Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

whYNOT

Regulars
  • Content Count

    1433
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    19

Everything posted by whYNOT

  1. Has a fetus ~earned~ the 'right' to continue living (after it reaches a predictable stage, primarily increasing and regular brain activity, one could venture) ? Not to be confused with the "right to life" of which individual rights are corollaries, applied to individuals much older who have freedoms of action. But it can (?) be protected by law on the basis of achieving "actual" status as a human being. Not at present, that's clear, but with individual rights.(Open to debate) (As the factual/logical argument goes, there is little change in its essential identity, between, say, 2 weeks before parturition, and 2 minutes after. If its life is ended in either case, the one is called abortion and the other is murder).
  2. For it to acquire rights the AI would have to be a conceptual consciousness, and that I fail to conceive of. An AI can be programmed for its knowledge (and its ethical system), but not the means to knowledge. iow, "fed' the content not the process - the "acts of consciousness". Therefore, it has no free will, cannot conceptualize independent goals, nor make independent evaluations, can have no autonomous values, (and not experience relevant emotions). Simply, it must have the 'capability to make errors', built in. A contradiction of the AI's purpose to men. Do we want to allocate rights to such a being? Somebody who knows more about AI, please expand.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. "...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.
  7. "On the *physical* level the functions of all living organisms, from the simplest to the most complex...are actions generated by the organism itself..."
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. "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.
  12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/06/tough-questions-answers-late-term-abortions-law-women-who-get-them/ A fairly impartial source
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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"?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. I'm with you on the last, I also don't believe Rand would "have embraced "full term abortion""(on rationally-moral grounds). I think it's useful to approach the 'Objectivist-conservative-ally' area since it arises in almost every topic, nowadays. On this one, clearly, Rand launched her moral attack against the conservatives who held much more sway at the time, in particular on abortion. "Pro-life"? Huh! A blatant self-contradiction, and anti-life (in a short summary of her). Those conservatives were and are mystic -intrinsicists, who on this subject held that life begins at conception, the embryo contains an immortal soul, and all that. From there, their notion of divine value they fight tooth and nail for. However, the philosophical and political landscape has shifted. As things have progressed in the last decades, there is another front that Objectivists need to be concerned about: the body of thought that's become much more prevalent and powerful - secularist (subjective) skepticism. They who visibly promote: "Whatever" ... anything goes - and, who knows? - and, it is good, if you feel it is - etc. (and mankind is composed only of meaty stuff, anyhow). I think, too, skepticism and the skeptical/subjective theory of 'value' is as lethal as the intrinsicist theory, and growing stronger. Also, that the pro-choicers have made somewhat of a mockery of the concept of "choice', being mostly deterministic. I notice that my stance here may appear "conservative", in that I espouse a general value in life which may mistakenly be taken to be intrinsicist. But then I can never view a full term infant as meaty stuff, with no objective value to anyone. And I can't speak for other O'ists who might ~seem~ to lean skeptical or intrinsicist. Because both are false theories, we know, and finding the route through to objective value isn't always easy.
  19. It's worth belaboring a point already made from this quote. AR: "You may argue that medically an embryo is alive at six to eight months. I don't know. No woman in her right mind would have an abortion that late. It's very dangerous for her. So nature is consistent with the interests of both". Things have changed dramatically. Medical science knows far more about the fetus than then, and has achieved great strides in an infant's ex-utero life support - and - safe, 'full-term abortion'. Nature has been "commanded" by science, nature is no longer the arbiter of safe abortion - so her "nature is consistent with the interests of both" - seems rather quaint today. (From a comfortable "presentist" position) These 'man-made' breakthroughs afford women greater freedom, which the truism has it, comes with greater (moral) responsibility. Given today's predominant unreason and moralities, I'm dubious many are sufficiently "in their right minds" to do so.
  20. That is informative and well said, Mister Swig. I am not one of those who thinks Rand would "have ascribed rights to an unborn fetus". As I said "Her [the mother's]rights remain". However, individual rights aren't "a code of values to guide man's choices and actions". One has the right to do what one chooses with one's body. One may ingest into one's body (or extract) whatever one wants. But- to do so is not always rationally moral. What one can do isn't necessarily what one should do. My angle is only this. A pregnant woman who carries a fetus to full term, to then abort, is at very least, self-irresponsible, at worst evasive. This boils down to values and self-value: to know one is pregnant and to continue for trimesters in that knowledge, implies one rationally sees a valuable future in having a child (accepting un-sacrificially all the consequences on one's life) and anticipates great value in a new-born life and eventually, the grown adult. The woman is prepared to put other things on hold, planning long term. Before then she has plenty of time to weigh things and competing values up in her mind, before the "potential" gradually becomes an actuality. So why change her mind, literally, last minute? There may be rare, unforseen events or new information she comes by, but I'd think they'd have to be fundamental, such as receiving fresh medical info about the fetus or her body. Then full-term abortion would be a necessary emergency procedure. But for her to arbitrarily deny and overturn the (presumed) previously high value she entertained in giving birth to an infant, (which has now reached total life-viability), in favor of ending that life (because, e.g.: my new boyfriend says he doesn't want a kid around - and the many subjective justifications that we know people will make) - would be immoral on her part. In future, full-term abortion will be cynically seen as a get-out-of-jail card, or a last minute reprieve for the irrational. A woman's right to do so remains unquestioned.
  21. I said one cannot take "undue" esteem in one's intelligence. What one ~does~ with one's intelligence is the true source of pride. Intelligence is a human attribute, does one take pride in merely being human by biology? "Says the genetic determinist". Etc. There is nothing (in Objectivism) which proclaims that all the biological and nurturing traits and influences in one's past have nothing to do with one's outcomes. There's one thing which transcends all of that, you may need reminding about: "Man is a being of volitional consciousness". This does not indicate that ~everyone and anyone~ can be, whatever he/she wishes: a major physicist, top industrialist, etc. In there are the Lefist-Marxist beliefs about ability-egalitarianism. You should not be assuming *anything^ about my race. You had nothing to go on; I simply asked how you knew I was white and you jumped to a conclusion. Believing this is important and that I play to any stereotype is actually racialist (not to mention, subjectivist). A black Objectivist could well have said everything I have. As it happens, you're wrong again, I am white. The counter to white supremacism, "white male privilege" and so on, shrewdly and disingenuously manipulated by some factions today, has been turning to a kind of white-inferiority. I.e., one must feel guilt and repentance for "past deeds" for being of that race. This is of course part of the collectivists' power-lust agenda, to allow some selected, other races, groups, 'tribes' to gain the upper hand, to replace whites by sacrificing them, as a group. In their self-abnegation, you can see many whites surrendering to this, in confusion. Mea Culpa. In refusing and avoiding the collectivist trap, individualists and Oi'sts should not be falling into what's worse, self-sacrificial altruism.
  22. Ah yes. I had forgotten the most telling part: "...the essential issue concerns only the first three months". Thanks, that bolsters my suggestion of growing "actuality". One may - indeed - "argue about the later stages", and one could extrapolate what Rand would have thought about that taken to the extreme - full-term abortion. Especially since out of womb "viability" was unknown back then (I think). Especially, that politicians have now got in on the act, pandering to their voters.
  23. Surely, the rights aspect is a done deal? Nothing and no one has the right to interfere with the mother's rights of choice to end her pregnancy. But this needs to be separated from what also matters, to my mind, the morality of so-called "full term" abortion. Speaking solely on "right to life", Rand put it: "To equate the potential with an actual, is vicious, to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable..." I agree fully. Does this mean that "the potential" is of zero value? A student engineer is a potential engineer, for instance, with the actuality in his future. I suggest, this is arguable, that there is a sliding time scale between potential and actual, in which a potential gradually gains in value, objectively, as the vital signs and "viablity" of the fetus increase. Late -term (or 'full-term') abortion for arbitrary, subjective-emotional reasons, would be irrational. A woman who casually has avoided making a decision (with all the highly-available previous interventions of her pregnancy, including the adoption option) up until the moment of birth, when a potential life was growing inside her, strikes me as hedonistic, irrational and immoral (and the surgical procedure is quite horrible to imagine). Her right to do so remains.
  24. Some spectacular racial stereotyping going on. Or else satire. I do not consider IQ an emotional issue.There are facts, one of which is that for every given individual, there are many others who have lesser intelligence and many others who have much higher. I advised getting over this fact and moving on. I'll repeat that one's (and others') IQ is way down on any list of objective priorities. Also there's the fact that, logically, there is at least some inheritable factor of native intelligence due to one's ethnicity. Again, nothing to get upset about or take undue esteem from. However, a lot of people will use these facts for their own agendas, for mass power in particular. They will not admit to it but evidently on the Left today, is the intention to "equalize" what and whom cannot be equalized. I.e. to 'redistribute human resources', one of which they stupidly and superficially assume to be intelligence, tacitly presuming upon a mystical phenomenon as the major cause, along with "privilege", of the gaining of wealth etc. by others. (It figures - most are skeptics and determinists). Therefore, a drive to egalitarianism. Which is ironically just another form of racist/groupist supremacism. Some group/race/collective must be brought down and others elevated. And here's both their sacrificial altruism and collectivism, both more toxic from the Left nowadays than I ever heard from the religious/conservative Right, in modern times.
  25. Fascinating. Do continue. It all provides fresh insight into racism, in all its manifestations. (And what made you think I am a white man?)
×
×
  • Create New...