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Notes on the Abortion Debate

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Don't forget, Rand said "If I had to chose between capitalism not supported by reason or not at all, then 'not at al'".

The same must apply to abortion or any issue.

I don't fully agree. Here's why.

Rand utilized this statement to help support her contention that capitalism is supported by reason. That capitalism cannot exist without reason.

The pro-abortion stance is borne of reason in that reason is directly related to the living, not the potential life or the past life.

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I don't fully agree. Here's why.

Rand utilized this statement to help support her contention that capitalism is supported by reason. That capitalism cannot exist without reason.

The pro-abortion stance is borne of reason in that reason is directly related to the living, not the potential life or the past life.

Reason is the tool of knowledge. That is either true or false. I do not recall Rand putting an "except" clause into her statements of the validity of Reason being the Sole guide to knowledge. That Reason is the sole guide to knowledge is an essential part of Objectivism. If Reason is not to be the sole arbiter in the abortion matter then what is: Faith? Feelings? Force? Revelations from teh Spirit of a 19 millenia dead high priest of Atlantis, or those of the pre-esixtent trans-ectomorph of a 19 millenia not-yet-born beaureaucrat of the now-famous Hybrethian Galactickle Empire? It's either A is A or no way Jose.

In confronting the Hedonists, Aristotle asked, to prove the superiority of mind over pleasure as the arbiter of the good, "If you had no consciousness then would you know if you are experiencing pleasure?". The Hedonists had to say "No" to be honest. So consciouness is established as the tool of knowledge. But what is the human Consciousness? Rand: "the only choice man hasi is to think or not to think" So this consciousness is volitional. How does it work properly if not to take the materials provided by the senses or transduction instruments and place them in a systematic, hierarchical non-contradictory frame of reference? Is this not what Reason does

Now you have to use some sort of knowetic mechanism to ascetain if a thing is a life or a potetial life. You have only 4 choices Reason, Faith, Feelings (whims) or Force. Now can you "render unto reason that which is reason's and unto faith, feelings (whim) or force, that which is faith's, feeling's or force's" in the area of knowledge AT ALL?

Abortion requires that you make a distinction of life or not life, that is to discern the IDENTITY of something.

Since Reason is the only proper arbiter of knowledge then I submit again If given the choice of abortion supported by reaosn or not at all, the Objectivist, qua rational person, must say "not at all". To willfully, knowingly and freely deny the absolutism of Reason by so much as a picometer for a picosecond is to not be an Objectivist AT ALL. In fact let me make it a principle "in ANY area requiring judgement, if the choice is betweem x supported by reason or not at all, the only proper choice is 'not at all'".

How would you know an actual life but for Reason. It was the rational philosophy of Aristotle that showed the difference between an actual and a potential and that the actual took precedence. So even your question presupposes the use of reason to determin living from potential life or part life so Reason is already in the driver's seat.

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It seems like everyone here, along with everyone in the mainstream abortion debate, is avoiding the obvious and essential issue: how do you objectively define when a human life begins?

Is it when the fetus pops out of the vagina? Does that magically make it a person?

Is it when the fetus develops a heartbeat and measurable brain activity? (I would be comfortable with this definition)

Is it when the sperm and egg unite?

To compare a fetus to a pinky is ridiculous. Does your pinky fall off and then grow into a human being? Of course not.

A fetus is, like Rand said, a potential life, so it warrants special examination. However, without a brain, it is not a rational animal, and therefore not a human.

"Abortion" is simply a diversion tactic. The issue here is murder. When you initiate force against a human and it dies, that is murder. We need to objectively define the beginning of a human life.

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"Abortion" is simply a diversion tactic. The issue here is murder. When you initiate force against a human and it dies, that is murder. We need to objectively define the beginning of a human life.

The issue is when rights begin. Human rights are a specific thing - they are rights to actions chosen and carried out by a being whose only means of survival is reason. An embryo is not capable of taking even the limited self-sustaining action that a newborn infant takes. Its rights aren't being violated in any way if it is removed from the uterus and dies. That's why abortion isn't murder - because you're not preventing anyone from living. You're simply refusing to do all its living for it anymore.

The simple fact that this is even possible makes the whole "a fetus is a human being with full human rights" argument moot. That distinction is why I got kicked in the abortion debate the last time I tried to participate, so I'm not going to get that involved in this one.

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It seems like everyone here, along with everyone in the mainstream abortion debate, is avoiding the obvious and essential issue: how do you objectively define when a human life begins?
The "main" abortion thread on the forum is here. It's over 1000 posts long, and has pretty much covered all the ground multiple times.
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It seems like everyone here, along with everyone in the mainstream abortion debate, is avoiding the obvious and essential issue: how do you objectively define when a human life begins?

Is it when the fetus pops out of the vagina? Does that magically make it a person?

Not magically, naturally. It was a part of a human being, then it came out, naturally. It is now an independent entity, with the capacity to be rational, no longer physically part of another human being, so it is now possible, and, for reasons I won't go into, moral, to treat it as a person - with rights.

Before, it was not possible to treat it as a person with objective rights, because you would be contradicting yourself: you'd stop treating the mother as a person with rights, and start treating her as an incubator, a human being with no rights, but rather subject to your subjective morality.

We, here, are now discussing who, in the West, is defending abortion rights along these terms: in the context of objective individual rights, denouncing any morality that would assign rights to fetuses inside people, as subjective and irrational. We are not discussing whether abortion rights are right or wrong, we did that in the thread mentioned above. If you respond to this there, I promise I'll read it.

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I'll go read the main thread for more but I just don't buy the contention that the fetus has no rights until it is physically outside of the mother. That is not an objective measure of when life begins. Why not a week after it's out? Are you saying that a week old baby can provide for its own survival using it's mind? Come on.

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YOU'RE RIGHT! It was a Republican Congress that voted to legislate what kind of light bulbs we can have in our homes in 2008...er...right? Um sorry about that. and wait until you see wht Cap and Trade will do for you and I don't see the Right giving us the bum's rush to pass CommieCare. It seems that they're putting up a squawk, Where are the "pro-choice"er's on CommieCare?

Umm... Have you forgotten about the Patriot Act? Have you forgotten about warrant-less wiretapping of American citizens? Your verbiage reads much more like a Rush Limbaugh fanatic than it does a student of Objectivism.

I won't even entertain the idea that Republicans and Democrats are even distinctive enough to argue the pros and cons of each. It's simply ridiculous to argue over which one removed more individual rights, since both parties have allowed our government to grow to monstrous proportions, and both have allowed altruism and aggressive force to be common policies in the federal government without even so much as a whimper.

Also, if we're presupposing that the Democrats' position on in being "pro-life" is completely unfounded and unprincipled, which I would agree with, why even use this fact as a basis for argument? Clearly the position on "CommieCare" is irrelevant since they don't even have a valid opinion on abortion, even if they may be "pro-choice." This is akin to how Republicans are against socialized healthcare for all the wrong reasons. That is demonstrated best by the fact that the GOP's interest in getting rid of socialized health exist only on the terms of not wanting the Democrats' bill to pass. Never would they dare remove Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security - that's far too political for them, even though it's right.

They're all unprincipled, immoral cowards. Why even bother distinguishing in the first place?

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Why not a week after it's out?

Because a newborn exists independently, as an individual human being, with the capacity to think, same as everyone else. A system of rights that allows it to be killed would not be an objective one. Why do you think it is OK to kill a newborn until a week after they were born?

Are you saying that a week old baby can provide for its own survival using it's mind?

Everything I said is right there, to read, above your question. That was not one of the things I said.

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