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kesg

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  1. kesg

    Abortion

    I love your sig. I wrote all that in a big hurry after accidentally losing a much longer and more carefully reasoned response -- insert here -- but the point I'm trying to get across is that biologically and metaphysically the fetus is a separate entity from its mother, even though it is physically connected to its mother. One isn't a part of the other, in the sense that a heart or lungs are part of the mother's body. The more general problem here is that there is more than one referent of the phrase "human being." My opponents on this thread have essesntially used this phrase to refer to an infant (or older) by imposing a requirement of physical separation from the mother in what they regard as a "human being." I have used it in the broader biological sense to refer to a viable fetus as well. Despite our many disagreements, I think we can all agree that the correct definition of "human being" is outcome determinative to who is right on the abortion issue, because we all agree that once the fetus becomes an actual human being, it has rights. I think that their usage is too narrow, and they think that my usage is too broad -- but logically, if we are talking about the same referent, it has to be one or the other. Is physical separation essential to being a human being, or is it merely one of the stages of life that a pre-existinghuman being goes through? That's the issue.
  2. kesg

    Abortion

    I had prepared a long response to this post, and just as I was about to finish it I accidentally deleted it. I don't want to spend another hour or two attempting to recreate what I wrote. Besides, I need to leave here for a few hours. So let me give you the short version instead (I'll elaborate if and when requested later today): 1. I disagree with everything you said in the first paragraph. Moreover, it is personally offensive. I have already explained myself in an earlier post. I don't think I insulted anyone, and I know I didn't intend to insult anyone. Period. 2. I strongly disagree with your mischaracterizations of the previous posts, all of which speak for themselves on who said or argued what to whom at various points in the thread. 3. I strongly object to your statement at the end that you "hope" that I will stop refusing to respond rationally to my opponents -- this is like asking me when I will stop beating my wife. I have been totally rational in this discussion, and my posts, again, speak for themselves. 4. I take very strong exception to the patronizing tone of your post. I have been studying and thinking about Objectivism and Aristotelian philosophy longer than you have been walking the planet. So don't patronize me. 5. I disagree with the explicit or implicit double standard that you guys seem to be applying. If anyone deserves a warning here, it is Stephen and RadCap -- not me. At a minimum, instead of prejudging the dispute, try evaluating the evidence fully, objectively, and impartially. Then please either apologize to me for jumping to a totally unwarranted conclusion. Either that, or give me the courtesy of an explanation of sufficient detail that I can respond and defend myself. 6. The overall tone of your posts leaves me even more concerned that you, as an adminstrator, are incapable of judging this dispute objectively and impartially. Plus, I don't respond well to intimidation, especially when it is based on baseless claims. 7. On the merits, I'm not totally sold on viability as the starting point, but it does seem to be the biological milestone at which, in Leonard Peikoff's words, the potential becomes the actual. It is certainly the point by which even Ayn Rand admitted that the abortion question becomes arguable. The fetus is a separate entity even though connected to the mother in the same sense that a caboose is a separate entity even though it is connected to a train, or you are a separate entity from your daugher even when you hold her hand while crossing the street.
  3. kesg

    Abortion

    My disagreement was with your accusations that I had made any logical fallacies, not with the notion that straw man attacks are "not rational." Incidentally, this response is itself an example context-dropping, which is a type of logical fallacy according to Objectivism.
  4. kesg

    Abortion

    Obviously I disagree. This is going nowhere.
  5. kesg

    Abortion

    I didn't say what you are quoting -- you know, the part just above the part where you accuse me of attacking a straw man.
  6. kesg

    Abortion

    Please rephrase your question in some form other than "when will you stop beating your wife" and I'll do my best to answer it. What specific ideas do you want me to respond to?
  7. kesg

    Abortion

    The person you mentioned is absolutely correct. I have re-assessed a great many things since four or five years ago when I think what you are referring to actually happened back on HPO. I really regret some of the things I said, and of course I hope that others do, too.
  8. kesg

    Abortion

    It does exist inside the womb. It isn't a question of existence versus non-existence, but existence in one place versus existence in another place.
  9. kesg

    Abortion

    Well, don't do that. If I see a good argument here, or think of a new one myself, or come to think that I have made a mistake, I'll let you know. I promise.
  10. kesg

    Abortion

    Let me ask you a question here about your hypothetical. At what point in the pregnancy is the woman taking the medicine, and for what purpose? Generally, I don't think that any issue regarding rights even comes into play until the point at which the fetus becomes viable (if not later). At this point, the mother has rights, the fetus arguably has rights, and the mother has, by allowing the pregnancy to proceed up to this point (we are talking approximately six months into the pregnancy, i.e near the end of the second trimester) without getting an abortion, assumed parental obligations -- the same parental obligations that govern relationships between parents and their children after they are born. Even here, there is an exception: the mother should have an absolute right to get even a late-term abortion to save her own life.
  11. kesg

    Abortion

    Okay... Here is where you lose me. Biologically, the viable fetus is human just before birth; e.g., it has human DNA, human organs, a human brain, etc. and can exist as a human outside the womb. You lose me here, too. Most important, the fetus is certainly physically attached to the woman's body, but it is not a part of her body, but, biologically, a separate living entity, with its own separate skin, brain, blood, organs, bones, DNA, etc. [Note: Again, I am talking only about a viable fetus -- I am not suggesting that prior to this time, the fetus is anything other than a potential human being even if it is a separate living entity.] Now, I will agree that physical independence is essential to distinguishing a fetus from an infant. However, I still think, as Ayn Rand suggested, that "one can argue about the later stages of a pregnancy." When it comes to the earlier stages, I totally agree with what she wrote.
  12. I would say that what differentiates an Objectivist from others is a person's understanding and acceptance of Rand's theory of concepts as set forth in ITOE, which leads directly to the view of objectivity set forth in Chapter 4 of OPAR. In my opinion, Ayn Rand was essentially hinting this conclusion in her June 20, 1958 journay entry (see Journals of Ayn Rand at page 699-700).
  13. kesg

    Abortion

    Exactly. As Rand herself said, "One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months."
  14. kesg

    Abortion

    So I have been repeatedly told. These are assertions, not arguments. No. It has been repeatedly asserted, but not shown. This argument is, in fact, a textbook example of circular reasoning and, more specifically, the type of circular reasoning that involves phrasing the argument so that the premise and conclusion say the same thing in two slightly different ways (i.e. saying that only born human beings have rights because only physically independent human beings have rights). Virtually every standard textbook on logic covers this variation of circular reasoning.
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