Sunday, July 03, 2005

Still here just thinking deep thoughts

Naamen asking me:

"Pro-choicers tend to want us (pro-lifers) to prove when "personhood" begins as an argument against abortion. To me, this is crazy talk. Before you kill someone, you should accept the burden of proof that the killing is okay. So, I turn the question to you: Can you prove that the unborn child does not deserve the rights and protections that we would normally give all people? If you can't prove it, then we should err on the side of life. "

But I think he skips the point of bring up personhood. We must start there because we cannot justify killing a person until we agree that it is a person. It was part of the foundation for much bigotry was the thought that "those" other "people" weren't really people. It is in-fact how much slaughter begins is the dehumanizing of the "others" who ever they happen to be at the time in history. This is part of why it has taken me so long to responded because I feel conflicted, I tried talking it out with my spouse but he so often see things in black and white that having philosophical conversation can be hard (but then then again his facts are very very solid so that is the awesome part about talking with him!). Here is what I have come up with, but I'm still not very happy with it. I believe that intelligent life deserves rights and protections of all people, prior to it becoming an intelligent viable life form while it deserves respect that should be given to ALL life it should not be protected in the same way. Why does even this disturb me? Because of course then someone is likely to say then we should kill everyone that is mentally disabled or as you are dyslexic then your intelligence is in question why shouldn't your rights be less? AND they have a point. BUT first of all I never said at what level of intelligence deserves the rights and protections and that would be actually a pretty low bar, and second people who are at an extremely low lvl of intelligence are already not afforded ALL rights or protections. Once competency is lost then you are subject to what ever whim your guardian see fit to give, like a dog, and some dogs are well treated and others are not. And some very low functioning adults are given good/great treatment and others are not... and I don't see that as being a big hot political debate.... EVER! Why? Because they don't VOTE. They don't have the right to plan their medical care, they don't have right to even go to the store and buy something when they want many times. And in the end they can't have these rights, because it is cruel to make someone that cannot figure out how to cross the street safely responsible for figuring out how to go the store, or what is good for them medically. Their guardian get to do this. SO it must be for an embryo, their guardian must be left to make the choices for them because they have not reached the threshold to gain the rights and protections, yet, that is afforded to them at another stage of development. Is it fair? IDK.... life is not always fair, but I believe it is the best thing we can do until we begin insist that all people are on BC until they are of age to consent to not being on BC. Yeah.... I thought that might raise a few hackles... and yes I do completely welcome any and all decent and challenges. Come in and change my mind...

9 Comments:

Blogger GrannyGrump said...

The thing is that lacking a certain amount of intellect means that you need a guardian that makes decisions for you, but the guardian can't just decide that for his or her own reasons you're to be put to death. So if you're putting the fetus on a continuum with the mentally disabled, they shouldn't we treat them as other legally incapacitated people?

6:45 AM  
Blogger achromic said...

No I'm not putting them at the lvl of mentally disabled, I'm saying that at each stage of development comes rights and protections. But only if you reach that stage do you get those rights and protections. A 2yr old for instance doesn't have the right to refuse medication or ask for medical intervention. Neither does someone who has altimers. At each stage of life we give certain rights and protections. You can choose to euthanasia your dog for instance, but you cannot legally starve it to death in your basement. Guardians make life and death decisions for their wards all the time.... the refusal of blood, medical treatment, vaccines, ect. At the stage of development that a fetus/embryo is it is at the mercy of it's host which we would deem it's guardian, the fetus/embryo while life, does not even pass the development stages of viability. Unlike a baby who is now in our world has reached some millstones and has gained some of our rights and protection (not all, is still limited by her guardian). Which is why, although I find abortion to be sad and that if possible avoided, I do not have a moral issue with it. Yes it is taking life, it is taking away potential, and that is always sad, but it is not something that I would make illegal.

12:12 PM  
Blogger JivinJ said...

You say, "I believe that intelligent life deserves rights and protections of all people, prior to it becoming an intelligent viable life form while it deserves respect that should be given to ALL life it should not be protected in the same way."

How is a newborn child intelligent life? I can guarantee that my cats are smarter than any newborn human infant yet I'd think we'd both agree that a human infant deserves more legal protections than a cat. Why is that when cat are smarter and more viable than newborn human infants?

You also say, "SO it must be for an embryo, their guardian must be left to make the choices for them because they have not reached the threshold to gain the rights and protections, yet, that is afforded to them at another stage of development."

But shouldn't guardians make decisions based on the best interest of the human being they are supposed to be guarding?

I could argue the same way that newborn infants should be left to the mercy of their guardians.

"SO it must be for an infant, their guardian must be left to make the choices for them because they have not reached the threshold to gain the rights and protections, yet, that is afforded to them at another stage of development."

Your whole argument assumes that the unborn are undeserving of the right to life when that was the exact thing you were trying to prove.

12:30 PM  
Blogger She Dances in Dragon said...

Wow. Went and read the last commenter's blog. he or she holds some very strong opinions.

9:16 PM  
Blogger achromic said...

yes jivinj has many very strong opinions and so does grannygrump up there... you should see Ashli's site ... I mean WOW! But you know these people really do their homework and really believe in what they are doing. I feel they should be respected as well as challenged. I try to do that. In return I have to say they do their best to respect me back... and boy do they challenge me. I think tho' that what is most frustrating for both sides is that once we clear the retotric and lies out of what each side has plenty we both look at the same facts and come to very diffrent conclusions.

9:28 PM  
Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Achromic, the responsibility of the guardian is still the well-being of the person he or she is guardian over. If there's a conflict of interest, all bets are off. And a woman who wants to abort her fetus had a conflict of interests with that fetus and is no longer qualified to serve as his/her guardian and make choices for him/her.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Val said...

So WHO'S going to incubate/care for all these unwanted embryos?!? (not to mention when they DO follow the logical course in most cases & become CHILDREN?!?)
There's my intellectual stumbling block -- which flows directly from my ongoing experience of having to euthanize unwanted homeless PETS...(Loved your hubby's post about Joe BTW) There will always be unwanted pregnancies & people making bad decisions.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Naaman said...

This thread may well be dead, but I just noticed Val's comment, and I can't let it go unchallenged....

So WHO'S going to incubate/care for all these unwanted embryos?!?

We don't put people to death because they're inconvenient. If we did, we wouldn't have a homeless problem. All of the homeless people would be rounded up into camps and gassed.

There's my intellectual stumbling block -- which flows directly from my ongoing experience of having to euthanize unwanted homeless PETS...

Yes, those are pets. We kill animals for a wide range of reasons, including convenience, food, or sport. There should be a much higher threshhold to overcome before you kill a human being. "Nobody wants her!" is not an adequate justification for killing someone.

There will always be unwanted pregnancies & people making bad decisions.

This is sadly true, but again not an adequate justification for killing people. If it was an adequate justification, then we should recycle all of the kids in foster care into Soylent Green.

---

The point is what I originally raised in the comment that Achromic used to start this post. "Can you prove that the unborn child does not deserve the rights and protections that we would normally give all people?" So far, you're not proving it. You're assuming it, which is not going to convince someone who doesn't already agree with you.

6:18 AM  
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5:39 AM  

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