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Abortion

Post  AgathonZante on Fri May 22, 2015 1:30 am

This topic is not meant to start fights, but simply to have a philosophical and theocratic discussion on the topic of abortion. What's your stance on it? I myself am very pro-life. I know there were cases in ancient Greece were babies were aborted and killed, although it couldn't have been many because they needed the children to grow up to continue the state. Life wasn't abundant like it is today. Just as they couldn't kill off their livestock lest they stave, they could not have aborted a great number of their children lest their civilization die out. Nevertheless, I don't think that the Gods ordain and permit something simply because humans do it, or even do it in their names. Socrates taught us to think for ourselves, not follow any kind of norms, and in such a case, I stand for life, and I think the Gods are pro-life as well.
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Re: Abortion

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Fri May 22, 2015 6:41 pm

AgathonZante wrote:This topic is not meant to start fights, but simply to have a philosophical and theocratic discussion on the topic of abortion. What's your stance on it? I myself am very pro-life. I know there were cases in ancient Greece were babies were aborted and killed, although it couldn't have been many because they needed the children to grow up to continue the state. Life wasn't abundant like it is today. Just as they couldn't kill off their livestock lest they stave, they could not have aborted a great number of their children lest their civilization die out. Nevertheless, I don't think that the Gods ordain and permit something simply because humans do it, or even do it in their names. Socrates taught us to think for ourselves, not follow any kind of norms, and in such a case, I stand for life, and I think the Gods are pro-life as well.

It would depend on when the embryo becomes ensouled.

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Re: Abortion

Post  DavidMcCann on Sat May 23, 2015 12:39 pm

The philosopher Rosalind Hursthouse, although not a Hellenist, is an advocate of virtue ethics in its Aristotelian form. In "Virtue ethics and abortion" (Philosophy and Public Affairs 20, pp 223-46) she argued that one of the virtues is acceptance of children: we don't abandon them, no matter how they turn out. This, she said, implies that it is a failure of virtue to have an abortion just because of personal inclination or convenience. On the other hand, abortion to prevent the birth of a seriously handicaped child is not a failure of acceptance, any more than switching off the life support of a person in a vegetative state is a failure of care. Sometimes, in moral dilemmas, there is no virtuous action, only the right one, which is lesser of two evils; that will leave a "residue" of regret or the desire to atone.

Many Greek sanctuaries warned that abortion carried the same pollution as murder, and Hippocratic oath prohibited it. Of course, the case of the severely handicaped would not arise, as they could not be diagnosed in utero in those days, and they would simply die anyway. The use of exposure was a way of dealing with children you couldn't afford. It was carried out in a recognised place, where the childless or those willing to raise a potential slave could rescue the child. A rather unsatisfactory substitute for an adoption agency, but a recognition that they shouldn't be just killed.

Of course, the question of ensoulment does enter into it, although it was never discussed in that context, to my knowledge. Opinions varied as to when it took place: at conception, at quickening (the common view), or even at birth.

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Re: Abortion

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Sat May 23, 2015 2:23 pm

I agree that abortion for ultimately selfish reasons would qualify as vicious behavior in Aristotelian ethics, or at least as far as I understand his Nichomachean Ethics. That said, an action can be legal without being ethical and vice versa. I don't feel I can condone making abortion illegal, if only for the fact that making it illegal won't actually put an end to it on a whole, only an end to it as a relatively safe, medical practice. People would still seek it out from people without scruples, etc, and put both themselves and fetus within at grave harm. Allowing abortion in a legal manner may very well be the lesser of two evils. It may be better to allow it legally, but set up programs that would make the vast majority of abortions ultimately unnecessary and rightfully able to be looked down on by much of society. A focus on good healthcare and other social benefits for the new life, etc. This would not violate a person's sanctity of their own body, would be the lesser of two evils as far as it can be said, and would render most abortions unnecessary in the first place.

With all the above in mind I am a gay man and don't intend on having children, so I am outside of this issue altogether.

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Re: Abortion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:17 pm

Abortion is just another technology that hastens Western self-destruction. While the West takes on hordes of Third Worlders who pop out babies by the nanosecond, Western engineers are busy coming up with new ways to abort the work of their loins, even as Western philosophers dream up new kinds of anti-natalism. Life is emptied of life, and death happens before your first breath.

Progress, people, progress!
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Re: Abortion

Post  Callisto on Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:27 pm

What a staggeringly naive trivialization of a complex issue. It's so very easy to be judgmental and dismissive when one does not have to face the realities others do. Perhaps if the world was as hospitable as such naivete suggests there would not be so many who have to face such a gut wrenching decision. A woman going through an abortion is not akin to getting a boil lanced, there is deep emotional, psychological and physical impact.

I imagine it must be liberating to be oh so superior and void of empathy.

“There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time (with a few rare exceptions, such as among the Jains of India): We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we are. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life...That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.” ― parents Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

"They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-lifer(s) are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re pre-born, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re f--ed. Pro-life… You don’t see many of these white anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uterus’s, do you? No, you don’t see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do." - George Carlin

The Donohue-Levitt hypothesis delivered in 2001 by Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago and John Donohue of Yale University theorized that children who were unwanted during pregnancy had worse socio-economic outcomes once they became adults and that the legalization of abortion perceptively reduced crime.

An overview can be found here by Harvard economics professor Robert J. Barro:

http://scholar.harvard.edu/barro/files/99_0927_crimerate_bw.pdf


Issues of morality and ethics are not black and white when one must consider all the facets and ramifications that exist within the society as a whole

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Re: Abortion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:30 pm

I am not void of empathy. I support abortion in cases of rape. Giving birth to such a creature in such cases is an abomination, and one supported by the Christians, who are driven by pity.

But let's outgrow pity. Outside of rape, lovers and pseudo-lovers should learn to be careful, and face the consequences.

Eroticism should be subordinated to reality. If you want to celebrate your body in these "post-religious" and "post-historical" days, stop dramatizing the uterine result of your one night stand-- That goes for those who plant the seed and those who accept it.

Bad socio-economic conditions are universal throughout human history. If the upper classes had not gone and destroyed Tradition, lower class life would be more stable. But the same forces of Progress that made abortion a matter of liberation did away with Tradition to bring us to a more egalitarian utopia.

Abortion save rape-circumstances is vile, creepy and desperate, and should be treated as such.
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Re: Abortion

Post  Callisto on Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:15 pm

If you think the only other reason someone would choose to have an abortion is eroticism then you are quite sadly uninformed and grossly mistaken.  There are various legitimate reasons that someone could be faced with making that decision, regardless of ethnicity and economic bracket. I marvel at the persistence of fallacy so many maintain that having an abortion is a common trivial decision, showing no acknowledgment whatsoever as to the physical and psychological ramifications for the woman. The argument that anything other than rape must be irresponsibility and wanton behavior is the argument of those completely unfamiliar with and/or uncaring of women's health issues and/or, at times, her socio-economic circumstances. Either you do not comprehend, or perhaps choose to not to comprehend, what "liberation" was meant by legalizing abortions.  That's unfortunate.  But no, it doesn't equate moral laziness.

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Re: Abortion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:50 pm

Sensual laxity, I would say, rather than moral laziness. And I do not excuse men here, either.

Anyways, can you tell me of some of these "other reasons" besides poorly-planned recreational intercourse? You say there are all these reasons, but you don't explain them to me. What are they?

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Re: Abortion

Post  Callisto on Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:41 pm

I've not had the time to frequent the board for quite a long while.

I have no desire to pursue the discussion because it's all too easy for people to be judgmental about things they've not had to endure and because it's an issue which is not simply an academic exercise. So this post will have to suffice and is offered for the purpose of civility by answering the question but forth. Firstly, not all accidental pregnancies are the product of moral laziness or irresponsibility. Pregnancies can occur when contraceptives have been properly used.

As for some other reasons,

- The health of the mother, whether the pregnancy itself jeopardizes her health or she has pre-existing medical conditions.

- The health of the fetus itself and its ability to thrive before or after birth.

- Multiple pregnancy requiring embryo reduction in order to increase the chances of survival for the remaining embryos.

Interestingly it turns out that two-thirds of all embryos fail to develop successfully. A study conducted by Stanford University discovered this when researching the number of miscarriages with in vitro fertilization and how to limit the need for embryo reduction of multifetal pregnancies.

- Religious views, which commonly play a part in the person's moral view. For example per Halakha (Jewish law), an unborn fetus is not a person but a part of the woman's body. It is a person upon childbirth, so traditionally Judaism does not outright prohibit or advocate abortion. Islam does not prohibit abortion during the first trimester. Some Christian denominations such as the Presbyterian Church (US), Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist allow that pregnancy and the consideration of abortion is a personal decision to be made after in-depth reflection, prayer, and having sought medical counseling and that of their families and church.

- Foster/Adoption services. The sad reality is that children of color are still less desirable and less likely to be adopted than white children. So as noble as it might seem put a child up for adoption with the hope that he will receive a better life than the birth parents could offer, the reality is that is not necessarily the case. To give some perspective, adoption fees for a black child can equal half of the fees incurred when adopting a white child because they're still seen as far less desirable (and thus offered as a "bargain price" incentive) and due to the lower number of non-white families in a comparable financial position to adopt.

- Lack of education leading to ignorance and unwanted pregnancies moral laziness. The most common core fallacy in the debate is that pro-choice = abortion. Someone being pro-choice does not mean they would also choose to abort. In the US there are those who are anti-abortion and seek to limit both women's health care services as well as sex education, commonly marginalizing women's clinics as simply being "abortion clinics". If someone is ill-equipped to understand the facts of sexuality and procreation they cannot know how to be sexually responsible. They also should not be further demonized as "morally lazy" because of it.

No other person has the right to foist their personal moral or religious views on someone else, especially not with an issue that pertains to the individuals' own body and having to live with the consequences of their choice to EITHER keep OR abort. Most individuals faced with the decision do not make their choice to EITHER keep OR abort without a great deal of soul searching, as it is a decision they must live with either way. It serves no good purpose to society to negate pro-choice as simply "pro-abortion". This is one of the key problems with shutting down women health centers which are often labeled as "abortion clinics". For many women and families, these clinics are the only places they can get information on and assistance with female and children health issues and to become educated about sexuality, birth control, and pregnancy BEFORE becoming sexually active or pregnant.

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Re: Abortion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:15 pm

Callisto wrote:Firstly, not all accidental pregnancies are the product of moral laziness or irresponsibility.

No, not all, but many are.

We live in a time of widespread decadence and degeneracy.  Cultural and moral decline is in a grotesque coupling with technological acceleration.  People have their genitals mutilated by surgeons to attempt to pass over into the opposite gender, or into a "new" gender, with an improvised orifice sliced open for bizarre sexual activity.  Men and women have their unborn fetus disgustingly "removed" and spend a little money so as not to have to care for a new soul, so little care they have for their own.  They live in a rhythmic, image-driven haze and are driven only by the belly and the genitals.  

I don't know what Gods you are praying to, but I imagine we are quite far from the Hesiodic Golden Age, and I would not be surprised if after I die I myself am in the underworld, wandering among lost, disgraced souls.  Or that all of these generations born into modernity will be born again as snakes.  Many of us will not pass over.  I am ready for it at any moment, and willing to accept for when I have acted wrong.  I will not spend my time here pretending that the godlessness we live in has not produced an enormous amount of pregnancies because of simple hedonistic carelessness, or that many abortions have been performed out of a casual and vacuous disregard for life.
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Re: Abortion

Post  Callisto on Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:53 pm

Out of Phlegethon wrote:I don't know what Gods you are praying to,.
The Hellenic ones.

As I said previously, "I have no desire to pursue the discussion because it's all too easy for people to be judgmental about things they've not had to endure and because it's an issue which is not simply an academic exercise."

If your intent to cast some aspersion it's not impactful nor do I care. You don't know me to make any kind of judgment but do as you so desire. Though I politely suggest it be kept off board since such is not the point of this forum and kept contained to your own cogitation (i.e., do not PM me). Thank you.

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Re: Abortion

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:08 pm

As you wish.
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Re: Abortion

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