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Kjetil

Is an embryo/fetus part of a woman's body?

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Check your premises. A woman can have two heads, when I add the context of a pregnancy. Or in other cases, a siamese twinship.

A woman who grows a head in her womb can claim the head to be a part of her body. Its a "growth," like a cute wart which, until the day its removed, remains part of her.

And a siamese twin could claim her sister as part of her body, even though they could be a few months away from detachment surgery.

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Tell them a fetus has emergent properties...

 

Reminds me of the joke. Two men enter a bar and bet the barman for free drinks if he answers their questions wrong: "How many arms do we have between us?" Uh, four. "No, three", and the one pulls of his prosthetic arm. "How many legs between us?" Uh, hm..three? "No, two"- as they each show a prosthetic leg. "And how many penises do we have?" Ah (getting smart now) - one!

"No, two! - what do you take us for !!!?"

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Why are you even debating that question?

 

Defenses of abortion shouldn't be based on claiming a fetus is 'part of someone's body' because its merely inside someone's body.

 

Defend the right of bodily autonomy and argue against the notion of fetus rights.

 

He argues that as long as the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, abortion should be illegal. 

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He argues that as long as the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, abortion should be illegal.

What does survive mean here? Survive with the help of modern technology, or survive like a regular baby? Does he look to current state, or does he look to potential state?

 

For instance, he might think the fetus ought to have rights based on its current "independent" viability. Somewhere after 30 weeks -- the fetus's lungs develop enough that it can breath if it is premature. If a person is looking at state (as opposed to potential via the use of technology) he might say that such a fetus has reached a state where is should be considered at least enough of a legally-independent human being to warrant delivery rather than abortion. 

 

On the other hand, with modern technology some very premature babies survive. For arguments sake, let us suppose that at 28 weeks a fetus is judged unable to survive except with the use of modern technology. Would your friend say that abortion should be illegal because the fetus can be brought to a future "independent" viability where it will be able to breath and live without modern technology? 

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What does survive mean here? Survive with the help of modern technology, or survive like a regular baby? Does he look to current state, or does he look to potential state?

 

 

 

Like a regular baby. He looks at the current state. 

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I have had this debate before. The fetus is not a "part" as parts are independent entities. The individual right to life applies only to individuals, which a fetus is not. A fetus is not merely touching the womb it is connected like a finger or arm.

Edited by Plasmatic

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I have had this debate before. The fetus is not a "part" as parts are independent entities. The individual right to life applies only to individuals, which a fetus is not. A fetus is not merely touching the womb it is connected like a finger or arm.

 

I meant "part" in the same way that a foot or an arm, etc., is a "part" of the body, so I think your argument is the same as mine aside from some semantics. 

Edited by secondhander

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Like a regular baby. He looks at the current state.

So, to be clear, this is someone who says that abortions should be legal until at least around 28 weeks, give or take a couple. If so, his position, both theoretically and practically is little different from an Objectivists.

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I meant "part" in the same way that a foot or an arm, etc., is a "part" of the body, so I think your argument is the same as mine aside from some semantics. 

One, my response was to the OP. Two, our arguments are the same because of semantics. We mean the same thing....

Edited by Plasmatic

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So clarified. Although you can imagine my confusion since your response was just after mine and I used the word "part" in mine. And I was using the popular definition of semantics, meaning that our argument is the same and we mean the same thing, as you said, but that we used different words to argue for the same thing.

 

"It is often used in ordinary language for denoting a problem of understanding that comes down to word selection or connotation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics

Edited by secondhander

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"Your body??? Your body does not have 

 

- 2 heads

- 4 hands

- 4 legs

- 2 beating hearts

- 2 different DNAs"

 

What comeback would you suggest?

That the specific choice of words doesn't matter. Whether an fetus is declared to be "part of" or just "inside" a woman's body, it doesn't affect the debate in the least.

 

The issue still remains that of a rational, non-contradictory definition of political rights. And by such a definition, you don't have the right to dictate what a woman should do with anything inside her body.

Edited by Nicky

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The issue still remains that of a rational, non-contradictory definition of political rights. And by such a definition, you don't have the right to dictate what a woman should do with anything inside her body.

 

Well I for one would like to make one , admittedly small, clarification here...

Edited by softwareNerd
Added quote tags

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So clarified. Although you can imagine my confusion since your response was just after mine and I used the word "part" in mine. And I was using the popular definition of semantics, meaning that our argument is the same and we mean the same thing, as you said, but that we used different words to argue for the same thing.

"It is often used in ordinary language for denoting a problem of understanding that comes down to word selection or connotation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics

I know the phrase "thats just semantics" is a popular bromide but quarreling about the words/symbols one is using is actually a syntactical argument not a semantic argument. Thats why dictionaries cant help determine another's intended reference apart from context. Asking for definitions help because they help to identity ones intentional states. Edited by Plasmatic

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