[FoRK] What Is Human? Ugh...

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Thu Mar 4 08:32:02 PST 2004

Russell Turpin wote:

> That is an assertion, not an argument.
There's two ways an egg gets fertilized.  Intentional and unintentional.
So, either there's a lot of couples out there trying to make babies
where the egg didn't implant or a lot of irresponsible people
not using birth control.   What's more, both are a severe
matter of personal privacy and almost always undetectable.  

> No. It is the "pro-lifers" who claim this. I
> merely point out that they don't act in a
> manner consistent with that. My argument
> is that this makes them hypocrites. Note
> that there is no reductio ad absurdum
> involved in this argument.
So, you are saying because they can discriminate
between different stages including when something
is detectable and private and you cant', YOU see
them as hypocrites.  
Maybe you really do only have a scrabble dictionary. 
Reducto ad absurbum means that you've taken a legitimate
set of rights, responsiblities, and concerns and tried
to blanket it to an extreme case by blanketing over the issues
that you failed to parse correctly in my original post. 
So, stop projecting your blind spots.

> That distinction ISN'T relevant IF you view
> the zygote as equivalent to a person. The
> term "viable" is never applied to people, no
> matter what disease they suffer. 
Wow.   A breakthrough. You are admitting there
are different stages with different rights, responsibilities,
and considerations?    I think I found your difficulty.
It's with the way you use English.  Wow, you should
have paid closer attention in sex ed.  Nobody is
saying zygote, they are saying fetus.  You can
surely recognize that distinction can't you?  Also,
the phrase isn't "the zygote as equivalent to a person"
the phrase you are searching for is "the fetus has
equivalents rights, responsibilities, and considerations as
a person".   Whether those apply when a person is
viable or not is a matter of debate.  
We don't
> say that someone suffering malignant glioma,
> or other disease with similarly poor prognosis,
> is "non-viable." We say that they have a
> dire and fatal disease. And so we fund
> research on possible treatments and cures,
> and consider it a success if a treatment
> gives even a little more life. 
We don't treat some diseased persons as second class
citizens, but there's a contingent that wants to be able
to ensure the right to suicide.  based on old age,
alzheimers, cancer, coma/vegetable, so once again
your world view is completely at odds with current
social and political trends. 
Likewise, differnent people recognize different stages
of pre-birth life.   Some examples are the fetus protection

> Or to put this another way, I don't worry
> about a zygote that isn't viable, because it
> will never become a person. But to anyone
> who thinks a fetus already IS a person, then
> saying it isn't viable is just another way of
> saying "here is a person who is suffering a
> fatal disease."
Yes, in fact a lot of people do, thus we have abortion laws that
allow late-stage abortions.  

> Sure: zygote, morula, blastocyte, embryo,
> fetus.
Which one of those have the right of the mother not
to be murdered?  

> Maybe I'll address that question another
> time.
Russell, I do appreciate the discussion and making me think. 

>>Somewhere between 30% and 60%.
>What is your question?
30 to 60% of what total number over the course of 1 month, 12 months? 

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