Friday, May 27, 2016

Discussion Zone for Abortion

This post will serve as the launch point for the discussion of abortion. The discussion zone will be near the top of the Left Hand Column, along with the discussion zones for Atheism and Evolution.

Hugo has provided a good place to start the discussion.
Here's the discussion with Hugo, so far.

Hugo says,
“As I mentioned above, it's not about whether we should decide 'who' can be killed or not; it's about where in the human development stage do the cells go from 'it' to 'who', from just cells with the potential to be a human to an actual human (with "personhood" and "human-ness") that has the right to life.”


You can dance around the issue all you want, but I’m standing firm on actual logic: you cannot have come to exist without having come through the entire process of human development. When you were a “developing” human, you were a human. No matter what adjectives you add to the word “human” you cannot deny the human her humanity… unless you are the moral authority and arbiter of her fate as you choose to define it. However you define it, you are choosing a point at which the human may be killed. No wonder you want to deny her her obvious human natural access to a full life (you escaped the denial of humanity; you are privileged with life due to not having been killed).

”Logically speaking, statements are either true, or not-true. Statements about morality talk about moral actions or immoral actions. There is no in-between. “

Good so far. But I sense a diversion coming up.

”However, it's not always easy to spot which is which, and humans disagree all the time on which is which. In other words, some situations are definitely back-or-white, but many are somewhere in between. Abortion is at times clearly moral, but not always, so it's not a black-or-white topic. But the self-labeled pro-life crowd would like to put it that way.”

True or false: Shredding an embryonic human is killing.

”Here's a way to illustrate the dilemma:

1) Spermatozoids/eggs contain genetic material; a random set of chromosomes from a male/female. On their own, they cannot even potentially become an independent human being. Nobody argues that these should be kept alive for future use; abortion does not come up. And it's obviously not possible to do so anyway, especially not with the billions of spermatozoid that a single male produces over his lifetime. There is no 'who' being killed when an egg/spermatozoid is taken on its own.


Red Herring. No one argues that spermatazoa by themselves are human life; neither are unfertilized eggs. So 1) has no bearing on the argument being made, and it is diversionary.

”2) When a woman is pregnant with a baby, it happens quite often that the baby will be born before the ~40 week mark, the normal average gestation period. At that time, and for many weeks before, the baby is fully formed and able to live outside the womb. Abortion does not apply here either, just like #1, but for a different reason: the process is called a c-section and the baby lives. It would require the explicit killing of the baby to make sure it does not survive.”

And that is what Tiller and his ilk have done: inject the human embryo with poison through the uterine wall, killing the baby and making its removal by shredding into an abortion, necessitated by the murder of the intrauterine human.

Of course, as you mentioned on another thread, there are some people who apparently want this to happen, but that's not about abortion anymore at this point. There is no abortion once the fetus is fully viable, the baby is a 'who' that clearly has the right to live.

Of course there is and you don’t know any different because abortions are strictly secret (privacy, doncha know)..

...but in between, that's where it gets a bit more complicated.

Only if you self-anoint with moral authority to make it more complicated, and you eschew all rational arguments regarding human development happening to humans.

”3) The first one I will list is the easiest, in my opinion: at the time of conception. Because we understand human development very well, (and any sexual reproduction actually, since it's all the same), we know that the result is a combination of the female egg, which has half the number of chromosomes of a full human, with the male spermatozoid, which also has half the number of chromosomes. Together, they form a random combination, which is almost certainly unique because of the statistical improbability of combining the exact same genes twice, and the small mutations that can happen during cell division. This process can be triggered naturally, or artificially in a laboratory, or even just theoretically: take a spermatozoid from any male, take an egg from any woman, and combine their genetic code to get an idea of a new potential human being.

The latter case is purely imaginary, and is included as another Red Herring. No imaginary process produces, of itself, anything real in the material sense. No one is aborting anyone’s imagination.

” In the latter case, that human would never exist since it's just a thought experiment, while in the first 2 it could lead to a human, if the initial cell is nurtured in a womb and grow successfully to become a viable fetus, an actual human being. But, at the time of conception, there is no 'who' yet; there is nobody to talk about.”

Ah the human identity is merely denied, thus enabling its death by human destruction of its gestation.

” It's just 1 of a quasi-infinite number of valid sequence of human DNA.

As are you. And I emphasize the “just”.

”Moreover, the notion of 'time of conception' can also extend to hours, and maybe a couple of days, after conception, where the initial cell has had time to reproduce itself thousands of times already, but without forming anything resembling a human yet.”

It exactly resembles a human at that stage of development, just as you did at that stage of development. You have inserted your prejudice, and it is rejected.

”4) The next one, first trimester of development, is also easy but emotional manipulation kicks-in in full force from the so-called "pro-life" side.”

False. Declaring the argument against your desire to kill to be emotional is merely word-play. Every human has to go through all the stages of development, right up to time of death. That individual is human the entire time. Your desire to redefine that obvious conclusion is rejected.

” Here, we are talking about a something that is not, at all, a person yet…”

This is a FALSE declaration. You have anointed yourself to be the arbiter of who can be considered a person and who cannot. The use of the word “person” changes the argument illegally away from the issue of the humanness of the developing human. And you use this redefinition which you make up to “justify” your theory of who can be killed at whatever stage which you choose to justify by changing definitions.

This is entirely Machiavellian.

”…but the embryo can start to reassemble one because of the formation of organs, and even a beating hearth at the threshold between embryo and fetus.”

All of this is trivial and so is the following discussion of Highschool biology.


”During the first trimester of a pregnancy, quite a lot happens basically and, the later it is, the more human-like the embryo is. However, there is absolutely no way that this embryo would survive outside of the mother's womb, there is no working nervous system and thus no 'who' to talk about.”

And another redefinition is put in place: no human is a “who” until you say so, because you have the moral authority to allow or deny a human her “whoness”, based on your opinion.

This is definitely still just some pack of cells, a lot of them, but not a human person.

This definition forgot to include the inability to talk about her “whoness”. You have made your decision using the same decision path and format that the eugenicists leading up to both Lenin and Hitler used: that category is not human; it has no person-hood; it has no whoness; it is without value, and it is a drain on its host and so: kill it.

”Moreover, that's when the vast majority of natural miscarriage occur and abortions performed during the first trimester are thus not much different from natural ones.”

Complete irrational misconception: “a natural cause of huan death is similar to killing a healthy human at the same stage”. I’m not even sure what it takes to make such a statement.

”Numbers vary and are hard to estimate, as many women don't even know they were pregnant, but it is said that only 30% to 50% of conceptions progress past the first trimester.”

Oh. Then it is statistically OK to kill your progeny. That’s a new argument and it doesn’t work, because it is statistically true that many black youth in ghettoes do not survive their teen years, so you might as well just go ahead and kill the inconvenient black teen youths. That would be racist though, whereas killing black humans at certain pre-born stages is just PEACHY.

”5) Now, the tough one... what should we do if a woman wants an abortion past the 3-month mark? If it's close enough, say during the 4th, it still pretty much the same situation as in #4, but the now fetus is getting very close to be what we should rightfully call a human, a person, who can live on their own.”

Nah. You can modify your definition of humanness yet again to include this category. A great many Pro-kill activists have already done so. Why is your opinion better than theirs?

”The most premature babies to have ever been born were only in their 20s, as in less than 30 weeks of development and thus only 5-to-6 months old. On the other hand, some abortions, without medical reasons, are performed up to the 20th week, and even a bit more, overlapping with the youngest babies to have survive. At this point, it's a very grey area.”

You are self-authorized to bite the bullet and make the decision whether to kill her or not. As your entire argument proceeds, that is what you are doing – justifying your opinion of when she can be shredded and relieved of her life.

”Personally, I am not comfortable either way and would let doctors and other medical/ethics professional weight in.”

So your moral authority fails you at this point? Someone else’s moral authority is allowed to supersede your own, so that you don’t have to face this failure point in your own moral theory?

”Doing everything possible to save a 20-something fetus has a very low chance of success and can actually lead to a life of misery of the person who survives.”

So you can decide that preventing a possible uncomfortable future life is a good reason to kill that person pre-emptively?

”But it's possible, and thus falls under the person category. I would tend to stay cautious and give a right to life to fetus as soon as they hit the 20-week, 5-month, mark, perhaps even a bit before and we can be accurate enough. We are now talking about someone, a who, in my opinion. Trying to get rid of that fetus is killing and should not be acceptable. But...

Yes. But… You might change your mind and allow the killing to proceed, anyway.

The remaining quandaries are not worth my discussion time; Here’s why: everything you say is predicated on your own personal moral authority to decide to kill. You base that on your own definitions of which humans you personally consider to have value: the values of “personhood”, “whoness”, and the value of being a healthy human.

I reject your moral authority to make those determinations for another human.

”To conclude, I will quote a few lines of your last 10 comments Stan. This might help clarify my position and the arguments I am presenting in favor of safe and legal abortions, with the 6 situations listed above as framework.
Stan said...
"You referred to the embryo or zygote or whatever name might be given to the fertilized cell attached to the uterus as “meaningless”. Now we can establish that you understand that this cell is human, with its own life and identity, is growing through a necessary phase of human development. That, according to you, is meaningless in the decision to kill that human."

The embryo or zygote is "not" a person; it has no right to life and no identity. ”


And there is the entire issue. Who gave you the authority over other humans at whatever stage of their development – to kill that human if it is deemed inconvenient? Who gave you the right to make these definitions which you declare with such certainty of your moral authority to do so? If no one gave you this magnificent power, then how did you get it? Here’s how: you gave it to yourself, as a part of your atheist elitist worldview.

That’s exactly how Atheism works.

Here are more declarations from on high:

”Only a fetus can be labeled as person, and only a fetus can be 'killed', once it is deemed to be an actual person. Something meaningless cannot be 'killed', or 'murdered', by definition, as it is not a person. The only acceptable cases where abortion 'is' about killing were explained under #6, and are limited to rare medical situations.”

So you have outlined a moral code for who can be killed, complete with paragraph numbers.

”In other words, all humans went through the phases of human development, but not everything that goes through 'some' of the phases of human development is a human. What was discussed under #1-3-4 are examples of things that go through some of the human development process, without being humans.”

More definitional clarifications under your personal authority to decide which human dies.

”" find the time in the gestation where the “person” organ is installed, and declare that to be the cut-off for killing the developing human, thereby depriving her of her life. Obviously, the ability to detect the material “Personhood Organ” is something that only the “Right To Kill” advocates have. That’s an astonishing ability. And in fact it Does Not Exist. There is no more onerous ploy than to claim the ability to deny personhood to another human."

Nobody is stating that it's simple, and there is no such thing as a 'person organ'. This is a use of ridicule in order to avoid a tough debate.”


Not ridicule at all. You are installing personhood and whoness and killability with your personal opinion of which humans are killable. You are a dedicated Materialist. So if personhood is acquired, it must get installed at some point, under your own philosophy of Materialism. If that is not the case, then its just your opinion regarding which humans you have decided are killable.

”As I keep mentioning, the pro-life side has nothing but emotions on their side.”

And that is absurd. When I assert that when an egg is fertilized it becomes a unique individual being launched into the normal path of human development, that is biological fact. Your case, on the other hand, is purely opinion. There is no reasoning which allows you to be the arbiter of life and death over another biological human. All of your vaunted “reasoning” is just opinion which is supported only by your emotionally derived definitions which you have modified to support your case in advance to actually making it.

They point out to how embryos 'look' like babies, or how the embryo 'could' have been a human.

Did no such thing. Straw Man/Red herring.

”But the question is whether the embryo 'is' a human at the time of abortion.

False. The issue is why you think you have the moral authority to deny life to another human.

”The longer the gestation period the tougher the question becomes. But, the fact that we have the 2 extremes, as explained under #1 and #2, means that there is necessarily a cut-off. Using facts and reason, we can try to figure out the ethical way to find that cut-off and avoid killing humans.”

You have not used facts; you have created false definitions which you assert as fact. You have not used reason; you have rationalized your own personal authority to decide life and death over other humans.

"Apparently then, infanticide a la’ Peter Singer (the moral-free ethics prof) is OK with you, too?"

No, not at all. The quote, which you misunderstood, was meant to illustrate that if someone attempts to label 'human' something which is not human at all then, yes, it makes it look like killing.“


Another false statement, and equivocation: no one has made labels except for you with your phony redefinitions. The consistent use of the obvious "humanity" involved in the propagation of humans is not a label. It is an inconvenient fact which you refuse to acknowledge, in the defense of your own assumption of personal moral authority.

”If I label mosquitoes as humans, and then ask you: have you ever kill a mosquito?”

Red Herring/False Analogy/Straw Man. You are the one creating labels, not me.


”Does it mean that you did in fact kill a human if you answer yes? This is exactly the same thing here. The pro-life side defines embryos, or even just a single cell, as 'human'; they then equate the destruction of these cells with killing a human.”

Only your bogus labeling says otherwise. You cannot defeat the biological necessity of the humanness of the fertilized egg, etc.

"The human inside the woman is a unique individual, living through the development stage: it is not “the same as a fully formed human” and it is fully human"

Why?”



It is biological necessity. It is normal human at a normal stage of human development. You deny this with your bogus redefinitions which are not True in any material fashion, but are merely your opinion.

”This is what makes no sense with your position. And all of this really is just about that 1 question: why do you think that anything, literally anything, that is part of the human development process after conception is literally a human, a person, that can be killed? We are talking about 1 cell at first, then a few, and then maybe something that starts to look like a person, as described under #4, but it is not a human that can survive before several more weeks.

All humans up through teen years cannot survive without help from other humans. Nor can the elderly, the indigent, the disabled, the mentally ill, and other demographics. Your rationalization would of logical necessity include all of them as “killable”.

”**Final thought / side note**
I purposely avoided anything not directly related to abortion, including the notion of objectivity. But, I must repeat that this is not what I think is my opinion, or a subjective view of morality that varies with the whim of the people. This is about figuring out what is 'the' moral choice in any given situation regarding pregnancy.”


It’s not that hard: either humans have value which is not to be denied by other humans, or they do not and may be killed as they are determined to be inconvenient.

”Objectively, there are always moral choices and immoral choices, regardless of our opinion, but we don't always agree on what these objective moral truths are.”

Obviously it goes beyond that: why do you think you have moral authority over the lives of other living humans?

”The notion of whether such objectivity even exist, under Theism or Atheism, is irrelevant to the question here, and I thus hope to come back to it on the other thread, eventually.”

I’ll prime that pump: Atheists think they have the boundless freedom to decide their own moral principles as well as moral principles for application to other people. Theists do not think that.

117 comments:

  1. Stan, you simply refuse to talk about how we determine our opinions; you assume yours is equal to facts and then label anything else as wrong. Quoting lines and saying 'no' is not a rational defense. You either have something to reply to, something else to add, or you don't. Clearly, the latter is true in your case.

    You present only a complete avoidance of the issue by assuming your position is morally correct. It's not a defense to just repeat your position!

    You pretend to be the arbiter of what a human is in order to claim that disagreeing with YOU means being the arbiter. Subjective emotional opinions are not moral truth just because you say so. The fact that you need to insist again and again that logic is on your side, instead of actually using logic to make your point, proves the weakness of your position.

    The most obvious case of assuming your position is after I said:
    'all humans went through the phases of human development, but not everything that goes through 'some' of the phases of human development is a human.' which was accompanied by paragraphs of explanations.
    The only thing you have to say is that YOUR definition is correct, with NO explanation. Just because you say so...

    And regarding the last sentence, what do you know about Theists as a whole, who are you to talk for them all? You are a very specific kind of Theist; a self-labeled ration Theist, an old American Conservative. Don't pretend you have hold on Truth as a whole when you cannot even explain your positions...

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  2. Hugo, if you will not accept the opinion and moral judgement of the whole human race, I reckon I have nothing further to say to you. Other than, if you want to live by the Law of the Jungle - he who has the biggest weapon and is willing to use it, decides who lives and who dies - be careful what you wish for.

    I know you make your'rational decisions' with the secret reservation that you yourself are exempt from those standards. But seriously, if you can justify killing a kid simply 'becauase you said so', what's to stop anyone from drawing a similar line with you - as you are right now?

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  3. Steven, you never talk to me anyway... On this blog, all you do is just pet Stan's back, make funny comments once in a while, or omg-this-is-so-true comments, and then move on to something else, without engaging anyone, on anything. You even avoided my question about real life interactions before, after YOU accused me of hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, remember?

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  4. Well, Hugo,
    You didn't answer his question. It's a common problem with you. And what you did here was merely to attack the questioner. I think that his question is legitimate. Why not just answer the question, then? (I think I know the answer)

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  5. Hugo, I think that Steven accused IMS more than he accused you (of hiding behind the internet anonymity).

    For more examples of his trolling and irrationality, check out the blog entry below that Stan did on Dawkins, and the comment that I left for that entry (with the links).

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  6. Hugo says,
    ” Stan, you simply refuse to talk about how we determine our opinions; you assume yours is equal to facts and then label anything else as wrong. Quoting lines and saying 'no' is not a rational defense. You either have something to reply to, something else to add, or you don't. Clearly, the latter is true in your case.”

    You don’t get to decide whether an issue is only one thing, your thing. It is not the thing you want it to be. You cannot bully me into allowing you to determine what the conversation is about. I know what abortion is, and I’m telling you what it is. You try to deflect any responsibility while claiming to have the moral authority to make decisions for other humans who can’t defend themselves from you. And you do that with an aura of rationalism which is actually pure rationalization in support of your position that you have that authority over other humans.

    ”You present only a complete avoidance of the issue by assuming your position is morally correct. It's not a defense to just repeat your position!”

    My position is biologically sound, and you know it. Yours is purely based on your presumptive authority to impose your opinion of who should be allowed to be killed.

    ”You pretend to be the arbiter of what a human is in order to claim that disagreeing with YOU means being the arbiter.”

    You have obviously descended into the depths of Tu Quoque Fallacy. It is biological fact, and your position is pure opinion. And you modified standard definitions in order to support your opinion. That is undeniable, because it is contained in your comments.
    _________________________________
    Definition from Merriam Webster:
    person
    play
    noun per•son \ˈpər-sən\
    Popularity: Top 30% of words
    Simple Definition of person
    • : a human being
    __________________________________
    Definition from Merriam Webster:
    who1
    [ho͞o]
    PRONOUN
    1. what or which person or people:
    "who is that woman?" •

    You use prejudiced premises of your own devising: Equivocation Fallacy, and blatant falsification of premises, and then you accuse me of misconduct. And then you deny that my position is based in reason and logic:

    ” The fact that you need to insist again and again that logic is on your side, instead of actually using logic to make your point, proves the weakness of your position.”

    When you use false premises and then make your opinions out to be “reason”, you are in no position to analyze the premises I use which are based in biological science and grounded in human rights.

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  7. ”The most obvious case of assuming your position is after I said:
    'all humans went through the phases of human development, but not everything that goes through 'some' of the phases of human development is a human.' which was accompanied by paragraphs of explanations.

    The only thing you have to say is that YOUR definition is correct, with NO explanation. Just because you say so...”


    I explained very clearly; pay attention: it is biological FACT that the human individual created at the fertilization of the egg, is human. You do not like this FACT; thus you come up with paragraphs of rationalizations which you think can be used to DENY this individual her humanness, or in your bizarre assessment, her “who-ness”. But it takes perverting the definitions which you use as premises in order to enable your desired conclusion, which is this: You have given yourself the moral authority to determine who can be killed at what very normal stage of her life.

    And now you try to reverse the charge onto me. It doesn’t stick because like your premises, it is false.

    ”And regarding the last sentence, what do you know about Theists as a whole, who are you to talk for them all? You are a very specific kind of Theist; a self-labeled ration Theist, an old American Conservative. Don't pretend you have hold on Truth as a whole when you cannot even explain your positions...”

    Absolute bullshit. And an unnecessary attack on me which is entirely unrelated to the scientific argument made under the universal understanding of human rights.

    You can’t win this with false premises and personal attacks. What you have to prove is that you do, in fact, have the moral authority which you are wielding, and that you got it legitimately from some higher source, which source anointed you with the moral task of deciding which humans can be killed.

    When you provide that source for your moral authority with incontrovertible evidence, especially regarding the higher source, then you have shown that you can, all by yourself, decide who lives and who dies.

    Until then it is proper to assume that you actually do NOT have that moral authority, and that science and human rights take precedence over your opinions.

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  8. @JBsptfn: "trolling and irrationality"... you're not referring to me, are you?

    @Hugo: I read this blog every day. I comment when I feel strongly enough about the issue to either chime in or add my two cents. Welcome to the internet, Hugo! Just because I agree with Stan doesn't mean that what I say is wrong, unless you assume Stan is wrong from the get-go and I'm just here to pat him on the back. I make a terrrible cheerleader for Stan. If that was an attempt to undermine any validity my statements might have, it is a poor one. As you've pointed out, I am so seldom here. So what's it gonna be?

    More to the point, I don't engage with you because I don't think you can be argued out of your ideology. You believe what you believe, and you take it to this blog when you're looking for a bit of entertainment. I only respond because others read this blog too - and God forbid they should think my silence gives assent to your denial of things no good man would question.

    C. S. Lewis wrote that spiritual pride drives out reason. It wants what it wants, and to hell with the facts, or reason, logic or common sense. You are not some brave iconoclast daring to stand up against the old, worn-out way of looking at things. In fact, your sort has been around since the dawn of human civilization. Subjectivism is a big word, but people have been holding up one set of rules for everyone else and another, quite different set for themselves for a very, very long time. You are one of them.

    I will ask you again... given that you, based solely upon your own personal opinion, would willing kill a human being because it cannot object or fight back and because it is inconvenient to you or someone you know - how can you guarantee me, one hunnerd percent, that someone just like you, using the same sort of self-granted moral authority, won't decide that YOU are similarly expendable?

    After all, you must admit that simply by existing, you are inconvenient to someone else. Will you go willingly to the gas chamber? And if not, why not? If you cannot resist (because they have the law or a bigger gun on their side) and you have no more identity as a human being than you did as a six-month fetus (and you don't, *because they said so*), and you are inconvenient to those who would do you in - what will save you?

    You're the poster child for the slippery slope, Hugo. Deny it with every breath, change the subject, hem and haw all you like, insult me until the sun goes out. Doesn't change objective reality. And the reality is, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. One day you *will* be hoisted by your own petard. It won't be pleasant.

    Or you can shove that ego back and start using the brain your Creator gave you, and really *choose* something that is not simply more of the lazy, ego-boosting set of warm, fuzzy assumptions you have been working with lately.

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  9. No, Steven. I am not calling you a troll. I said that you referred to Im Skeptical as an irrational troll a few months ago.

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  10. Hello Everyone!!

    Quoting Hugo:


    ”And regarding the last sentence, what do you know about Theists as a whole, who are you to talk for them all? You are a very specific kind of Theist; a self-labeled ration Theist, an old American Conservative. Don't pretend you have hold on Truth as a whole when you cannot even explain your positions...”


    Whoa Whoa Whoa man!!

    Why so sore, sour and bitter!! At least try to have some respect! Remember what the wise people said about people who are way too much entitled to their own intra-subjective opinions? They DO become way too boring to debate with!

    Please do not become one of those many other people who are like that. It's a humble advice, such conduct will harm your personal development, if it hasn't done that already.

    You know, I disagree with Stan in some points. I do not declare myself either liberal or conservative, since those selective notions of the practice of the fundamental significance of politics are quite monolithic and closed-minded, in my humble opinion. That statement alone is something Stan will disagree with.

    And you know, I do not spend days in my life to try to throw ad-hominems at fanatic atheists and fanatic agnostics and fanatic religious people because I disagree with them in the slightest of things, or even if they have a global worldview which is totally opposite to that of mine!! Also being myself a former Atheist in high school!!

    But there is one thing you do not seem to admit, and get quite emotional because Stan points it out for you. I tend not to discuss abortion as it is, because of the shaky ground for discussion it confers. I do not declare myself neither pro-life, neither pro-choice.

    But sometimes common sense is being formed by the way new paradigms in our vision and knowledge arise. Some parts of ancient knowledge are true even nowadays, because those are being reinforced by confirmation by scientific scrutiny, empirical proofs and quotidian ways of life.

    Scientific studies (if you want the sources, I'll be showing them to you, single-handed) have shown that a three-month fetus already responds positively regarding brain development to some selected sound-wave frequencies (or music), and moves freely in the womb.

    Conjectures do not become science in one day; baseless opinions because of the lack of control of emotions caused by ideological romance do!

    Keep yourself safe,

    Kind Regards.

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  14. *** ABORTION-RELATED ARGUMENTS 1/2 ***

    Stan said...
    "You don’t get to decide whether an issue is only one thing, your thing. It is not the thing you want it to be. [...] you do that with an aura of rationalism which is actually pure rationalization in support of your position that you have that authority over other humans. "

    The topic of abortion has lot to it; more than just the definition of what it means to be a human person. That is correct. However, the 1 thing we disagree on is that definition. Hence, it's not that I am trying to decide what the issue is about; I am merely stating that this is the 1 point of contention between our 2 positions. We agree that an abortion performed at 30 weeks of pregnancy 'is' the killing of a human person. But, we disagree on whether an abortion performed at 10-weeks, or even just taking the after-morning pill, is killing a human person.

    "My position is biologically sound"

    This is not a question of biology; it's a question of ethics. The only thing that biology tells us is how the human development cycle works. It also tells us that pregnancies are terminated, naturally and spontaneously, very often. Biology can also help understand how viable the embryo and then fetus is, at each stage of development. But Biology is silent on matters of ethics. This is why people have discussions about these issues outside science labs, not as part of experiments but still with the experimental knowledge in hand.

    "you modified standard definitions [...]
    Definition from Merriam Webster:
    person: a human being
    who: PRONOUN.
    1. what or which person or people:
    "who is that woman?"
    "

    The problem here is that we don't agree on what objects are human beings / person / people / a 'who'. The reference to 'who' I was making was to contrast with 'it'. Looking at a human hair on the floor, we would never say that there is 'someone' on the floor. We would never ask, 'who' is on the floor here? We use 'it' because it's a thing, which contrast with human being, people, and the usage of he/she. That's actually why you use 'she' when talking about unborn babies, and even embryos, because you do consider them to be a person, who can be killed, and not a thing, which can be disposed of.

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  15. *** ABORTION-RELATED ARGUMENTS 2/2 ***

    "it is biological FACT that the human individual created at the fertilization of the egg, is human."
    No, because there is a distinction between human 'cells' and human 'person'. There is a difference between the usage of the word 'human' as a noun, referring to a person, and the usage of the word 'human' as an adjective, as in your sentence above.

    Yes, when an egg gets fertilized, the result is 'human', but that's the adjective we are using here. The cells are human cells, but the question is why should we consider them to be more than just 'cells' and an actual human being, a person. Stating that the fertilization of the egg results in a human, right away, is stating the conclusion of the argument without actually supporting it. But the example of the human hair applies here as well. What falls on the floor is human, the hair is human, it's human hair. It's not a play on word; this is the accurate way to describe objects of human origins. This usage of the word human does not necessarily mean that what we are talking about is a person. I would argue it actually hints at the fact that it's 'not' a human, it's not a person. We would never say: look at what is stepping out of the car, it's human. We say: look at what is stepping out of the car, it's a human, it's a person.

    So, when looking at human development, the hard question is to figure out where the switch happens, from human cells to human person, from a thing of human origin to an actual human. The numbered list I presented on the other thread is an attempt at drawing that line, with the caveat that it's not obvious at all at certain stage of development.

    An analogy can be made with babies, children, teenagers and adults. Where is the line exactly between all of these? A baby is a baby, not an adult. Yet, all adults had to be babies at some point and, unfortunately, not all babies will become adults. But where is the line exactly between baby, child, teenager and adult?

    We use conventions such as the age, the arrival of puberty and school grades, but these definitions are not clear cut for the same reason that it's not clear cut as to when an embryo turns into a fetus that turns into an actual human being with the right to life. There is a transition between 'human thing' to 'human person'. The pro-life argument is that this line is drawn at conception. The human cell, the 1 human cell, created at conception is labeled as a human right away. The pro-choice argument is that that 1 human cell is human, yes, but not 'a' human yet. The transition occurs later. And 1 simple way to put it is to refer to the viability of the fetus with, again, the complex caveats discussed before when it comes to drawing that line.

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  17. (cont.)

    @yonose
    Here's my humble advice to you: stop reading too much into what I am writing. I am not sour, bitter or annoyed at any of this, and certainly not emotional! I am just writing my opinion, my often self-censored opinion, and that's about it. I find it really interesting to get points of views I am not exposed to regularly and that's why I read this blog, even if I find Stan to be, well, not a very nice person, online. But I don't have to deal with him, or even anyone like him, outside of what I read here, so there is really no impact on my daily life. To me, it's just a way to keep an open mind so that I don't get only 1 side of every issue.

    But at the same time, there are some topics where I believe we do know what the right side is, where the truth lies, and Stan does not fit within that side. In such cases, yes, it may sound to you, or others who think like you, that I am very disrespectful about it because it's true! I do not have any respect for the opinions of the pro-life crowd, for example. I am not hiding that, in case it was not clear. I think their views are dangerous and must be fought. Just like Stan says that Atheism is dangerous and must be fought. The difference is that I am talking about 1 specific issue; he is talking about an entire group of people...

    Same goes for a few more things that get covered here on this blog. I actually can think of only 2 more: evolution and climate change. But even climate change is not as clear cut as I don't always agree with the solutions that get proposed by those that accept that humans are mostly responsible for it. What's certain is that I don't respect the opinion of those who think that there is some sort of conspiracy.

    Note that this blog is 'supposed' to be Atheism and that's one of the topics where I would not ever claim certainty and I do respect the opinions of Theists, a lot. I like to hear arguments and try to think about such big philosophical questions.

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  18. MAIN COMMENTARY - 2/5

    @Stan
    "You didn't answer his question. It's a common problem with you. And what you did here was merely to attack the questioner. I think that his question is legitimate. Why not just answer the question, then? (I think I know the answer)"
    Stan, why do you think all Muslims should be killed?
    That's the same as Steven's question, and the same you have been doing again and again. You decide that your definition of killing a human include abortion, even 1 day after conception, and then ask me why I am in favor of killing humans.
    It's not an intelligent discussion; it's just rethoric. Basically, it's that thing you keep complaining about... Let's see how much more you did it yourself:

    Stan said...
    " You don’t get to decide whether an issue is only one thing, your thing. It is not the thing you want it to be. You cannot bully me into allowing you to determine what the conversation is about."
    That's not what's happening; you misrepresent the point either because you don't understand it, or you willingly try to dodge the difficult question again. I think it's a bit of both. (1) you don't understand that I am NOT narrowing down the entire notion of abortion to that 1 notion of 'who' is human; I am pointing out that this is the ONE thing we disagree on. Yet, you keep going on and on about other things, which we already agree on, in order to (2) continue to ignore the tough questions. Because it's so much more easier, it takes so much less effort, to just keep repeating "I am right, you are wrong". And on top of it, you think I am bullying you? Oh the irony. You, Stan, who keep complaining about these Leftists whiners who don't want to argue using fact, logic and reason. Yet, that's exactly what you are doing now. You refuse to propose any kind of reasoning to explain your subjective notion of what it means to be a human person, and then whine that I am bullying you into answering the question. Again and again, you are what you complain about.

    Stan said...
    "You try to deflect any responsibility while claiming to have the moral authority to make decisions for other humans who can’t defend themselves from you. And you do that with an aura of rationalism which is actually pure rationalization in support of your position that you have that authority over other humans. "

    Here again, nor argument, no reasoning, just pure accusation of you being superior by claiming that I am the one who is claiming to be superior. I don't. I am proposing reasoning as to how we can try to decide what the right action is for difficult situations. You just want to call me names and then complain that I am the one doing that. You pretend that I am the one who claims moral authority, when this is exactly what you are doing. You repeat again and again that Atheists have no way of making sound moral judgment, a direct attack on my character even if you write it indirectly, and then claim that I am the one who claims he is superior. No, again, you are the one who claims superiority Stan; you are what you complain about.

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  19. MAIN COMMENTARY - 4/5

    "I explained very clearly; pay attention: it is biological FACT that the human individual created at the fertilization of the egg, is human. You do not like this FACT; thus you come up with paragraphs of rationalizations which you think can be used to DENY this individual her humanness, or in your bizarre assessment, her “who-ness”. But it takes perverting the definitions which you use as premises in order to enable your desired conclusion, which is this: You have given yourself the moral authority to determine who can be killed at what very normal stage of her life."

    Here you go again, calling my position 'bizare' because you cannot explain why it's wrong. Pretending that you have FACTS on your side in order to support your subjective opinion. Pretending that it's a given that a few human CELLS are the same as a human PERSON and thus accusing abortion of being the same as KILLING a human being. You are what you complain about; you label everything I write as a perversion, as wishful thinking, as moral elitism, when this is precisely what you do. Basically, this is yet another paragraph of just whining that your conclusion is not used within my arguments. Well, of course, I am telling you exactly where we disagree and why and all you have to say in return is that your arguments are better because your conclusion is the right one. This is circularity, the thing you complain about all the time, and do yourself all the time.

    "And now you try to reverse the charge onto me. It doesn’t stick because like your premises, it is false."

    Yes, I am reversing the charge because this is what you keep doing. You write commentaries; not logical argumentation. You THINK that you are making logical arguments because you label sentences and quotes as illogical, but you never explain why they are wrong, why they are false, and then imply that you position must be correct.

    "”And regarding the last sentence, what do you know about Theists as a whole, who are you to talk for them all? You are a very specific kind of Theist; a self-labeled ration Theist, an old American Conservative. Don't pretend you have hold on Truth as a whole when you cannot even explain your positions...”

    Absolute bullshit. And an unnecessary attack on me which is entirely unrelated to the scientific argument made under the universal understanding of human rights.
    "

    I was replying to YOUR comment. YOU wrote that line about Atheism because you just cannot help but insert all of these commentaries about everything and anything on any topic. If this was absolute bullshit it's because YOU wrote bullshit. You are not the voice of all Theists and there are so many different people who believe in God, or not, in this world that you cannot make blanket statements like that without being challenged. But that's what you always do nonetheless.

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  20. MAIN COMMENTARY - 5/5

    "You can’t win this with false premises and personal attacks. What you have to prove is that you do, in fact, have the moral authority which you are wielding, and that you got it legitimately from some higher source, which source anointed you with the moral task of deciding which humans can be killed."

    Just repeating the same over and over again. You label premises as false, without any reason. You write personal attacks every other line in the form of charges of irrationality, but you pretend that you are the victim of these attacks. And then you complain about all these Leftists who play the victimhood card; it's really ironic and amusing to see such self-contradiction.

    And again, also repeating the charge of moral authority, which I don't pretend to be, and thus once more indirectly pretending that YOU are the moral authority. But here, you inserted something more: the notion of an outside moral authority who you, somehow, must be familiar with, must have some connection to. So you don't claim to BE the moral authority, you "just" pretend that you know best what that authority wants and, surprise surprise, you agree with the authority. It's obvious that you are just once again using one of your own belief as a baseline. You assert your own conclusion that there is God, a moral giver, in order to pretend that I am somehow at odds with this God.

    I don't decide who should be killed; I disagree with your claim that abortions are killing in the first place. But keep repeating it... it only proves the point that you prefer to avoid the ethical questions.

    Finally, you might decide that this is, enough is enough, and you won't allow my comments here anymore. (Especially since I added a long side comment after that...) I don't think I wrote any direct insult; I am merely replying back and sharing some honest feedback but, after all, how many time have you hinted at your wishes to see me stop commenting here? What's funny to me is that this happens only when I start to write like you! Because... you are what you are complaining about. Basically, putting a mirror in front of your face makes you want to punch that mirror apparently. This is particularly true considering the fact that, at my age, you say that you were an Atheist yourself. You whine that opinions of Atheists change, yet you were an Atheist for 40 years before "completely" changing your views to your now Theistic approach. The debate on abortion is the most revealing because it brings up the purely emotional side attached to Theism. The picture of your grand-daughter sucking her thumb on the right rail is there for a reason after all...

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  21. SIDE COMMENTARY 1/3

    While I am here, I could clarify a few other things as well; nothing to do with abortion and just some things that have been on my mind for a while. It struck me when Yonose just wrote in his comment that I am "bitter". What a misunderstanding... time to clarify.

    Basically, I find it very interesting to read this blog as it gives me a glimpse into some of the ideas I never run into in my everyday life. So I do respect you, Stan, as a person, but I just find many of your ideas to be completely backward, illogical, and/or out of touch with reality. It's often just some "cute" ignorance actually; it makes me think of something like 'awwwww grand-pa, you just don't understand...' Very patronizing, I know, coastal elite reflex you know! Sometimes, I actually wonder how often it 'does' happen to you in real life, without realizing. You know, you say something a bit provocative, the other person has a little smile, yet says nothing except 'ya'... I don't know, maybe it never happens!

    There is this conversation I had with my wife, a little less than a year ago I think. It was around the time when there was this annoying troll who even went as far as trying to expose some of Stan's personal details, my address, and I don't know what else? (August 2015 to be exact; just checked my email...) I gave her some background as to how I had 'tried' to help Stan get rid of trolls before, and how he would not listen to me. Turning on the option to have blogger IDs made it so much easier, but he was just too proud to listen to me; it took him years to do so I believe. I recall Stan even paid to have some IP monitoring at some point! What a waste of money... Anyway, the point is that, even if I had stopped writing here at that time and even if I had actually helped, my name came up again. Stan and a couple of others would call the troll "Hugo the troll" and, since I was still reading, I thus decided to comment again to point out that, well, it was not me.

    But then, shortly after, Google changed their system, and my profile ID started to show my full name, which cause a bit of confusion... It got even funnier, or messier, as you wish. Phoenix mentioned that my full name was pointing back to that other Hugo ID that I was using. To which Stan replied that this was 'damaging evidence'. What Stan had forgotten is that we exchanged emails before, and my email address actually contains my full name... so he knew my name already! I mean, it was a few years ago but let's be frank, 'Pelland' is not the most common thing you run into! But, why did I mention that I was telling that to my wife? Well, there are a few reasons...

    First, the troll, who was trying to be disruptive until the FBI was mentioned, good job here Stan, tried to use other people's name. I recall him using Robert's nickname, for instance, and he did use "Hugo", though I don't know how often. But I do know of at least 1 case for sure and, at the time, I appreciated that Stan noticed something was off himself. This one was obvious because it was in January 2014, around the 8th; right when I got married in India! My wife thought that was kind of funny because she knows how busy we were with a week full of events, and how physically impossible it would be for me to go on blogs during that time.

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  22. SIDE COMMENTARY 3/3

    At the same time, I understand that "obsessions". I have myself tried many times to stop reading/commenting and it's just too interesting. However, I am done with commentaries for now, and will stick just to topics, nothing else, for a while, should you be fine with that Stan. Or I will stop completely if that was too much drama coming from me... either way is fine. Please shoot over any criticisms, feedback, and insults, whatever... I might learn a thing or two! I don't pretend to be better at any of this, or not all of this at least; I am much younger and less experienced with life in general, but I am not the one with the blog, so it's easier from my side to judge you, Stan, and your work.

    Basically, the point is that there is no frustration on my side, no bitterness, no anger, no emotional distress in the face of my positions being 'Analyzed'. It's truly an enjoyable experience, but an experience with what I find to be some of the most irrational opinions I ever heard. And that it is why it 'may' sound like frustration, but it is nothing like it. I think it's relevant to share it because I see a lack of self-awareness on your side Stan, on Stan's side for whoever feels they relate to this.

    When posts are written about some really crazy people, like the radical feminists who call out any vaginal sex as rape, or the people who vouch for firing someone just because they posted a stupid Tweet, I cannot help but think... Atheism Analyzed is pretty much like that... It's not as bad, I exaggerate, but I don't exaggerate a lot! Many visitors who come here are certainly struck by the incredibly amount of 'woo' presented here and the conspiracy-ish mentality of some of the points of view.

    Yes, again, that makes me sound like a coastal liberal elite, right? But the thing is that most of us, be it in cities or in rural areas, liberals or conservatives, religious or not, are not as extreme as Stan is, nor as extreme as the people he talks about. So every time something is listed as being extreme here, it's interesting because it's yet another reminder that Stan does not realize that he is also part of an extreme. The post on stats actually shows that there is some self-realization happening, as Stan at least realized that his tone changed over the years. But I don't think the trend will reverse. Unfortunately, extreme viewpoints are usually the most dogmatic, the toughest to change, and remain anchored in minds. We can only try to learn more about them and try to make things work anyway.

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  23. p.s. oh well, looks like some comments still disappear... I give up. Nobody cares anyway, but it was interesting to try to write down some ideas down. Again, sorry for the spam, but not sorry for the content. Feel free to give harsh comments back, if you have anything relevant to say. Cheers.

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  24. SIDE COMMENTARY 2/3

    Next, I also told her a bit more about how Stan can be confused with technology, or is a bit weird about it. As explained above, he took forever to put the proper blog settings so that it would be hard for trolls to use multiple nicknames, he puts moderation ON once in a while because he likes the little power trip, instead of just ignoring people or removing the few inappropriate comments, he doesn't seem to know that blogs don't display the same way on mobile: he often mentions the side rails, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and even judged someone who could not find them recently, hinting at the fact that he does not know, or does not care, about the fact that it's not visible on mobile by default... you need to manually force desktop mode. Anyway, the last point is that he has a blog, a supposedly private family blog, that he has forgotten to make hidden. Ya, that's probably new Stan, right? Now you know, so go change your settings; you're welcome...

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  25. SIDE COMMENTARY 2/3 (cont)

    When I mentioned that last detail to my wife, that's when we had an interesting exchange. She pointed out that I should probably tell him, and I think she was right. But at the same time, I told her that, you know, he is a bit of an asshole so why should I tell him? I tried to help him with trolls and he accused me of being the troll; he even thought I might have tried to expose my own mailing address just to fake that I am both the troll and not the troll! Plus, remember that email exchange I mentioned above? Well, one of the things I clearly remember is that he mentioned that if we were in front of each other, in person, he would check his wallet because that's how little he trusts Atheists, as a whole. Pretty much the same as the incredibly silly comments about Muslims, more recently, and how the first thing he would do, should he be in their presence, is get a freaking gun. Because, you know, one has to be suspicious of ALL Muslims ALL the time, to the point of being armed, even if they are med schools student who grew up in the USA...

    So, even if my wife told me, half jokingly, that this was almost like "elderly abuse" for me to write here and not release some facts I am aware of, she did agree that ya, this guy is a bit of an asshole. Online, at least, he is so self-absorbed by his own ideas that he has created this little world where he can pick the news that matter to him, add his bigoted commentaries, and get praised by a few people.

    The latest post on statistic more or less confirmed what I always thought. This blog must be getting significant traffic, because of the quantity of content and some popular keywords it uses, but still get very few comments or repeat readers because of the lack of quality. This is exactly what seems to be the case. It's not because the topic is niche; it's because "Stan is niche". He is not a particularly good writer but still managed to rack up thousands of posts, plus all the commentaries in sometimes 100+ long threads. But, if you use Blogger's stats directly, they might be wrong btw (Google: blogspot statistics vs google analytics)

    And he is kind of obsessed with this blog. I would say that over 95% of the time, any comment I leave will get a response immediately the next morning. Yet, his private blog, which I just verified now, has almost nothing on it. Hopefully, there are other venues where you actually care more about your own family Stan. Because online, it seems that they don't deserve 1% of your attention, while exposing the evil of the Atheo-Left is a grand mission that requires multiple posts per day...

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  26. "My position is biologically sound"

    This is not a question of biology; it's a question of ethics.


    Precisely. Ethicists are those people who decide which set of people may be harmed in order for the remaining people to benefit. Ethics in no manner equates to morality. Ethics is always slippery and it is the fundamental basis for the eugenics of the 20th Century and for every mass extermination of a subset of a population which was determined to be undesirable, and thus “non-personed” as another blogger wrote (SJWs are in the specific business of removing the personhood of anyone who dissents, and removing that non-person’s right to employment by public shaming – even for thought crimes committed decades ago).

    The advent of removing personhood due to ideology of sliding ethical opinion has become not only a problem in China, Russia, and the other dictatorships. Declaration of who may be considered a person is now a common feature of American AtheoLeftist Ethics Dictators as well. It is all part of the Class War mentality in which the AtheoLeft presumes for themselves the moral authority to decide who is a non-person, regardless of that individual’s status as a human, with applicable human rights.

    So your position is consistent: Facts are not the issue; science is not a factor; the ability to create and impose something called “ethics” onto a specific class of humans (resulting in their destruction) is reserved to the elite class by themselves, for themselves. What those “ethics” consist of doesn’t matter. What matters is that the elite class is able to preserve that right – in the face of material facts to the contrary.

    But human rights are a moral principle. Ethicists cannot morally remove human rights from one subset of humans in order to benefit another subset of humans without violating the human rights of the first group.

    The issue is, and will remain: undeniable material facts, and morality vs ethics.

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  27. More later. I have to go for now.

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. Hello Hugo,

    So, quoting you once again, and only this piece as relevant:

    "In such cases, yes, it may sound to you, or others who think like you, that I am very disrespectful about it because it's true! I do not have any respect for the opinions of the pro-life crowd, for example."

    Like I said before, I do not go on either side, and my guidance is in facts which some are in favor of you political view, some are against your political view, and you don't seem to like the ones which are against, so, if I don't mention that before saying the facts you don't like, then you will label me as another pro-lifer to be despised and even to be exterminated if you lack self control (I don't know that yet, have not meet you in person :)

    To give you some examples:

    It's like me saying that because I don't like creationism, creationists are all stupid; that because I don't like evolution (agree with micro-evolution only), then all evolutionists are stupid. There are countless times where I've been treated like an idiot by molecular biologists who still appeal to obsolete notions of the evolution theory, by physicists who agree with string theory and LIGO experiment (UGH!), by engineers who still believe electrical behavior prelates magnetic behavior, etc. Ideological and Political romance is common in people, it's a sick sick love, when those don't work, it's desperation and grief to keep them afloat.

    You political biases are based on emotional associations, which are yet to be controlled. I admit I also am emotional first rational second, like almost every single human being but, the best way to keep a rational mind, is to control emotions first, ignoring biases first, work through the premises and conclusions, like you said, with an open mind.

    If Stan is so contrarian to your worldview, why then, do you keep repeating your opinions over and over against his? that is, if you believe he's doing the same thing :)

    Your actions do not resonate with your words.

    Kind Regards.

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  31. Stan said...

    "Ethics in no manner equates to morality."

    Ethics does not directly equate morality, for sure, but I have always seen ethics as the word we use to describe the analysis of our moral choices; they are intertwined. Ethics is the process by which we attempt to determine whether actions are in line with morality, which may be believed to be religious in nature, or not, and objective, or not. My belief is that there is such objective morality, regardless of the existence of a god or religious foundation, and ethics is thus about trying to determine whether actions are conforming to that objective morality. In short, ethics is about determining whether actions are right or wrong, objectively.

    Therefore, the comment really surprised me, so I decided to read a bit more on the topic, to see if I had been mistaken, at least in part, all this time. After just a few minutes, I was reassured that I don't think I was mistaken, and what you wrote does not seem to match anything I could find. Ethics means something very different to you apparently; something different than everybody else. As you wrote, to you, it's not just 'not equal' to morality; it has nothing to do with morality. But everything I could find about ethics says it's related to morality and nothing supports your view, which is a novel subjective definition that you made up here. But perhaps it was just badly phrased and you'll correct what you meant?

    In any case, here are 'some' of the articles I went over:

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  32. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethic
    1a) rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad
    1b) the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
    2a) a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values (the present-day materialistic ethic) (an old-fashioned work ethic) - often used in plural but singular or plural in construction (an elaborate ethics) (Christian ethics)
    2b) the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group (professional ethics)
    2c) a guiding philosophy
    2d) a consciousness of moral importance (forge a conservation ethic)


    http://www.iep.utm.edu/ethics/

    Ethics: The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Metaethics investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? Metaethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves. Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. This may involve articulating the good habits that we should acquire, the duties that we should follow, or the consequences of our behavior on others. Finally, applied ethics involves examining specific controversial issues, such as abortion, infanticide, animal rights, environmental concerns,homosexuality, capital punishment, or nuclear war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_in_religion
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/intro_1.shtml
    http://www.ianwelsh.net/ethics-101-the-difference-between-ethics-and-morals/
    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/does_ethics_require_religion
    https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/what-is-ethics/
    http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-ethics.html
    http://www.allaboutworldview.org/christian-ethics.htm
    http://people.opposingviews.com/ethics-vs-morals-christian-perspective-7019.html

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  33. Stan said...

    "I have condensed Hugo's devastating rebuttal to the biological Science and human rights argument into a syllogistic premise/conclusion form.

    Synopsis of Hugo’s counter argument:
    Premise 1...
    "

    Everything that came after that was a commentary; a commentary is different from an argument. Comments are not necessarily structured and convey nothing but opinions. Arguments attempt to bring up facts and use logic and reason to debate various topics. Moreover, the commentary was specifically split into 2 parts: one about abortion-related comments and one about other unrelated things. The items that were quoted here were all ad-hoc comments that were not related to the topic at hand. Though, the accuracy of the summary is stellar.

    Basically, what this summary shows is that you confused arguments with commentary, maybe on purpose, or maybe because you are confused. That's why there is often not much to reply to, if one wants to stick to the topic.

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  34. I deleted the comment you captured and I will repost it when you get through commenting. We were posting over each other. But your complaint is not accepted. You have no rational rebuttal to scientific fact, not even your definitions of ethics - which work against you. They are "ideas" (see your defintions above): mere opinions; nothing more. They have no more moral authority over anyone else than I do or you do. If you choose to accept opinion as Moral Fact, which one do you choose? Obviously the one which you approve of, the one that matches your own opinion. That means that ethics is prejudicial and is nothing more than false moral preening.

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  35. I should say, "false moral preening of Atheists who have no preconception of right or wrong, because evolution says we are animals, accidental, and nothing more."

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  36. Stan said...
    "BECAUSE[premises 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21 are absolute Truths as grounded in the confirmation by everyone we know who agrees with us],
    THEN[Stan’s argument against abortion is False and annoying] AND [his argument against abortion is annoying and feelbad,


    No, this is not what the argument regarding abortion was about. The argument was presented under the sections labeled "*** ABORTION-RELATED ARGUMENTS ***", and the previous comments/threads on the same topic.

    just so ethically wrong to object to abortion by pointing out that it is killing

    That is correct. It is ethically wrong to label any kind of abortion as killing. Some cases of abortions are definitely killing, when the fetus would survive outside the womb, but most abortion (more than 99.9% I think) are not consider killing as they are disposing of human cells only, not what we should consider a human person. The disagreement is about what entity we should consider to be a human person or not.

    Stan won’t accept the redefinitions we made up, and that is so intolerant!!! Those definitions are necessary for our argument and not to accept them is unconscionable and hateful

    Stan presents his own definitions and claims them to be de facto correct, instead of presenting arguments in support. That's not the part that shows intolerance. Specific cases of intolerance would be regarding an abortion performed 1 month after conception; it's intolerant and damaging to be against such type of abortion.

    You did not do that in answer to the biological science/standard definitions/human rights argument [...] give it a shot using disciplined logic to justify your (hopefully new and improved) premises as well as your conclusions, and then stick with the logical output? Wouldn’t that be the rational approach?""

    Yes, agreed, that's the rational approach. The arguments were presented above and are separate from the commentaries, which I will not comment on anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have condensed Hugo's devastating rebuttal to the biological Science and human rights argument into a syllogistic premise/conclusion form.

    Synopsis of Hugo’s counter argument:
    Premise 1. Stan is like “'awwwww grand-pa, you just don't understand...'”;

    Premise 2. Stan is elderly.

    Premise 3. Stan is self-absorbed,

    Premise 4. Stan is a bigot

    Premise 5. Stan is an asshole, and my wife agrees

    Premise 6. Stan cares nothing for his family,

    Premise 7. Stan’s blog is full of woo.

    Premise 8. Stan’s blog is full of conspiracy theories

    Premise 9. Stan is a radical, and nobody I/we know thinks these types of thoughts

    Premise 10. Stan is elderly (worth mentioning twice)

    Premise 11. Stan is an asshole (worth mentioning twice)

    Premise 12. And Stan is not a good writer either

    Premise 13. We’ve never heard these radical ideas anywhere else (we’re not flyover trash).

    Premise 14. Stan’s stats are probably way off and are probably only just a few people like maybe three or four or two and the rest are first timers who never come back because I know exactly what they think of Stan and it’s just exactly like me and everyone else on the bicoastal full-wisdom zones.

    Premise 15. Stan’s other blog, the one on family geneological history, is static, so Stan is both a technical failure and doesn’t care about his family.

    Premise 16. Stan is obsessed with this blog because he answers my comments the next day, so he does’nt care anything about his family.

    Premise 17. Stan couldn’t tell the difference between Hugo-me and Hugo the troll, see how stupid Stan is (Stan is still not sure that there are two Hugos).

    Premise 18. Stan doesn’t understand technology because he doesn’t design his blog for phones… what a techno-fool Stan is.

    Premise 19. Stan is an Islamophobe who thinks that Islam is just like Muhammad dictated, and that a large number of Islamic countries around Israel have vowed to eradicate Israel and all Jews, and might sneak in some terrorists like they already did, several times. Stan is a bigot; nobody we know thinks such bigoted thoughts.

    Premise 20. Stan uses his blog all wrong because he posts news items the MSM won’t want to see or have anyone know about; Stan is a radical who doesn’t believe the MSM is truthful.

    Premise 21. Stan thinks the abortion argument is about biological scientific fact, but it is not, it is about ethical opinions which anyone can make up.

    Conclusion: BECAUSE [premises 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21 are absolute Truths as grounded in the confirmation by everyone we know who agrees with us], THEN [Stan’s argument against abortion is False] AND [ his argument against abortion is annoying and feelbad, and… just so ethically wrong to object to abortion by pointing out that it is killing, which I/we define as NOT killing because we have redefined a few things to get around that, but Stan won’t accept the redefinitions we made up, and that is so intolerant!!! Those definitions are necessary for our argument and not to accept them is unconscionable and hateful (and see Premises 1 through 20)].

    ReplyDelete
  38. You wrote what you wrote. Live with it.

    You had to change the definitions of human and person in order to make your denial of science, denial of standard definitions, denial of human rights become the premises of your argument. False premises produce false arguments.

    Now you want to define ethical opinion yourself - using false definitions - as being the Moral Fact which which drives the argument rather than biological scientific fact, standard definitions of terminology, and human rights.

    That is irrational on its face, and is purely in service to an ideology, not rational, logical conclusions.

    You cannot accept the fallacy of your Equivocation, nor can you defeat the logic of the science-driven argument.

    So you launched into a tirade, which you hoped would discredit me as a person. So, indeed, your tirade became your argument. You will not be able to avoid that fact: it's a rhetorical tactic when losing a dialectical argument.

    Here's an example: "I'm tempted to say 'screw you, asshole', but I wouldn't do that". Your approach was more transparent and blatant, and reflects directly on you and your integrity, both personal and intellectual.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Stan said...

    "You have no rational rebuttal to scientific fact"
    There are no rebuttals to scientific facts because they 'are' facts. What we can present rebuttals to are the interpretations of these facts, and the subjective opinions that we forge related to these facts. Moreover, the problem is that even if all humans (or most at least) agree that there are such things as 'objective facts', it does not mean that we all agree on what the facts are. It does not mean that facts are subjective, but it does mean that our subjective opinion can include false ideas regarding factual statements.

    Some biological facts we agree on:
    - A human egg is not a human person
    - A human spermatozoid is not a human person
    (No one argues that spermatazoa by themselves are human life; neither are unfertilized eggs.)
    - Every human person went through the human development cycle
    - Personhood starts at 'some' point
    - The combination of a female egg and a male spermatozoid yields a unique set of human DNA

    Diverging opinions, based on these same facts:
    - Personhood does not start at conception
    - A unique set of human DNA is meaningless until personhood
    - Not everything that goes through the first steps human development cycle is to be considered a person
    - Personhood starts within a range of time of the human development cycle and is not trivial to determine. It relates to the fetus' viability, which is acquired roughly between the 16-week mark and the 24-week mark.
    - Because of that non-trivial determination of personhood, there is a grey area during which abortion is not easy to deem morally acceptable or not.

    More diverging opinions (not sure about all of them though) based on history/society/statistics...:
    - Sexual education of teenagers entering puberty reduces the number of STDs and unwanted pregnancy.
    - Making abortions illegal has terrible consequences for society as a whole; more deaths, more poverty, less successfully raised children, etc...
    - Abortion should always be made safe and legal.

    "If you choose to accept opinion as Moral Fact, which one do you choose?"
    Opinions are not Moral Fact, by definition.

    " "false moral preening of Atheists who have no preconception of right or wrong, because evolution says we are animals, accidental, and nothing more." "
    Evolution refers to both the biological fact that every animal is part of the evolutionary process, and the Theory of Evolution which attempts to explain these facts as accurately as possible. It does not inform notions of right or wrong, neither for Atheists nor for Theists.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Stan said...

    " You had to change the definitions of human and person in order to make your denial of science, denial of standard definitions, denial of human rights become the premises of your argument. False premises produce false arguments."

    Yes, false premises produce false arguments. And it is false to claim that the definition of human and person start at the moment of conception. This is a subjective opinion being used as a premise for an argument against abortion. Objectively, we understand enough about what it means for a fertilized human egg to grow to be able to conclude that this is not what a human person is. A human cell is not a person, even if it's the only cell in the world with a specific combination of DNA.

    And it's also objectively true that commentaries on one's character have nothing to do with the validity of an argument. The arguments stand on their on, or not, and vice versa; the commentaries about one's character are accurate, or not, regardless of their arguments.

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  41. @yonose

    The last paragraph also applies to your comment. Everything you wrote is correct; it's not because someone holds an irrational belief that this person is stupid, in general. It's not because someone holds an irrational belief that all people who hold that belief are also irrational. It's not because some people who believe something are dangerous that all people who hold that same belief are dangerous. And so on...

    You simply misunderstood what I wrote, and thus drew wrong conclusions about what I think.
    Your interpretation of my actions was wrong.

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  42. I think we have reached an impasse at the correct point in the argument. Here's my assessment of the status:

    I present scientific biological fact, standard definitions of terminology, and universal human rights as the argument against killing one's progeny.

    Hugo presents ethical opinion rationalizations based on new definitions which he modified in order to use in premises to support his case, and declares that the argument from scientific fact/standard definitions/universal human rights is false opinion.

    Further, Hugo declares that it is intolerant to attempt to declare life at certain life spans as not killable. His basis for this is his modified definitions of 'human' and 'person', and his ethical "reasoning" opinion which somehow turns into Moral Fact.

    At this point there is nothing more to be said, because we have identified the point where the ideologies diverge irrevocably.

    I'm sure that Hugo will define this impasse differently, but likely will agree that it is an impasse from which the argument cannot proceed.

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  43. Oops, I was wrong about one thing: Hugo insists that his new definitions are fact. We are commenting over each other, so I missed that point.

    Hugo's argument is more correctly stated:
    Life as a "human" cannot be conveyed at conception, because the definition Hugo creates says that it cannot be "human" until some ethicist has formed his opinion which declares it to be human.

    It's even worse for person (despite the discredited dictionary definitions which Stan uses) because again, some ethicist has to form his opinion of when it becomes a person, which is likely well after becoming human.

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  44. Yes, I think I agree with your assessment Stan, but would obviously write it very differently:
    - You present definitions and label them as 'standard' without explaining why the definitions should be accepted as 'standard'.
    - We agree on the universal human rights; we don't agree on which entity is to be considered a human.
    - You label the definitions I present as 'new' in order to contrast them with the 'standard' ones that you subjectively prefer.
    - We both use scientific fact to construct our position, but you label only your arguments as science-based as a mean to discredit diverging opinions.
    - We don't find the same things to be 'tolerable' or not, a grey moral area or not, a personal decision or not, an opinion or not, etc...
    - We don't use the word 'human' the same way, on purpose. On my end, not everything which is 'human' is a 'human person'. The adjective can be used to describe a 'human' hair, for instance, or newly created 'human' cells. On your end, Stand, you use that same word as a mean to justify a subjective definition of 'person' by labeling the newly created 'human' cell as a human, a human person.
    - We disagree on what it means to discuss ethics. Everyone is an "ethicist" in my opinion since we all take actions that can be right or wrong, and we all judge our own actions and those of others.
    - You base your entire opinion on another opinion, which you wrongly label as fact: personhood starts at conception.
    - Yet, objectively, the beginning of human personhood is the moment when a human is first recognized as a person. There are differences of opinion as to the precise time when humanpersonhood begins and the nature of that status. Stan rejects that notion and declares that his opinion is indeed a scientific fact. We disagree not only on the conclusion, but also on what we disagree on.

    Some more reading for those interested, including the inspiration for the last bullet:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_human_personhood
    https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/facts-induced-abortion-worldwide
    http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/en/
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/29/6/1264.full
    http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/views-from-the-nhs-frontline/2015/jun/22/abortion-doctor-learn-life-women
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/abortion-like-contracepti_b_5316300.html
    http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/now-president-abortion-essential-measure-prevent-heartbreak-infant-mortality

    ReplyDelete
  45. With you it's all equivocation in order to support the real issue: you reserve to yourself the moral authority to redefine a living human at a normal stage of human life as something with NO value and who may be killed. There is hardly anything more arrogant than redefining someone at some point in the chain of living humans as killable due to your opinion of a modified definition of a word.

    You may change the definitions of words to mean whatever you wish. That's what Leftist do. So it is expected, but not accepted. However, when you do, I shall change the words necessary to include you, at your stage of development, whatever that is. You will be defined as inconvenient to a certain class of humans which I define as protected and in need of protection by violent shredding of their oppressors if necessary. I shall endow myself with all the moral authority necessary to demand that this be done.

    This process is exactly what you demand, where the "protected class" is women who got pregnant, and the oppressor class is the developing human which is a parasite on the poor woman, turning her life into a presumptive living hell. The developing human is declared (NOT X) where X is some perversion of some term which is said to deny the developing human of her Xness, and therefore render her killable due to not having the protection of universal X rights.

    But it is just as easily modified only in the "definitions" to apply to you. I see no reason not to declare this to be Absolute Moral Truth, because my "ethical determination" says so. That is the nature of Ethical determinations. See, I see no reason to consider your type as a valid person. And now, since I am the Moral Authority, I get to decide whether you are eradicable. That's precisely how it works. Too bad for you. At least you have a say. The developing human in the womb does NOT.

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  46. Now, I suspect that you will find my assertion of self-anointed Moral Authority to be annoying, since it conflicts with your own assertion of self-anointed Moral Authority, PLUS it designates new NON-person categories which you will find reason to object to.

    But if all it takes is an opinion of the meaning of the word "person", then my supposition of the meaning is just as valid as yours. Since their is violent dismemberment which ensues each redefiniton, then arbitration cannot resolve the issue, and the resulting impasse will require a third type of violence - that of your defenders vs the defenders of the youngest humans.

    The resolution can only be violence, since your insistence on the Absolute Truth of your ethical opinion is inviolable and the carnage of your system is forcibly maintained under government fiat. Only contrary violence can suffice, as is supported by the Atheist concept of Will To Power and the Valuelessness of human animals due to their evolutionary accidental creation and presence. In the meta-narrative, Atheists see that the definition of "personhood" is just a tool to allow their path to the UberMenchen (themselves) to be unobstructed by restrictions on killing. So the "personhood" issue is just a ruse to keep the "right to define personhood in order to kill certain demographics" intact as a Right.

    As Alinsky advised, this is cloaked in a false morality - "ethical opinion" - and is a path to totalitarianism which cannot be allowed to escape the radical's grasp.

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  47. Actually, having reveled in my new powers ETHICAL MORAL AUTHORITY for a short time, I appreciate the exhilaration of having Moral Authority which CANNOT be challenged, because now I have determined the ETHICAL definitions necessary which allow me the power life and death over whatever demographic I choose. I learned this from the abortionists, the AtheoLeftists, the French Jacobins and their Committee of Public Safety. This is great! I'm sure that many will object, but they are trivial because I'm protected by my ETHICAL opinion! And I might as well expand my ETHICAL definition opinion to include anyone who has the audacity to reprimand me, starting with those who call me intolerant, racist, asshole, and the like. Wow. The power rush!

    I'll form a support group, such as those who have survived the abortion assault attempt to kill them. They'll understand REAL ETHICAL opinion when they see it. They'll no doubt form into an army focused on stopping the bloody massacres of innocents in the abortion butchery shops.

    So when they see that they have ETHICAL opinion on their side, I'm sure they'll march right in and assert that ETHICAL opinion, as is their MORAL RIGHT to do so under this new and valid ETHICAL opinion approach. When they're done with that, it'll feel good to anoint them all with their own MORAL AUTHORITIES, and hand out guillotines as they fan out into the population. The ETHICAL opinion model of the French Revolution Of ETHICAL Atheists shows the proper way to do it all (Nietzche and Lenin used that model for themselves). Atheists already know that dissent is not to be allowed. So they just need to which ETHICAL opinion not to dissent from, right?

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  48. Hugo,

    Well, to each their own. This is no actual discussion anymore, so here's my personal analysis of what I perceive in yourself with your online behavior (that is, if it's different than the personal one, though at these heights that's doubtful):

    The tone of your conversation is actually demeaning, like many political extremists I've seen at my young age. Lots of immaturity for a contemporary person like you. If situations get out of control, my life is at risk.

    I live in a rather violent city, where you get killed at gun point after you get mugged even while not offering resistance; if the situation is at knife point, they stab you first, ask second. It's more likely that underage boys do those dirty jobs, because underage people are under the arm of the law, even if they commit homicide. I don't see that much of a difference in you, if you would be legally capable of doing so. Even if I'm neutral, you would rather take pleasure in killing me if I'm not careful and prepared enough!

    As I said, there are some things about Stan I disagree with, but, he has never been rude with me, neither myself with him, for that matter.

    I just humbly and hopelessly wish you would maintain civility, even after your imaginary worst foes, while masquerading in the internetz.

    Kind Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I had this thought earlier today, and I just now remembered it again. The diatribe which Hugo made at me and everything he hates about me was also a Virtue Signal of the official Shaming variety. By applying all the hate appellations that he could, he signaled his own virtue to any possible Leftists listening in. They would surely approve of a good Shaming exercise.

    Hugo is not expected to have any remorse because his rant fulfilled an AtheoLeftist/SJW obligation, which is to attempt the destruction of any objectionable person who might form a threat to the necessary Narrative.

    It made me smile, because not only does his argument fail in the light of logic and science, but I don't care about his shaming. My thought earlier was this: Cool; I should get a badge saying "Proud to be "Shamed" By an AtheoLefty SJW", and then I thought, nah, maybe a tattoo. I don't do tattoos though, but if I did, that one would be out in the open.

    Meantime, Hugo gets to feel all fuzzy too, having put forth the obligatory SJW Shaming Signal Of Righteousness. (It's odd how self-righteous the Choice to Kill crowd is).

    ReplyDelete
  50. Stan said...
    "it's all equivocation"
    That's the problem with your arguments, yes, not with mine. The main argument is this:
    P1: It is immoral to kill a human (Killing any 'A' is wrong)
    P2: A human embryo is human ('B' is an 'A')
    C: It is thus immoral to kill and embryo (Killing any 'B' is wrong)

    The problem is that the word 'human' is used to refer to a 'human person' under P1, while it's used as an adjective under P2. However, not all that is 'human' is a 'human person'. This is the equivocation fallacy being used in this argument.

    The problem is made obvious if we look at what it means to be human, when the word is used as an adjective, compared to what it means to be human, when the word is used to refer to human personhood. For example:
    - A human hair is human; but it is not a living thing, it's not a human person
    - A human hearth cell is human; it's a living thing, but it's not a human person
    - A human spermatozoid is human; it's a living thing, but it's not a human person
    - A human egg is a human; it's a living thing, but it's not a human person
    - A human strain of DNA is human; but it is not a living thing, it's not a human person
    - A human baby is human; it's a living thing, and it's a human person
    - A human fetus is human; it's a living thing, and it's a human person
    - A human fertilized egg is human; it's a living thing, but it's not a human person

    Some of them are obvious; some are not and may require explanations. But the onse that really matters in the abortion debate are only the last tow. That's where we strongly disagree. The argument in favor of labeling that fertilized human egg, or any and all fetus, or any kind of human embryo which is just a few days old, was presented as such:

    - All human persons went through the human development cycle
    - The fertilized egg is part of the human development cycle
    - Therefore, killing a fertilized egg is akin to killing a human person

    The mistake here is to label any 'thing' that is part of the human development cycle as human in the personhood sense. We know this is wrong because the female egg and male spermatozoid are part of the human development cycle, are living things (they can be killed, unlike DNA for example), yet are not considered to be human people. Stan, you mentioned that killing a human egg is not frowned upon by the anti-abortion side, but killing that same egg, once it met with an equally unimportant spermatozoid, now becomes akin to killing a human person. That's where the line between personhood and non-personhood is drawn, based on the subjective notion that a fertilized egg acquired personhood the second it got fertilized.

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  51. "the real issue: you reserve to yourself the moral authority to redefine a living human at a normal stage of human life as something with NO value and who may be killed."

    This does not offer any support for the definitions that you argue for. The conclusion you want to prove is that an embryo, even a 1-day old embryo, is a "human at a normal stage of human life". That's the conclusion; it's being used as a premise here.

    " There is hardly anything more arrogant than redefining someone..."
    This again assumes that the 1-day old embryo is 'someone'. This is affirming the conclusion, in another way, instead of attempting to defend it.

    " due to your opinion of a modified definition of a word"
    Another way to assume the conclusion: this time by stating that words such as 'human' or 'personhood' are re-defined in my arguments. This assumes that the definitions that you use for your arguments are correct. And the definition that you use includes 1-day old embryos as human people, and killing a 1-day old embryo is thus necessarily killing a human person, by your definition. But that definition is what we disagree on, and you have no valid argument to justify it; the argument presented was faulty.

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  52. " the "protected class" is women who got pregnant "

    There is actually a completely different line of argument that can be presented here, related to this notion. Basically, it raises questions of who can decide to be forced to use their bodies in order to save the life of another human. It's not that 'women' are a protected class under that argumentation; everybody has the same rights. It goes like this:
    (Note that I don't think personally that this is a very good argument; I'll explain why right after)

    - Each individual has the right to decide how their body is uses.
    (Explanation: individuals can decide what medical operation is to be performed on them, or not. Others can only suggest what to do, offer consol, but not make any decision on behalf of the person, unless he/she cannot. Nobody should be forced, for example, to have 1 of their kidney removed, even if it would save the life of someone else. Nobody should be forced to have a blood transfusion, or a surgery, or anything else that relates to their body, unless the individual specifically agrees to it.)
    - That right implies that nobody can be forced to have their body used, in any way, to support the life of another human being.
    - Therefore, even if we assume that a fertilized egg, or an embryo, or a fetus, is a human being, nobody should be forced to have their body used in order to sustain their life.

    The point of this argumentation is to show that, even if we define a 1-day old embryo as a human person, we can still argue that the woman carrier should not be forced to carry it inside of her, as it is her right to decide what her body is used for, regardless of the consequences.

    The main 2 issues here are that, (1) it was the woman's actions that led to her getting pregnant in the first place, so it's not as if there was a person who suddenly decided to use her body. Rape is the uncommon exception here and that argument works pretty much just for that 1 case. But even then, (2) the second issue is that actions have consequences, and even if it's a completely personal choice what one does with their body, it does not necessarily make their decision the most morally sound.

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  53. " The developing human is declared (NOT X) where X is some perversion of some term which is said to deny the developing human of her Xness, and therefore render her killable due to not having the protection of universal X rights. "

    This goes back to the main topic of contention. What does it mean to be human, the adjective, versus human, the noun. Declaring that making a distinction between is 'perverse' does not serve to support the view that human (adj.) embryos are humans (noun). It's a re-hash of what's above but it's really the main point of disagreement here on this thread.

    This particular quote clearly expresses the faulty argument that, because an embryo is part of the human development process, it is a human person and killing it is akin to murdering a human. It does not offer support as to why we should draw the line there; it merely assumes that this is the correct definition. One more example of the circularity of the argument and the attempt at using emotions to portrait the opposition as murderers, by definition.

    " Now, I suspect that you will find my assertion of self-anointed Moral Authority to be annoying, since it conflicts with your own assertion of self-anointed Moral Authority, PLUS it designates new NON-person categories which you will find reason to object to. "

    It's not annoying; it's inaccurate. I noted many times already that I don't pretend to be the Moral Authority on anything, and I don't think anyone is. Humans attempt to figure out whether actions are moral based on objective definitions, which we also try to figure out, as our subjective understanding can, and does, differ.

    But, yes, the debate is definitely about what categories of things are embodied with personhood, or not. I presented my position, in great details, and explain why, in short, I think personhood should relate to the independent viability of the human fetus. You presented yours, which is that personhood starts at conception, because it's a part of the human development process. I reject that subjective line you draw because it makes an unjustified exception for that 1 arrangement of human cells.

    Human spermatozoid and eggs are living, part of the development process, but not persons; together, they suddenly become a person, regardless of their viability or success in forming an actual valid strain of DNA which will yield a human. We know that 30-50% of fertilized eggs don't even grow past the first trimester, and that remove them from the woman's body before that mark means certain deaths fort he embryo. Yet, this embryo is defined as a person in order to accuse the women who choose to get rid of that embryo as murderers. It's an appeal to emotions in order to force a definition of what it means to be a person.

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  54. @yonose
    I am sorry but I don't understand what you are talking about, but it seems to me that you simply, again, did not understand what I told you, directly. We agree that some people have diverging opinions, and that this does not make them evil people just because of these opinions. Yet, you took this to mean that I am an incredibly evil person who might go as far as wanting to kill people. It's so far off from what I stand for that I don't know how to fix your perspective.

    Plus, I don't know if you read that comment via email notifications (it wouldn't show up here) but I am going to stick to topics only from now on. Commentaries take a long time and, even though they are entertaining, do not serve any educational purposes. I am here to learn new ideas, test mine against other positions, and try to figure out what's true, what's morally acceptable, and how to go about it. None of this has ever led me to think that some people should be killed for what they believe.

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  55. Hugo:
    "This goes back to the main topic of contention. What does it mean to be human, the adjective, versus human, the noun."

    I'm ignoring all of Hugo's definition chopping for the time being. Maybe forever. Hugo wants the power to kill. That is the bottom line. Any amount of rationalization will have to be negotiated like a labyrinth of psychoses if one is to engage him in his desperate attempt to self-justify via word definitions which he thinks justifies his Moral Authority when he declares it OK TO KILL.

    Interruption of the progressing life of the human from the moment of fertilization to the natural death, kills that human. Usually that is called murder because the intent specifically is to stop the life of that human.

    Hugo wants to do that. His weapon is language and definitions, plus his ability to assign and remove "personhood" from the targeted individual human. So criteria are linguistically developed and rationalized in a falsely moralized and falsely deduced justification of changing the status of the targeted human from living to dead.

    That's all there is to it. There is nothing else. Hugo and the abortionistas presume the Moral Authority to decide life or death. So they make up their justification, declare it Truth, and insist that everyone else fall in line.

    This has been done, and done to death by the eugenics and evolutionary New Man movements of the 20th Century and still in progress. Death-by-definition has been institutionalized on large areas of the earth's surface and applied to differing categories of living humans. If you are young and have received the false, mal-education of modern government schooling, you might at least read these two books:

    The Black Book of Communism, by Courtois, et. al.; Harvard University Pubs; 2004.

    Death By Government, by Rummel; Transaction Pubs; 2007.

    Then get a college biology text book and see how life is transferred from one generation to another. (HINT: it is not by defining "personhood").

    Eugenics always starts the same way: rationalizing the "Right to terminate" lives based on definitions of the status of the living. "Because of X, Kulaks may be terminate (Russian Revolution); Because of Y the lawyers and intellectuals may be terminated (Pol Pot); Because of Z, embryonic humans may be terminated (Hugo and the abortionistas)." All of these and much, much more were/are based on "ethical" decisions made regrading which class of humans is inconvenient to another class of humans; then the slaughter is justified, and may commence.

    Eugenics is not a slippery slope; it is evil at any stage, no matter how it is rationalized.

    American Eugenics against living fetuses was started by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Along with declaring women to be a Victimhood Class in her class war, she also declared war on the black population. Today, there are far denser-packed abortion slaughter houses in black neighborhoods, and black women have been freed from having a stable mate and a decent life outside the ghetto.

    I'm going straight to this part of Hugo's message to Yonose. Hugo is always "misunderstood" when he is caught out. If anyone cares to look at what Hugo has written vs what yonose has said, which one is the least likely to misunderstand or corrupt the writing and or meaning of the other?

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  56. Stan said...
    "I'm ignoring all of Hugo's definition choppping "
    Hence, you are ignoring the main point on which we disagree, regarding abortion, which is whether the embryo has acquired personhood, a controversial topic, regardless of your opinion on the matter.

    This statement is stating the conclusion of your argument: personhood starts at conception. You then refuse to discuss your reasoning to reach that conclusion and use it as a premise to build other arguments, with more conclusions, such as 'killing a human embryo equals murdering a person'.

    "Interruption of the progressing life of the human from the moment of fertilization to the natural death, kills that human."
    This is valid only if the definition of personhood applies at the moment of fertilization. It is made obvious with the following comparison:

    Argument 1:
    - Interruption of the life of a human is murder
    - The moment of fertilization is when human cells become human (acquire personhood)
    - Hence, killing a 1-day old embryo is murder

    Argument 2:
    - Interruption of the life of a human is murder
    - The moment of fertilization is not when human cells become human (acquire personhood)
    - Hence, killing a 1-day old embryo is not murder

    The difference between the 2 arguments lies in the definition of what constitutes personhood; what it means to switch from 'human cells' to 'a human'. By rejecting to offer any kind of support for your definition of personhood, you have decided to declare that your argument is correct, by definition.

    " weapon is language and definitions"

    In a debate, yes, the so-called "weapons" are language, definitions, reason, logic, argument, premises, deduction, conclusions, etc... This is what Critical Thinking is all about, and it contrasts with the use of instincts, emotions, common sense, or gut feelings, for examples, which may or may not be correct. But to determine what is correct, we have to use Critical Thinking, and not only rely on our gut.

    Stan, you have thus decided to remove yourself from the debate; you decided that ethics cannot be discussed rationally. Critical Thinking is not to be applied to the abortion debate as there is a definition, your definition, of what it means to be a human, and nothing can be said about it. The definition is what it is, because you declare it to be. I explained above why the definition is faulty, yet you repeated it without any reasoning attached to it.

    We can also note that a lot of other points are mentioned, such as eugenics, black ghettos, communism, atheism, social justice warrior. None of these have anything to do with the topic of abortion directly. Some may be related, indirectly, others are not related at all. This serves only as filler to avoid discussion the question of the definition of personhood, which you explicitly decided to avoid discussing.

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  57. Stan said...
    " I'm going straight to this part of Hugo's message to Yonose. Hugo is always "misunderstood" when he is caught out. If anyone cares to look at what Hugo has written vs what yonose has said, which one is the least likely to misunderstand or corrupt the writing and or meaning of the other?"

    Not always; I was correcting a specific misunderstanding. I was not 'caught' doing anything here as yonose's comment was inaccurate. I agree with everything he said, as I mentioned above. Yet, he came back with more descriptions that do not fit my character, values, or opinions. Hence, I am pointing some things he got right and some things he did not. Not everything is "misunderstood" but some things are. His latest comment was entirely a misrepresentation and I pointed out the way it is. If it's accurate I will say it's accurate, should one ask. But, usually, in an exchange of opinion, it's more productive to focus on what we disagree on, in order to learn from each other's positions. We can also point out to the base on which we do agree on, and then move to the things we don't agree on. This is the nature of rational debates.

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  58. I'll try to make this short and sweet because all of the arguments have been hashed out numerous times to the point of redundancy. I'll just add my proverbial 2¢.

    When the zygote is formed it has all the genetic markers of a fully grown human. Tall or short, red hair or brown, more melanin or less. This doesn't change. The only thing that happens from that moment on is development. As Stan has repeated, all humans grow from a single cell into a fully formed adult human, which by the way isn't completed until sometime in that person 20s. Using semantics as verbal trickery doesn't change that fact. Can we agree that a zygote formed by the sperm and egg of two humans will never grow into anything other than a human, barring natural or unnatural interruption?

    So, as Stan said, now the decision comes, when is it ok to terminate that life. Yes, the body does miscarriage. My wife had two of them, one at 12 weeks and I could see the formed body of a tiny human. Hugo, you set the number at 20 weeks. I have a pro-choice aunt, who has a PhD in psychology who would absolutely tear into you like she's tried to do with me because you suggest any limit on abortion prior to exiting the birth canal. Still others, as I've show in the past, and Stan has linked, who are tenured medical "ethicists" at Oxford and a university in Australia whose name escapes me, who suggest that a one year old infant should be thought of as an acceptable candidate for abortion because they "have no understanding of their own person-hood."

    So forget Stan. His opinion is set. What would you say to my Aunt? What would you say to these ethicists to convince them that they are beyond the pale with their definitions of person-hood? On what moral ground is your argument fixed, as Stan is fond of asking. And if you cannot give a reason why they are wrong, other than you don't think they are correct, then how does your own opinion of when person-hood begins stand up any better to scrutiny?

    I agree with Stan when he says that any criteria used to decided where the line is, is arbitrary. It may be societally acceptable, but that doesn't make it right. Then again, what is right keeps changing, doesn't it? And I think that is the ultimate point.

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  59. Hugo says,
    "Hence, you are ignoring the main point on which we disagree, regarding abortion, which is whether the embryo has acquired personhood, a controversial topic, regardless of your opinion on the matter."

    NO. I have said repeatedly, neither you nor I nor anyone else has the Right To Kill a living human at any part of her life.

    Your attempt to gerry-rig definitions such as "personhood" is a false attempt to define away the fact that there is a unique, living human at a necessary stage of her development, specifically so that you can declare that particular class of humans to be killable.

    You want to argue for the definition of a class which you can designate for destruction. I say you have no authority - no Moral Authority and no Right - to do that. So why would I even engage in your "ethical" argument to kill?? I will not and I do not. You do not have that right.

    I think you have not read anything I have written above.

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  60. @Rikalonius
    I appreciate your input because you raised some interesting point regarding other points of view; some which I totally disagree with, even if they fall on the same pro-choice side as do mine. It's a great way to illustrate how this is not a simple debate, not an all black-or-white type of question, or questions, and there is a lot to talk about. However, the main problem I have with Stan position, and yours I think, is that he does not acknowledge that, at all. So, starting with the end of your comment:

    "I agree with Stan when he says that any criteria used to decided where the line is, is arbitrary."

    I also don't think that the line is arbitrary, but I think it's very difficult to pinpoint exactly where it is. But, since you do agree with Stan, it means that you commit the same mistake of defining personhood as starting at conception, subjectively, and then declare that line to be an objective definition, when it is really just an opinion. This is what your paragraph states; it's the exact same argument as Stan's:

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  61. Rikalonius said...
    "When the zygote is formed it has all the genetic markers of a fully grown human. Tall or short, red hair or brown, more melanin or less. This doesn't change. The only thing that happens from that moment on is development. As Stan has repeated, all humans grow from a single cell into a fully formed adult human, which by the way isn't completed until sometime in that person 20s. Using semantics as verbal trickery doesn't change that fact. Can we agree that a zygote formed by the sperm and egg of two humans will never grow into anything other than a human, barring natural or unnatural interruption?

    You wanted to keep it short, and even ignore Stan's position, but this paragraph actually has a lot of content to address...

    Yes, when the zygote is formed, it has all the genetic markers, but why should that mean that it acquire personhood? Every human being is a lot more than just their height, hair color and skin color. At the moment of conception, we are talking about nothing more than the combination of 2 very simple things that, on their own, we agree were meaningless. But, from your point of view, their combination, basically a doubling of the number of genes, suddenly give them personhood. I don't see a reason to accept that.

    You and Stan justify it the same way: every human went through that stage; hence whatever is present at that stage is human. Yes, it is 'human' as in the adjective 'human'. It's a human zygote. But the play on words in on your side: you conclude that this thing is not just human; it is 'a' human. So the egg and spermatozoid were each human, human gametes, and their fusion is also human, a human zygote, but now it's also a human person because it does not need any other input from another cell. It is 'just' development.

    But is it really 'just' development? And again, why would that mean that the zygote acquire personhood that each gamete did not have? The development is influenced, a lot, by the environment the zygote and eventual fetus grows up in. So it's an over-simplification to state that the 'only' thing that happens is development. Development is just as important and what gives rise to a human every time... when it works. Because if we are to agree that a zygote will never grow into anything other than a human, we also have to agree that it will not always work. This supports the idea that the zygote is not 'a' human yet, as we cannot possibly know. Note also that you even used these words yourself... you said that 'a zygote formed by the sperm and egg of two humans will never grow into anything other than a human', but according to your position, it is already a human!

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  62. Rikalonius said...
    "It may be societally acceptable, but that doesn't make it right. Then again, what is right keeps changing, doesn't it? And I think that is the ultimate point."

    What is accepted by societies does change over time, yes, but that does not mean that what is right keeps changing. I don't believe it does, as I am completely convinced that there is such a thing as an objective morality. It's exactly the same as truth; regardless of what we think, statements are either true, or not. Actions are morally right, or not. But that does not mean that because there is such a thing as truth that we all agree on what it is. With morality, it's even more obvious and that's why a lot of people actually fall into the subjective morality camp, where they consider that certain things are right because most people agree with them.

    "now the decision comes, when is it ok to terminate that life. Yes, the body does miscarriage. My wife had two of them, one at 12 weeks and I could see the formed body of a tiny human"

    Sorry to hear that. It was obviously 2 intended attempts and that makes it very difficult for the parents to be. For you, this 12-week old fetus was already a person; it was going to be your child. But, the fact that the fetus looks like a tiny human does not make it a human who acquired personhood, objectively.

    "Hugo, you set the number at 20 weeks."

    Not really. I know there was a lot to read on this thread, and the one before where I listed my opinion in more details, so you may have missed the point that I was trying to make, which is that I think that the morality of abortion starts to be very difficult to assess past the 20-week mark. Moving forward even more, it's even more difficult as I consider a say, 30-week old, fetus to literally be a human person by now. In such cases, an abortion would be killing a human person, or at least hampering the chances of that person to survive outside the womb, since more time is needed for proper development. But, if the life of the mother is at risk, it might be the right thing to do. It's very difficult to determine and I am not sure how to proceed. So, this brings us to your other questions:

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  63. Rikalonius said...
    "I have a pro-choice aunt, who has a PhD in psychology who would absolutely tear into you like she's tried to do with me because you suggest any limit on abortion prior to exiting the birth canal.
    [...] suggest that a one year old infant should be thought of as an acceptable candidate for abortion because they "have no understanding of their own person-hood."
    [...] What would you say to my Aunt? What would you say to these ethicists to convince them that they are beyond the pale with their definitions of person-hood? On what moral ground is your argument fixed, as Stan is fond of asking. And if you cannot give a reason why they are wrong, other than you don't think they are correct, then how does your own opinion of when person-hood begins stand up any better to scrutiny?
    "

    First of all, let me make something clear here: ~99% of abortions are performed before that 20-week mark that I mentioned. Hence, your aunt and I would not have very strong disagreement here as we both agree that safe and legal abortions are to be available for all women, at all times. That 1% of abortion that happens after the 20-week period are very different and usually not by choice, as I understand it, since the mother has plenty of time to decide whether she wanted to have a baby or not.

    Next, abortions performed very close to the 40-week mark are not really abortions as it's more like a c-section and the baby lives. The procedure is thus not called an abortion at all and the subsequent actions taken to end the life of the baby stand on their own.

    So, what would be my reaction to these suggestions that we should let the mother decide if the 30+-week fetus, or even born <1 year-old baby, should live or die? My gut reaction is pure disgust, as it sounds like killing a fully formed human that can live without dependence on the body of a mother. That baby can now be raised by anyone, not just the biological mother, and neglecting care for that infant is directly neglecting care to a person, just like any other child of any other age, who could not really survive totally on their own. However, gut reactions are not always correct, so I would like to hear arguments in favor of such positions. It seems to me that it would be very unlikely that I would get convinced.

    In short, I think that personhood relates to the independent viability of the human fetus. There is a line, at some point, between a human fetus without personhood and a human, with personhood, but it's really difficult to place that line. Hence, I think that abortion performed way before that line are definitely acceptable, while abortions performed way after that line are definitely not acceptable, by default, and require strong justifications should they be performed.

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  64. Stan,

    Yes, I did read everything you write. Your position is clear; personhood starts at conception, because all the genetic material to form a human is present at that point and that is sufficient to declare that human zygote to be a human person. Using this premise, which you label as objective fact, the arguments you construct are logically sound, but do not offer any line of reasoning as to why we should consider a few human cells to be a human person.

    That's what I had expressed a few comments above, with the following comparison:

    Argument 1:
    - Interruption of the life of a human is murder
    - The moment of fertilization is when human cells become human (acquire personhood)
    - Hence, killing a 1-day old embryo is murder

    Argument 2:
    - Interruption of the life of a human is murder
    - The moment of fertilization is not when human cells become human (acquire personhood)
    - Hence, killing a 1-day old embryo is not murder

    This fits directly with your latest comment:

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  65. " neither you nor I nor anyone else has the Right To Kill a living human at any part of her life"
    Agreed.

    " Your attempt to gerry-rig definitions such as "personhood""
    We disagree on the definition of "personhood" but you insist that your personal opinion on the matter is an objective fact. So I am not attempting to change an objective definition to suit my personal preferences; I am merely stating that I disagree with your subjective opinion. I don't pretend to have special access to what's true, but you do. There is an objective definition of what 'personhood' is and when it starts; that's what we need to try to figure out. But you don't. You just declare that you're done and that what you think is correct is objectively correct. Your opinion on the matter is fact, because you say so. Yet, let me link to this Wikipedia article again:

    "Personhood is the status of being a person. Defining personhood is a controversial topic in philosophy and law and is closely tied with legal and political concepts of citizenship, equality, and liberty. According to law, only a natural person or legal personality has rights, protections, privileges, responsibilities, and legal liability.

    Personhood continues to be a topic of international debate and has been questioned critically during the abolition of human and nonhuman slavery, in theology, in debates about abortion and in fetal rights and/or reproductive rights, in animal rights activism, in theology and ontology, in ethical theory, and in debates about corporate personhood and the beginning of human personhood."

    " there is a unique, living human at a necessary stage of her development, specifically so that you can declare that particular class of humans to be killable [...]"

    This is true when we assume that your opinion is correct. If personhood starts later in the development cycle, then there is no human being killed. What's killed is human, some human cells, but not a human person.

    There are cases where an abortion, performed very late, might be an actual killing of an actual human person. I feel very uneasy about such cases precisely because the line is not easy to draw and because I do not pretend to be the Moral Authority on such matter. There is no argument to kill from my side; I am strongly against killing in general and I find it appalling to hear that some people would want to kill born babies merely for convenience.

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  66. Hugo says,
    ” At the moment of conception, we are talking about nothing more than the combination of 2 very simple things that, on their own, we agree were meaningless. But, from your point of view, their combination, basically a doubling of the number of genes, suddenly give them personhood. I don't see a reason to accept that.”

    I’m sure that you wish that were the case. It is not the case. It will not become the case just because you decide that it is and declare it to be so. The fertilized egg contains the entire genome which is unique and specific to that newly created human, AND it contains the life which is being bestowed by the prior generation. It is alive; it is growing; it is a normal human at that necessary stage of development AND no matter how you word-chop, you cannot rationally deny that.

    Any denial you make of these FACTS is purely a deviational, deceptive semantic creation devised to provide your presumptive authority to deny the value of that class of humans, in order to kill them.

    That’s what you refuse to face. You think that by bandying about chopped-up versions of a word – person – that you can assume the authority to kill the living human you choose to classify as killable.

    That is the summation of this entire discussion.

    There is no such thing as “acquiring personhood”. That is a fantasy which is necessary to the desire to kill a class of humans, and to justify it to the boneheaded in order to keep on doing it, by the millions. There is no time where personhood is installed. There is no Personhood organ. There is only a word being used to justify killing the living human.

    It’s interesting that Atheists deny that humans have any life-essence, but claim that they do have “personhood essence” which they alone can see and define. That defies all logic and observational empiricism: life vs. death is visible and has determinable metrics; personhood does not have either of those. It is now a perfect fiction, in the same category as “mutation”: unseen and undefined, yet the basis of an ideology.

    The desire to kill humans at any stage of their life cycle is a sickness, especially when it is energetically defended with irrational claims. It’s all part of the social sickness which infests western society, which for example denies Truth and then makes up “Truth” out of nothing but fable and semantic attacks on language and logic. That is the legacy of evolutionary science which is truth without observable cause for undefinable molecular effects: story telling as science has become semantic wordplay as moral license. That is precisely how Atheism works. It claims logic and evidence but it has exactly NONE for defending its own worldview.

    But the eliteness flows fluidly out of those mental constructs.

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  67. No, you do not understand my position then. It is not "personhood" which starts at conception, it is a living human, unique and alive having received both unique genetics and life from her parents at conception, and at a necessary stage of the development of the human. "Personhood" is a false label which defines no physical characteristic of the living human. There is NO person module being installed by mom via the umbilical. There is no latent creation out of nowhere of a personhood organ or a personhood essence which is visible and measurable on a "personhood detector". Personhood is an arbitrary word which is amenable to wide variablity because it has no essence to refer to.

    "Personhood" is an intellectual fraud. There is no such thing in material reality. The following statement demonstrates exactly that:

    "Personhood continues to be a topic of international debate and has been questioned critically during the abolition of human and nonhuman slavery, in theology, in debates about abortion and in fetal rights and/or reproductive rights, in animal rights activism, in theology and ontology, in ethical theory, and in debates about corporate personhood and the beginning of human personhood.""

    If the status as a living human had been used, these types of debates would not exist, because "living human" has a physical correlate, and "person" does not. The use of "person" is ALWAYS used as a malleable tool for an ideology, to be forged into whatever shape is needed.

    It is not a human attribute; it is a social construct used for malevolent purposes.

    "This is true when we assume that your opinion is correct. If personhood starts later in the development cycle, then there is no human being killed. What's killed is human, some human cells, but not a human person."

    And there is the perfect example of assigning a false attribute in order to kill the living human. Perfect example. The biological facts are ignored, every time and called "opinion", while the non-existing attribute of "personhood" is carefully construct purely by opinion and called Truth.

    This is a mental illness. Evolution is accepted as a science, but biology is not. Incredible.

    That you cannot detect the malevolence of that is astounding to me.

    And you cap all that with this:

    "There is no argument to kill from my side; I am strongly against killing in general and I find it appalling to hear that some people would want to kill born babies merely for convenience."

    After you argue for killing living unique individual humans by shredding, you say you have no argument? The absurdity is astonishing. How can you be appalled that someone defines "personhood" as starting at the age of 13, therefore shredding all non-persons up to that age is "not killing"? Your opinion of the nature of personhood is just as arbitrary as is that opinion. There is no test for personhood. It is pure opinion, and not an attribute.

    There is no personhood gene. There is no personhood organ or limb or color or height or weight or process or any other physical metric. Personhood does not exist. It is a social construct used to deny rights and life to classes of people, whether blacks or autistic or mentally defective, or useless eaters or whoever the target du jour is. It is a false attribute which does not, in fact, exist as a real attribute.

    The fact that it is arguable and arbitrary should be a clue. But it obviously does not count for anything with you.

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  68. You know, for having contributed slightly more than half the text in this place, Hugo doesn't seem to have a lot to say when you cancel out all the self-contradiction, ad hominem, straw man and red herring. Not to mention false analogy, category error and the like.

    And when all that stuff is pointed out to Hugo, he just keeps on blabbing, because volume = reality. At least for him, on the internet.

    No, Stan, I don't think he reads your posts in the manner most of us mean when we say 'read'. What you write is highly antithetical to Hugo and always will be. I am not surprised, therefore, to note that he cherrypicks the sentences he finds most offensive and judges them, not as conforming to reality and truth, but as they cross his own ideology.

    Hey Hugo. Maybe someday you'll lose your personhood too, eh, brother? The world you want so desperately to bring to fruition is the same one that will quickly plant you in an unmarked grave. That's what totalitarianism IS.

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  69. Until now, I never really had an issue with abortion. I thought it was too tough an ethical decision to make without being in the mother's shoes. After viewing this debate I'm ashamed I wasn't more outspoken against it.

    Once again Stan, thanks for opening up my eyes.

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  70. Let's try again, but a bit differently...

    Please explain your argument that "There is no such thing as “acquiring personhood”" when it comes to the human development cycle; explain your argument using FACTS of biology.

    Let's consider the following statements, and steps, and answer the question: which one is 'a human'?

    1) Human spermatozoid
    2) Human egg
    3) Human spermatozoid touching a human egg
    4) Human spermatozoid and human egg sharing a fused membrane (ref)
    5) Human egg that contains un-fused male and female DNA
    6) Human egg that gathers genetic material from the male and female together (zygote)
    7) Human egg undergoing a first mitosis, with now fused male and female chromosome
    8) The pair of human daughter cells resulting from the mitosis of the fertilized human egg (ref)
    9) The 4-cell stage human embryo
    10) The 8-cell stage human embryo
    11) Human implanted embryo inside a woman's uterus
    12) 2-week old human embryo
    13) 4-week old human embryo
    14) 8-week old human embryo
    15) 14-week old human fetus
    16) 20-week old human fetus
    17) 30-week old human fetus
    18) 40-week old human fetus
    19) Newborn human baby
    20) 1-year old human baby

    Which one is 'a human'? Forget personhood, should the word be too loaded: which of these things has the right to live? They can all be killed; which one would be considered to be the murder of a human?

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  71. Why would you kill any of them? Why do you seek my permission to kill? Why are you so intent on killing? What exactly is your fascination with obtaining an argument - a mere set of intellectual conditions - which you perceive as allowing you to kill?

    That is the real question. That is the reasoning behind word-chopping "personhood". And now you want to process-chop in order to find a point where you can interrupt the natural process of the creation of a new, unique, human. And it's all frivolous, all of it, including the sexual encounter, the inconvenience of the natural and expected consequence of sex, the purported "horrific" yet natural pregnancy, the obsessive need to kill the human before she is allowed to see daylight.

    It's all frivolous, because not killing humans should be a non-issue in a rational society based on universal human rights. The right to rationalize a point at which it is OK to kill humans is not a universal right. It is a eugenic perversion. And it is based in Class War and messiahism.

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  72. Stan,

    The arguments against abortions presented here were supposedly all about biology, biological facts but, when actual detailed biological facts are used, your arguments vanish, the topic changes, and questions of biology are left unanswered. This proves that subjectively defining the 'moment of conception' as the 'moment when a full human with universal rights is created' fails. The subjective definition of what it means to be 'a human' is thus proven to be based on emotions, rather than facts.

    FWIW, I already had written the following; my answer is that from 1 to 15, the answer is easy: no, this is not a human. The spermatozoid, the egg, the fertilized egg, the zygote, the embryo are all human things, but they don't represent a human. The cells/fetus cannot live on its own, has no felling of anything, and only subjective sentimental value to some people. Killing any of these living things is thus not akin to killing a human person; it is not murder. And that's when ~99% of abortions are performed.

    At #16, things are getting more complicated, as the fetus may have a chance of survival, outside the womb, and that chance keeps increasing. By the 30-week mark, at #17, it's pretty clear to me that we are now definitely talking about an independent human being who can survive outside the womb. Killing that fetus is now akin to killing a human, a person. It might still be acceptable, in some rare cases, to be analyzed one-by-one, and thus no blanket statement can be made. I personally never had to make such decision, hope to never have to make it, and let it to be up to the people involved and their close ones to figure it out, with the aid of medical professionals.

    So, in short, I think the answer is:
    1-to-15) 'No', not a human; killing the entity is like killing a single human cell
    16) Not sure, would say 'Yes' to be on the safe side and avoid killing a human
    17+) Yes, definitely a human, killing the entity is aking to killing a born human

    On your side Stan, where does it become clear that a human is being killed, should we get rid of the living human cells involved? None of the description you have given so far truly works here. Every single of these steps refers to something that is living. Except for the first 2 steps, they all include groups of human cells that contain the genetic material necessary for a fully form human being. Any of these steps can be seen as growing, and potentially never growing again. Even when the fertilization is complete and the first mitosis has happened, we still don't know if 1 or more babies will result; identical twins could happen from the formation of 2 embryos, and again, maybe only 1 of them will be normal and adsorb back the other.

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  73. Therefore, there is an arbitrary line drawn, somewhere, by your position Stan. Where is that line and why should we consider it to be where a human is now deemed to have rights? Where do we see a difference between that full human and the individual human eggs and human spermatozoids, which you clearly stated have no right to life? In other words, forget the word 'personhood' if you prefer, and explain exactly when a human is being killed, should a woman decide to induce her period, or get an abortion. Feel free to add more details to these steps, should you need more biological FACTS for your argument to be supported.

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  74. Stan said...
    "The fertilized egg contains the entire genome which is unique and specific to that newly created human"
    Except when it's not, as the fertilized egg is not always successful at keeping the entire genome. We don't know yet.
    And, labeling it as a 'created human' is labeling your opinion as fact. It is just a newly created set of human DNA, it is not a human yet.

    "AND it contains the life which is being bestowed by the prior generation."
    Genes are inherited from the parents, who got them from their parents, and so on... there is no mystique life essence that you seem to be referring to.

    "It is alive"
    Yes, just like the egg was alive; a dead egg would not be able to be fertilized. The spermatozoid was also alive; a dead one could not fertilize an egg. Being alive is not sufficient to call a fertilized egg a human person.

    " it is growing"
    Except when it does not; again, a fertilized egg is no guarantee of successful growth, or of any growth at all. If growing is required to call it a human, then it's not the moment of conception that matters after all but rather the growth of the fertilized egg. This shows the weakness of the position.

    "it is a normal human at that necessary stage of development"
    Except when it's not. We know that a large number of fertilized eggs are not normal and will not grow past the first trimester. We know that a lower number will grow but end up in miscarriage. We know that some will yield babies that are far from normal, sometimes not even surviving more than a few minutes. And we know that not all humans are normal; there are tons of genetic defects. The label 'normal' is use loosely to support the already accepted conclusion: the fertilized egg is a human, a person, because all persons went through this stage.

    But it's not because all humans went through that stage that what we see at the stage is necessarily a human. Yet, that's the only defense presented so far.

    "Any denial you make of these FACTS is purely a deviational, deceptive semantic creation devised to provide your presumptive authority to deny the value of that class of humans, in order to kill them."
    The facts are mixed with opinions. It is a fact that all humans went through the described human cycle stages. It is a also a fact that fertilized eggs will not always yield a human. It is a fact that not everyone agrees on when we should start to call that growing zygote a human. It is thus an opinion that the moment of conception should be used as a marker to determine what a human is.

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  75. Back to today's comment. Stan said...
    "Why would you kill any of them?"
    Unwanted pregnancy. Or even just by precaution of a potential unwanted pregnancy.

    "Why do you seek my permission to kill?"
    Nobody needs your permission to do anything. The argument presented on your blog is that people who do choose to kill the human cells inside their body are doing something evil, something immoral, something which you label as the killing of a human. We disagree on whether there is a difference between killing a human and killing a human cell. I think there is a huge difference; you think there is no difference.

    "Why are you so intent on killing?"
    I am in favor of doing everything we can to avoid the killing of any human, but also of any human cells, human zygote, human embryos, or human fetus.

    "What exactly is your fascination with obtaining an argument - a mere set of intellectual conditions - which you perceive as allowing you to kill?"
    This is about whether we should perceive abortion as killing a human, regardless of when the abortion occurs. I think that 99% of abortions are clearly 'not' killing any human beings at all; they merely get rid of some meaningless human cells.

    You think otherwise and is thus label anyone opting for that option, or merely supporting that option, as mentally ill, as killers. I am responding to your position, not trying to encourage anyone to kill anyone.

    "And now you want to process-chop in order to find a point where you can interrupt the natural process of"
    To interrupt the natural process of pregnancy, yes. What's wrong with wanting to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancy? What's wrong with wanting to avoid reducing the number of children raised in difficult conditions because the mother was not ready?

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  76. "it's all frivolous, all of it, including the sexual encounter, the inconvenience of the natural and expected consequence of sex, the purported "horrific" yet natural pregnancy,"
    This is not about biology anymore. This is going back to what was discussed on the other thread. I explained the obvious before:
    http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-abortion-slippery-slope-is-real.html?showComment=1462425231590#c3427926951367335724

    Basically, this raises a lot of other questions which have nothing to do with the biological FACTS surrounding abortion. The focus is being shifted away from the human development cycle in order to shame those who have sex for pleasure only. Let me add just 1 more specific example, which I had not mentioned on the other thread:

    Two teenagers have protected sex, with a condom, but the condom breaks. They don't know whether the girl will be pregnant, but they certainly don't want that to happen as they are about to enter college; bad timing to start a family... Two days later, the girl visits a clinic and receives a 'morning-after pill', just to be safe. It is possible, should the timing be right, that a fertilized egg gets disposed of in the process; sorry, it's possible that a fertilized egg gets KILLED in the process. Did she just kill 'a' human being; is there a 'he' or a 'she' to talk about here, who suddenly got murdered?

    "the obsessive need to kill the human before she is allowed to see daylight."
    Except that it's not about killing a human. You label it as such, it's your opinion and you are entitle to it. But, you cannot pinpoint where as part of this natural process the human starts. When does the human egg become that 'she', who is allowed to see daylight? This is the question that you refused to answer now. The argumentation has been pushed back to the original shaming of people who choose to have sex for reasons other than conception.

    "not killing humans should be a non-issue in a rational society based on universal human rights."
    I agree with that. But I don't agree that humans are being killed, in at least 99% of abortion. As I explained above to Rikalonius, I consider these late abortions, the remaining 1%, to 'sometimes' be the killing of a human being. I am generally against it, but there might be cases when it's acceptable, when the fetus is found to be missing a brain, for example, or the life of the mother is impossible to save without removing the baby, who may have a chance to survive actually.

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  77. Hugo,
    The continuation of life as transmitted from parents to progeny is biological fact. There is necessary, unbroken, continuity in the process. There is no point in the uninterrupted normal reproductive process where there is no transfer of human life involved. An impregnation is the normal transfer of human life.

    Further, there is no “personhood” ever found as an organic feature in humans.

    Now you want to identify the precise point in the transfer where life can be terminated. So you continue to play your word-gaming, purely in the pursuit of stopping the transfer of life from parents to progeny. Every tack you take seems to you to hold a clue as to the point in the transfer of life where the transfer itself is NOT human, purely so that you can justify killing her. Playing the word game about the phases of life is a futile exercise. You think that somehow there is a definitional trap into which you can entice your foe, wherein your RIGHT TO KILL will be justified by definitions. I’m not playing your insidious game.

    No matter where in the unbroken process of the transfer of life from parents to offspring that you choose to interrupt that life, it is just that: a purposeful artificial interruption of the continual thread of human life. That act is based on artificial justification of interruption, and that is usually called murder. But you want that “right” anyway, because you think you can game it into being a “right” by using definitions. It is not an actual human right, under any understanding of universal human rights.

    And because you choose not to support universal human rights and rather choose to seek justification to kill classes of humans which you designate as killable, you are a member of a specifically hazardous group: the eugenic rationalizers, who claim the moral authority to decide life and death for arbitrarily chosen classes of other humans.

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  78. Here seems to be the crux of your argument:

    ”"It is alive"
    Yes, just like the egg was alive; a dead egg would not be able to be fertilized. The spermatozoid was also alive; a dead one could not fertilize an egg. Being alive is not sufficient to call a fertilized egg a human person.”


    Again you arbitrarily decide that the unbroken life transfer from parents to progeny is not actually a human, purely because you say so. Further you make the following justification:

    ”" it is growing"
    Except when it does not; again, a fertilized egg is no guarantee of successful growth, or of any growth at all.”


    This is the sorriest excuse I have ever seen. “It COULD die, so because of that it is killable”. Do you not see the irrationality of your rationalization process???

    And then you go full Atheist/Materialist:

    ”"AND it contains the life which is being bestowed by the prior generation."
    Genes are inherited from the parents, who got them from their parents, and so on... there is no mystique life essence that you seem to be referring to.”


    Good. Now we are there. Life does not even exist. Only genes exist. There is no difference between “alive” and “dead”. You have produced the full irrationality of Atheism, and put it on display. If there is no “life” then if I make you dead, then there will be no difference than before I do it, because there is no essence which can be lost. Therefore there is no moral issue, and I can do that whenever I wish. Again, good. Very good.

    This is actually the full explanation for your position. Any bizarre claim can be used to justify what you will do anyway. There is no interruption of the obvious continuity of life, because:
    a) it might die anyway, and
    b) there is no such thing as life in the first place.
    So,
    c) it can’t die.
    And this:
    d) Anything Stan says is purely opinion. Anything Hugo says is fact/Truth:

    ”"Any denial you make of these FACTS is purely a deviational, deceptive semantic creation devised to provide your presumptive authority to deny the value of that class of humans, in order to kill them."

    The facts are mixed with opinions. It is a fact that all humans went through the described human cycle stages. It is a also a fact that fertilized eggs will not always yield a human. It is a fact that not everyone agrees on when we should start to call that growing zygote a human. It is thus an opinion that the moment of conception should be used as a marker to determine what a human is.”


    So,
    e) The idea that there is a continuation of life (which doesn't exist) via unbroken transfers in the reproduction cycle is just, well, it’s just an opinion, a definition, and therefore it’s negotiable and there will be another, better definition of some sort which allows the killing to proceed, except that it’s not killing because there’s no such thing as life, which is another opinion which is rejected, and besides it might die anyway, so why not kill it - no wait, just dispose of it since we can't tell if it's dead because there's no difference between life and death, which are just social constructs from religious zealots. There are no biological facts; it’s ALL just opinion (except for evolution, which is all FACT).

    f) The word-chopping will never stop, and the urge to kill will never relent. It's pathological.

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  79. Hugo,
    I have to admit, you have made the only true argument for abortion, and eugenics in general:

    It is True that there's no such thing as life.

    So all things are justified. One pass. One swoop. Done.

    It's so simple, that it is beautiful, like Euler's equation. Not complicated, not hard to understand. And it solves all possible objections.

    It is contingent however. Science might one day be able to tell the difference between living and dead stuff. But that's just science of the gaps, speculation ya know, so your observation holds with complete lock-down on all real objections.

    Congratulations.
    You win.

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  80. Well, I've visited several dictionaries and biology books, and they all seem to think that there's a difference between living and dead. Apparently they are all well behind the science which shows conclusively that life doesn't exist. I've been under the delusion of out of date concepts, I see, and I need to catch up. So Kindly point me to the new empirical science that says that there is no difference between "life" (that delusional concept) and dead stuff with genes.

    Thanks in advance. I feel that I'm on the brink of full enlightenment, both intellectually and morally.

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  81. The other revelation is that there are no biological facts, only opinions. And that FACT about biology strikes at the heart of abortion objections, too. There is nothing in science (contingent) which can say for certain that anything is other than opinion; therefore, there are no biological facts. So any biological argument is immediately dead on arrival.

    Since life doesn't exist and there are no biological facts, then there is no possible way to determine if a mass of cells, no matter how large or complex, is human or if it is just clumps of material which bears genetics. So there actually are no humans, and as you say, to call some "thing" bearing genes, "human" is impossible - another opinion which is unsubstantiated by any biological facts, because there are no biological facts, just more opinion.

    So the kill argument is very tight, and cannot be defeated because all a kill does is to stop a pregnancy, but never a life (which is just another human construct: opinion).

    There is a slight problem with evolution though, because of its posit that all "life" comes from a single ancestral living source; well, that has to be junked, for obvious reasons. And all laws need to be updated to reflect the finding that no one has any life essence, and thus can't be killed. That will be a big job, probably requiring the US Supreme Court to step in and take action. But murder rates will go to zero overnight.

    Other than that, there are a lot of problems solved. Like black lives matter. Stuff like that. No life matters. Life doesn't exist. Neither do biological facts. Just opinion; all of it.

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  82. And I'm LIBERATED!! No life - no morals!! What a sense of freedom! It is True that all there is is opinion: no Truth or Facts, just someone trying to control me with opinions like "logic" and other opinions. It is to laugh!! HA. It's all just transient opinion, no substance to anything, anywhere, ever. YEEHAW!

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  83. Stan said...
    "The continuation of life as transmitted from parents to progeny is biological fact. There is necessary, unbroken, continuity in the process. There is no point in the uninterrupted normal reproductive process where there is no transfer of human life involved. An impregnation is the normal transfer of human life."

    I am not sure what you mean here by 'life'; it again sounds like some sort of mystique essence that gets transmitted (discussed more below). But we know exactly what's happening (see the numbered steps above). There is not much mystery as to what happens exactly. And yes, there is definitely a break in the process, a few actually. You stated yourself that the spermatozoid and the egg don't matter; they are not a human. Yet, at some point in the development process, that's all there is to talk about. Some people choose to do an IVF, as they are struggling to conceive or need a surrogate mother, and this process makes it even more obvious that there are distinct steps, remote from the parents, and at which there are only 2 individual human cells, which you agreed are meaningless.

    Basically, yes, there are living things involve at every step; if that's what you mean by 'continuity of life'. Of course, it's trivial: how else could living things reproduce otherwise? Dead stuff does not reproduce itself... The egg is living, the spermatozoids are living, their pair is living, the embryo is living. The question is, why do you consider every single one of these things (except the egg/sperm alone, why btw?) to be a human such that killing them is akin to murder? The specific case you are talking about is when everything works and the lucky egg, and really lucky spermatozoid find each other; they form a new cell, which becomes an embryo, that successfully implants itself in the uterus, and go on to grow to be a human baby. In insight, yes, when it works we can say that there was an uninterrupted normal reproductive process that took place. But why should we consider that, every time the process starts, it is to be seen as a human from the very first cell division? It's a case of 'All As are Bs, therefore any Bs is an A', a critical reasoning error.

    "you want to identify the precise point in the transfer where life can be terminated."

    No, I am asking about the START, because I don't think we should interrupt the life of ANY human; so the question is always: why do you consider the combination of 2 insignificant human cells to be of great significance? What is so special about these 2 cells meeting up, either in the lab or in a woman's body, that they are now to be seen as a human? Not just human cells, or human cell, or human embryo; why are they a human with universal rights?

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  84. "...word-gaming, purely in the pursuit of stopping the transfer of life from parents to progeny. Every tack you take seems to you to hold a clue as to the point in the transfer of life where the transfer itself is NOT human, purely so that you can justify killing her."

    Avoiding the argument presented, and avoiding supporting your argument, is the game being played here. The word-gaming proposed is: whatever happens during the human development process does not matter; every single entity is a human, by definition (the word-game), and killing that entity is thus to be considered murder. You define your conclusion as true, use it as a premise, and then reach the conclusion that others are killers.

    There is also another reference to "life" being transferred, another word-game which uses an emotionally-charged term in order to accuse others of killing human beings, of terminating one's life. The term "life" seems to be reference to either life as the abstract construct we use to talk about life, as in, my life is great right now; I am on vacation! Or, it may refer to some sort of special essence: the parents have a life and are creating new life, hence any step of that process is killing that life "essence" and is thus murder. This is more argumentation by definition, instead of supporting the views presented. And it has nothing to do with biology.

    "Playing the word game about the phases of life is a futile exercise. You think that somehow there is a definitional trap into which you can entice your foe, wherein your RIGHT TO KILL will be justified by definitions. I’m not playing your insidious game. "

    This is an indirect way of rejecting biology, because it does not fit in the narrative anymore. That's the game being played; label your argument as being based in biological facts, only to reject discussing biology later on when it becomes too detailed, too exact of a science for the arguments to work. What is label as 'futile' includes the list of steps I listed above; you refuse to discuss them because they show the invalidity of your arguments. Therefore, biology is now tossed aside and replaced with a more emotionally-charged argument: others want to kill, others are murderer, and you refuse to discuss their ideas because all they want is kill. But of course, the 'killing' is what you define as killing a human; this is what we disagree on, but it is ignored.

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  85. "you choose not to support universal human rights and rather choose to seek justification to kill classes of humans which you designate as killable"

    This is repeating the conclusion as a premise. The disagreement is about whether we should consider the 'fertilized human egg' as a 'class of humans'. Your opinion is that 'yes', the fertilized egg is part of a class of humans; my opinion is that 'no', the fertilized egg is not part of any class of humans. To support your view, you label my opinion as that of a killer, instead of justifying your opinion. My opinion, on the other hand, is based on biological facts such as the viability of the fetus and sociology facts regarding sexual education, contraception efficacy and statistical knowledge of when abortions are performed, to name just 3. But you label all of that as: DESIRE TO KILL.

    Here are some relevant sarcastic sentences, which attempted to use mockery, instead of argumentation, to make a point:
    "Life does not even exist. Only genes exist. There is no difference between “alive” and “dead”. [...]
    it’s not killing because there’s no such thing as life [...]
    we can't tell if it's dead because there's no difference between life and death, which are just social constructs from religious zealots[...]
    Science might one day be able to tell the difference between living and dead stuff. [...]
    Well, I've visited several dictionaries and biology books, and they all seem to think that there's a difference between living and dead. Apparently they are all well behind the science which shows conclusively that life doesn't exist. [...]
    Since life doesn't exist and there are no biological facts, then there is no possible way to determine if a mass of cells, no matter how large or complex, is human or if it is just clumps of material which bears genetics. [...]
    no one has any life essence, and thus can't be killed.
    "

    The problem Stan is that you confuse 2 things here:
    (1) This mysterious "life" essence, which is some sort of badly defined term, that gets transmitted throughout generations. Presumably, since YOU included the notion of 'religious zealots' (I had not), you are referring to the soul or some sort of notion that is not strictly biological but spiritual in nature.
    (2) What it means to be 'alive' versus 'dead', what's living or not.

    Regarding the first one, there is not much to say on my end. I heard religious people talk about this spirit world, about the soul of people, and things like that; basically it's what they think is the soul of people, what will survive the death of the physical body, somehow, somewhere.

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  86. The second point relates to biology and you more or less rejected the biology definition of what it means to be living or not. Through these sarcastic remarks, the notion of looking at biology books came up but the actual definition of what it means to be a living thing, versus a non-living thing, was not listed, not explained; it was actually implicitly rejected. It's not that complicated, biology tells us that living things are arrangements of molecules/cells, that are in a homeostatic state and exchange energy with their environment in order to maintain that state. But I just wrote that out of memory, let's quote some sources:

    "Life: The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism."

    "There are only two properties that can determine if an object is alive: metabolism and motion. (Metabolism is used here to include an organism's life functions, biomass increase, and reproduction.) All living things require some level of metabolism to remain viable against entropy. Movement (either microscopic or macroscopic) in response to stimuli or in the presence of food can be a convincing indicator of a living thing."

    "Life is a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased, or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, viroids or potential artificial life as living. Biology is the primary science concerned with the study of life, although many other sciences are involved.

    The definition of life is controversial. The current definition is that organisms maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, and reproduce. However, many other biological definitions have been proposed, and there are also some borderline cases, such as viruses."

    And one much longer at:
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/295/5563/2215.full

    So why does this matter? Because these biological definition of life, of what it means to be a living things, definitely include ALL of the steps I included above. It is a biological FACT that the egg, alone, is alive, that the spermatozoid is alive, and that any bacteria taken out of our body is alive; until these things die, either naturally or artificially. They are also all of human origin, they can all be attributed the label of 'human' as an adjective. But the word game played by your argument, Stan, is to then conclude, subjectively, that the fertilized egg is different (at some unknown step, because biology is now ignored). The fertilized egg is not just a human cell, it is a human, it has universal rights. Killing it is akin to murder, because Stan says do.

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  87. ”Basically, yes, there are living things involve at every step; if that's what you mean by 'continuity of life'. Of course, it's trivial: how else could living things reproduce otherwise? Dead stuff does not reproduce itself... The egg is living, the spermatozoids are living, their pair is living, the embryo is living. The question is, why do you consider every single one of these things (except the egg/sperm alone, why btw?) to be a human such that killing them is akin to murder?”

    So, all these steps are living entities, but there is no difference between life and death, because there is no life essence to be removed, therefore they cannot be living.

    The process contains living entities from both parents which combine in an egg which is living and becomes a unique individual at the initiation of her life. The process starts with the parents’ life, the parents’ initiation of the process through life-bearing entities, which naturally combine in the natural continuity of life. Life comes from nowhere else. Nowhere.

    Humans can create death in massive amounts, even instantly. Humans cannot create life, nor can they restore life to roadkill or any other dead things. Humans can defy entropy by repairing broken things and using their internal metabolic functions to nourish the repair of their own bodies. Humans can counteract gravity sufficiently to leave the planet.

    BUT. Humans cannot give life to anything. That’s specifically because science and Materialists will never comprehend that life is, in fact, different from death. Therefore it does have an essence which differentiates it from death, and that essence is both non-material and extant, being demonstrable in living things.

    Breaking the thread of life at any point with the intent of stopping a pregnancy, from fertilized egg through natural death, eradicates the life of a unique individual at any stage of development at which the interruption is done. This is hardly arguable, under rational argumentation.

    Snowflake Babies are those people who are now alive and who came from fertilized eggs that were not implanted by the original mother. The eggs were not dead; they were alive and awaiting a uterus. When they got implanted, finally, they immediately continued their life journey as unique individuals, developing normally and ultimately being birthed and growing up into adults.

    Killing is cheap for humans to produce. Producing life in dead things is impossible for humans under any circumstance.

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  88. The obsession with designating a class of living humans to be targeted for killing (regardless of the refusal to consider it killing a human due to definitional prestidigitation) is an interesting phenomenon. It seems to be more about the designator of class than about the designated target. Regardless of the boundary conditions ultimately decided upon, it is the preservation of the Class [Killable Humans], which seems necessary to protect at all cost. The motivations are specious: preventing pregnancy in oppressed people who are victimized by the fetus which they created from their own lives and reproductive systems.

    There is no comparable correlate in preventing the pregnancy by means of sexual restraint. Sex between any and all individuals is now a “human right”. Restraint is anathema to the “Kill Your Progeny” lobby. Why would that be? Could it be related to the need to produce fodder for the Class [Killable Humans]? Only in the world of encouraged amoral licentiousness would the USA produce a cult of kill that has produced more than 60,000,000 legal killings.

    The “Victimization” Class designation is the key element in this particular battle of the Class War which is being waged full-on against many fronts. The parents, through their own actions, are designated the Victims of their own sexual activity, which produced a monstrous “Oppressor Class” persecutor: their own progeny. The Oppressive act against the Victimhood Class is that the monstrous persecutor exists.

    The monstrous persecutor must not exist.

    That’s all there is to this kill-dance. All the rest is hand-waving: Redefining portions of the human reproductive process by adjective/noun/verb chopping; declaration of minimal requirements for non-existent “personhood”; defining part of the necessary process as “meaningless”; the “she might die anyway” excuse; using false set reasoning: “all fertilized eggs are human therefore all humans are fertilized eggs” – false aarguments which is never asserted (False Accusation/Straw Man; Red Herring).

    So many excuses to kill which the kill lobby takes as actual licenses to kill. A mere definitional modification is enough.

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  89. And the most purposefully obtuse of all questions:
    ”why do you consider the combination of 2 insignificant human cells to be of great significance?”

    It’s to the point that even if the answer is perfectly self-evident, still no logical reasoning will suffice. That is because the kill lobby places their firm policy right there in the question itself for all to see: the living human in its necessary fertilized egg form is denied any “significance”, purely as policy. There is no arguing against policy; policy is dogma which is declared Truth. There is no counter which is possible to a declared Truth. Such is the intellectual process of cults. Policy is Dogma: Dogma is forever.

    There is no appeal to human life transfer which penetrates the wall of policy. There is no possible amount of definition correction which affects policy. There is no evidence of an essence within a living entity which the same entity loses at death that will be allowed any meaning to the adherent of policy. Dogma is forever. The Class [Killable Humans] cannot be touched by any amount of appealing to human rights or even empathy for the killed human. That cannot penetrate the impregnable barrier of policy.

    Dogma is forever. The Victimhood Class must not be affected by adverse consequences of their own behavior. The messiah class will see to it that the consequences are removed from the Victimhood Class. The methodology is not arguable because the end is so moral that it justifies the means, any means whatsoever. The Victimhood Class WILL be protected from its own behaviors, especially if it enhances the powers of the messiahs). This is Dogma. And Dogma is forever.

    Abortion is purely about the life path from fertilized egg through birth (and now somewhat beyond, depending upon definition). It should be obvious that the abortion is intended to kill - not prevent - the pregnancy by killing the living, growing unique individual human progeny living naturally inside the uterus. The market for human remains from these killings should be enough to validate that.

    No other definition can rationally be accepted as an honest description of what actually is happening in abortion abbatoirs.

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  90. To this point I have not progressed through Hugo's comments past part of the first block. I'll read through to see if there is any meaning left in addressing them. I might not. The need to preserve a Class [Killable Humans] is so strong that no contrary logic will be productive. At this point, it is only possible to acknowledge the fervor of that drive in the messiah Class, and the danger which that class poses to all classes of people which will be designated as Oppressor Classes.

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  91. I think it is necessary to address the biological definition of life which Hugo brings up.

    What those definitions address is the working functions of homeostasis, working functions of metabolism, working functions of timed reproduction (prokaryotes), etc. All of these molecular functions both a) exist, and b) function. Why do they function? Why do they coordinate? Why do they balance? It is not the molecular structures which themselves are “life”; they still exist in death. So what is life?

    Hugo chooses not to think about any necessary activation or reactivation of all of the necessary functions within a cell (compared to the interrelated functions within a large city by complexity). The physical molecules are thought to represent the totality of life – because that’s all that Materialists are capable of seeing.

    Sez Hugo:
    It is a biological FACT that the egg, alone, is alive, that the spermatozoid is alive, and that any bacteria taken out of our body is alive; until these things die, either naturally or artificially. They are also all of human origin, they can all be attributed the label of 'human' as an adjective. But the word game played by your argument, Stan, is to then conclude, subjectively, that the fertilized egg is different (at some unknown step, because biology is now ignored). The fertilized egg is not just a human cell, it is a human, it has universal rights. Killing it is akin to murder, because Stan says do.””

    It is an obvious Red Herring rabbit hole to a) inject the disconnected sperm and unfertilized egg into a conversation about aborting a pregnancy - those are not aborted; and b) to assert the “adjective” argument as the sole truth of the fertilized egg situation (semantic artificial truncation: semantic prestidigitation). The fertilized egg is not ONLY a human cell in the adjective sense, any more than Hugo is ONLY a human being in the adjective sense. It is also the case that the fertilized egg contains all that is necessary and sufficient for the new, unique human, AND which is alive and growing through a necessary and sufficient natural process, a process which is necessary and sufficient for ALL humans, past, current and future, without exception, to pass through on their journeys as HUMANs.

    But all of that, while true, is trivial, because as I pointed to before, no amount of reasoning will suffice when the actual argument is about the moral authority to create KILL CLASSES into which humans may be put, merely by removing their designation as “person” or “human” or adding the designation of “inconvenient”, or “oppressor”, or other semantic removal of humanness.

    Because that is the real issue, the justification arguments are trivial. All justification is rationalization for the protection of the elitist messiah class need for preservation of a KILL CLASS which is defined by transient definitions such as “personhood”, “not REALLY significant”, “human as adjective only”, Materialist definitions of life with no “essence” beyond existing molecules, Denial of self-evidence, et cetera ad nauseum.

    And so I conclude:
    We have uncovered the real argument: justification of the elite moral authority to designate humans as members of Class [Killable Humans], by whatever means that works.

    And that should be the thrust of the argument going forward, rather than the Red Herrings of the voluminous defenses of killing being made above.

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  92. There is a current equivalent messiah/victimhood activism in the Hate Trump activist movement.

    Trump = Hitler = Maximal evil = Oppressor of Victimhood Classes
    Therefore, any tactic against Trump is justified;
    Thus: violence at any level is justified, as is lying and manipulating, etc.

    There are media and politicians justifying the attacks on Trump supporters: Trump caused us to hurt them. Same argument as spousal abuse. Irrational bullying at a national level by the Left, which spawns much more violence than any other ideology.

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  93. Stan, you start by mentioning that there is, according to my argument, no difference between life and death. This is an absurd statement; I gave details as to what the differences between the two are.

    Yes, it's also true that every single step; the entities involved are living things. There is no doubt about it and I also mentioned the same exact same thing. The parents are human, living things, their cells are living things, and their combination yields a living thing.

    It's also correct to state that humans can kill things, but not give life to anything. We have never seen humans combine some non-living things and make living things out of them.

    However, this does not mean that there is some sort of life 'essence', whatever that means. The definition of what it means to be alive, biologically, is very clear, though there are cases that are complicated, such as viruses. This is what I explained before in the previous comments. In its simplest form, what is demonstrable is that living things share characteristics of motion and metabolism. From the simplest bacteria to full grown conscious human being; we all share these basic characteristics.

    Stan said...
    "Breaking the thread of life at any point with the intent of stopping a pregnancy, from fertilized egg through natural death, eradicates the life of a unique individual at any stage of development at which the interruption is done. This is hardly arguable, under rational argumentation."

    It is arguable, this is what we are talking about, but you refuse to argue for your position. You just state it. Your listed your conclusion again here: a human is a 'fertilized egg through natural death'. This is what you define as a human, for no 'good' reason at all. You did give reasons: (1) it is a unique combination of DNA and (2) it is part of the human development process. These are two bad reasons as (1) there is nothing special about the formation of a unique DNA strands, we can do it in the lab all day long, and (2) it's a critical reasoning error to state that because all human went through the human development process, each minute step of the development process is to be labeled a human. You don't even do it yourself, as you don't think the egg alone, or the spermatozoid alone, is to be seen as a human. There is thus nothing special about any step of the fertilization process, it's just the combination of 2 human cells. You subjectively place a label on the fertilized egg and label it to be 'a human', without rational argumentation.

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  94. Stan said...
    " Snowflake Babies are those people who are now alive and who came from fertilized eggs that were not implanted by the original mother. The eggs were not dead; they were alive and awaiting a uterus. When they got implanted, finally, they immediately continued their life journey as unique individuals, developing normally and ultimately being birthed and growing up into adults. "

    This reveals an inconsistency in your position. And it's the implicit reason why you refuse to go through the 20 steps I listed above. Yes, the egg was alive. Yes, the spermatozoid was alive. Yes, the fertilized egg was alive. But, by your definition, when the lab technician fertilizes the egg, she just created a human. Not just human cell; the lab technician literally took 2 living things, not 2 humans but 2 human cells, and the result is 1 human, a human being, a person.

    This is actually why the religious Right in the USA is against stem cell research: it requires the fertilization of eggs in exactly that same way, only to kill the fertilized egg right after. They see this as the killing of a human person. It's an emotion attachment to a unique strand of DNA; some sort of DNA worship for absolutely no rational reason. To be consistent, I look forward to you being clear on that position.

    " The obsession with designating a class of living humans to be targeted for killing (regardless of the refusal to consider it killing a human due to definitional prestidigitation) is an interesting phenomenon. "

    The obsession is on your side; there is a constant conclusion being put forth: the fertilized egg IS a human. You create that class of living human beings; you label people as killers. There is no defense for it and, now that the steps of the human reproductive process have been listed, biology is being ignored. There is still no clear answer as to when that human is created. This is interesting because the argument on your side remains defeated; repetitions don't add any value to the argument.

    " It seems to be more about the designator of class than about the designated target. "
    Yes, it is. This is exactly what you do, because your argumentation fails. This sentence is accurate. It is all about the designator of class, in 2 different ways. First, you are the one who actually create these classes only to label the other side as killers. Second, you pretend that the pro-choice side are the 'designator' and talk about how evil they are, instead of discussing the topic of abortion. This is why the latest comments are so long, yet so thin on arguments.

    Finally, a very quick note on the biological definition of living:
    " All of these molecular functions both a) exist, and b) function. Why do they function? Why do they coordinate? Why do they balance? It is not the molecular structures which themselves are “life”; they still exist in death. So what is life? "

    No, they don't exist in death; that's what the definition of LIVING is. You do not understand biology. This explains why you do not understand evolution. You might also not fully understand chemistry, which is essential to understand biology.

    It's not surprising though; as someone who retired from a profession related to... (electronics I think?)
    Why Most People (Even People with Advanced Science Degrees) Are Scientifically Illiterate
    Humility is the key; we can always learn more. But you refuse to, at least when it comes to biology.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px42_kHWnVw

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  95. FWIW, regarding the completely irrelevant comment on Donald Trump. I also find it appalling/stupid that people are protesting his speeches and conventions, especially so aggressively. I don't like him, at all, but this is a democracy and everyone should participate. Ergo, this proves that your comment was not only a Red Herring, which obviously has nothing to do with abortion, but also not even a common position among all those who support/reject abortion. Not everything is all black-or-white; generalizations are a failure of critical reasoning.

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  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  97. ” I gave details as to what the differences between the two are.”

    No, you gave characteristics which are superficial. The question of why are these characteristics, which are observable molecular actions, active in living things, and deactivated at death. Which of the four forces are applied to them that causes them to be many mutually coordinated systems via signaling feedback systems which result in the mutual balancing of necessarily interconnected internal systems, all of which must function optimally. At death, the molecules still exist; what forces disappear? Why? If they are not the four forces, what are they?

    Well, they are not the four forces because they are directed and coordinated. And they disappear without a trace at death, leaving the molecules to their inactivity and entropic fates. This is not a deterministic characteristic of molecules nor of the four forces.

    But as I said before, this is all trivial, because it is merely you, groping for a rationalized excuse to assert your designation for a Class [Killable Humans], after the failure of other rationalizations you came up with. That you insist on all these attempts to create a window based on word chopping as in “meaningless”, definition chopping as in “insignificant” and “personhood”, semantic chopping as in “adjective” as the only “correct” application of the term “human”, and now science-chopping as in the definition of life is its “characteristics” (as if the definition of a Porsche is its color and steering wheel cover).

    The desperation of your multivariate siege on the pre-born reveals that you do not have actual logical approval of the Class [Killable Humans]. What you need, desperately, is a veneer of logic in the form of word play which assigns humans to that class. Because that Class exists and is inviolable (Greta Christina calls it her inviolable Right, and she went berserk on Pigliucci for suggesting that there might be ethical issues in the third trimester).

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  98. Here you restate the Materialist intellectual immovable barrier to thought:
    ” However, this does not mean that there is some sort of life 'essence', whatever that means. The definition of what it means to be alive, biologically, is very clear, though there are cases that are complicated, such as viruses. This is what I explained before in the previous comments. In its simplest form, what is demonstrable is that living things share characteristics of motion and metabolism. From the simplest bacteria to full grown conscious human being; we all share these basic characteristics.”

    Again, this is fatuous and false. What is demonstrable even from a Materialistic vantage is that there are forces which do not map to the four forces of physics (a fifth unrelated one might be on the horizon). This is denied heatedly over and over because it represents non-deterministic activity which is visible to the human eye.

    ” It is arguable, this is what we are talking about, but you refuse to argue for your position. You just state it. Your listed your conclusion again here: a human is a 'fertilized egg through natural death'.”

    Since it is your deeply pathological need to prove otherwise, then do it. But since you assert science, and claim biology for your side, then use biology to point to the place where “human” is installed as a module which did not previously exist under your personal definitions. Surely human gestation is understood well enough to be able to show the time, the place, and the physical module itself as it is being installed. I personally have not seen such a module, not for humans, not for cattle, not for dogs, nor cats nor any creature. The concept must certainly apply to prokaryotes as well, that there is a module installed which provides them with their prokaryoteness, without which they are not actually prokaryotes.

    Go for it.

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  99. The following fully illuminates the desperation which you feel:

    ” This is what you define as a human, for no 'good' reason at all. You did give reasons: (1) it is a unique combination of DNA and (2) it is part of the human development process. These are two bad reasons as (1) there is nothing special about the formation of a unique DNA strands, we can do it in the lab all day long, and (2) it's a critical reasoning error to state that because all human went through the human development process, each minute step of the development process is to be labeled a human. You don't even do it yourself, as you don't think the egg alone, or the spermatozoid alone, is to be seen as a human. There is thus nothing special about any step of the fertilization process, it's just the combination of 2 human cells. You subjectively place a label on the fertilized egg and label it to be 'a human', without rational argumentation.”

    The reasons I have given are valid and true. You hardly even dispute that. What you do instead is to judge them to be “bad” reasons. Upon what logic do you base your judgment of “bad reasons”?

    1. “nothing special” – it can be done in the lab.

    This is best called Pettifoggery. That DNA can be manipulated has no bearing on the natural reproductive process which is in operation in the creation of the new, unique individual.

    And this:

    2. “it's a critical reasoning error to state that because all human went through the human development process, each minute step of the development process is to be labeled a human.”

    Ha! You wish! Now you choose to go back into the process before the egg is fertilized, to a state wherein the issue of abortion does not even apply. It is absolutely true that sperm and unfertilized eggs do not create new unique humans on their own. However it should be apparent that sperm and unfertilized eggs are (obviously) necessary in order to combine together in producing a fertilized egg containing a new, unique individual human. So in combination, they do hold both life being transferred and the final DNA for a new, living and unique human.

    That is the well-known actual process of the start of a pregnancy, including inconvenient pregnancies which you want to stop by killing the human in its initial and/or subsequent states. But as far as the abortion issue goes, that is a completely insignificant point.

    And the sub-argument you previously used is a non-starter: it does not matter in the least that some eggs never get fertilized and many sperm never find an egg. Not in the least. Humans necessarily and sufficiently come from eggs that do get spermatazoic fertilization.

    Arguing that the sperm and egg are not humans by themselves does not help your case in the slightest, and it reveals the desperate lengths you will go to in order to preserve your Right to declare a class of humans to be killable.

    Now, really??
    ” This reveals an inconsistency in your position. And it's the implicit reason why you refuse to go through the 20 steps I listed above. Yes, the egg was alive. Yes, the spermatozoid was alive. Yes, the fertilized egg was alive. But, by your definition, when the lab technician fertilizes the egg, she just created a human. Not just human cell; the lab technician literally took 2 living things, not 2 humans but 2 human cells, and the result is 1 human, a human being, a person.”

    Yes. By artificially reproducing the necessary and sufficient conditions, using living sperm and living egg she creates a living, unique human. This in no manner is an abortion issue. It is a really sorry excuse for creating a Straw Man form of Red Herring. No reasonable reader would bite.

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  100. ” This is actually why the religious Right in the USA is against stem cell research: it requires the fertilization of eggs in exactly that same way, only to kill the fertilized egg right after. They see this as the killing of a human person. It's an emotion attachment to a unique strand of DNA; some sort of DNA worship for absolutely no rational reason. To be consistent, I look forward to you being clear on that position.”

    False attribution: Not just the religious Right. Also unemotional reasoners who are not attached the need to kill. By your denigration of the living fertilized egg by calling it just DNA, and then calling those who agree that the egg is both necessary and sufficient AND alive: DNA worshippers, you demonstrate full well your increasing desperation by using rhetorical denigration of both the living fertilized egg containing the necessary stage for the living new human, and the humans who defend it. That rhetoric bounces right off. It does signify the rapid descent of your argument into the gutter.

    But perhaps it’s merely a reaction to the knowledge that you are, in fact, groping desperately for a handle whereby you can salvage your need for justification of your designation of a class of humans which are killable. But the escalating irrationality is disturbing, because it demonstrates the lengths to which you are willing to go.

    The following is pure denialism thrown out in the face of the obvious: the necessary and sufficient life and unique individual lives in the fertilized egg. It is your opinion that it should not be called a human in order that you can kill it. You can apply that denialist logic to any stage of human development, which continues as the human morphs continuously until natural death. And that, THAT is the issue. You have no moral authority to deny humanness to any human at ANY stage of their life path.

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  101. Your denialism continues:
    ” " It seems to be more about the designator of class than about the designated target. "
    Yes, it is. This is exactly what you do, because your argumentation fails. This sentence is accurate. It is all about the designator of class, in 2 different ways. First, you are the one who actually create these classes only to label the other side as killers. Second, you pretend that the pro-choice side are the 'designator' and talk about how evil they are, instead of discussing the topic of abortion. This is why the latest comments are so long, yet so thin on arguments.”


    This is so obviously false that it places its irrationality into a higher category. You insist on define non-persons; non-humans, meaningless cells, insignificant DNA, ad nauseum. The case against you is two-fold:
    1) The fertilized egg is alive, it develops along natural paths, it contains a unique individual at a necessary and sufficient stage in her life path. To deny her the natural humanity is, in fact, an evil act.
    2) Universal human Rights apply to all humans; that is why you are desperate to remove humanity from the fertilized egg: you know that universal human rights apply, and will be violated when that living fertilized egg is killed. So you attempt to throw out numerous redefinitions which might stick, and will remove her rights as a human.

    You are not fooling anyone by reversing the charge against me: desperate Tu Quoque.

    You have no actual case, logically or scientifically, for killing the human at your defined Kill Zones. And you are smarting, obviously, by the knowledge that what you defend is evil, even by secular standards of civility.

    And the final faux thrust:

    ” No, they don't exist in death; that's what the definition of LIVING is. You do not understand biology. This explains why you do not understand evolution. You might also not fully understand chemistry, which is essential to understand biology.”

    Translation: “I am the possessor of ultimate knowledge; the elite who defines reality for the benighted masses. Dissent, no matter how tight the case, means ignorance of the ultimate knowledge, which again, I alone possess, even though I can’t argue it sufficiently to convince anyone.”

    Are you done?
    No. You make these astounding two parting shots:
    First the generalization shot:
    ” It's not surprising though; as someone who retired from a profession related to... (electronics I think?)
    Why Most People (Even People with Advanced Science Degrees) Are Scientifically Illiterate
    Humility is the key; we can always learn more. But you refuse to, at least when it comes to biology.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px42_kHWnVw”


    Followed by this reversal:
    ” Not everything is all black-or-white; generalizations are a failure of critical reasoning.

    Just: wow.

    You keep trying to teach me that extrapolations (opinions) from valid data are valid to the point of declaring them Truth. They are not; and that is irrational. So your whine is false.

    And you never, ever, ever answer this question, do you?
    Do you allow non-falsifiable, non-testable opinion regarding your products to be the Truth which allows them to ship?

    Why is it that you never answer that? Is it because that defining feature of evolution cannot be allowed in the rational, real world? Yep. That’s my guess.

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  102. Stan said...
    "The question of why are these characteristics, which are observable molecular actions, active in living things, and deactivated at death. Which of the four forces are applied to them that causes them to be many mutually coordinated systems via signaling feedback systems which result in the mutual balancing of necessarily interconnected internal systems, all of which must function optimally. At death, the molecules still exist; what forces disappear? Why? If they are not the four forces, what are they?"

    You are putting it in reverse! There is no mystery as to 'why' livings things have observable characteristics; it's because of the observable molecular actions that something is label as living. The physical forces are the same regardless of the living state of organisms. These questions confirm that you do not understand biology nor the chemical processes involved in living things.

    " rationalized excuse to assert your designation for a Class [Killable Humans]"

    This is a repetition of your conclusion, surrounded by attacks on the character of anybody who disagrees with you. Your conclusion is that the moment of fertilization (but you have still not explain exactly when/why based on the 20-steps) is the moment when a human is created and thus bearer of universal rights. This declaration is without merit, and was re-visited a bit later in your series of comment.

    Side argument:
    "Greta Christina calls it her inviolable Right, and she went berserk on Pigliucci for suggesting that there might be ethical issues in the third trimester"

    Then I disagree with her. My position is based on biological facts related to the viability of the fetus, first, and the woman's right, second. Her arguments are based on the woman's right, first, and the viability of the fetus, second. We agree on at least 99% of abortion cases, and probably more, but would not always agree. This is the nature of rational debate; people don't always agree.

    The pro-life life side also has different position such as wanting to prevent abortion after the earth starts beating. Others are against any abortion procedure that removes an implanted embryo, but are fine with chemicals, such as the morning-after pill, which prevents the implantation, regardless of the egg being fertilized or not.

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  103. Your position is on the extreme end of the pro-life side: a fertilized egg, whatever YOU define it to be, is a human with universal right. Hence, stem cell research involves murder, morning-after pills are murders, sometimes, and even some form of birth control devices are to be seen as causing murders of human beings. An IUD, for instance, releases chemicals that prevent fertilization. However, the fertilization may work anyway and the IUD then acts as a second-barrier by also preventing the implantation of the embryo. Are women with IUD to be accused of murdering humans?

    I stated in my last comment block: It is arguable (exactly which entity should be seen as 'a human'), this is what we are talking about, but you refuse to argue for your position. You just state it. Your listed your conclusion again here: a human is a 'fertilized egg through natural death'. Stan replied:

    "But since you assert science, and claim biology for your side, then use biology to point to the place where “human” is installed as a module which did not previously exist under your personal definitions. Surely human gestation is understood well enough to be able to show the time, the place, and the physical module itself as it is being installed."

    After two threads and over 120 comments, it is clear that my position is based on the viability of the fetus. I consider it immoral to kill a fetus that would otherwise survive outside of the womb; this is generally around the 20-week mark. The clearest comment I made on that specific question was the answer to question 'which one represents a human?' when looking at the 20 steps I listed:

    (Quoting myself) FWIW, I already had written the following; my answer is that from 1 to 15, the answer is easy: no, this is not a human. The spermatozoid, the egg, the fertilized egg, the zygote, the embryo are all human things, but they don't represent a human. The cells/fetus cannot live on its own, has no felling of anything, and only subjective sentimental value to some people. Killing any of these living things is thus not akin to killing a human person; it is not murder. And that's when ~99% of abortions are performed.

    At #16, things are getting more complicated, as the fetus may have a chance of survival, outside the womb, and that chance keeps increasing. By the 30-week mark, at #17, it's pretty clear to me that we are now definitely talking about an independent human being who can survive outside the womb. Killing that fetus is now akin to killing a human, a person. It might still be acceptable, in some rare cases, to be analyzed one-by-one, and thus no blanket statement can be made. I personally never had to make such decision, hope to never have to make it, and let it to be up to the people involved and their close ones to figure it out, with the aid of medical professionals.

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  104. So, in short, I think the answer is:
    1-to-15) 'No', not a human; killing the entity is like killing a single human cell
    16) Not sure, would say 'Yes' to be on the safe side and avoid killing a human
    17+) Yes, definitely a human, killing the entity is akin to killing a born human

    On your side Stan, where does it become clear that a human is being killed, should we get rid of the living human cells involved? None of the description you have given so far truly works here. Every single of these steps refers to something that is living. Except for the first 2 steps, they all include groups of human cells that contain the genetic material necessary for a fully form human being. Any of these steps can be seen as growing, and potentially never growing again. Even when the fertilization is complete and the first mitosis has happened, we still don't know if 1 or more babies will result; identical twins could happen from the formation of 2 embryos, and again, maybe only 1 of them will be normal and adsorb back the other.

    Therefore, there is an arbitrary line drawn, somewhere, by your position Stan. Where is that line and why should we consider it to be where a human is now deemed to have rights? Where do we see a difference between that full human and the individual human eggs and human spermatozoids, which you clearly stated have no right to life? In other words, forget the word 'personhood' if you prefer, and explain exactly when a human is being killed, should a woman decide to induce her period, or get an abortion. Feel free to add more details to these steps, should you need more biological FACTS for your argument to be supported.
    (End quote)

    Stan said...
    " Surely human gestation is understood well enough to be able to show the time, the place, and the physical module itself as it is being installed. I personally have not seen such a module, not for humans, not for cattle, not for dogs, nor cats nor any creature."

    Actually, you do make that claim. You claim that the sperm is not a human, the egg is not a human, but together they are a human: the fertilized egg is a human with universal rights. That is your claim; this is where you place the human physical module, with a very strict definition of what it means to be a human. According to that position, being a human means having 1 cell or more, with a full human DNA. That's it. Killing such thing is akin to murder. This conclusion, this opinion, is then used to construct arguments.

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  105. The arguments on your side are using this opinion, which you wrongly label as fact. Yet, objectively, the beginning of a human life is the moment when a human is first recognized as 'a human', not just 'human cell'. There are differences of opinion as to the precise time of such recognition. You reject that notion and declare that your opinion is indeed a scientific fact. We disagree not only on the conclusion, but also on what we disagree on.

    Stan said...
    "The following fully illuminates the desperation which you feel:"

    This is stated as fact; it's a form of argumentation. It can be easily proven wrong: no, I feel no desperation. You actually showed that you don't understand the chemical processes that makes a living thing alive, you thus don't understand the biological definition of "life", and this thus explain why you also cannot possible understand evolution.

    Here's another fact: Someone who has such an inaccurate view of what biology is cannot possible understand more complicated topics related to biology. This is factual information that can be seen by reading this thread and comparing your statements to the scientific knowledge that humankind as acquired through the scientific method over the centuries.

    "The reasons I have given are valid and true. You hardly even dispute that. What you do instead is to judge them to be “bad” reasons. Upon what logic do you base your judgment of “bad reasons”?"

    The explanations as to why your reasons are bad reasons, based on faulty critical reasoning, are shown in the next lines right after:

    "1. “nothing special” – it can be done in the lab.

    This is best called Pettifoggery. That DNA can be manipulated has no bearing on the natural reproductive process which is in operation in the creation of the new, unique individual.
    "

    Your position states that there is something 'special' about a new set of DNA. The fact that there are relatively simple manipulations that allow humans to create new sets of DNA serves to disprove your point. It's a specific example about a specific claim. It is not futile: it directly address one of your premises.

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  106. "2. “it's a critical reasoning error to state that because all human went through the human development process, each minute step of the development process is to be labeled a human.”

    you choose to go back into the process before the egg is fertilized, to a state wherein the issue of abortion does not even apply. It is absolutely true that sperm and unfertilized eggs do not create new unique humans on their own. However it should be apparent that sperm and unfertilized eggs are (obviously) necessary in order to combine together in producing a fertilized egg containing a new, unique individual human. So in combination, they do hold both life being transferred and the final DNA for a new, living and unique human.
    "

    First, let's note the mischaracterization of biology being put on display, in the very last sentence: there is no such thing as 'they do hold both life being transferred'. This reveals your ignorance Stan, where you portrait your understanding of reproduction to be the "transfer" of some sort of mysterious "life essence". This has nothing to do with biology.
    - What actually gets transferred is a random set of genes from each parent.
    - Each cell involve in the process is alive, at every single moment of the process.
    - The sperm is alive, contains unique DNA, and is necessary to the process.
    - The egg is alive, contains unique DNA, and necessary to the process.
    - The fertilized egg is alive, contains unique DNA, and necessary to the process.
    - The fertilized egg is not 'a human' by any objective definition.
    But, a line is drawn by your position Stan: the fertilized egg IS 'a human', a unique individual human, even if it's only 1 human cell, which is the result of randomly created sexual cells that were randomly put together. It has a unique set of DNA, just like the egg and the sperm did, but it is not independent from the woman's body.

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  107. Here's yet another way to make the issue more obvious, using sets, which we can agree on:

    Set A - Living Cells
    Simplified biological definition: any arrangement of molecules which exhibit the properties of movement and metabolism.

    Set B - Human Cells
    Members of 'Set A' that specifically contain DNA of human origin.

    Set C - Living Human Being
    Entity made up of members of 'Set B' which has universal human rights, such as the right to life. Killing a member of 'Set C' is usually referred to as 'murder' or 'manslaughter' or some other form of human killing, which may or may not be legitimate under the circumstances. Individual members of 'Set C' are also known as 'human being', 'human person', 'unique individual being', 'fully formed human', 'human baby', 'human child', 'human teenager', 'human adult', and many more.

    Keeping some of the entities from the 20-steps from before:
    1) Human spermatozoid
    2) Human egg
    4) Human spermatozoid and human egg sharing a fused membrane
    5) Human egg that contains un-fused male and female DNA
    6) Human egg that gathers genetic material from the male and female together (zygote)
    7) Human egg undergoing a first mitosis, with now fused male and female chromosome
    8) The pair of human daughter cells resulting from the mitosis of the fertilized human egg
    11) Human implanted embryo inside a woman's uterus
    12) 2-week old human embryo
    16) 20-week old human fetus

    Here are some facts:
    - ALL steps refer to members of 'Set A'
    - ALL steps refer to members of 'Set B'
    - NOT ALL steps refer to members of 'Set C'

    Here's my opinion:
    - Steps 1 to 15 do not refer to members of 'Set C'
    - Step 16+ refer to members of 'Set C', based on the viability of the fetus, which is not trivial to determine.
    - Members of 'Set C' can never be removed from 'Set C'. Death is what makes them leave the set.

    Here's your opinion; feel free to correct my interpretation and/or support it with reason and logic:
    - Step 1 and 2 do not refer to members of 'Set C', but they do have some mystique "life essence" being transferred from parents to potential child.
    - Somewhere between Step 3 and 11, something happen that makes the combination of 2 members of 'Set B' to become a unique member of 'Set C'.
    - But it is irrelevant to ask exactly why/when: the questions stem from a desire to kill members of 'Set C'.
    - Pro-choice advocate want to remove members of 'Set C' from the set in order to murder them.

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  108. Stan said...
    "By your denigration of the living fertilized egg by calling it just DNA"

    But this is exactly what it is. It's the combination of 2 living cells, which you agree cannot be subject of abortion, into 1 living cell, with unique DNA. Each of the 2 cells also had their own DNA so that new cell does not have anything special; it's a random combination of genes.

    " the necessary and sufficient life and unique individual lives in the fertilized egg. It is your opinion that it should not be called a human in order that you can kill it."

    It is my opinion that we should not call it a human; correct. But it's not because I want to kill it... this is attributing a wrong source for the opinion. It is because it is not a human that I see no problem with killing it. Should I be convinced that it is a human (but that will never ever happen) then I would automatically be against its killing.

    basically, it shows another kind of reversal:
    - You think that there are all of these entities that are human beings, de facto. That is your opinion; your conclusion.
    - You then see opponents of that view declare that some of these things are not human, in their opinion.
    - Hence, you conclude that these people are purposely labeling certain humans as killable.
    In reality, it goes the other way around for those who disagree with you:
    - All cells that are generated by a human body are human, by definition
    - These cells include sexual cells, with a unique DNA, a unique set of genes
    - Combining these cells yield yet another unique set of genes
    - When successfully joined, multiplied via cell division, and implanted inside a human's uterus, these human cells grow to form a human fetus
    - That human fetus can eventually become viable, at which point it is to be considered a human with universal right to life

    "The fertilized egg is alive, it develops along natural paths, it contains a unique individual at a necessary and sufficient stage in her life path. To deny her the natural humanity is, in fact, an evil act."

    This is another example of stating the conclusion that the fertilized egg (at some undefined point!) is a unique INDIVIDUAL, a person, a human. You then lavel disagreement over that definition as evil, because your opinion is that killing this 1 human cell is akin to killing a human. You also try a word-game again. Here, it's the word 'humanity' which is used to muddle the distinction between 'human cells' and 'a human'. Every single cell coming out of a human body is a human cell, but not every one of these cells is a human. You agree with that, as the unfertilized egg is 'not' a human but only a human cell. But, you insert your own subjective conclusion, your opinion, by stating that the fertilized egg also has some 'humanity' in can be rid of: yet another way of stating that the fertilized egg is a human person, just because of the uniqueness of the DNA and the presence at one of the steps of human development.

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  109. "1) The fertilized egg is alive",
    So is every cell in my body. That does not make them individual human beings.


    "it develops along natural paths,"
    Again, so does every cell in my body. This is not sufficient for individual humanity.

    "it contains a unique individual"
    Ad hoc assertion.

    "at a necessary and sufficient stage in her life path."
    Cells in the body of a brain dead corpse are alive at a stage in a life path, that does not make them each an individual human being.

    "To deny her the natural humanity is, in fact, an evil act."
    The end of life is defined as the end of brain function. The rest of the body may continue to function, there can be cells living in that body with complete copies of DNA unique to that individual, but once the brain no longer functions and there is no medical possibility of restoration of brain function then that person has died, and thus allowing the rest of the living human cells to die also is not an evil act, rather, merely the disposal of living human tissue that is not a human being.

    Thus, prior to the formation of a brain the disposal of living human tissue is not an evil act since it does not end an existing brain function.

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    1. "1) The fertilized egg is alive",
      So is every cell in my body. That does not make them individual human beings.


      The comparison of body cells to gamete cells is a False Analogy. The gamete cells contain the unique DNA of a completely new human, programmed replication of pluripotent cells for the new human, and the combined metabolisms of both parents. Your analogy depends upon a completely superficial (mis)understanding of cellular level reproduction of life.

      "it develops along natural paths,"
      Again, so does every cell in my body. This is not sufficient for individual humanity.


      It was not said to be sufficient; is part of an argument, not the whole. And the development of the gametes into a blastocyst is entirely different from mitosis which produces two copies of one original; it involves two mitosis events and one meiosis event, producing an all new individual, and not copies: pluripotency. False Analogy again.

      "it contains a unique individual"
      Ad hoc assertion.


      False claim: the DNA is a unique combination of two separate DNA, which makes the individual in the blastocyst unique.

      "at a necessary and sufficient stage in her life path."
      Cells in the body of a brain dead corpse are alive at a stage in a life path, that does not make them each an individual human being.


      Still the same False Analogy.

      "To deny her the natural humanity is, in fact, an evil act."
      The end of life is defined as the end of brain function. The rest of the body may continue to function, there can be cells living in that body with complete copies of DNA unique to that individual, but once the brain no longer functions and there is no medical possibility of restoration of brain function then that person has died, and thus allowing the rest of the living human cells to die also is not an evil act, rather, merely the disposal of living human tissue that is not a human being.

      Thus, prior to the formation of a brain the disposal of living human tissue is not an evil act since it does not end an existing brain function.


      You presume for yourself the moral authority to determine the definition of evil; this makes you a being superior to all other human beings – a god, walking among humans. In fact, however, your declaration is merely Atheism asserting its void of all principles, backfilled with rationalization. For Atheism, as Nietzsche proved, there is no morality to be had, despite its rationalized assertions otherwise. And the Atheist presumption of the truth of the Darwinian denial of the value of humans allows the subjective, utilitarian, situational declaration of ephemeral “moral” principles that are tailored to the desires of the Atheist.

      The idea that denying a full life to embryonic humans is the same as euthanizing a brain dead, end of life human is not merely a False Analogy; it is an insidious claim intended to justify the Kill Culture via a blatantly false comparison.

      The Atheist Kill Culture actually needs no justification other than Adam Smith/Charles Darwin, coupled with the Marxist Class War/Frankfort School of cultural revolution. The need to keep a Kill Class, once it is established is paramount.

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  110. "The comparison of body cells to gamete cells is a False Analogy. The gamete cells contain the unique DNA of a completely new human, programmed replication of pluripotent cells for the new human, and the combined metabolisms of both parents. Your analogy depends upon a completely superficial (mis)understanding of cellular level reproduction of life."
    Different cells are different. An old cell or a new cell are still both just cells. The fact of a cell's newness is irrelevant to the individual humanity of that cell.

    I find it extraordinarily strange that we are even considering a single cell, one cell, to be an individual human being. A single cell, any single cell irrespective of age or uniqueness, does not have the brain function or bodily function of an individual human being.

    "It was not said to be sufficient; is part of an argument, not the whole"
    Ok, fair enough, I will reserve judgement while you express your whole argument.

    "And the development of the gametes into a blastocyst is entirely different from mitosis which produces two copies of one original; it involves two mitosis events and one meiosis event, producing an all new individual, "
    Ok, different cells are different, but the DNA that results is the same. In one case 2 half molecules combine to make a whole molecule. Then that cell divides by the DNA again splitting into halves and each half attracts its compliment such that 2 identical molecules form.

    That is all very interesting but does nothing to show that a single cell is somehow an individual human being.

    After the first division each cell contains the same DNA as the original, so now we have twins? Then quadruplets and on and on until the cells differentiate?

    If 1 cell is an individual human being then 2 cells with the same DNA as that 1 cell are 2 individual human beings, right?

    "You presume for yourself the moral authority to determine the definition of evil; this makes you a being superior to all other human beings – a god,"
    You are the one who started making judgements about evil!
    "To deny her the natural humanity is, in fact, an evil act." I guess that makes you a god by your own reasoning.

    "For Atheism, as Nietzsche proved, there is no morality to be had,"
    Nietzsche was kind of crabby. On atheism there is no absolute morality to be proved, only relative morality based upon axioms of good and evil derived from our personal sensibilities and found by communication to be widely agreed to.

    "The idea that denying a full life to embryonic humans is the same as euthanizing a brain dead, end of life human is not merely a False Analogy; it is an insidious claim intended to justify the Kill Culture via a blatantly false comparison."
    You have failed to logically demonstrate my principle of brain function to be false.

    A human being requires a functioning brain. Without a functioning brain one may have a body composed of cells that are living and contain DNA but that is not sufficient to be a living individual human being.

    A body may have living cells, it may have complete DNA, it may even have functioning organs, but absent a functioning brain that body is not a living individual human being.

    You have provided no logical counter argument.

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  111. Has anyone considered the possibility that persons are not animals, but linguistic constructs? We are the only species with 2 information systems (DNA and words) and through language we possess memories that extend far back beyond our births.

    Isn't this cultural and linguistic inheritance the reason we do not see the killing of an animal in the same way as the killing of a person?

    If, for instance, there existed a genius animal that could somehow incorporate the human vocabulary without human DNA, and think and reason the way we do with our cultural inheritance, then wouldn't it be murder to kill it?

    Isn't this the basis of the personhood that we value so highly?

    If not, then why isn't it murder to kill any conscious animal? Certainly they feel and suffer pain and want to live, and it is not uncommon for people to form attachments to them.

    Is it not possible that the cynical source of the right wing propagation of a pro-life agenda has more to do with maximizing the number of workers in order to lower wages (supply and demand), than a genuine commitment to human dignity and respect for human life (when many of the same people are opposed to pacifism)?

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  112. Your premises don't lead to your conclusion. The objection to killing humans is not based on whether they have acquired some form of designation as "persons". That is a Progressive/eugenic designation, specifically designed to allow the killing of classes of humans which the Left designates as "killable" by the simple process of denying them "personhood". This is part of the Class War that the Left is engaging the world in right now. But "personhood" is not an organ or feature of humans: being "human" is.

    Human laws are meant for homo sapiens sapiens. They are not intended to apply to animals or machines. This also is the case for Natural Law and Human Rights: they apply to all humans and only humans.

    Natural Law has been established through millennia of humans seizing natural human rights from kings who denied them. One of those rights is the Right To Life.

    Denial of the Right to Life (except through due process) is a violation of a human, and is criminal under Natural Law. To redefine humans into kill classes is evil, yet Progressives love and need their kill Class. So they redefine embryonic humans in order to preserve their kill class, in specific violation of natural law, and in the overthrow of the US Constitution via black-robed Progressive activism.

    If "personhood" defines a set of humans, it can be revoked so that set can be abolished at will.

    These days that killing is monetized for profit by selling the obviously human parts to complicit research organizations.

    The opposition to the Progressive/eugenic use of "personhood" (or any other excuse) for maintaining a kill Class of homo sapiens sapiens for the express purpose of killing them is in no manner motivated by a Class need for workers, and to declare that to be so is empirically, and logically, absurd. Maximally absurd, to the point of indicating that your comment is most likely trolling, rather than serious.

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  113. I'm not trolling. I'm intrigued by your analysis of atheism, which is very persuasive.

    And that led me to your other articles.

    Why doesn't the sanctity of human life demand pacifism for most on the Right? If war is a necessary evil, and civilian casualties are "collateral damage" because of a need to construct whatever sort of civilization the aggressor is trying to construct (and the USA has launched aggressive wars for regime change against countries that have not attacked it), then why isn't abortion seen as "collateral damage" for producing a society of children who are wanted by their mothers?

    If denial of the right to life is criminal under natural law, then why is war not opposed absolutely in all cases except for defense by the Right?



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  114. "why is war not opposed absolutely in all cases except for defense by the Right?"

    It is.

    But that is not pacifism, which will not even defend itself. Note that it was Democrats (Kennnedy and LBJ) that caused the Viet Nam bloodbath. It was Republican Richard Nixon who said, "We win, get out NOW!", and evacuated all Americans from SE Asia.

    Find REAL history, rather than the Leftist corruption of it. People who were around at the time can set you straight.

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