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Author Topic: Abortion and Morality  (Read 3278 times)
memvola
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February 25, 2012, 01:39:14 AM
 #21

You're the one not getting it. But I'll give you a second chance. If you're so certain what my viewpoint is, then please clarify it for me so that I know what I'm defending. Please do tell me what I advocate and what I don't advocate. Be precise.

Wow, your erect style is so cool, I'm shivering now. Please let me bite this one. Please find weak spots that are irrelevant to the topic but would still put me in a vulnerable position.

You think that predator-prey relationship is necessary for life on Earth. You think people who torture animals are sick. Your conclusion is, killing of animals can't be wrong (or not an ethical question at all) because it's a natural necessity, but torturing of animals is bad because it is a gateway to antisocial behavior.

Now, it's only fair that you tell me what my objection is. I'm saying this not to appear flaccid, otherwise I don't care. I don't think you can, actually.
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February 25, 2012, 01:54:37 AM
 #22

You think that predator-prey relationship is necessary for life on Earth.

Yes, as life has evolved, not as it might have evolved given different conditions billions of years ago. If you disagree, feel free to explain.

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You think people who torture animals are sick.

Yes. They are either mentally sick, or just plain mean fuckers. Do you disagree?

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Your conclusion is, killing of animals can't be wrong (or not an ethical question at all) because it's a natural necessity, but torturing of animals is bad because it is a gateway to antisocial behavior.

Incorrect. Killing of animals can be wrong. Consider the mean fucker who kills animals for fun. Is this too difficult for you?
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February 25, 2012, 02:04:51 AM
 #23

You can remove anything from your own body, even if it's another person.
memvola
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February 25, 2012, 02:16:45 AM
 #24

Yeah, I'm not surprised that you weren't fair. Wink

Yes, as life has evolved, not as it might have evolved given different conditions billions of years ago. If you disagree, feel free to explain.

Nope, I don't disagree at all. Please refer to a description of naturalistic fallacy for my objection. I actually gave a sample question for you to make the distinction.

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You think people who torture animals are sick.
Yes. They are either mentally sick, or just plain mean fuckers. Do you disagree?

Nope, I don't disagree at all, and described in detail why I don't. Basically the causality is reverse.

Incorrect. Killing of animals can be wrong. Consider the mean fucker who kills animals for fun. Is this too difficult for you?

For you, the act of killing itself isn't wrong, but the intention of having fun while doing it is. Actually for you, you don't have to kill the animal at all to be bad/sick/evil/whatever. So my description (or at least intended description) of your point was correct.

To stay on-topic, I think the analogy is perfect. People tend to overlook what they are accustomed to and make ethical judgments based on patterns they are trained to recognize. For our generation, gender-related unfairness stands out. Totally arbitrary when you consider the whole affair.
memvola
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February 25, 2012, 02:29:25 AM
 #25

You can remove anything from your own body, even if it's another person.

Although you could assume that it's your right to use violence against an intruder to your dwelling, it's not the same situation when you have invited them as a guest, knowing in advance what they would demand. So yes, there is a case that can be made for unintended pregnancies actually. That's why making laws against abortion is not the right way to go, you can never know if it's intended or not.

On the other hand, I have a friend who has aborted 7 times, all intended, mostly as a means to form a relationship. When the relationships changed color with the potential offspring, she decided to abort. So, I don't think it's clear cut, and in most cases the burden falls on the ones who made the decision in the first place.
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February 25, 2012, 02:55:13 AM
 #26

Although you could assume that it's your right to use violence against an intruder to your dwelling, it's not the same situation when you have invited them as a guest, knowing in advance what they would demand.

If I invite my leech of a brother-in-law to stay in my basement for 2 weeks knowing full well that he'll want to stay there for 9 months, I have the right to evict him, even if he'll die because of it.
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February 25, 2012, 03:02:13 AM
 #27

Although you could assume that it's your right to use violence against an intruder to your dwelling, it's not the same situation when you have invited them as a guest, knowing in advance what they would demand.

If I invite my leech of a brother-in-law to stay in my basement for 2 weeks knowing full well that he'll want to stay there for 9 months, I have the right to evict him, even if he'll die because of it.

You have that right because either the state upholds said law, or, within the context of no state, you have that right because you're confident you can overpower him and keep him out. In the former, you are under the umbrella of laws in which eviction is legal, but that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether the destruction of a fetus is legal or fair. In the latter, it's pointless to compare them, as it's mostly just a matter of how you personally choose to behave.
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February 25, 2012, 03:31:40 AM
 #28

I am not saying it should be illegal, but that mother should be shamed.

+1

Making sure I understand you both:
If the "mother" says kill any or all unborn kids inside her, you see nothing wrong.  But if she spares an unborn child because its a boy, you think she should be ashamed.

That is correct.  If she "spares" the boy for selfish reasons (i.e. her and her son will be better off (defecting) at the expense of the fair mothers (cooperating)) then yes, it is shameful.   Those women are essentially playing a tragedy of the commons or a prisoners dilemma.  The "spare" my boy but not my girl women is making a sucker of the other women.  If everyone was to do the same, then we would be in bad shape. obviously.  Hence the woman is immoral as she can not wish everyone do the same as her.
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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February 25, 2012, 01:00:21 PM
 #29

If it doesn't put the lotion on the skin, whose fault is it for getting the hose again?

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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February 25, 2012, 01:38:41 PM
 #30

That is correct.  If she "spares" the boy for selfish reasons (i.e. her and her son will be better off (defecting) at the expense of the fair mothers (cooperating)) then yes, it is shameful.   Those women are essentially playing a tragedy of the commons or a prisoners dilemma.  The "spare" my boy but not my girl women is making a sucker of the other women.  If everyone was to do the same, then we would be in bad shape. obviously.  Hence the woman is immoral as she can not wish everyone do the same as her.
This is quite convoluted. The ethical consideration comes down to a simple factor. To make such a decision, we must judge one gender to be less desirable, and that is a statement against all members of that gender; how would you feel about a mother with an unplanned pregnancy who tells you that if the father was white she'd probably have kept it, but because the father was black she's getting an abortion.

It is also viewed as a frivolous abortion; if a mother wants two children, she will be stopping at two; with the gender-selection abortion (when IVF could have achieved the same), she will stop at two desirable children, and abort until she gets there. A genetic disease carrying or malformed embryo who will never have a full or independent life can be selected against by abortion, and this is reasonable to all but the wacky deity fearers; are girls as bad as microcephalic CF kids with their hearts on the outside?

memvola
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February 25, 2012, 02:40:08 PM
 #31

To make such a decision, we must judge one gender to be less desirable, and that is a statement against all members of that gender

It's pretty ordinary for a woman to prefer to have a baby boy. And if you can abort a baby because you aren't "ready yet", why can't you abort it because it's not what you have dreamed of? Maybe you have a daughter already? Maybe you have daddy issues? Maybe you have always wanted to have a daughter-in-law? Do you have to raise four kids to finally be able to have a son? Seen it happen.

It's true that while androcide is usually associated with wars, femicide is historically done through selection at birth. Now with new ultrasound technology, you can kill them even earlier! Yeah, but I don't really believe that the same reasons apply in the modern day UK. I wouldn't expect it to be dominantly about (dis)respect for a gender even in developing nations. I suspect the bias is formed usually by mere economical reasons, in patriarchal societies in which the greater family lives together, where you'd expect a male to start working at an early age and bring more money than a female.

Also, the maxim doesn't apply very well. If there were more males than females, females would be more valuable. Attitudes between genders tend to differ with varying ratios of male/female through different regions, but that's only my personal experience.
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February 25, 2012, 02:48:17 PM
 #32

Does this make any sense at all?
No of cause not.
Hey, it is a law, not intended to make sense (in everybodys eyes), just meant to stick to for those who fall under it.

If this law is crap it shouldn´t be too difficult to change it, we talking about UK here. They are changing laws for centuries over there, so very experienced on that topic.

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dayfall
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February 27, 2012, 03:17:42 AM
 #33

Wow just wow. So by playing your role in the prisoner's dilemma you think you are being immoral?

It can be proven that a truly rational person will play their part in the prisoner's dilemma (so: rat on the other criminal).
Therefore your statement implies that you think being rational implies being immoral.

What can I day except I pride myself in being a relatively rational person Cheesy

Playing YOUR ROLE?  Wow, just wow.

How is defecting rational?  Geez, remind me not to send you any Bitcoins for goods or trust you at all for that matter.  BTW, should I defect against you?  Would that be rational of me?

dayfall
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February 27, 2012, 03:41:18 AM
 #34

This is quite convoluted. The ethical consideration comes down to a simple factor. To make such a decision, we must judge one gender to be less desirable, and that is a statement against all members of that gender; how would you feel about a mother with an unplanned pregnancy who tells you that if the father was white she'd probably have kept it, but because the father was black she's getting an abortion.

In general, I would say it is her choice of what color baby to have.  However, these willy-nilly abortions would likely end up causing bad social problems if taken to far.

What if she uses a condom on a black guy but not a white one?  I see no difference.  I would want a child my own color, but not because the others are less "valuable".

In any case, I think you are wrong.  There could be valid reasons to value one gendered children higher.  I doubt the OP's scenario had such a justified female.  Only a selfish one.
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February 27, 2012, 04:11:19 PM
 #35

Wow just wow. So by playing your role in the prisoner's dilemma you think you are being immoral?

It can be proven that a truly rational person will play their part in the prisoner's dilemma (so: rat on the other criminal).
Therefore your statement implies that you think being rational implies being immoral.

What can I day except I pride myself in being a relatively rational person Cheesy

Playing YOUR ROLE?  Wow, just wow.

How is defecting rational?  Geez, remind me not to send you any Bitcoins for goods or trust you at all for that matter.  BTW, should I defect against you?  Would that be rational of me?



It's rational for an individual, assuming they are acting out of self-interest.
http://www.unc.edu/depts/econ/byrns_web/Economicae/rationalselfinterest.html

If you don't have a reason to trust someone, DON'T send them Bitcoins! Either send to people/businesses with a reputation to protect, or use an escrow who has a reputation to protect.
dayfall
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February 29, 2012, 04:32:50 PM
 #36

It's rational for an individual, assuming they are acting out of self-interest.
http://www.unc.edu/depts/econ/byrns_web/Economicae/rationalselfinterest.html

If you don't have a reason to trust someone, DON'T send them Bitcoins! Either send to people/businesses with a reputation to protect, or use an escrow who has a reputation to protect.

Or we could just not cheat each other.  But, ok if that is the world you want, that is the world you will get.

So let me get this clear, in the tragedy of the commons it is rational for the farmer to add one more cow than his share assuming no repercussions from the other farmers?  And you are proud to be this type of rational.  And in a situation where there are no repercussions it is rational to steal and cheat?

"the economist's notion that people act “rationally” merely implies that people try to act in ways consistent with their own objectives"

And you say you are proud to be rational?  How do you get pride from this?  Do you tell people you meet "I am proud to act in ways that are consistent with my objectives."  Well, if this is how you justify any selfish actions as moral (what I was talking about) then so be it.  But I don't think you are being rational.  When you said "rational" I thought you meant something different having to do with consistent judgement for actions, non-arrogance, and general philosophy.

I was arguing yesterday whether a businessman or humanist would make the best president.  I think I'll know after you answer my first question.
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February 29, 2012, 06:56:27 PM
 #37

It's rational for an individual, assuming they are acting out of self-interest.
http://www.unc.edu/depts/econ/byrns_web/Economicae/rationalselfinterest.html

If you don't have a reason to trust someone, DON'T send them Bitcoins! Either send to people/businesses with a reputation to protect, or use an escrow who has a reputation to protect.

Or we could just not cheat each other.  But, ok if that is the world you want, that is the world you will get.

So let me get this clear, in the tragedy of the commons it is rational for the farmer to add one more cow than his share assuming no repercussions from the other farmers?  And you are proud to be this type of rational.  And in a situation where there are no repercussions it is rational to steal and cheat?

Yes, this would be rational. I don't see it as something to be proud of, since it's not much of an accomplishment. We should create social pressures to discourage such behaviors, so that rational people act in accordance with the common good. It's irrational to steal and cheat if everyone will hate you for it.


"the economist's notion that people act “rationally” merely implies that people try to act in ways consistent with their own objectives"

And you say you are proud to be rational? 
No, that wasn't me.
How do you get pride from this?  Do you tell people you meet "I am proud to act in ways that are consistent with my objectives."  Well, if this is how you justify any selfish actions as moral (what I was talking about) then so be it.  But I don't think you are being rational.  When you said "rational" I thought you meant something different having to do with consistent judgement for actions, non-arrogance, and general philosophy.

I was arguing yesterday whether a businessman or humanist would make the best president.  I think I'll know after you answer my first question.


I'm not clear as to why pride should decide my actions, as opposed to what promotes all my values including pride. I'm merely saying that any solution to this problem needs to correct the incentives of selfish individuals so that they promote the welfare of others. Morality is more complex than just cooperating in every prisoner's dilemma. Sometimes defecting even helps pressure a fix for a broken system.

I am NOT claiming that all rational actions are moral, or vice-versa. In fact, I completely agree with you regarding the morality of sex-selective abortion. The fact that the moral action is not the rational action IS the problem.
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February 29, 2012, 07:46:46 PM
 #38

Yes, this would be rational. I don't see it as something to be proud of, since it's not much of an accomplishment. We should create social pressures to discourage such behaviors, so that rational people act in accordance with the common good. It's irrational to steal and cheat if everyone will hate you for it.

I'm not clear as to why pride should decide my actions, as opposed to what promotes all my values including pride. I'm merely saying that any solution to this problem needs to correct the incentives of selfish individuals so that they promote the welfare of others. Morality is more complex than just cooperating in every prisoner's dilemma. Sometimes defecting even helps pressure a fix for a broken system.

I am NOT claiming that all rational actions are moral, or vice-versa. In fact, I completely agree with you regarding the morality of sex-selective abortion. The fact that the moral action is not the rational action IS the problem.

It is only a problem to you, because I think moral actions are rational actions. 

Unless you wish your opponent to defect against you, yes, morality is as simple as cooperating in the prisoners dilemma.  Fixing the dilemma so that even a sane but immoral person chooses the moral option is the best solution for the real world.  I agree.  But if your goal is to fix a broken system then I don't think you are playing the same game because your end goal is to create a system so that not even yourself can cheat and profit.  This would be irrational according to that economist.  The "rational" fix is to make the system so that you can defect and profit but the majority of others cannot sanely do so.

I have never heard anyone rationalize theft that simply increases your wealth.  If you rationalize any theft then I bet that theft is actually moral.
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February 29, 2012, 10:47:16 PM
 #39

It is only a problem to you, because I think moral actions are rational actions. 

Unless you wish your opponent to defect against you, yes, morality is as simple as cooperating in the prisoners dilemma.

Are you saying it's rational to cooperate in a prisoner's dilemma? Are you universally applying superrationality?

I can certainly imagine situations where I would rather someone defects, even against me. For example, we want Bitcoin miners to defect against one another, not conspire to keep profits high! If I can do more good overall by defecting against you I'll do it, and I hope that you would adopt a similar policy. Wouldn't you betray me to cure cancer?
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February 29, 2012, 10:56:04 PM
 #40

Two questions that must be addressed before talking about the morality of abortion:

1)  Who decides what is right and what is wrong?
2)  How do you know if the decision maker is correct?

I would say that anybody can decide what is right and what is wrong.  The 2nd question is a whole different ball game.

I must say though, I think the Golden Rule is a WONDERFUL ethical principle.  It is Universal (distributes to everyone) at the same time that it takes into account individual circumstance and/or perspective.

For tough ethical questions like these, I follow the Golden Rule.  To me, it seems as if the Golden Rule is the most comprehensive ethical model around.

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