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whYNOT last won the day on April 4

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    tony garland
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  1. Okay, perhaps. I go back to politics: the 'rightful principle' of late abortion which some politicians are proposing. A "principle" which is a meaningless gesture few need to use, going by what statistics say, is impractical - and (if one acknowledges viability) is irrational- amoral. When promoted (by pols, especially) such a principle surely has to be un-principled, detached from reality.
  2. If by rational one means, what suits one best at this time, irrespective of denying one's (once, supposedly) greater value for a lesser - I can't see it as being a rational reason, but hedonistic or pragmatic. E.g. my husband has just left me, does not qualify as sufficient grounds, I think. Rationality also places emphasis on one's own consciousness. There needs be, hierarchically, a great objective dis-value to overturn one's initially greater value. Outside a medically essential cause, such justifications are rare, seems to me. Speaking with women, a big agreement is that next to nothing would stop them giving birth to the baby after the fetus had grown to an advanced stage. That resolve is rational, committed to reality. They mostly express repugnance at the idea of having that intimately-connected, much anticipated, life crushed and sucked from their bodies. Men's reactions are similar.
  3. It seems I was the only one who has even posed the option of *adoption*. Given that, why would one choose abortion (at late stage)? Nope, I can only infer that it is the "principle" that matters: the right, abortion on demand at the time "I" demand it. (All *despite* the fact that most women refuse to take advantage of that). Well, I can and will query the morality of that principle - while accepting anybody's rights to do whatever they please. Freedom from self- responsibility, is nothing to build individual rights upon in a society, and won't last. Is this libertarian? And I have several times said that there are rational reasons for (late-term) abortion, and they could be medical, physical or psychological . "Sexism and judgments". You understand the Objectivist morality. Then you also understand that morally, gender is immaterial - for me, anyway? "Without evidence"? What evidence? That a fetus will survive, by replacing its mother's nourishment for nutrients supplied, ex utero? That is the evidence I need.
  4. "...then would conception become the new birth?". Let's examine this, reductio ad absurdum as it may seem at first. A "fertilized" egg in lab conditions, given the right conditions and nourishment, can end up as a fully-formed human infant - some day. Where and how does one draw the line? But a line there has to be. He/she/it, certainly is not birthed the normal way, or birthed by normal Cesarean section, but at ~some~ point, +/- 6-9 months in the future must be considered a human being. So--if this developed human were to have its life-support extinguished and allowed to perish, could that be ethical? I believe not. Obviously, even a newborn infant requires ongoing sustenance; the nutrients and oxygen the mother's body supplied it in utero "sustained" its life, and essential nourishment, shelter, etc. doesn't end with birth, going on until its teens. But, essentially the mother is a bystander to its growth and life. Life, a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action - doesn't mean that any organism goes out to find its sustenance (no more than a plant which either has water, sunlight and soil in its vicinity, or dies), the human 'organism' is dependent early on upon its environment too, whether womb or 'test-tube'. Much later, can a individual sustain his own life. We know this "self-sustaining and self-generated action", for an organism, an animal - and man - to be the fundamental justification for rational selfishness. I mention that to bring up the "Objectivist ethics [which] holds man's life as the standard of value..." I hasten to add, this isn't a direct argument against abortion on a late-term fetus' life. It is once again a moral argument applied to whomever (e.g. mother, but not only her) chooses the action. "Man's life" is the standard of value. Not, each individual's "life" (nor especially an individual fetus' continued existence). Instead, that is a highly abstract principle that serves as a guide and "gauge" to each, for living life "proper" to man. I suggest the fundamental moral argument against late-term abortion on a fully-formed, viable fetus which can continue life outside the uterus, is that the act is not proper to man; therefore improper for the individual ; therefore, for a society. "Life begins at birth" is being overtaken by medical discoveries, with more to come. Clearly Objectivism is uniquely invaluable to inform science and politics, ethically and otherwise, so to avoid and refute the prevailing subjectivity and mysticism.
  5. "On the *physical* level the functions of all living organisms, from the simplest to the most complex...are actions generated by the organism itself..."
  6. Well, Eioul, I was drawn into this discussion by politics, pronouncements by politicians senselessly pushing for later term abortions. (Hillary Clinton in her campaign debate, and now others). My one response was: leave well enough alone, you idiots. Roe vs. Wade is a good line to stand by for pro-choicers. What some pols are doing now is just a power-play, I think, seeing if they can upset the opposition/anti-abortionists into making a dumb over-reaction.. Nobody (a few) really wants it or needs such a drastic extension, we know from statistics. People in a society really want predictability and consistency, no matter how they disapprove of certain things. What you point out is that most women are usually most rationally selfish/self-responsible when it comes to pregnancy. I agree. Which only highlights the amorality of grandstanding politicos who encourage the evasion and irresponsibility of delaying an abortion until late term. For the pregnant woman, she will do what the large majority always do: Make up her mind early on, one way other, and once committed to go the whole way to motherhood, to be undeterred by obstacles in the way of her higher value. With such commitment, only life- and health threatening events will stop her. And then her doctor will take appropriate action, as between any patients and doctors.
  7. Not quite. I am constantly stressing "viable" life. From your link: "Only a living entity can have goals or can originate them. And it is only a living organism that has the capacity for self-generated, goal-directed action. On the physical level, the functions of all living organisms, from the simplest to the most complex—from the nutritive function in the single cell of an amoeba to the blood circulation in the body of a man—are actions generated by the organism itself and directed to a single goal: the maintenance of the organism’s life. An organism’s life depends on two factors: the material or fuel which it needs from the outside, from its physical background, and the action of its own body, the action of using that fuel properly. What standard determines what is proper in this context? The standard is the organism’s life, or: that which is required for the organism’s survival". ---- I.E. The "organism" (embryo/fetus) is indeed engaged in "self-generated, goal-directed" action. It gains its nutrients ("material or fuel") and its shelter from its mother's blood and body, but its growth and life "are actions generated by the organism itself...". (And "...directed to a single goal: the maintenance of [its] survival"). There's no problem here. No contradiction between biology and metaphysics. Life -- "on the physical level" in the womb and an individual's later life as self-generated, goal-directed, rational being. At the point a fetus is gaining a higher probability, with advanced medical care, to survive outside the womb - which is variable, the most extreme cases being about (if I recall right) 22 weeks since conception, and the survival factor improves accordingly - I think it is an actual life. So, from about 6 months in, that last trimester becomes increasingly pivotal. Take the comparison of a fetus in late term removed by C-section, say within a few weeks of delivery - with a baby born normally at full term, and what difference is there? They each depend on post-natal care, although one is in an incubator, and neither is fully autonomous. Compare these with the (healthy)fetus which is aborted within a few weeks of delivery. Again, what is the difference? The former are living and the last is not. Remember too: "One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a *potential* with an *actual* is vicious..." and so on. It is right I think that Rand left this open to future debate, likely foreseeing future medical advances (and -perhaps - ethical questions). Very well, I am arguing "about the later stages". I do claim that the late-term fetus is an "actual life". I'll leave something for consideration: Viability is the new birth.
  8. I take your point, MrSwig. The abortion battle is always ongoing over there, though I still doubt Dem politicians gratuitously pushing abortion to an extreme, possibly using the issue for ammunition or shock value. If anyone of the left or the right is on this forum and reads what I say as being soft on abortion, I repeat what I've have said several times, the rights of the woman remain (at any stage of pregnancy). I trust the "moral" position can hopefully be understood as the rationally-selfish, ethical position, radically different from mainstream "moralizing". In a nutshell, how can an individual become the creator, by way of her body, of a viable life -- and also -- the destroyer of life? Here is a self-contradiction, not easy to live with, for the woman above all, naturally. (Maybe not really relevant, but there were a few experiences I've been involved in, thankfully not up to late terms, and at a time abortion was illegal).
  9. "Sexist"? That is puzzling. You should explain that. Are females not also capable of irrationality? We are discussing life, here. The inherent value which life is to everyone, lacking which each past, future and living human could not exist, and with special emphasis from Objectivism's standpoint. I have carefully not gone as far as introducing infanticide, as you do, but what is a viable fetus, but living? Not with its own rights, but alive? Perhaps, and I offer a suggestion, the O'ist stance can be 'updated' as the science of fetology adapts and improves. I propose that now a viable fetus is no longer a "potential" but an "actual". Birth is longer the beginning of a life (roughly, as Rand had it, I think). Nearly all mothers already implicitly or explicitly recognize this fact, although lacking the philosophical base. Bearing in mind that the huge majority of women are opposed to late term abortion, i.e. how superfluous any new bill or act would be for them, I had briefly considered that Democrats were acting on a principle. Ha. Sorry to say, I believe they are not the Democrats of old (like of the JFK era). And what can the "principle" be, but that a mother can and must be rid of her unborn at any stage, as pleases her. Since she has no responsibility, little free will, and must not be held accountable for delaying her abortion. She is a victim of "society", "men", (etc.) How they love their victims. (And most odd, for Leftists who 'think with their feelings', they selectively appear to have no compassion for the pain the fetus suffers (which it does, I've established: the only differences of opinion are about how many weeks the fetus' physiology is sufficiently developed)). Personally, I give due, conversely, to conservatives/religionists who know the consequences of poor choices and have greater individualism, self-control, free will and character. For all their mystical premises, they arrive at the same place which Objectivists can and do, a deep value for life.
  10. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/06/tough-questions-answers-late-term-abortions-law-women-who-get-them/ A fairly impartial source
  11. Which is why I will defend an individual's right to freedom of action, while I may oppose or dislike what she/he does. Freedom too, has a context - free from what, free to do what? That then is what one takes from an ethical code. Individual rights correctly don't stipulate or advise one's thoughts and acts, simply that everyone within "a geographical area" has those *positive* rights (implicitly requiring that one doesn't restrict others' free acts). They are the only acceptable moral standard for humans among other humans in society, but are not a moral code, per se. Their span is (necessarily) very wide, to cover all types of moralities. Free then, means free from others (and the government, which amounts to the same thing); in my understanding, also, it means "free" to make one's own wrong judgments and mistakes without regulation or 'correction' (always by the government). I think I'm right that the Roe vs. Wade decision has a "viability" time-frame clause written into it. That judgment was objectively good. There is no *moral* reason to extend that, that I can see. This is only imo being used as a political football. While I oppose this, morally (extended abortion, barring medical emergencies) I often wonder if other ad hoc 'additions' to or tinkering with rights in the USA are not faint compromises with the real thing: they seem okay on the surface and short term, but have the incalculably large downside effect of putting off and deferring a complete and blanketing individual rights, a system we know covers all freedoms of action known to mankind. Kicking them down the road, so to speak.
  12. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/new-york-and-virginia-push-expand-abortion-rights/581959/ Looks as if some Democrat politicians are trapped in a contradiction, trying to "expand abortion rights" in the face of the large majority of the electorate who rightly don't want this. Scoring ideological/political points against the opposition, despite a predictable loss of some political support? Seems insane, but what else can explain the Dems' motives?
  13. That 2% is the present statistic. Would you say it's likely to remain stable, increase or decrease? Ime, wholesale acceptance by a society after the government gives its 'consent' will increase numbers. When it becomes a "right", one must know there will be more abuses by some irrational mothers. I think it's wrong in the first place for the state to come between the patient and his-her selected physician, so when medical intervention is essential for a mother's life, the doctor has the obligation - to his patient - to abort, upon his assessment. This precludes and precedes any "right" to 'full-term abortion'. The procedure *must* be done, and quickly in an emergency. (As there's risk of her, or her family's, legal action against her doctor, she should earlier have to sign a waiver). Therefore, given the existing necessity of emergency abortions and other operations, to what purpose is the "right"?
  14. The Spanish motto "Take what you want and pay for it, says God" gathered respect in Rand's circle, I saw somewhere. It's a good summation that plays partly on what it means to "want". What for, for whose and which purpose? And partly, what it means to "pay"? The new, 'good' things which come into our lives from science and technology, if one is to be objective, ~add~ to our self-responsibility of identifying and evaluating, not lessening that. The skeptical subjectivist Left very visibly cut off the "...and pay for it" section. (Take what you want. Period). *It* - the means or technology - is 'there', (as a sort of 'metaphysical given'), I want it and I must be given it, as my human right - in effect. Why should leftists now be agitating for 'full-term abortion' ? (apart from their pleasure in sticking it to the Christians). The right to abortion, alone, was an achievement, and still hasn't been fully won, but this wasn't enough for some pro-choicers. Now they declare it must be accepted by everyone to be 'a right' that can be claimed up until the last minute. I emphasise I don't argue against that right, instead, against their immorality and for the morality of a mother. Whatever action is taken causelessly is arbitrary, at best. The hierarchy of values of the pregnant mother going to full term, signifies a very high value in her unborn fetus. A value which, she understands, will be taken on into the huge responsibility of nurturing the child's life for decades. For that value to be ended at this final stage, requires an extraordinary, greater value/disvalue she discovers. Or else, denying and rejecting her initial value in favor of a lesser or non-value, she commits a self-sacrifice (with the emotions which follow). Another, and irrational, unthinking and non-valuing kind of woman who enters into and sustains her pregnancy on the basis of "I can change my mind at any stage" at whim, who views abortion up until birth like a kind of last minute contraception, without even the consideration of adoption, would naturally be a terribly poor mother, anyway. She proves she cannot "pay" for her values.
  15. The requirements of freedom (and more freedom), which allow us access to more options/alternatives, create the necessity of making many more identifications, evaluations, i.e. thought and moral choices. That's what I consider as the "responsibility" in the old saying. The opposite of arbitrary, I think you'll agree. Yes, I'm hesitant too about claims "what Rand would think". When it replaces full argumentation, I'm dismissive of the ploy. For my part, the few times I refer to it in general debate, it signified a shorthand for what I think is consistent with the metaphysics (etc.) of Objectivism, but it simply means I apply her method as my own, the ultimate point being independence, even from Rand's authority.
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