Okay, here we go, just for Kalle (so he can practice his l33t skills) and so we don’t derail Peter’s thread, here is the abortion debate thread. I’ll start out. I don’t really have strong views on this, because I don’t feel like I have the answer. So in this case, all your opinions most certainly will effect mine thus disproving Peter’s thread. Here are some thoughts.
I think a lot of this issue turns on when life starts, which has two obvious answers (1) at conception or (2) at birth. However, answer (2) gets muddy, because what happens if the fetus is viable, but hasn’t actually been born yet; say someone shoots the mother in the stomach at 8 months in and the mother survives but the fetus doesn’t – is that murder? If we create a third answer (3) when the fetus is viable outside the mother’s womb, we have a moving target. If we use this third answer as our legal definition, the point at which life begins will change as technology improves. At some point even the earliest fetus will likely be viable outside of the woman’s body. Having a definition of life which changes as technology improves doesn’t seem like a great idea legally and seems rather questionable from a moral standpoint as well.
As I stated in Peter’s thread, I simply don’t buy the “it’s part of the woman’s body, end of discussion, period” camp. A fetus is certainly not something like a pimple or wart that should be removed on whim. It’s not even like a spleen or kidney. Even if we don’t take answer (1) above and claim that it is life, it is potential life. In that respect it is certainly special.
I also don’t understand why this is an issue of privacy. Either destroying the fetus is right or its wrong. How does a woman’s right to privacy play into this? We don’t protect a robber or a murderer’s right to privacy. If we believe that harming the fetus is wrong, then that should take precedence over any right to privacy. On the other hand, if we don’t believe there’s anything wrong with removing the fetus, we should simply say so. How does privacy play in here?
Agreed, it really depends on how much weight you put on the “lifeness” of the fetus. But at some level by being pro-choice you are agreeing to terminate either life or potential life. Clearly that life or potential life has done nothing wrong. How can you callously throw that innocent life or potential life away while defending (by being anti-death penalty) the life of some scumbag who is on death row for murdering other human beings? *
Now if you assume the fetus really is simply part of the woman’s body, then there is clearly no incompatibility. But if you do think the fetus is somehow special, not simply cells that are part of the mother, then the viewpoints start becoming incompatible. The level of incompatibility depends on how special you think the fetus is.
[size=2]* I’m assuming the person convicted is in fact guilty. As I posted in Peter’s thread, I’ve become increasingly troubled by this assumption.[/size]