Abortion: Official discussion v.4

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Nov 5, 2005.

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  1. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    If the majority decides something is wrong, it becomes illegal and is defined as morally wrong.

    Legal =/= Moral.

    If it were not so, then an action legal in one state and illegal in another would have simultaneous contradictory moral valuations.
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Morality and legality are not the same at all. There are plenty of things that are legal that I would say are of questionable morality.
  3. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    The overall point is that it is hard to attack this as a moral issue when at best, laws based on competing moralities per state would become the norm were Roe to be overturned.

    Peace,

    V-03
  4. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    Roe should be overturned on its flimsy legal grounds, not in a legal sense on the morality of the question.

    Like you previously stated, it would probably pass muster via the legislative process, as would be legally proper with such an issue... or, it should go through the States, as it should.
  5. IceHawk-181 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2004
    star 4
    Almost as if you would be looking at two divergent social units, each with its own defined sense of morality, and be forced to conclude that the United States lacks a truly unified moral culture...
  6. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    We do lack a truly unified moral culture, outside of some general basic principles on murder, stealing, rape, etc.

    Peace,

    V-03
  7. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    There's a difference between nuance/moral complexity and moral relativism. I don't believe that this is a question of relative morals. Further, the point still stands that legal standards do not constitute moral standards.
  8. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    Though, in many cases, legal standards are formed from societal social standards, yes?
  9. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Not necessarily.

    For example, taking of human life isn't always legal murder.

    There's the capital offense, 2nd and 3rd degree, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, justifiable homicide, criminally negligent homicide, and so forth.

    It isn't black and white.

    Peace,

    V-03
  10. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Not really; case law produces an evolving body of law that is self-reflective (i.e., using existing precedents to inform current decisions), as in the U.S. system. Law also borrows from other jurisdictions, and has used cases and documents from other societies, too. Laws can be proposed that reflect social standards (seen more at the local and state level), but it would be mistaken to suggest that legal standards (or the bulk of them) are essentially socially relative (within a given culture). Cultural anthropologists and social theorists have noted that there are a number of "universal" cultural practices that are not localized to any particular society, but appear to be inimical to humanity.
  11. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    Quix The basis for the original ruling was flimsy. Therefore, the entire precendent law piled on top of it is not built upon a solid foundation. It crumbles with the foundation.

    The unborn rights proponents would have no legal case to dispute were it done via the proper means.



  12. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Come on, man.

    You know as well as I do that "improper" in this sense is a republican buzzword.

    It's "properness" cannot be measured against any objective standard, and therefore is not inherently "right" or "wrong".

    In reality, I do agree with you that handling it legislatively would diminish a lot of the rancor surrounding not only the issue itself, but how it has been handled.

    However, I stand by my assertion that overturning Roe will ultimately strengthen abortion rights, as it's opponents will be strongly encouraged by such a ruling and make the mistake of overreaching, triggering a backlash.

    Peace,

    V-03
  13. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Any cluster of human cells that given the right conditions has the ability to eventually form a fully formed human being is in my view morally different than any other similar group of cells that share very similar characteristics. The qualitative difference is the potential creation of a human life. Science can?t tell us at what point artificial intelligence becomes life, even if it can tell us at what point there ceases to be any meaningful difference between cognitive processes.


    I actually don?t think that is a bad position. I understand that any deadline will always be arbitrary to someone else, just as many would say that your viability benchmark is arbitrary. I don?t know when the fetus becomes a person, but unless there is a good reason to do otherwise I think it is reasonable to say that the cluster of cells created at conception has some moral value beyond what we give to any other similar cluster of cells. That is a point at which society may have some interest in protecting, with increasing levels of public interest as the fetus develops. I do not believe abortion is murder, there is a definite difference between a fully formed human and a fetus.

    I have lived in Nevada, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Idaho, and the Dominican Republic and traveled to about 25 states. And just because I now live in Utah doesn?t mean I am sheltered, Salt Lake City has one of the most liberal mayors in the country. (which I am actively working to change ;)) Even at my very conservative university there were still pro-choicers.
  14. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Pardon me, this is no criticism of you personally. But even if you've moved around a good deal, those all look like quite conservative places and not necessarily representative at all of the mainstream...
  15. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Even at my very conservative university there were still pro-choicers.

    Which tells me that:

    a) Being pro-choice is not the fringe minority belief it is oftentimes made out to be. Indeed, close to 60% of Americans support not overturning Roe

    and

    b) While strong and prevalent, mainstream American conservatism is by no means the only accepted mode of thought in the US.

    Peace,

    V-03
  16. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I see a huge difference between being pro-choice and being pro-Roe. For me Roe is more bad law than bad policy. It does just so happen to be both, which is why I care about overturning it.

    If pro-choicers here in the US denounced Roe for the judicial overreach it was, and used their clear majority to push through pro-choice legislation in the individual states, I would not contend that it was badly created law. It would reflect the will of the people, and even though I would disagree with it I would accept it and shut up. Really liberals only have themselves to blame for the large anti-abortion movement because if they had first won over public opinion and then changed the laws, rather than foisting them on an unwilling populace, we would now look like Europe where there is virtually no active opposition to abortion because the pro-lifers realized they lost fair and square. Perhaps a few conservative states would have stricter laws than we currently have, but I am sure all the money we spend fighting over abortion could be put to use in busing the poor women of South Dakota to a more hospitable place.

    Politically, Roe gave a religious reason for all those Evangelicals to make their voices heard and helped the conservative movement by giving them an issue that they were able to use very effectively, while letting the conservative leaders ignore it, and a host of other social welfare issues.

    Quix, you seem to want to have scientists tell us when life begins and don't trust the uneducated masses, but if you are right then the masses will educate themselves and choose your way anyways.

    I should admit I don't have an entirely coherent position on abortion in part because my mind is not entirely made up.
  17. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    So, you're asking us to voluntarily forsake the legal and political high ground out of some sort of sense of ... what, exactly? So that we can win some smidgen of moral approval in your eyes?

    It's insulting to think that we are that interested in your opinion of us, and it's naive to think that there's anything we could do to appease religious conservatives short of adopting your ideology wholesale. You can talk all you want about respecting the system and agreeing to disagree, but to be totally honest I don't feel that religious conservatives are bargaining in good faith. They're not good citizens who respect the rights of those who disagree with them and quietly abide by laws they disagree with. Every ounce of state power they manage to acquire they use without restraint to reshape the world in their image. I don't feel that if I were to surrender some legal advantage or political battle that they would respond in kind. They would, I think, press their advantage. They have no respect for anyone outside of their little cults, and so I don't feel any obligation to them.

    What the neocons say about the dangers of trying to appease radical Islam holds doubly true for our very own homegrown religious extremists, but the difference between Sam Brownback and Osama bin Laden is that Sam Brownback can actually hurt me where I live. Religious conservatives are out to destroy my way of life, and frankly, I'm not inclined to give them any ground at all. We are in a war for control of the culture.

    You might. Most anti-abortion people would not.

    The reason there's strong active opposition to abortion in the US and not in Europe is simply that religious social conservatives make up a much larger percentage of the population here than they do there. It has nothing to do with the way abortion was legalized. It's a result of the culture of toxic religious extremism here.

    It doesn't work that way. People as a whole accept the facts and arguments that confirm and reinforce their preexisting worldview. Barring exceptional circumstances, people are largely incapable of doing otherwise.
  18. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Hold on a moment. You are acting as though either someone agrees with you on abortion or they are a "religious conservative". That is a false dichotomy. There are non-religious abortion opponents, for one.

    Of course, it's a lot easier for you to simply dismiss the opposing viewpoint if you blame it all on "religious conservatives". It saves you from actually having to think about their arguments, doesn't it?

    Kimball Kinnison
  19. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Diz, your attitude is just as much to blame for the political devisiveness in our society as is the extremist evangelicals. You are just as bad as Bush, really. So because you have the legal advantage, however it was taken does not matter because you can't trust the other side to not go the other extreme.

    They're not good citizens who respect the rights of those who disagree with them and quietly abide by laws they disagree with.

    And neither are you.

    If what you have to say is true, then democracy cannot work, and Bush is right to grab whatever power he can because if he doesn't then Hillary is going to turn the country into a communist hippy playground.

    Thankfully I think most Americans are just as sick of liberals like diz as they are of crazy neocons. I hope for a civil society where we trust each other enough to abide by the rule of law and sacrifice short term ideological gains so that our laws are created in a manner which all reasonable people may abide by them. If we can't do that, then there isn't much point in subscribing to democracy.

    Economist piece, probably by some religious nut that wants to control everyone
  20. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    You need to sign up to view the rest of the article. It'll only show the subhead. I don't think a civil society is likely to come about until all extremists are gone. Although the main thrust seems to be by religious extremists so 'giving an inch and they'll take a mile' will apply. And diz is right on one point: when conservative bible thumpers have the advantage legally they tend to hold onto it like with gay marriage and such. So, where he is coming from isn't all that irrational, even if he does sound extreme in presenting his thoughts.
  21. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    His posting style may strike some as extreme, but he is simply someone with strongly held beliefs that refuses to compromise. Given that Bush has failed to give any inch to the pro-choice viewpoint, and has indeed worked so actively to undermine a woman's right to choose, I don't think diz is being all that unreasonable.

    The most vocal elements of the anti-abortion movement don't want to compromise, why should we expect the most vocal elements of the pro-choice movement to?

    Compromise is a two-way street. Politics, in general, tends to be played by the extremes over the heads of the middle (famous quote, obviously not mine :p).

    Peace,

    V-03
  22. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    Oh, come on. You're being completely disingenuous here. There's a strong correlation between Christian religious conservatism and opposition to abortion. Yes, there are non-religious abortion opponents, but they're hardly the animating core of the movement.

    The political divisiveness in the country isn't even close to the biggest problem we have. If fixing those more pressing problems and preventing people from doing further damage makes some enemies and causes some hard feelings in the short term, so be it.

    Of course democracy works, just not for what people think it does. Democracy is not about people rationally weighing options and coming to informed decisions. It's about having a system of government that's fluid enough to adapt to rapid shifts in demographics and economic systems.
  23. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    But you are not fixing problems in legal ways and you are preventing damage by limiting democracy. To me that sounds a lot like something an Islamic fundamentalist would say.

    Yes politics is often the extremes of each end controlling the debate, but I think we can look back and blame most of the really bad decisions on some ideologue forcing their policy on everyone because they can't trust their fellow citizen enough to not do the exact opposite. And if you are at one extreme, you can only recognize the faults of the other side.

    Somebody who has access to the Economist should put the whole article here because the point it makes is that abortion-rights advocates would be well served by renouncing Roe and pushing through legislation on the state level.

    Do you guys not realize that once upon a time the south were a bunch of democrats until liberals overstepped their mandate and forced Roe and tried to force the ERA on an unwilling country? It was democrats that gave the policial ammuntion with which Falwell & Co turned the Evangelical Christians from a largely ignored and political inactive group into one of the most important American constituencies. If liberals had gone about things in a more slow and legal way, I don't think we would have had the rise of Conservativism. Political stragegists have recognized that it was monumental stupidity for the dems to ignore the faithfull for an entire generation.
  24. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I don't trust southerners as a group to do the right thing. Sorry, call it bigoted if you want, but some of the most ridiculous legislation in recent years has come from states that are in the south. Granted the north has their own brand of lunacy, but nothing beats bible thumping lunacy.
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    diz,

    You've made your opinions on religious people quite clear over the years here. If anyone is being disingenuous here, it would be you. By labeling all abortion opponents as "religious conservatives", you are simply trying to dismiss any arguments that go against abortion as being religiously based, which then allows you to simply dismiss them out of hand.

    You see, that absolves you of actually having to deal with the contrarian legal arguments, or the philosophical arguments, or all of the other arguments that aren't based in religion.

    For example, there are quite a few people who are opposed to Roe v. Wade on the basis of it being a bad law, not supported by the Constitution, and a clear overreach of the federal government. While I am personally against abortion on an individual level, my main political opposition to abortion is based in the fact that I don't consider it something within the realm of the federal government according to the Constitution. It clearly falls under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments as something that was retained by the People on the federal level, and so should be left to the states to handle according to the powers granted to them in their state constitutions. (In other words, if the people of a state want their government to be able to regulate abortion, then they need to grant that power to the government in the state constitution. Otherwise, it is left completely in the hands of the people.)

    What in that argument is at all religious in nature? Not one single thing. In fact, that exact viewpoint is shared by a good number of abortion opponents. It's mostly that the media tends to focus more on the ones making the religious arguments. (For example, go read the chapter on Roe v. Wade in Men in Black by Mark Levin. Levin is a Jewish lawyer and radio host who lays out a very detailed legal argument against Roe v. Wade.)

    So no, it's not disingenuous of me to point out that you are simply stereotyping your opponents as a way to dismiss their arguments without actually addressing them. It's the simple truth.

    Kimball Kinnison
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