the counterproduction of “intellectual property”

Keith Johnson on “intellectual property” in comments at Doug Johnson’s blog:

Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities.

That is true for trademark law (e.g. as a consumer through the web). And, assuming the existence of fair use doctrine, this is also true for copyright law. Patent law however, has nothing to do with protecting my online activities.  This overgeneralization is produced by lumping together insubstantially related laws. As well, the term “property” signals a bias in treating the naturally intangible as somehow tangible.

Hopefully, Keith will consider editing the chillingeffects.org site (the same quote appears there too) to better educate its readers about how copyright law and trademark law can protect you online.

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8 Responses to “the counterproduction of “intellectual property””

  1. Doug Johnson Says:

    Hi Peter,

    As always, an interesting take on the issues.

    I apologize for contacting you in this way, but if you could recommend any “seminal” documents on the free culture philosophy (or however you describe someone with your POV), I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks!

    Doug

  2. Tom Hoffman Says:

    I think you’re riding this hobby horse into the ground.

  3. Tom Hoffman Says:

    Also, I jumped in on Doug’s question here:

    http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2008/04/free-software-reading-list.html

  4. Peter Rock Says:

    (Stops. Gets off horse.)

    But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever ride it again.

  5. Peter Rock Says:

    Hi Doug,

    Tom’s list is a good place to start to get a grip on this but it should be understood that there exists no “seminal” work on free culture as the definition of free culture is not anywhere close to being agreed upon.

    For instance, Nine Inch Nails recently released a music album under a CC BY-NC-SA license. In my opinion, due to both the license and the nature of the work, this _is_ free culture. However, other free culture supporters would disagree with me because of the commercial restriction. Others are more interested in drawing a definitive line in the sand regardless of the nature of the work. There is a benefit to doing so but it should be noted that there exists no free culture definition that is as easily agreed upon as something like the free software definition. The practical nature of software makes separating essential freedoms from nonessential ones easier than with other works.

  6. theobromophile Says:

    Lest you get too full of yourself, trust me, babe, I did NOT delete my blog because of your trolling.

    In fact, it takes a lot of arrogance to assume that I would have done that because of someone who posted comments… lemme see… .some thousand comments ago.

  7. theobromophile Says:
    Oh, here is your supposed amazing advances in pro-abortion reasoning: What is also amazing in this argument,are the hoops and ladders, along with the outright unethical and probably illegal activities that many decent people are forced to go through in trying to adopt a child. I am not advocating that women should breed as agents to benefit the “for profit” adoption industry, it is just one of those cruel paradoxes of life that I find utterly frustrating. I have a book to recommend to you, Policy Paradox by Deborah Stone. It will make you furious and laugh at the same time. By: avoiceofreason on 22 April 2007 at 8:58 am once again, well put. i consider myself responsible, yet my second son came as a complete surprise as me. So if I fit under the “If women aren’t moral enough to decide whether or not to plan out their families, do we really want them raising their kids?” I guess I’m a bad parent. The thing is I’m not. I just somehow got pregnant out of my plan. Fortunately we had the money for the child and plenty of love left to give. :) By: mommyzabs on 22 April 2007 at 10:48 am This is way off topic, but I’m asking you to consider investigating this story. This past week, China has stepped up a campaign targetting Christians and forcing Christian women to have abortions. I know that many times we don’t see eye to eye, but I thought this would be a topic of interest. http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=9061&size=A By: avoiceofreason on 22 April 2007 at 2:13 pm Excellent points and arguments, Bridget. And whether it is right or not, many people will take it more seriously since you said instead of a guy. By: Neil on 22 April 2007 at 5:06 pm Voice, You’re absolutely right. Another issue is that adoption costs tens of thousands of dollars, which is problematic because: 1. it’s as expensive as in-vitro fertilisation, which encourages people to do IVF instead of adopting; and 2. none of that money flows back to the birth mother, who goes through considerable expense & discomfort to bear a child. I mean, I don’t think that the proper solution is then to abort, but rather to reform an obviously broken system. I don’t think that women are breeding for profit when they are being compensated for their expenses – revenue and profit being different concepts. By: theobromophile on 22 April 2007 at 7:11 pm MommyZabs, Thank you. :) By “plan out their families,” I meant “planning via abortion.” IMHO, when a woman gets pregnant accidentally and then figures out the finances and the love to bring the kid into the world, she’s planning out her family. Right? Voice, hi again! :) I’ll look into it. Been really busy lately – drop an email if I forget to investigate and blog. ;) Neil, Sadly, you’re right. See: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/04/20/trumping_womens_rights/ (A man wrote into the Op-Ed section of the San Diego Union-Tribune and pointed out that, if Mrs. Goodman would like to be logically consistent, she should advocate overturning Roe v. Wade,, which was, after all, decided by seven men.) Women are more pro-life than men; I think it’s because women who have been pregnant know that they are carrying babies, not zygotes/balls of tissue. (This is the subject of another blog post, soon to come.) FYI: some people think that I’m a guy because I express those opinions. It’s really sad, but I have to constantly correct people – and some refuse to believe the fact that I’m female. Grrr… sexism rears its ugly head. By: theobromophile on 22 April 2007 at 7:23 pm PS: To all my pro-choice and pro-life blog friends, please send the hard pro-choice questions my way. Also, please keep responding and feel free to start similar posts. By: theobromophile on 22 April 2007 at 7:25 pm Another great post. I usually don’t touch this issue with a 10 foot pole…lol. By: totaltransformation on 23 April 2007 at 6:12 am Thank you, TT. Why not touch it? Everyone else does, and it’s always good to hear some really compassionate, balanced anti-abortion arguments. By: theobromophile on 23 April 2007 at 1:29 pm I find it far too emotional to argue with others. I usually just cast my vote pro-life, and leave it at that. I know I should do more. But heck, I use to be a pro-choicer and only recently converted to the pro-life camp myself. By: totaltransformation on 24 April 2007 at 12:11 pm Why the conversion? I hate the idea of illegal abortion – there are too many people who won’t take care of their bodies in the first place (i.e. prevent pregnancy) and will get pregnant and want to abort, so that worries me, but I cannot tolerate the current situation of abortion on demand. I mean, really – 1.3 million a year? If we lost that many people in Iraq, there would be rioting in the streets. By: theobromophile on 24 April 2007 at 12:30 pm i love that you are doing this and that you are pro-life. In college i was in mostly female classes and pretty much one of the only pro-lifers… you would have thought i was getting a sex-change. But i suppose as those girls grew older and have children some may have changed their tune. There was an interesting post sent to me at laypeople.com about how the forced abortion in china is almost always girls and therefore they are running short on brides, which could account for the sex slave trade and such… any feminist should see this adgenda. it is so completely masogynistic (sp?). They are exterminating little girls because they want boys and then little girls are being sold as sex slaves. Possibly orphaned girls. Crazy. Why do people not see the long term effects of such decisions. Thanks for being a feminist that really knows what she is talking about. By: mommyzabs on 24 April 2007 at 12:46 pm Thanks, MommyZabs. :) I’ve occasionally mentioned the problems with forced abortion in China. Feminists love to say that it’s another “anti-choice” issue, but you can’t force abortion unless you first deem it acceptable. Long-term, China will be filled with men who have no possibility of marriage, will become restless, and will probably do what every single culture has done with its extra men: send them off to war. Thanks for being a feminist that really knows what she is talking about. Thank you!!!! for saying that. There’s a lot of people who say that you can’t be against abortion and a feminist. You’re completely right that women become more pro-life as they age. For me, a lot of it was understanding how good abortion is for MEN. It’s women who, biologically, will bear the risk of pregnancy, who will get pregnant, or who will abort. Feminists look at that as support for the latter position, but fail to acknowledge that men don’t bear the burden of abortion – the physical and psychic injuries are those of women. Abortion doesn’t undo the physical disparities between men and women – it just shifts the harm being done to women. Tammi made a great point once about how women who say that abortion allows them to plan their families aren’t being terribly comforting to the children they already have. Four is good, five is too many: wow, your fourth child must be relieved! Not good parenting AT ALL. By: theobromophile on 24 April 2007 at 12:54 pm Well…I will answer more when I finish bathing my daughter..so check back later tonight or tomorrow. By: totaltransformation on 24 April 2007 at 2:51 pm Well, as my daughter is presently coloring, I have some time to respond. First, I was pro-choice because I though it didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t going to get pregnant or have an abortion, so…(leading into point two) Why should I get involved with such a emotional issue? IT was much easier to sit on the side lines and agree with the pro-choicers. Beyond that, and I am ashamed of this former position, I thought; This world is disgusting enough, these kids probably benefit from the get to heaven free card. Needless to say this is incredibly wrong headed. Beyond that, from an atheist perspective, you only get one shot at this thing called life. What right does someone have to take that from their own child? By: totaltransformation on 25 April 2007 at 4:19 am […] Part I: If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part II « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 25 April 2007 at 10:24 am […] If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part III « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 17 May 2007 at 12:20 pm […] If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part IV (Edited) « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 28 May 2007 at 11:36 pm […] PartI: If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? And, It’s wrong …. […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part V « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 6 June 2007 at 10:52 am […] PartI: If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? And, It’s wrong to bring…. […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part VI « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 19 June 2007 at 9:22 am “If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?” You’re often asking for trouble when you depend on catchy little arguments like this. It’s totally incoherent. And it is frightening to realize that any person using this logic has clearly not thought very deeply about abortion. By: Eric Biewener on 15 July 2007 at 7:06 pm Very true, Eric. A lot of the problem that feminists (and some libertarians) have is that, to them, removing the choice infantalises people. Now, the only way that is true is if the choice is a valid one in the first place. The pro-choice crowd does seem to have catchier arguments. They also excel at framing the issue in terms of choice, trust, equality, and “reproductive justice.” Not to mention the fact that they love to point out that the mother is a fully grown woman with people who love her, while the fetus is unwanted and unloved. A lot of the duty of a pro-life advocate is to expand the pro-choice catch phrases. Choice to do what? Justice for whom? How do you propose to make men and women equal? Who – government, the patriarchy, or biology – is the one doling out the inequality? By: theobromophile on 16 July 2007 at 1:51 pm […] Part I: If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? And, It’s wrong to bring…. […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part VII « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 1 August 2007 at 1:28 am […] Part I: If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? And, It’s wrong to bring…. […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part VIII « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 13 September 2007 at 9:31 am […] Part I: If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child? And, It’s wrong to bring…. […] By: Debunking the Pro-Choice Argument, Part IX « Helvidius, a Pachyderm on 2 October 2007 at 1:23 am “we don’t decide to kill the teenager” “The solution to this problem – killing the child” “the idea that the “choice” at stake is to slaughter a child” —————— How do you expect to convince others when you use such hyperbole? How is aborting a fetus on par with “killing” or “slaughtering” a born being (i.e. a “child” or “teenager”)? Do you honestly think that aborting a pregnancy is the same as a mother killing her child? If so, why? By: gnuosphere on 18 November 2007 at 3:57 am Hi gnuosphere – I don’t see that as hyperbole. Abortion violently crushes and dismembers an innocent human being. Is she smaller? Yes, but that is just because she is at a different stage of development. Toddlers are smaller than teens but just as human. By: Neil on 18 November 2007 at 8:01 am P.S. If your mother would have had an abortion several months before the day you were born, where would you be? Yes, aborting a pregnancy is killing a child. By: Neil on 18 November 2007 at 8:47 am “Abortion violently crushes and dismembers an innocent human being.” I’m not sure why you use the word “innocent”. An embryo/fetus cannot be innocent any more than it can be guilty. Contrary to what some may believe, most who support the right to abort acknowledge the fact that such a choice is not frivolous, whimsical, or without emotion. Therefore, using descriptors such as “innocent” and “violently crushes and dismembers” is more insulting than convincing due to their obvious emotional plea. “Is she smaller?” What does size have to do with this? This is reminiscent of the anti-abortion movement’s hijacking of the Horton Hears a Who line “a person’s a person, no matter how small”. Surely any serious discussion of this matter has nothing to do with the amount of physical space anyone or anything occupies. This makes your “toddlers are smaller than teens” point nonsensical. “If your mother would have had an abortion several months before the day you were born, where would you be?” Obviously, I wouldn’t be. This question is clearly an attempt to play on a fear of non-existence. Once again, insulting rather than convincing – especially when it is followed by the statement: “Yes, aborting a pregnancy is killing a child.” How your question confirms that aborting an embryo/fetus is a “killing a child” is perplexing. I don’t see the connection you’re attempting to draw. By: gnuosphere on 18 November 2007 at 9:56 am I use the word “innocent” because in this society we consider it murder to kill innocent human beings. Some pro-legalized-abortion proponents try to demonize the unborn as interlopers, etc. so I am merely making it clear that they have committed no crimes worthy of death. Why is an accurate description of the procedure an emotional plea? I realize that most don’t consider the decision to be frivolous. The question is, “Why?” I think it is because a human being is being destroyed. If abortion doesn’t kill an innocent human being, then the procedure is morally neutral. So we agree that size isn’t the issue. I must have misinterpreted your earlier argument about teens vs. the unborn. In my experience, most who make that are implying that there is a difference in the humanity because of the age and/or size. I wasn’t trying to insult you with the argument about your existence. I was pointing out what we both agree on: That you wouldn’t be here. But the question is, why wouldn’t you be here? Would it be because you never existed or because you existed and were destroyed in uterero? If it is the former, then it would be a morally neutral issue. But I think it is the latter. By: Neil on 18 November 2007 at 10:22 am “I use the word “innocent” because in this society we consider it murder to kill innocent human beings.” But an embryo/fetus is not an “innocent human being” that is “killed”. It is an embryo/fetus. “Some pro-legalized-abortion proponents try to demonize the unborn as interlopers, etc. so I am merely making it clear that they have committed no crimes worthy of death.” Both views (”interlopers” or “innocents”) are in the extreme and therefore absurd. How can an embryo/fetus be either of these? “I realize that most don’t consider the decision to be frivolous. The question is, “Why?” I think it is because a human being is being destroyed.” Most who believe that they would be committing “murder” by “killing” their “child” are not likely to consider having an abortion. Therefore, most women who would consider an abortion are not likely to think that doing so is “killing/destroying” a “human being”. “In my experience, most who make that are implying that there is a difference in the humanity because of the age and/or size.” Size is an irrelevant issue, but age is important. For instance, what is the problem with abortion if the women carries an embryo? However, once that embryo ages and becomes a fetus the matter becomes more complex the older that fetus is. Typically though, women choose to have an abortion before the embryo becomes a fetus or during the very early stages of fetus development. If you would like to debate that window of time (fetus – birth), that is reasonable…but I get the impression you believe the instant fertilization takes place it becomes an act of murder to abort the resultant embryo. If that is the case, there is nothing to discuss. “But the question is, why wouldn’t you be here? Would it be because you never existed or because you existed and were destroyed in uterero?” A biological foundation existed. But it is absurd to refer to a foundation as “me” or “you” or anyone in particular. That foundation has not developed any significant qualities that make up what we would call a “person”. By: gnuosphere on 18 November 2007 at 11:53 am “But an embryo/fetus is not an “innocent human being” that is “killed”. It is an embryo/fetus.” I don’t follow that argument. Embryo / fetus / newborn / toddler / teen / etc. are just stages of development for human beings. They aren’t things in and of themselves. We agree on the “interloper” designation being absurd, but the human beings are innocent of capital crimes just as newborns are. “Therefore, most women who would consider an abortion are not likely to think that doing so is “killing/destroying” a “human being”.” Some might not, though some will admit that they know exactly what they are doing yet do it anyway. But for those that don’t think they are killing a human being, why do they consider abortion to be a serious thing, as you pointed out earlier? Yes, I believe that life begins at conception and am glad to have science on my side. Many pro-legalized-abortion folk will concede this biological fact while shifting to the elusive “personhood” classification for when it is finally wrong to kill the entity in question. “That foundation has not developed any significant qualities that make up what we would call a “person”.” Ironically, I typed my last paragraph before noticing that you snuck in the “person” argument. When people start debating which humans qualify as persons, watch out (e.g., slavery, the holocaust, etc.). The “foundation” is a human being, and if your foundation would have been destroyed you wouldn’t be here, just as if a toddler is destroyed she would no longer be here. By: Neil on 18 November 2007 at 1:56 pm Sorry, I should have said, “introduced” the person argument and not “snuck in.” I didn’t mean to be inflammatory. By: Neil on 18 November 2007 at 1:57 pm Gentlemen, I am off for my Thanksgiving vacation and will not have internet access for the next week. Please feel free to continue to debate. Next Sunday, I’ll have time to respond to gnu’s questions & statements. Thanks, Neil. :) By: theobromophile on 18 November 2007 at 3:59 pm Have a great vacation! You deserve it. Looking forward to your views upon your return. We’ll take good care of your blog. Well, at least I will . . . I can’t speak for TotalT! By: Neil on 18 November 2007 at 4:01 pm Hee hee. :) Thank you. Off to see the family in Florida. Thanks for blog-sitting for me. :) By: theobromophile on 18 November 2007 at 4:02 pm One quick note: Gnu – check out the progress of fetal development. By the time a woman realises that she’s pregnant, the embryo has a heartbeat. Fingertips are present, IIRC, at two weeks beyond the first missed period. The “blob of cells” argument doesn’t hold water. (There are two ways to measure the length of pregnancy: by last menstrual period and by estimated conception date. Most go from LMP, which means that, at five weeks, the woman is just starting to figure out that her period is late.) By: theobromophile on 18 November 2007 at 4:07 pm “I don’t follow that argument. Embryo / fetus / newborn / toddler / teen / etc. are just stages of development for human beings. They aren’t things in and of themselves.” “just stages”. Perhaps this is where we digress. Though fundamentally I philosophically see the notion of beginnings and endings to be arbitrary, I find it oversimplification to equate an embryo with a teen. “We agree on the “interloper” designation being absurd, but the human beings are innocent of capital crimes just as newborns are.” I don’t find it fair to even discuss “crimes” in regard to embryos or even newborns. Neither are possible “criminal” candidates due to their very nature, not their “innocence”. Again, this is oversimplification, no? “for those that don’t think they are killing a human being, why do they consider abortion to be a serious thing, as you pointed out earlier?” Neil, this is an important question. I think (forgive me as I am a man) most women who contemplate this decision feel it to be serious for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, I think the weight of the decision comes from the fact that abortion results in the immediate (and abrupt) clarification of a possible future outcome that – regardless of the choice – is intimately connected to she who makes the decision. In short, it is surely an emotional experience for the majority of women who go through it – whether they choose to be a mother or abort. It is likely that only in rare cases a women who chooses to abort can escape the thought of what “could have been”. However, what “could have been” is a weight – neither negative nor positive. That weight is notable but not necessarily an indictment of “murder”, “killing”, or “slaughter”. In fact, it is this language that adds more unneeded and cruel pressure on those women who undergo the decision – regardless of what that decision may be. “Yes, I believe that life begins at conception and am glad to have science on my side.” Science has no side. In fact, science thrives on distinction. It is science that says “embryo” versus “teen”. It is science that says “life” versus “death”. It is science that says “you” versus “me”. Science is dependent upon a separation between the observer and the observed. This is neither right nor wrong but simply the nature of science. Let us neither attempt to appropriate science as ally nor mark it as enemy. Science has its proper place but belongs neither in my nor your pocket. “When people start debating which humans qualify as persons, watch out (e.g., slavery, the holocaust, etc.).” I’m not debating which humans qualify as persons. I’m debating when a foundation becomes a human being. Bringing up slavery or genocide is irresponsibly insulting. By: gnuosphere on 19 November 2007 at 11:35 am [comment removed by moderator for failure to abide by comment policy.] By: gnuosphere on 19 November 2007 at 11:47 am gnuosphere, “I’m debating when a foundation becomes a human being.” I think I’ll bow out, at least for now, so feel free to have the last word. The recurring theme in your argument seems to be uncertainty about personhood and/or humanity. Your “foundation” argument introduces another element which just appears to be another way to avoid the obvious: We are talking about a human being. Human fetus. Human baby. Human toddler. Etc. Human beings at different stages of development. They are alive – which is precisely the problem for the one wanting to perform the abortion! They are innocent, in that they are guilty of no crime deserving death. If you want to leave the “innocent” adjective out, that is fine. It simplifies the argument further: Abortion kills a human being, so it is immoral. Peace, Neil By: Neil on 19 November 2007 at 6:27 pm Gnu, My blog, my rules. You are held to a high standard of civility if you would like to comment here. Do you honestly think that aborting a pregnancy is the same as a mother killing her child? If so, why? Er, because they are both human beings. I don’t think that it’s okay to leave an infant in the Dumpster, and I don’t think it’s okay to abort. Be honest with yourself: most pro-choicers only think that unborn humans are not worthy of protection because they want abortion to be legal or moral or both, not because the unborn are intrinsically without worth. Yes, I do think that killing humans is morally wrong, regardless of the stage of development. The fact that I was one of the lucky 75% of fetuses not aborted does not mean that I cannot care about this, no more than the fact that I am not black does not mean that I cannot care about civil rights. — You seem to have difficulty grasping the concept of a “fetus” as a human, not as a frog, plant, or ironing board. Here is the definition of a fetus: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fetus (used chiefly of viviparous mammals) the young of an animal in the womb or egg, esp. in the later stages of development when the body structures are in the recognizable form of its kind, in humans after the end of the second month of gestation. That’s right – it’s a human in its early stages of development. It’s not a freakin tissue that can be just thrown away at whim; this is human life here. I hit you with the embryonic development because that is the argument you are making, just in more obtuse form: there is no way any rational person can see the progeny of two humans, with a heartbeat, brain, neural system, and digestive system and think that it’s morally acceptable to terminate its life. Science has no side. In fact, science thrives on distinction. It is science that says “embryo” versus “teen”. It is science that says “life” versus “death”. It is science that says “you” versus “me”. Science is dependent upon a separation between the observer and the observed. This is neither right nor wrong but simply the nature of science. Let us neither attempt to appropriate science as ally nor mark it as enemy. Science has its proper place but belongs neither in my nor your pocket. SUCH CRAP. Instead of philosophising about science, why not actually respond to the arguments that Neil makes? Your response basically says that nothing we learn from science can ever, ever have any bearing on the debate. That’s such crap – it’s like saying that psychology doesn’t inform the ethics involving mental health treatment. Science tells us that the embryo is not just a blob of cells; it’s actually a very tiny human. We see this with ultrasound pictures and embryology. Science tells us that the thing in the womb is not a plant, tissue, or newspaper; it is not a blob that magically becomes a human once women no longer desire abortions; it is a very tiny, very young human. Science will always inform the debates we have over medicine; psychology will always inform the debates we have over the ethics of psychological care. Sure, researchers don’t do a 4-D ultrasound and declare, “This makes the pro-life argument foolproof!”; neither do psychologists do a study about post-traumatic stress disorder and declare, “This means we ought to rewrite our guidelines!” A query: do you have a position on the global warming debate, and do you think you have science on your side? I’m not debating which humans qualify as persons. I’m debating when a foundation becomes a human being. Bringing up slavery or genocide is irresponsibly insulting. Please do not call Neil irresponsible or insulting; he is a thorough, caring, tactful man. You are much like a person who runs about a playground and yells, “No! No! No!” without offering any rebuttal evidence or other claims. You say that an embryo is a “foundation.” At what point does it become human? What characterises a foundation and not a human life? I believe, firmly, that the person I am now is the foundation of who I will be in my later years. That does not mean that I am merely a “potential” middle-aged person, or that my life as it stands now is without worth and may be destroyed at will. An embryo is not a “potential” human; it is a human – no more, no less. You claim you are debating this. Fine. Then learn to debate and put forth your own claim. Until you do that, please do not respond. (My blog, my rules – and I’m a dictator.) It is incumbent upon you to put forth a specific point at which a “foundation” becomes a “human” and worthy of legal protection and moral worth. In fact, it is this language that adds more unneeded and cruel pressure on those women who undergo the decision – regardless of what that decision may be. Boo freakin hoo. Why is the pressure cruel, if it isn’t even a human? Wouldn’t that be like running around a paper factory and yelling, “Concentration camp! Concentration camp for trees!” The workers not be traumatised; in fact, most of them would laugh their butts off. The only way that such statements can put pressure on someone is if they are true. Otherwise, they are the ravings of mad-persons, who cause amusement or are ignored. I do not think that any woman has a right to kill her unborn child, no more than I think a man has any right to rape women. You would not argue that it is “cruel” and “adds pressure” to a man who is considering whether or not to force sexual congress upon a woman by calling it “rape” or “unfinished murder.” We use appalling terms for appalling acts. Women should not get to kill their children while everyone hands them cookies; it is not their decision to make, any more than it would be their decision to leave that foundation of a human being, an infant, in a toilet to drown. Let me sum up your arguments: we are mean to women who are making a tough decision. It’s a tough decision not because there is something fundamentally fucked up about killing one’s own child (if it’s not killing, it’s not alive and you’ve miscarried; if it’s not a child, you’re not pregnant), but because it is a potential human being with the same moral worth as a sperm. (Query whether anyone ever says that it’s a “tough decision” to abstain or use contraception…. is that the sound of crickets chirping?) Finally, you have this “foundation” thing going on, but have NOT ONCE detailed when this “foundation” becomes a human. By: theobromophile on 20 November 2007 at 11:27 pm Neil, bow out if you must though I’m curious about something. You use the “innocence” argument in the sense of “guilty of no crime deserving death”. This seems to indicate that you favor the intentional killing of human beings for the guilt of some crimes. Is this so? If so, this is interesting as I find court imposed death immoral. If the death penalty is just, how do you reconcile your stance on abortion with your stance regarding the death penalty? And if this is not your stance on the death penalty, disregard the question. By: Peter Rock on 23 November 2007 at 12:31 pm Hi Peter, I was just bowing out of that part of the conversation because I was repeating myself. Thanks for seeking clarification. I’ve written quite a bit on my capital punishment views and specifically addressed the abortion / CP issue. For starters, I think the pro-life issue is more important because we are talking about 20,000 unborn destroyed per week without anesthetic in the U.S. vs. 1 (one!) convicted murdered given a lethal injection with the least pain possible. I think the pro-life / pro-CP set of views is the most logical and Biblically accurate (provided the CP decision is arrived at Biblically – i.e., two witnesses, perjury is considered a serious crime, etc.) The pro-abortion / pro-CP view (”let’s kill everybody! :-)) view seems to be in the minority, as does the pro-life / anti-CP view. But at least those views have some consistency to them. The pro-abortion / anti-CP view is the most irreconcilable to me. I’ll quote Theobromophile to make that point: “Fetus’s crime: being conceived to a mother who doesn’t particularly want to have babies with the man she performs the sex act with. Inmate’s crime: murder, rape, torture. Burning people alive. Beating people to death and leaving them to suffer.” Hope that helps! By: Neil on 23 November 2007 at 3:27 pm Neil, OK, so it is clear now that you favor “capital punishment” so long as the “guilty are executed” (according to the link you sent me). What is/are an/some example(s) of crime(s) you feel “execution” should be applied to (assuming guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt)? By: gnuosphere on 24 November 2007 at 5:44 am Mainly premeditated murder. I’d have to think about it some more. By: Neil on 24 November 2007 at 8:58 am Please do and if you think of anything else, let me know. I would think it fair to say that part of what defines murder is premeditation – that is, a sort of intentionally directed malice toward a victim. I would also think it fair to say that abortion is premeditated. I don’t want to assume anything so let me ask you straight out… Do you think that abortion is murder? By: gnuosphere on 24 November 2007 at 2:08 pm Yes, abortion is murder and it is premeditated. I’m way ahead of you here, so let me save you some keystrokes. If abortions were to be illegal again the punishments would depend on a host of factors. If you think you are going to do some kind of “gotcha” and claim I’d have to be for the woman getting the death penalty you’re wrong. Let’s focus on whether abortion kills an innocent human being first and then have the debate on appropriate punishments, OK? (Unless you are conceding my point on that, which I doubt). Abortions, like all murders, tend to be very complicated psychologically (and legally, with respect to punishments) but morally they are quite simple: It is wrong to kill innocent human beings. By: Neil on 24 November 2007 at 2:15 pm “Let’s focus on whether abortion kills an innocent human being first and then have the debate on appropriate punishments, OK? (Unless you are conceding my point on that, which I doubt).” I’m conceding that you perceive abortion to be murder. Just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I can’t/shouldn’t – for the sake of understanding your mindset – accept that and then ask further questions based upon those assumptions. Assuming abortion were against the law, should a woman who aborts be sentenced to death? Let us assume she is not insane (psychological factors) and this is a typical case. By: Peter Rock on 24 November 2007 at 4:37 pm I repeat: Let’s focus on whether abortion kills an innocent human being first and then have the debate on appropriate punishments, OK? If we don’t agree on that then of course there is no need to debate the punishments. Of course, that takes away one of the emotional arguments the pro-legalized-abortionists use, but I’m fine with that. By: Neil on 24 November 2007 at 5:14 pm I think we’ve already focused on the definition of abortion. It seems clear that we agree to disagree. So, I am trying to understand where your mindset leads if we were to accept your point of view. Perhaps you could enlighten me via that route. So, I am willing to conditionally accept, for the sake of learning, that abortion is murder and thus, immoral. If you refuse to discuss unless I (without condition) agree with you that abortion is murder then we’ve reached an apparent impasse. By: Peter Rock on 24 November 2007 at 6:00 pm Yes, we have. Thanks for the charitable discussion. I appreciate it. Enjoy the weekend! By: Neil on 24 November 2007 at 6:10 pm OK. Thanks and truthfully, I appreciated the interaction as well. Theobromophile, I apologize for using the descriptor “asinine” in regard to your views (I assume that’s why you deleted that comment) – it was insulting and begot a barrier between us. To be honest, I don’t understand your (or Neil’s) view. Perhaps my own conditioning is in the way. What would you suggest to help me understand? What can I do to know the truth about anything, let alone abortion? By: Peter Rock on 24 November 2007 at 9:02 pm Peter Rock/Gnu – Now that I’m back from my vacation and settling in… I’ll get to this in a few. By: theobromophile on 28 November 2007 at 9:03 pm What would you suggest to help me understand? What can I do to know the truth about anything, let alone abortion? Well, if you want to go all Descartes, I have no idea. You know that you exist, if even in someone’s imagination (and not in the “Stranger than Fiction” way ;) ). I think that your point of disagreement with Neil can be solved by a little word: “arguendo.” In law, courts will often assume things arguendo (for the sake of argument) in order to evaluate a position. If you assume, for the sake of argument, everything that the opposition says is true, where does that lead? If we are to assume, for the sake of argument, that abortion is tantamount to murder, where does that leave us? There are four general positions: 1) charge both mother and abortionist with murder; 2) charge abortionist but not mother with murder; 3) charge mother but not abortionist with murder; 4) charge neither with murder. (In a “no murder charge” scenario, there could be alternatives to recognise that the act is morally and legally wrong, but not meriting of incarceration. Think community service or counseling.) Historically, abortion law relied upon option #2: punish abortionist but not mother. Note that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 likewise only punishes the abortionist; there are no penalties of any type for the woman seeking the abortion. So the questions become: is that a morally defensible position? socially, good policy? As you’ve probably read, I’ve justified the “prosecute the abortionist, not the mother” position here. I’ve also done the same at Blog de Novo. (There was also some Crescat/de Novo discussion about this; find it here ) Generally, I don’t ascribe to the theory that differently-situated people need to be treated similarly. Legally, someone facing nine months of a threat to bodily integrity is different from someone facing no such threat; there is nothing wrong or inconsistent about meting out different punishments. Abortion is pretty much the only area in which we would know for certain that a mitigating factor is always present for one perpetrator. (Consider that it is always a fact-intensive issue to determine whether a defendant in a manslaughter case was facing a threat to his bodily integrity or if there was, say, diminished capacity.) It makes sense, therefore, to carve out a per se rule. That’s a long way of saying that yes, you can treat abortion as murder, but not charge the formerly pregnant woman, and be entirely consistent. (Deep breath.) I assume the next question is thus: Why should the fetus be considered tantamount to a toddler? or, why should the stated premise, made for the sake of argument, be accepted? By: theobromophile on 28 November 2007 at 9:23 pm “tantamount”? What do you mean? Can you please describe what that means to you. If you don’t mind. “[…]why should the stated premise […] be accepted?”. What exactly is your (and possibly Neil’s) stated premise? That “abortion is murder since” …? Since what? By: gnuosphere on 29 November 2007 at 2:46 am Excuse me? I am making a genuine, concerted effort to answer your questions. I’m freaking tired, finals are coming up, and talking to people I don’t know over the internet is NOT my first priority. In case you missed it, those were the questions that I’m going to address when I get a fricking chance. Now, you are asking questions out of a) genuine interest in understanding the debate; or b) to engage in a dick-waving contest? Given that my last paragraph was unambiguous, I’m going with the latter – sadly, because this could have turned into excellent give-and-take. By: theobromophile on 29 November 2007 at 2:50 am I was simply asking you to state your premise explicitly. Only Neil has said “abortion is murder” in this thread. I don’t want to assume you share that view for fear of misunderstanding you. That is, I don’t want to assume Neil is speaking for you. You stated that abortion is a “slaughter” and a “killing”. Though there is a commonality, “murder” is qualitatively different in that it assumes intent. However, you have not explicitly said that. So do you agree with Neil or not? Why is this asking for clarification upsetting you so? How can we discuss unless I am absolutely clear on your premise to begin with? By: Peter Rock on 29 November 2007 at 3:08 am I did state my premise explicitly. Here it is again: If we are to assume, for the sake of argument, that abortion is tantamount to murder, where does that leave us? There are four general positions: If that is not “explicit” enough, such is your problem. By: theobromophile on 29 November 2007 at 1:11 pm Though there is a commonality, “murder” is qualitatively different in that it assumes intent. Actually, I think that abortionists all undergo a period of temporary insanity, once a pregnant woman walks into their office, as space aliens immediately kidnap them, scramble their brains, and return them to Earth just in time for them to shred a child’s body into pieces to facilitate easier removal from the woman’s uterus. /sarcasm If you explain how abortion could lack intent (as opposed to, say, a miscarriage, which plainly lacks both mens rea and an actus reas), go right ahead. Stop being a nit-picking jerk, read what I’ve written, and we’ll talk. Until then, I have better things to do with my time – including gazing at my toes – than answering your asinine questions. By: theobromophile on 29 November 2007 at 1:16 pm I don’t think gnu was trying to say that abortion can lack intent. Only that he didn’t want to assume that by “slaughter” and “killing” you meant “murder”. Perhaps reading over what he wrote might help. I think gnu is asking you to state your premise clearly, then we can maybe convince him. Perhaps get rid of “If we are to assume, for the sake of argument” as that has nothing to do with a premise. Get rid of “tantamount” as the meaning of the word in this context muddles the force of your premise. I think it is understood that we’re talking about the morality of abortion, not the legality. “where does that leave us?” also has nothing to do with a premise so get rid of that. And finally, get rid of “There are four general positions:” as that has nothing to do with a premise. Perhaps go to a resource like Wikipedia to find out what a premise is and use that as a guide. Then you might be left with something like… Abortion is murder, since . or if gnu gets nit-picky and claims that you are wrong because abortion is not against the law in the US then just say, Abortion is immoral, since . Hope that helps! I’m looking forward to hearing you argue this if you do! By: christian on 1 December 2007 at 6:17 pm Christian, Thank you for commenting. I’m a bit confused about your comment, though. You say that I need to use the word “premise.” I happen to (stridently) disagree. When a person says, “Assume, for the sake of argument, that x is true,” their premise is: x is true. I said, “Assume that abortion is tantamount to murder.” My premise for that section of my argument is “abortion is tantamount to murder.” There is no other way – logically or linguistically – to read that sentence. The four options are necessary to understanding the issue. Gnu’s question was: Assuming abortion were against the law, should a woman who aborts be sentenced to death? Let us assume she is not insane (psychological factors) and this is a typical case. Considering that not every jurisdiction has the death penalty, those that do may not allow it for a single homicide, and, anyway, there is a stay of the death penalty in many of those states pending the outcome of Baze v. Rees, I assumed that Peter was asking the more general question: if abortion were made illegal, how would it be enforced? If I were to answer his question with an overview of the death penalty in America (which would, to be quite fair, specifically answer his question), I think he would be left unsatisfied. After all, the (very true) answer of, “Well, my home state doesn’t have the death penalty, and my adopted state has a moratorium on it, so yeah, we could give women the death penalty but they wouldn’t be executed” is hardly a satisfactory response. Perhaps go to a resource like Wikipedia to find out what a premise is and use that as a guide. Not to be snitty, but I’m pretty sure I know what a premise is. I mean, I graduated from middle school – and high school! and college! with an engineering degree – where my professors required us to explicitly state every premise used for our calculations. By: theobromophile on 1 December 2007 at 7:44 pm “abortion is tantamount to murder.” Well, that is some progress at least. OK, I’m going to take a guess as to what your whole argument is… Murder is immoral. Abortion is murder. Therefore, abortion is immoral. Is that correct? By: Peter Rock on 1 December 2007 at 10:07 pm Peter, If you would like to continue commenting here, please tone down the sarcasm. I cannot fathom why you would deliberately engage someone whom you think incapable of rational debate, or so lacking in intelligence as to not be able to formulate a rational argument. If that’s really what you are doing, may I suggest that you at least engage someone whom you consider to be highly intelligent, rational, and thoughtful, so you may learn something and/or enjoy the challenge of matching wits? A very honest question: what do you mean my “immoral,” or “morality?” For you, is it necessarily religious? I ask because, in defining murder (and in justifying why certain forms of murder should be prosecuted in various ways, or why certain forms of homicide ought to be considered “murder” or be punishable), there is a necessary discussion of what is “wrong” and “right,” whether it be religious, philosophical, secular but moral, or pick-your-poison. I do my best to argue the pro-life position from an entirely secular standpoint. I take it as a given that most religions disapprove of abortion, and, even if they don’t, there are actual religious people out there who are far more capable than I of explaining the prohibitions. —– In order to justify a ban on abortion, a pro-life person must demonstrate: 1. that abortion is murder, or some other socially-unacceptable activity; and 2. as such, should be subject to state regulation and enforcement mechanisms. I argued the second part already. First of all, it’s simpler; secondly, both parts are dispositive of the issue of whom to prosecute. If it is illogical to prosecute both mother and physician after an abortion, it does not matter whether or not it is murder, robbery, arson, or embezzlement – it will not change the structure of our legal system, and the pro-life movement is wasting its time. By: theobromophile on 1 December 2007 at 10:25 pm “A very honest question: what do you mean my “immoral,” or “morality?” For you, is it necessarily religious?” No. “I do my best to argue the pro-life position from an entirely secular standpoint.” [Deleted by administrator. Please re-phrase into something you would say in the presence of your mother.] By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 12:24 am I’m not sure why you deleted that part of my post. I’ll ask again… [Deleted by administrator. The first time was unacceptable; repeating unacceptable comments does not make thema acceptable.] By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 1:02 am No. By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 1:04 am OK, then what is it? You have a whole section of your blog called “Pro-life Apologetics” but I can’t find any concise argument. By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 1:14 am (Shrug.) Sounds like a personal problem. I’m not sure why you would look to a “whole section” of a blog to find a “concise” argument; it’s much like looking to the OED to find a “concise” definition of “normal” words. If you would like to engage in non-sarcastic debate, please do so – I would welcome it. That would involve asking a question that is not completely snooty (i.e. implying that my argument is one that would cause your average second-grader to point and laugh). By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 1:16 am “[…] implying that my argument […]” All I’m asking is…what is your argument? By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 1:22 am If that is “all you are asking,” then why do you feel the need to tell me what it is, in quite a rude manner? It’s quite unfair to switch your attitude half-way through and pretend that you’ve had the same one all along. If you are asking for my “argument,” you’ll have to be more specific. If you want my argument as to why pro-choice arguments are philosophically lacking, you can look to my “debunking” series. I accept, as a given, that fetuses and embryos are human – i.e. I accept the basic tenets of biology. I accept the definition of “murder” as the unjust killing of a human. I believe that murder is wrong. By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 1:31 am Debunking pro-choice arguments debunks pro-choice arguments. It doesn’t act as “Apologetics” for a pro-life argument. If one makes a false pro-choice argument, that doesn’t validate the opposite. Just as someone making a false pro-life argument doesn’t validate pro-choice. Therefore, if all you are doing is debunking pro-choice arguments, I suggest you pick a different title for your tab currently called “Pro-Life Apologetics”. If the case is that you have no argument defending the pro-life view then please just tell me. Yes, this ENTIRE time I have assumed you have an argument because of the title of that section. The very title implies you have an argument. Don’t get me wrong. I fully support debunking false arguments no matter what angle they come from. That’s a good thing and I support you doing so. But that is not “Apologetics”. It may occur concurrently, but it is not apologetics. “If you are asking for my “argument,” you’ll have to be more specific.” You state you are a “Pro-life Apologetic”. What is your argument for pro-life? I’m not sure how I can be more specific. By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 1:52 am So if I were to change the title of my page, would you stop being a jerk? By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 2:08 am Do as you like. I’m (jerk or not) just asking a “pro-life apologetic” what her argument is. By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 2:13 am You are not “just asking.” You are burying a question in an unnecessary amount of sarcasm. Now, I have nothing against sarcasm, but it should advance discussion, not limit it; and it certainly should not be designed to put the blog-owner on the defensive. By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 2:15 am So as a pro-life apologist, what is your argument? I would assume others interested in that page of yours might ask the same thing. It is a legitimate question considering the title. By: Peter Rock on 2 December 2007 at 2:31 am (Raises an eyebrow.) I assume you’re asking me to expand on the following general principle: 1. Embryos and fetuses are human beings (as a matter of biology, the progeny of two humans is a human; less obviously, the characteristics of an embryo and fetus show us that it is a living thing). 2. Murder is the unjust killing of a human being. 3. As a society, we believe that murder is wrong and should not be permitted. Now, I take (1) and (3) almost for granted. I may have addressed the arguments that embryos are not alive; I take (3) to be a given, although I do address it briefly in my “libertarian” post. The question really becomes thus: Is a pregnant woman (and an abortionist) justified in killing an embryo or fetus? As a legal matter, it is up to the defendant to prove the justice of a death by a preponderance of the evidence; the prosecutor need not prove that the killing was not just. If a defendant proffers evidence that the killing was just or otherwise mitigated (and therefore excusable or mitigated), the prosecution may then offer countervailing evidence. When we debate philosophically, I think that a similar paradigm is helpful. It gives us a construct to work with when deciding how we should act as a society. Therefore, the question becomes, “Has the pro-choice side demostrated that abortion is just?” (By the way, I use “just” fairly loosely here; it is not meant as a Biblical term, or really a legal one; it is philosophical. Is this something that can be justified? something we consider acceptable?) My pro-life apologetics are aimed at that portion of the argument. What I have tried to do is counter the reasons for arguing that abortion is just, fair, or otherwise morally permissible. I am aware that my argument (1. human; 2. therefore murder to kill, if killing is unjust; 3. therefore, not philosophically permissible) may not be as fleshed out as you would like it to be. So my question to you: in that argument, what do you not agree with? Part 1, 2, or 3? Or all of them? Do you believe that there is a reason why the killing is just, that I have no mentioned in my apologetics? Pro-choice apologeticists – at least those who are intellectually honest – focus on the “just” angle of the framework. They do not seriously argue that the embryo is a dog, or a plant, or a gamete; they do not seriously argue that it lacks the characteristics of a living thing; nor do they seriously argue that abortion does not terminate the life of said living human. What they do argue is that the killing is nonetheless acceptable – the fetus being a “blob of cells,” or rules to the contrary being anti-feminist, or that so many embryos die in utero anyway, or that the alternative involves an unacceptable infringement upon a woman’s liberty. My “pro-life” section refutes these reasons. (Shrug.) So yes, I call that “pro-life apologetics,” as it is aimed at justifying my stance and detracting the opposition. By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 3:34 am P.S. You claim that “apologetics” is a bad title. Why? “Apologetics” is merely a defence or an explanation of something – and, as stated above, I offer a defence of the anti-abortion position. It is queer indeed to state that apologetics is limited to offering affirmative reasons for something, and may not engage in refuting the opposition. Would you consider the famous “liar, lunatic, or Lord” trilemma of C.S. Lewis to not be apologetics? By: theobromophile on 2 December 2007 at 4:32 pm “I assume you’re asking me to expand on the following general principle:” No, I’m asking what your argument is. Is this your argument… Murder is the intentional killing of a human being guilty of no crime. Therefore, murdering a human being is immoral. Abortion is the intentional killing of an embryo. An embryo is a human being guilty of no crime. Therefore, abortion is murder and thus, immoral. ? By: Peter Rock on 3 December 2007 at 9:43 am Immoral or unlawful? Does it depend on whether we are discussing whether the action is just or permissible? By: theobromophile on 3 December 2007 at 12:37 pm OK, how about this slight adjustment which prevents someone from arguing that you are wrong because (in the US) abortion is legal… Murder is the intentional killing of a human being guilty of no crime. Therefore, murdering a human being is immoral. Abortion is the intentional killing of an embryo. An embryo is a human being guilty of no crime. Therefore, abortion is murder, immoral, and should be against the law. By: Peter Rock on 3 December 2007 at 6:18 pm Yes. I mean, obviously, there are points to flesh out, but for the sake of moving forward and crossing those bridges only if/when they need to be crossed, yes. To put it another way: I may word it slightly differently, but I’m not going to nitpick (too much ;) ). By: theobromophile on 3 December 2007 at 6:25 pm Random… my blog-tracker tells me that you are still checking out this thread. Are you waiting for a reply? Did I miss something? By: theobromophile on 5 December 2007 at 9:45 pm Other people can still comment, no? Though, I’ll assume then that traffic has slowed and check back less frequently. Thanks for the heads-up. If something is said anytime soon, feel free to contact me at the email I’ve been leaving in your required text field. Cheers. By: Peter Rock on 6 December 2007 at 10:11 am You should send your link/material to Libertarians for Life. I could see them publishing this stuff, or at the very least, linking to this blog. Good stuff. By: Chance on 13 December 2007 at 7:20 pm Peter, Yes, other people mosey on through here from time to time. Chance, I did just that. I should hear back from them soon. By: theobromophile on 14 December 2007 at 6:38 pm Just remember me when you become famous. By: Chance on 18 December 2007 at 10:34 am “Murder is the intentional killing of a human being guilty of no crime.” The argument strings together nicely if you accept that “murder” involves any sort of human being. However, an embryo is not a person and that is an important quality of what it means to “murder” – not just be “a human being”. An embryo is like a human being on life-support in a severely brain-damaged state. Pulling the plug on a human being in that state is similar to aborting an embryo. Why anyone would consider that wrong and argue for laws against it is beyond me. Gnu, you are not actually accepting this argument, are you? By: Tracer on 22 December 2007 at 7:48 pm If it’s not a human, what is it? Plant? Fish? Wad of tissue paper? Riddle me this: if it’s not a human, or worthy of protection, when DOES it become a human or a person? If you answer “viability,” please consider that infants are not viable without their mothers or formula; that Siamese twins are not viable without each other; and that a fetus that is viable in the Mayo Clinic is not viable in sub-Saharan Africa. Ergo, it’s pretty safe to assume that viability is not the measure of human worth, as it changes over time, place, and circumstances. By the way, you are NOT allowed to unilaterally pull the plug on a comatose person. Generally, the health proxy needs to be either acting in the person’s best medical interests (i.e. not his own interests, such as obtaining a life insurance policy) and the person needs to have little or no chance of recovery. A pregnant woman is, in over 90% of the cases, acting in her own interests and contrary to those of the child (so she should not be a medical proxy) and the embryo, by the time she figures out she is pregnant, has about a 95% chance of live birth. So your argument fails for lack of an accurate factual basis. (Shrug.)
  8. gnuosphere Says:

    theobromophile,

    Thanks for restoring the comments. Can you provide the original post as well so the context is clearer for the readers? Also, if you’d like more people to see this, you may consider reposting all of it as a comment on this post –

    https://gnuosphere.wordpress.com/2008/04/05/our-huberis/

    That post actually tackles the question of abortion.

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