrote:
Mononoke wrote:Very interesting!

This rearranges the pro-life argument in an interesting way. Instead of the argument that all life is precious, the argument becomes contractual almost. Much like guardianship obligations of the parents.

its 1230 am here, so i shall sleep on this.


You need to stop calling them pro-life. They're not pro-life. They don't care, for he most part, of life outside foetus'. They're just anti-abortion.

If most "pro-lifers" were really "anti-abortion", they'd be vigorous proponents of comprehensive sex education and access to contraception. If they're against those, then they're not really anti-abortion, they're just anti-choice, or misogynists, or both.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#10  Postby Matt_B » Jul 17, 2019 12:54 am

It's basically just a religious position.

Any other arguments put forward are just figleaves for that.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#11  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 17, 2019 5:11 am

The fact it still is such a controversial subject in the USA just shows the lack of social development. Here no one ever questions the woman's right over her own body. The same is true of dying as well btw. The "land of the free" is once again not so free.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#12  Postby zoon » Jul 17, 2019 9:15 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:The fact it still is such a controversial subject in the USA just shows the lack of social development. Here no one ever questions the woman's right over her own body....

Abortion law seems to be similar in the Netherlands and in the UK: legal on demand but only up until somewhere towards the end of the second trimester, around when the foetus becomes viable. This is an approach I agree with, perhaps because I'm used to it. After 24 weeks, in both countries, the woman no longer has the right to abortion on demand, presumably because the foetus is taken to have some right to life.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#13  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 17, 2019 1:34 pm

No one seems to have problems with that restriction. Most European countries do have the same law more or less.
Social development in the USA has been stagnant for years and with idiots like the Orange Scrotum in power nothing much will change and more likely go in reverse.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#14  Postby laklak » Jul 17, 2019 1:36 pm

We can drink on the beach but no glass containers. Terraced pubs and restaurants are eveywhere. It's the usual mistake people make when talking about the USA, looking at it like a single country. If we'd followed the European model we'd be a bunch of smaller nations; I often think we should consider Balkanizing. What's legal in one jurisdiction is illegal in another, it can be confusing. On the plus side, you can pick and choose which set of laws you want to live under. Weed and abortion are only two examples, it goes much deeper than that. I wouldn't own rental propery in many states, because the rights of tenants are far greater than the rights of the landlord. The age you can get a full driver's license varies from 16 to 18. Gun laws, boating regulations, vehicle inspection and licensing, all completely different from one state to another. Taxes are a big difference. You've got Federal income taxes everybody pays, and then state income taxes that range from 0 to a high of over 13% (California is the worst).

Florida is the best compromise for me. Weed's not legal (yet) but no state income tax and good property and guns laws.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#15  Postby felltoearth » Jul 17, 2019 6:05 pm

Question, without state income tax, how are infrastructure and capital investments funded?
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#16  Postby laklak » Jul 17, 2019 8:15 pm

In Florida it's mostly through sales tax and hotel taxes. On a county level it's through property tax, which is the norm in all states I can think of. There are 7 states without a state income tax - Alaska, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, Washington, South Dakota, and Nevada. Tennessee is abolishing state income tax in 2021.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#17  Postby purplerat » Jul 17, 2019 11:27 pm

aban57 wrote:
Mononoke wrote:Very interesting!

This rearranges the pro-life argument in an interesting way. Instead of the argument that all life is precious, the argument becomes contractual almost. Much like guardianship obligations of the parents.

its 1230 am here, so i shall sleep on this.


You need to stop calling them pro-life. They're not pro-life. They don't care, for he most part, of life outside foetus'. They're just anti-[other people's]-abortion.

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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#18  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 18, 2019 6:50 am

laklak wrote:In Florida it's mostly through sales tax and hotel taxes. On a county level it's through property tax, which is the norm in all states I can think of. There are 7 states without a state income tax - Alaska, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, Washington, South Dakota, and Nevada. Tennessee is abolishing state income tax in 2021.


Yep nice for the poor people lak. Here the mentality is totally different. We pay taxes willingly and dont object as we want a fair more equal society where the most vulnerable are looked after and there are health, social and educational systems in place for all. We also like to maintain and improve our infrastructure and generally create a place where all people are happy to live in and not just a few.

The idea of just getting your gun and pulling up the drawbridge is not for me I am afraid as I am conscious of other people and dont see them as the enemy.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#19  Postby laklak » Jul 18, 2019 4:20 pm

We've had a couple of Libertarian leaning governors, which is fine by me. They've been expanding the toll road network, which is also fine by me, I don't see how moving tourists from one side of the state to the other is my fiscal responsibility, if i ever use those roads I'll pay the tolls. The various "tourist taxes" pay for much of our infrastructure needs, which is fair since they utilize that infrastructure but don't pay other taxes. We pay the hotel room tax when we rent out our house, 14% is added to the tenants' bill. Sales taxes make up the difference. Florida is in very good financial shape, it ranks first or second in almost all indices compared to other states. Those who want cradle to grave welfare are free to move elsewhere, there are plenty of states they can pick from.
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Re: Douchebag Argument for Abortion

#20  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jul 18, 2019 4:53 pm

A good libertarian attitude lak. Not one I would like to have. I am a social democrat and people matter. Can the poor people move elsewhere? I doubt it. I like living in a happy country not one full of conflict and definitely no guns.
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