August 7, 2016

"Sen. Marco Rubio said Saturday that he doesn’t believe a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus should have the right to an abortion..."

"... even if she had reason to believe the child would be born with severe microcephaly."
"I understand a lot of people disagree with my view – but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one," Rubio told POLITICO.

"But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life."
If I’m going to err...

That "I" suggests the better answer: Do your own moral reasoning. It's a difficult decision. How do you make it? Erring on the side of life is one idea, and when it is your decision to make, you can embrace it. But to decide for someone else's family that they must continue in a pregnancy that they know will produce a child with severe microencephaly, rather than to have a chance to begin again and produce a different child... that is mind-bending intrusion into their suffering. I find it hard to believe Rubio actually wants a law that imposes his answer on those who face this decision. I assume he simply finds himself committed to a political position that requires purity at the abstract level, and he's trying to say that as nicely as possible.

I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life.

That can be understood in different ways, one of which is: If I’m going to err politically, I’m going to err on the side of the pro-life politically forces, because that's way I've leveraged my career. 

248 comments:

1 – 200 of 248   Newer›   Newest»
tim maguire said...

No one has the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living.

Unknown said...

Suppose just for a second that the fetus is a human being. If Ms. AA could possibly place herself in that position, would she still kill the human?

Curious George said...

I think he should adopt your position Althouse. That abortion is murder except only if the person who would be murdering thinks it is. Otherwise if the person murdering doesn't think it is then it isn't.

Then again he may not want to get tied up in logical knots that no one could undo.

tim in vermont said...

Obviously, if a legal non-person is helpless, or unattractive in some way they should be killed, even if that legal non-person is fully human.

People say it's a bad thing to say things like "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." And it was horrific, but Indians were legal non persons. Which is not to say that they were not human. But the only good Zika infected unborn baby is a dead Zika infected unborn baby.

I think abortion should be allowed, only because I don't want the government to have the kinds of power it would need to prevent it, but this little kerfuffle is totally beside the point.

Ann Althouse said...

"No one has the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living."

The government doesn't need to regulate everything short of what a private citizen has a right to do.

Parents make family decisions all the time based on their opinions about what is worth doing. Only a horrifically oppressive government would draw a line between what the parents have a right to control and what is not protected by a right of the parents' and then set requirements with respect to everything not covered by rights.

That said, women do have a right to end their pregnancies. It's not an absolute right, and there are questions about the scope of that right. I understand that some of you think that the right to have an abortion isn't really a right at all but that the Supreme Court's precedents are wrong, but it's been a well-established right and that is not going to change — not unless the United States changes into a very different place.

Original Mike said...

Personally, I think we should kill the mosquitoes instead.

n.n said...

He/she can err on the side of the "final solution" and cannibalism because that is they way it leveraged its career.

A human life evolves from conception. Is it right to abort a human life with suboptimal physical or mental characteristics?

Fernandinande said...

"But if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life."

Whether viruses are alive is debatable, but I definitely support the Federal Mosquito Enrichment program as well as plans for mosquito parks and bacteria pits. (The NIMBY people are revolting).

AprilApple said...

It's his opinion and he is allowed to have it.

The collective left seethe - Wrong - Mind Crime! Seize him! He's a bigot! or something.

AprilApple said...

Notice the media NEVER ask Hillary or any democrat what they think about abortion.

Fernandinande said...

tim maguire said...
No one has the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living.


So you'd refuse to fight in a war? Fair enough.

Or let someone kill you or your family members, rather than kill that someone - ?

tim in vermont said...

It's difficult not to go Godwin when you define a class of humans as "legal non persons" who may be killed at will. Just sayin'

tim maguire said...

It's funny that the professor thinks it should be the family's decision whether to continue with a pregnancy seemingly without noticing that despite tightening the circle, she is completely ignoring the center of the circle. Classic pro-abortion double-think--it's a momentous decision about something unimportant.

tim in vermont said...

Does that look like Logic to you Fernandinande? I would hate to think of what your SAT score would have been had you taken the old style test.

n.n said...

The resolution to the culture of death begins with a Separation of Pro-Choice Church and State, and censoring liberal judges that preach religious instruction from the twilight zone. The first step is to end the teaching of scientific mysticism in schools under the State-established Church. The second step is to restore human rights including the right to life. The third step is to close the abortion chambers and end Planned Parenthood's cannibalism of a baby's lucrative parts. Unfortunately, unlike one-child under the Communists, selective-child under Western left-wing ideology is promoted by a Party, but reflects a congenital and indoctrinated mental illness in a minority and perhaps a majority of the population.

Hate loves abortion.

traditionalguy said...

Related to the issue of brain defects and life is a surprisingly excellent new book called When Breath Becomes Air.

Michael McClain said...

Tough situation, tough question. Not for me to decide whether or not another family should decide to terminate via abortion the life of a profoundly disabled individual.

Leave the family alone and let them decide in peace.

Bay Area Guy said...

Who cares about these obscure hypotheticals? The pro-abortionists have won - there's 42 million abortions in the US per year, some infected with Zika virus, obviously most not.

Even if Roe were overturned, there'd be millions of abortions done legally in all Blue states.

The Left got what they wanted - the dehumanization of unborn babies, if the mother subjectively chooses.

rhhardin said...

There's no correct answer to when human life begins. It ultimately depends on using language in the way that people have found useful and interesting to use it.

Many if not most terms are used not as labels for things but as tokens in account, as if they were names for things, but are actually markers in account, a good example being intention.

Intention is not a name for a present event but a token for a social account of what happened. Intending to do something is retroactive and covers the history.

Being human, or being a human life rather than being human as opposed to wolf, is a social event in language. In actual fact it depends on mostly the parents and what they're imagining. They'll think of a fetus or they'll think of a baby.

At birth, society itself has an interest, and the law takes over.

But actually I think you learn to be human, if you follow the language.

"He hardly seems human" is used of this or that very bad person, taking advantage of that fact about the word.

"He hardly seem human" of a just-born baby would be a joke, bringing out that aspect of the word in an unexpected place, that it has to be learned.

The convention with babies is that you take them as human, because that's how they learn to be human.

Going dogmatic about what is a matter of language is not a good idea, turns into tyranny.

The language is more subtle.

surfed said...

I disagree with my Senator Marco Rubio on this. That said, I believe him and accept his explanation at face value. It's the decent and gentlemanly thing to do. More the fool me I suppose but there you have it.

tim maguire said...

Prof., your response to me is stupid. Sorry, there's just no other way to put it. An arguement so dumb not even the person making it believes it. Only an oppressive government prohibits murder? Only parents get to decide when their offspring is human? You know full well that's not true.

AprilApple said...

Rubio would be beating Hillary by 5-8 points.

Freder Frederson said...

It's funny that the professor thinks . . .

It's funny that the professor has been doing this blog for so many years, frequently addressing abortion rights, and still doesn't realize how fervent and absolute some pro-life advocates are.

It can't be that she doesn't read the comments, we know she does. She must read things like "A human life evolves from conception. Is it right to abort a human life with suboptimal physical or mental characteristics?", and thinks to herself, "oh, he really doesn't believe that".

rhhardin said...

The best pro-choice rant to take into account is the old poem Right to Life by Marge Piercy, always easy to find in the internet somehere, first google hit here.

n.n said...

The scientific mystics conflate logical domains and forms of life. I wonder how many people equate human life with animate clumps of cells. That explains the historical violation of human and civil rights under the far left/far right nexus. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. were just acolytes of the ancient Pro-Choice Cult.

David Begley said...

The fact that the FDA has not approved and already deployed the GMO mosquitos made by Oxitec (XON) is a massive moral and human rights disaster squarely on Obama. It will make the Flint water matter look like a walk in the park. Coming soon will be hundreds of Zika babies in PR.

This matter is all about Obama and Oxitec. Forget about Rubio and abortion.

Obama's fault. Too busy playing golf. Obama doesn't care about people.

n.n said...

Freder Frederson:

A human life does not evolve from conception?

Should inconvenient and unwanted human lives be aborted under a final solution?

Should their remains be cannibalized for money, for pleasure, for narcissistic indulgence?

Sadistic.

Fernandinande said...

tim in vermont said...
Does that look like Logic to you Fernandinande?


It sure does. You made a blanket statement. I think you made that statement because it you thought it sounded cute 'n' philosophical, and now you're just trying to avoid admitting that your cute statement was also really stupid.

rhhardin said...

The way to ban abortion is to make the fetus/baby cute, so that evolutionary response to cuteness, which has us caring for babies at all, kicks in sooner than birth. This is not deciding when human life begins as a language matter, but a matter of when you can get society at large interested in cuteness.

The way abortion will be banned, in fact, is when society takes an interest in increasing the young population lest it die out, which has the advantage of not being a theological or dogmatic argument so is at least really honest.

tim maguire said...

Blogger rhhardin said...There's no correct answer to when human life begins.

So it's a free-for-all, then? Any choice as random and arbitrary as another?

Actually there is a correct answer. The problem is the question. Obviously, anyone will agree that an adut minority transgender female s human. And anyone will agree that there was a time in the past when that minority trensgender female did not exist as a person. The question, then, is when did the transition from non-human to human take place? You have to pick an event and you have to be able to show that the person was not a person one moment before. Something has to fundamentally change. And it has to be the same for everyone. No "this thing is a person now, but that other thing in the same circumstance is not a person yet" (the primary failing of the professor's position).

There are two points in a person's life where what is here now is fundamentally different from what was here a moment ago--the moment of conception and the moment of death. There are no other places to point to. The problem with trimesters and viability and every other place to call it is that they are all gray fuzzy transition periods that guarantee the murder of vast numbers of human beings, human even under the definition of the abortion supporter. So you cannot argue for abortion rights without arguing for murder, literally, even granting the supporter every point.

David Begley said...

Brazil and the Cayman Islands have approved Oxitec and are using it. Brazilian lives matter.

n.n said...

A human life is at minimum a physical process. Its evolution begins at a source: conception. This is neither controversial nor difficult to comprehend. It is only individuals with a sadistic streak, who practice scientific mysticism, or "good" people who deny these scientific facts.

The controversy is not when human life begins, but when human life acquires value. In liberal societies the value of a human life remains in flux throughout her evolution.

rhhardin said...

@n.n How can a really bad person "hardly seem to be human" when he obviously is human? What's being said here?

D. said...

Who is Rachel Carson?

Anglelyne said...

AA: The government doesn't need to regulate everything short of what a private citizen has a right to do.

Ho ho ho ho ho.

I always enjoy your special pleading on behalf of all things abortion/feminist/gay.

tim maguire: No one has the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living.

It's OK to off microcephalics. Just don't call the ones that get away pinheads.

(I don't actually disagree with Althouse's opinion here re severe microcephaly and abortion. It just strikes me that there's a certain nice irony embedded in today's posts.)

Gahrie said...

That "I" suggests the better answer: Do you own moral reasoning

Tell that to the Christian bakers who don't want to bake wedding cakes for gay weddings. So you believe the government has the moral authority to force people to participate in a gay wedding, but doesn't have the moral authority to protect the most innocent of life.





Original Mike said...

The FDA just approved Oxitec, but this will certainly not be the end of it. There will be opposition, pretty much from the same people who have no qualms about abortion.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm guessing it's one of the tendencies of some branch of feminism to reduce matters of public policy to interpersonal conflict.

rhhardin said...

The real problem with wedding cake bakers is that they want to be in the marriage business and the government has redefined marriage so it doesn't stay within the business they're in.

Then the government says you have to be in this entirely different business than the one you chose, or you can't be in any business at all, whether you chose it or not.

Rhythm and Balls said...

So he's going to force a woman through a high-risk medical-life event simply because the continued incubation of embryonic vegetables are that important to him. Nice party you got there, Republicans!

Any other medical conditions you think the ladies should be forced to endure? How about parasitic infections generally? Or being forced to keep gangrenous limbs attached... because of the sanctity of those for-now living limbs?

Republicans have had their brains so fucked that they identify with microcephaly as the pinnacle of human life and flourishing. Who knew.

No wonder their party has been taken over.

Gahrie said...

That said, women do have a right to end their pregnancies.

Call it what it is professor...the "right" to kill their unborn children.

It's not an absolute right,

Really? When was the last time a limitation on that "right" was upheld by the Supreme Court? She doesn't even have to tell the father that she's having an abortion.

and there are questions about the scope of that right.

Not from the Left there isn't. They support the right to pull an 8 1/2 week baby 3/4s of the way out of the womb, stick a pair of scissors in its skull and kill it.

I understand that some of you think that the right to have an abortion isn't really a right at all but that the Supreme Court's precedents are wrong, but it's been a well-established right and that is not going to change — not unless the United States changes into a very different place.

This is the exact argument that the South used about slavery.......

Rhythm and Balls said...

I'm guessing it's one of the tendencies of some branch of feminism to reduce matters of public policy to interpersonal conflict.

You're guessing, all right.

Your vagina + brain-dead parasitized fetus inside your body = interpersonal conflict >>>>> public policy.

n.n said...

rhhardin:

"hardly seem to be human"

It's a rhetorical device. A semantic game (e.g. debate, apology). Also, a relative reference.

There is a universally accepted axiom or law that human life has a moral center.

Gahrie said...

No one has the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living.

No one should have the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living. Unfortunately, in the US, every woman does.

Rhythm and Balls said...

So your merry crowd of vagina regulators has decided that a parasitized to the point of practically brain-dead fetus inside your body can't be removed? What's next? You won't be able to throw out maggot-infested meat from your refrigerator? This is practically like the situation in the movie Alien. Republicans are sick people.

Bob Boyd said...

I think if Clint Eastwood was a woman he'd say, "Get off the lawn of my lady parts."
And he'd keep it mowed.

Basil said...

So, being against killing an innocent handicapped baby is bad, as it imposes values on others, but forcing a Christian baker or photographer to participate in a Gay wedding is good, as it somehow is NOT imposing values on others?

Professor, please extrapolate on your inconsistent positions.

Gahrie said...

It's funny that the professor thinks it should be the family's decision whether to continue with a pregnancy

That's not what she believes. She thinks it should be the mother's decision, and the father is nothing more than an open wallet.

AprilApple said...

Note how the left concentrate on rape-abortion or zika-abortion.

They bite down like a rabid dog and force you to feel shame if you think differently than they do.

Balls- It's just a clump of cells to you - we get it.

David Begley said...

Original Mike

Not exactly. The FDA said this week that Oxitec issued a No Signficant Impact ruling. I understand there is one more step.

In any event, this should have been done months ago and Oxitec should have already deployed.

If Obama was serious about protecting America, Oxitec would already be deployed.

XON looking good here. Nice move after the FDA ruling.

Rhythm and Balls said...

What if the fetus was actually parasitized by maggots, instead of just a brain-sucking virus? I bet you then they'd be like, "KEEP IT IN THERE! KEEP IT IN! Hold your legs together and keep the maggot parasites and amoebas in there you worthless incubator of the state's children!"

Gahrie said...

There's no correct answer to when human life begins.

there is an easy one...even two. You simply take the definition of death (old - absence of heart beat, new - absence of brain activity) and reverse it. Life begins with the presence of a heartbeat, or alternately, the presence of brain activity.

n.n said...

The Democrats argue for elective abortion and clinical cannibalism of wholly innocent human lives as policy based on exceptional cases. It's no wonder that left-wing ideology is adopted by the most unprincipled people. I wonder what came first, their Pro-Choice religion or its irrational excesses.

wildswan said...

It seems now that it is possible that there was a cluster of cases involving Zika and microencephaly in one section of Brazil. But Zika alone was not the cause. This suggests a different scenario. Suppose it is shown that a cluster of causes involving poverty, lack of vitamins and an infection led to the bad outcome following the Zika infections in Brazil. An American family responds to the first story, aborts a child and then finds out when the full story comes out that they aborted a healthy child. Suppose while there had been a rush to suggest the dangers of a Zika bite the truth about the cluster of causes was held back because the Zika scare story was seen as chance to change abortion laws in South America. The American family finds all this out - their child was just a pawn in someone's game. Isn't that another kind of suffering? This isn't an impossible scenario.

Right now there is birth crash which will lead to impoverished old age for many women now refusing to have children. That consequence is not brought to their attention, in fact it is denied. The government will look after Julia. No, it won't because in this case government is other people's children's money and very few are having children. Not enough for social security.

Right now the black birth rate is below replacement level. That means the group is dying out. Yet this fact isn't being brought to anyone's attention. In fact Black Lives Matter is demanding "full reproductive rights", demanding that the policy which will wipe them out be continued and Hillary is asserting that she will do that to wild applause from BLM.

When it comes to abortion, truth is stranger than fiction and not a best seller.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Balls- It's just a clump of cells to you - we get it.

What? Zika and its host? That's true. Actually, zika's a virus though, not a cell. The clump of cells that it uses as an incubation medium is doing to the fetus what you're doing to the would-be mother: Reducing it to a use. Simply to discard once its use to you (i.e. the state) is finished.

Because Republicans view their interest in mothering as beginning and ending at the vagina. The biological part. Weird, that.

David Begley said...

Attention all

No need to discuss abortion if Obama's FDA would have approved and deployed Oxitec in a timely matter. Obama golfs. People die.

Rhythm and Balls said...

"There's no correct answer to when human life begins."

there is an easy one...even two. You simply take the definition of death (old - absence of heart beat, new - absence of brain activity) and reverse it. Life begins with the presence of a heartbeat, or alternately, the presence of brain activity.


Life can only have a "beginning" if you think that sperm and egg cells are not alive.

Which to Republicans they might as well not be - given how much fixating they do on pregnancy as the be-all/end-all of human life.

coupe said...

The Catholic church, and the Pope have gone far to remove restrictions on contraceptives in order to counter this disease.

This is the preferred method of dealing with life in a religious context.

There is no way that any church is going to recommend surgical or drug induced removal of a fetus from a mother.

For a government official to advocate the termination of a pregnancy, is to say you don't believe in God, and that Goebbels solution, was the right solution.

Having millions of defective babies will focus the ruling class spending on something other than perpetual war.

AprilApple said...
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rhhardin said...

@nn

hardly seem to be human"

It's a rhetorical device. A semantic game (e.g. debate, apology). Also, a relative reference.

There is a universally accepted axiom or law that human life has a moral center.


Fine, but how is it possible that this semantic game can be played with that word?

I'd say that there's two meanings at work at once.

One is that it's a matter of DNA, namely you're human as opposed to wolf. It's a human fetus rather than a wolf fetus. "He hardly seems human" isn't saying that.

The other is that being human involves having certain social relations to others, and this is not just a matter of semantics but a matter of what even you think a human is, because you can't avoid thinking with the words you've learned. You just have to realize that they affect your thinking as well.

"He hardly seems human" is able to be said because the guy lacks those expected relationships to others. Is that not a good explanation of how that phrase gets to be in the language at all?

It's also a good way to explain that being human isn't just a matter of DNA. The word isn't useful if it only means DNA. Nobody's interested in it, and it won't come up, unless it does more.

You want to say, for a fetus, that the fetus also has those social relations. Which it will, if the parents for example want a baby and have planned a nursery and have bought the necessary baseball bat and ball in the expectation of play with it. That there is a baby.

Or it may not, if there is no such situation. No relation, no human, in the social part of the word.

The trouble is you want to deny the social relation part of the word while at the same time using it in your rhetoric. That doesn't work. There's no point yelling it at people who are on the other side. They don't share your contempt because you're not using the language fairly.

Perhaps like Althouse you'd really rather be saying that you can have the abortion but you would have found that raising a kid, even if inconvenient and unplanned, will turn out to have been worthwhile. That doesn't tend to occur to the young, which is how old people tend to wind up on one side and the young on the other.

Gahrie said...

R&B:

People used to talk about Jews and Black people the same way you talk about the unborn. They were assholes, just like you are.

n.n said...

Over one million wholly innocent human lives are aborted under the Democrat's Pro-Choice religion. I wonder how many of those lives were decaying masses of flesh before the abortionist at the clinic or cannibal at Planned Parenthood tortured, aborted, and harvested its parts. Sadistic.

That said, I wonder how long this rhetorical conflict will progress before people will address the issue on its merits and not their special and peculiar interests.

AprilApple said...

It's weird that leftists in the media demand answers from Marco about small micro .00001% of nothing and then He is shamed no matter what the answer.

Meanwhile-- Gosnellian Hillary favors late term abortion. No media questions/grilling about that.

Gahrie said...

Life can only have a "beginning" if you think that sperm and egg cells are not alive.

They aren't human life.

James said...

The post and the interview miss the difficult question: not everyone with zika gives birth to a child with microcephaly. And microcephaly cannot be detected until late in the second trimester or early third. How does that change your analysis?

rhhardin said...

Likewise and conversely, you can say that your dog seems human, maning not that he has human DNA but that he has social relations that you expect from a human.

Rhythm and Balls said...

R&B:

People used to talk about Jews and Black people the same way you talk about the unborn. They were assholes, just like you are.


Oh, that's convincing, Gahrie. Remind me again who it is that's saying "All fetuses should be enslaved!" Or, "All fetuses should be exterminated!" Oh, that's right. No one.

But on the other hand, who is it that's saying, "All pregnant women should have their lady-parts requisitioned as wards of the state, to be enslaved to the medical purpose we've assigned them!" That would be you.

The government. The lady-part repo man that Republicans have been waiting for.

Nazis and southern slave-owners were simply assholes to you, though. That makes sense. Not the people who stood and violently fought against them. John Brown, definitely not an asshole. But then I'm sure you'd say the guy who shoots abortion doctors and bombs the clinics is not asshole, either.

Interesting tautology you've got there - breaking down all moral matters to matters of simple courtesy. And pray tell, what kind of an asshole pretends that he's got a right to poke around inside some other woman's vagina and make what goes on in there his own business? Definitely not a slave-owner. They never raped their property. And definitely not a medical experimentationist, like Dr. Mengele. He never forced his prisoners to undergo fruitless biological conditions.

AReasonableMan said...

AprilApple said...
Rubio would be beating Hillary by 5-8 points.


I doubt that. If you look at this chart and click on 'more smoothing', which is the appropriate way to look at such noisy data, you see that Clinton has held a steady lead of 3-5% points. Most people are just voting for the laundry, red team or blue team jerseys. The Dems currently have a demographic advantage in national elections that is difficult to overcome.

n.n said...

rhhardin:

hardly seem to be human

Refers to a morality, a defining quality of human life. A human life does not become less human through isolation. In any case, we are discussing three issues. One, when does a human life begin. Two, when does a human life acquire value. And, three, exceptional cases used to set policy. Also, a fourth issue, what are the consequences of these choices. The scientific and human rights argument errs on the side of life.

Rhythm and Balls said...

"Life can only have a "beginning" if you think that sperm and egg cells are not alive."

They aren't human life.



JHahahhhahshdhahshahhahhahhahaaahahahahahahahhaa.

Speak for yourself. What species do they belong to, then?

ROFLMAO ROFLMAO!!!!!!!

Hey, at least I know that MINE are human. Mr. human-zika hybrid Gahrie isn't sure of the biological classification of his own. I guess his pro-Zika-human hybrid embryo stance is a bit clearer, now.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Geez. I mean, I know you guys are pro-GMO but pro-human-zika hybrid?

That's just a bit weird.

It's like Kramer on the Pigman episode.

Gahrie said...

"All pregnant women should have their lady-parts requisitioned as wards of the state, to be enslaved to the medical purpose we've assigned them!" That would be you.

That's not what I'm saying at all. I have never said the government has the right to force a woman to get pregnant.

What I have said is, just like the man, the woman's right to choose occurs before sex. Once a woman chooses to have sex, and that sex results in a pregnancy, the woman does not have the right to kill her child.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"No one has the right to decide another person's life isn't worth living."

And no one has the right to force another person into a life of suffering and dependency.

There is the problem: It's possible to see both as the immoral, compassionate, right thing to do and also the opposite. Both can be seen as incredibly cruel and selfish or just the opposite. Yet we have the power to decide, and to justify. If you make the case for a third party intervening in one decision, aren't you justifying they intervene in both? If you say the third party has no business in the decision because it's a personal family matter, then what other personal family matters are out of bounds. It seems irrational to to say the third party cannot interfere in the birth decision but then can force parents on how to raise and care for the child. That's the problem with abortion: either way you are forced to draw a line based on very little with very serious consequences. All being stuck with that tough choice, we should be more understanding of where others draw their line, at least to a point, which is another tough line to draw, which is why I never got pregnant.

8/7/16, 10:02 AM Delete

Gahrie said...

Speak for yourself. What species do they belong to, then?

Sperm and ova are human cells, not human life. They do not eat, excrete or reproduce which all life does. The miracle of conception is the joining of these two cells to create a human life.

Rhythm and Balls said...

"All pregnant women should have their lady-parts requisitioned as wards of the state, to be enslaved to the medical purpose we've assigned them!" That would be you.

That's not what I'm saying at all. I have never said the government has the right to force a woman to get pregnant.


Oh, right. You said your government repo man has a right to force them to STAY pregnant - and with a deadly virus inside them, at that.

Yep, big difference. I really see the distinction you're making there, Dr. Mengele. They guy who was born from dead, non-human sperm and eggs. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

n.n said...

So, the Democrats argument errs on the side of death. It reduces human life to a clump of cells that can be aborted or cannibalized for profit. The worst part is while in pursuit of environmental stability and democratic leverage, they corrupt science and morality and normalize/promote this dysfunctional orientation and behavior as compatible with human rights and civilized society. Their religion explains why they advocate for class diversity (e.g. racism, sexism), selective exclusion ("="), and carry out anti-native policies in their progressive wars, opportunistic regime changes, and refugee crises (i.e. "immigration reform").

David Begley said...

The Left in Key West has a major effort to stop Oxitec. The Loons got a petition signed by more people than live in Key West.

The Left is anti-science when it comes to GMO Oxitec.

coupe said...

bagoh20 said......no one has the right to force another person into a life of suffering and dependency.

You've never been drafted or had to deal with the VA for your injuries?

Anyone who puts their penis into a vagina and ejaculates is forcing a life of suffering and dependency on a woman.

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
They do not eat, excrete or reproduce


Cells do eat and excrete or they would die. These particular cells do not reproduce, although their immediate precursors obviously did. Technically it would not be that difficult to make new cells that had the same DNA, i.e. reproduce these cells. The arguments against abortion are theological not scientific.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Sperm and ova are human cells, not human life. They do not eat, excrete or reproduce which all life does.

Lol. How many other biology courses has Gahrie flunked? But reducing life to shitting, eating and fucking (which incidentally, you'd think is the primary purpose of gametes) - interesting. He's not from America by chance, is he? Does all life have a sofa and tv to go with all that eating and shitting?

rhhardin said...

hardly seem to be human

Refers to a morality, a defining quality of human life. A human life does not become less human through isolation. In any case, we are discussing three issues. One, when does a human life begin. Two, when does a human life acquire value. And, three, exceptional cases used to set policy. Also, a fourth issue, what are the consequences of these choices. The scientific and human rights argument errs on the side of life.


(I don't think value comes up. The point of value is that people disagree about it, which is how wealth creation through trade becomes possible. The only "agreed" value is market-clearing price, meaning that the people who don't buy in fact don't value it that high, still.)

As to morality, something becomes moral when you become unique and irreplaceable, when you are addressed uniquely and called on by another to do something, which is how that happens. That's an experience, not a priori.

Maybe you want to say that God is looking at your and calling on you all the time, so there you are, moral. I'd say that God is a poeticization of the moral experience in general, an experience that you have to have in the particular case before poeticizing it or understanding a poeticization of it.

There's no morality in isolation, there's no social experience in isolation, in fact.

Perhaps you will be called on to take care of a baby animal on your island, and wind up moral that way, called on uniquely to care for another, and there's your experience, but not in isolation any longer.

As for policy, it's hard to set policy when everybody's yelling. I don't think it's exceptional cases so much as nobody knows what's driving them and so they can't talk about it.

n.n said...

It looks like Dr. Mengele is still arguing from exceptional cases for Planned Parenthood, and preaching to the people that the final solution is a viable choice. It's no wonder there are so many "good" Americans under his State-established Church. I wonder how many people would adopt this solution if the Church did not give them moral license.

Rhythm and Balls said...

These particular cells do not reproduce, although their immediate precursors obviously did.

He's not even right on that one. They are simply the haploid phase of the life-cycle of an organism that happens to be diploid at other stages. But they maintain homeostasis, respond to their environment/stimuli, undergo metabolism, etc., and maintain all the other hallmarks. They are not magic communication devices that spontaneously induce his state's vagina-beings to undergo industrial capacity.

And they are certainly more alive than the Zika viruses that he'd like to help hijack his woman's bodies and their baby-products of the state's economic capacity.

rhhardin said...

I think dogmatists are not satisfied that something important should be settled by looking at common use in langauge, because it seems it must be trivial.

Language is not trivial. It's everything. You think in it.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The only "agreed" value is market-clearing price, meaning that the people who don't buy in fact don't value it that high, still.

What market clearing price has a hitman agreed to be paid to take you out? And what market clearing price has your bodyguard agreed to accept in order to prevent that?

The answers to these questions tell us how much a life is worth, financially speaking. Which seems to be the terms that conservatives prefer to work with.

n.n said...

There's no morality in isolation

That's an article of faith, but irrelevant to this discussion. In isolation, the debate will be processed entirely within your mind. Will you choose life or self-abort. Will you preserve your welfare or degrade yourself.

The choice to take another human life for a cause other than self-defense is the issue. The choices in liberal societies are avoidance and normalization. However, in all things, they are peculiarly selective.

Gahrie said...

Oh, right. You said your government repo man has a right to force them to STAY pregnant

No....the government has the right to prevent women from killing their children...either before or after their birth. Some poor college girl was just sentenced to life in prison for abandoning her newborn baby...but if she had just gone down to the abortion clinic earlier that afternoon, everything would have been OK.

The right to life is based on being a human, not your location.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Lol. Harding going around defining what is "common use." Take a look at his blog - notice anything common about it?

If the common folk can't wrap their heads around it it ain't real and don't make a dime's worth of difference to policy, is what I'm hearing.

Well, the common folk seem to understand the wrongness of telling you what you should do with your body. So abstract away with supposedly "non-living/non-human" human sperm and eggs all you want. The people aren't so dunderheaded to see who's the dunderhead, here.

And they definitely don't want dunderheads ruling over their lives and telling them what to do - as you all are attempting.

rhhardin said...

The DVD Juno is an amusing and low-key funny account of stuff that can happen as to who wants what as to all players.

n.n said...

So, the abortionist receives payment for her service. The cannibal receives payment for the body she harvests. The value of human life is set by the sum of the remains, democratic leverage, or the profit from financial schemes.

Gahrie said...

Oh..and a big fuck you to R&B...it would be a shame if someone considered you subhuman and killed you...I'd even arrest them for murder.

Gahrie said...

Well, the common folk seem to understand the wrongness of telling you what you should do with your body.

There are hundreds of laws telling me what I can do with my body, and the baby is not part of the woman's body.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The right to life is based on being a human, not your location.

Seeing as how you were the one who couldn't figure out whether human sperm and eggs were human after all, or even alive, I don't think you're in the best position to decide who or what is or is not human.

Regardless, a "right to life" is a nonsensical legal fiction. Does a human corpse have a "right to life?" Who's going to grant it? What about a those in a persistent vegetative state? You goofy autistic moralizers lost that one long ago. But the same malarkey applies.

You have a right to defend and maintain your life or to have an appointed legal guardian do that for you. But there is no "right" to be alive. The rocks yearn to live and be free! The pebbles yearn to breathe!

Talk about corrupting the language.

LYNNDH said...

I know I am at the bottom of the comments already but have to comment myself. I am a Republican. I do not oppose abortion per se. I do think a time constraint should be in place though. Just not sure which week should see the prohibition of obtaining an abortion should be set. I do think rape, incest, health of the mother, and the health of the unborn should be a consideration. No easy answers.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There are hundreds of laws telling me what I can do with my body, and the baby is not part of the woman's body.

The woman's body safeguards access to whatever is inside it, thankfully enough. And no thanks to you.

Tell me about these laws "telling" you what you can do with your body, and what the penalties are for violating them. Were you denied yet another tattoo or piercing again? Oh drats.

rhhardin said...

@n.n There's no morality in isolation

That's an article of faith, but irrelevant to this discussion. In isolation, the debate will be processed entirely within your mind. Will you choose life or self-abort. Will you preserve your welfare or degrade yourself.

The choice to take another human life for a cause other than self-defense is the issue. The choices in liberal societies are avoidance and normalization. However, in all things, they are peculiarly selective.


Faith is hardly in isolation, just the opposite. You're perhaps thinking of inability to explain and supposing that faith has something to do with it, as a sort of fallback.

Discussion even in your own mind happens with the full resources of all human language, evolved with regard to what's important and interesting in human life. You're not reasoning alone, just the opposite.

As to taking human life, we're back at human again. It has two components, one of which applies to fetuses only under certain social conditions. It's bad to yell about human there because it doesn't work to say that it applies fully there. People know better, so to speak. Argue some other way, that means.

Gahrie said...

But there is no "right" to be alive.

So you would be fine with the government passing a law that mandated the abortion of all Black and Jewish babies?

Because there are plenty of people who don't consider Blacks or Jews to be human.

Of course, you don't think their humanity even matters.....so why not enslave them? After all, if there is no right to life, surely there is no right to liberty?

Gahrie said...

Tell me about these laws "telling" you what you can do with your body,

There are laws telling me what I can ingest, there are laws telling me what parts of my body I can sell and what parts I can't. There are even laws in most places telling me I am not allowed to commit suicide. So if I am a woman, I can kill my baby, but I can't kill myself.

Unknown said...

So Rubio thinks laws should make women carry and give birth to a baby with severe microcephalis? Will he then want to make laws that prohibit abortions to women who carry any sort of severe birth defect? How does he reconcile invading a woman's privacy and autonomy to her own body with small government and freedom? Roe v. Wade would have to be overturned. That won't happen unless some extremist puts enough SC justices on the bench. With the choices Republicans have made regarding their presidential nominees, thankfully that won't happen. How do right to lifers explain forcing a woman to perform a bodily function such as pregnancy and childbirth? What God gave them the right to decide for another human being? The fetus inside the mother is a part of her until the fetus is viable outside the womb. She has the right to choose. And God will sort it out in the end.

Rhythm and Balls said...

10:33 post is too dumb or in bad-faith to respond to.

rhhardin said...

You can say a fetus is a human in embryo. The language allows that turn of phrase without forcing anything.

Why does it allow that?

Because "in embryo" cuts out the claim of social relations, in favor of future social relations, which is the human part.

It's not a DNA claim at all.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There are laws telling me what I can ingest, there are laws telling me what parts of my body I can sell and what parts I can't. There are even laws in most places telling me I am not allowed to commit suicide. So if I am a woman, I can kill my baby, but I can't kill myself.

Tell me what practical penalties could actually be enforced or are ever enforced over what you eat and what exit you'd take from this dimension.

Your other point involves commerce, which the Constitution definitely allows your state to regulate - and which has no application in this matter. So your point is moot and you lose yet again.

Anglelyne said...

It'd be nice if people who disagree about abortion could figure out a way to have a productive argument about it. Instead, for 40+ years both pro-lifers and pro-choicers have been mired in the logical position of the fundie arguing the existence of God with an atheist by invoking the Bible.

A person who holds "freedom of choice" or "personal autonomy" to be the highest moral good, or among the highest, moral goods, to which other considerations must be subordinated, is not going to be persuaded by arguments from people who put "human life is sacred and begins at conception" in that position, in their moral ordering.

People certainly change their views on this issue, but that's because of a fundamental re-ordering in their moral premises and priorities. If you want to change someone's mind on this issue, you have to have a go at the ideas upstream from their view on abortion. I would think this would be obvious. And yet, year after dreary year, you say "abortion" and the pointless exchange of "my body my choice" and "it's taking a human life" begins.

cubanbob said...

@rhhardin

Interesting observation but taken to its logical conclusion can result in unforeseen outcomes.
There is the problem with the situational perspective.

"You want to say, for a fetus, that the fetus also has those social relations. Which it will, if the parents for example want a baby and have planned a nursery and have bought the necessary baseball bat and ball in the expectation of play with it. That there is a baby.

Or it may not, if there is no such situation. No relation, no human, in the social part of the word."

With your position the welfare state in untenable.

rhhardin said...

Paradox. A human in embryo is not a human. Bad news for syllogisms. The language is too slippery for it.

Jeff said...

This is a battle that was lost long ago, and it's going to stay lost. Look at what happens when prospective parents find out that a fetus has Down's Syndrome. Ninety percent of them abort. Now it's probably true that many pro-life couples never do the test in the first place, and that skews the numbers somewhat, but still. Ninety percent.

The vast majority of voters thought Jeb Bush and Terry Schiavo's parents were wrong to try to keep her body alive when her brain was dead. Zika is similar.

Whatever your moral beliefs on this issue are, it's only prudent to recognize that it's a political loser, so taking the position that Rubio is taking is politically dumb. The only reason he's able to politically survive while taking such a stand is that most voters know it doesn't matter what he says. The Supreme Court ruled the other way over 40 years ago, and that is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

What I want to hear about is what candidates propose to do about things like underfunded pensions, entitlement reform, overseas military bases, regulations, and especially, monetary policy. That last one is incredibly important, and the Constitution clearly assigns it to the Congress, yet you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of Senators and Representatives who know anything at all about it.

John said...

Zika is about 99% bullshit.

Yes, it is a real disease and has been known for 50 years or so. It is relatively benign. It may cause small microencephaly but the evidence of this is more than a bit sketchy. So far, the only place it has done so (allegedly) is a relatively small area of Brazil. There are a gob of other possible reasons other than zika for this.

But zika is a politically attractive disease. "Think of the children!!!"(tm)

That and the fact that there is a couple billion left over from the ebola epidemic that never happened. What do you expect the politicians to do, give it back?

I live in Puerto Rico which is zika central in the US. So far we have seen little to no medical ill effects. I say this with a son a daughter in law and a son in law in the health professions.

John Henry

David Begley said...

So disappointed in Rubio. All he needs on this issue is Oxitec. Just push Oxitec. And bash the hell out of Obama. Heck with Oxitec, Obama won't get bit on the golf course. Then no need to get into this abortion stuff.

rhhardin said...

@cubanbob Interesting observation but taken to its logical conclusion can result in unforeseen outcomes. There is the problem with the situational perspective.

Awareness of perverse consequences is one of the big differences between left and right, as to planning.

My own theory is that this is just evolution-like selection. The problems that respond well to direct action have already been solved. What's left is problems that respond perversely to direct action.

The left persists in direct action, and the right says wait a minute that doesn't work.

The left tends to be wrong and the right tends to be right, because of the evolutionary selection of remaining problems.

I don't know that the left is wrong a priori at all. It's just the particular problems remaining that makes them wrong.

boycat said...

It's just a raw power thing. If and when babies could rise up and abort their mothers then, presto-change-o, Althouse would as if by magic become anti-abortion.

Rhythm and Balls said...

And yet, year after dreary year, you say "abortion" and the pointless exchange of "my body my choice" and "it's taking a human life" begins.

And the more impractical it becomes to remain ignorant of biology and the more impractical it remains to privilege old religious controls over people - especially above constitutional legal precedent. It's the fundies who are refusing to listen and who are forced to keep losing ground. There is no point in coddling them and apologizing to them for some deference they demand for their feelings and sensitivities. If this argument is ever going to be resolved, it will be on the factual grounds that they do so much to deny.

Unknown said...

If we are thinking about the future potential of human cells to become a person, we should then prohibit men from wasting their sperm. It's a potential life, see those sperm swim, they are most definitely alive! Don't perform spermicide, you men who want to force women to carry and give birth.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Begley said...

John Henry

People have died due to Zika. Zika will really bankrupt PR.

Perception is reality. Zika fears in PR will completely kill tourism.

Get smart. Start leading the way in PR for Oxitec. Educate yourself about Oxitec and XON. Dead serious here. Be a leader. Save the Commonwealth.

John said...

The federal govt wants to carry out widespread aerial spraying with some new pesticide. This is to eradicate the zika carrying mosquitos and put some money in AMVAC Chemical Company's pockets. (Might be an interesting exercise to look at AMVACs political donations)

I have a lot of doubts about the efficacy and safety of such spraying. Puerto Rico is a good place to do it though since we have no mechanism to complain. (No senators, reps or electoral votes)

What really annoys me is this:

Beltrán then revealed the existence of the WIC document releasing the government from any liability and allowing government officials to enter the homes of infected pregnant women. The physician added that, once signed, the documents forbid the women from suing a third party, and that none of the women who have signed the document are being allowed to give a copy to their doctors.

WIC is Women Infants and Children, a federal govt food aid program. Why should these women have to sign away their right to sue for harm to get their benefits?

John Henry

Sebastian said...

"women do have a right to end their pregnancies." Says so right here in the Constitution. Gimme a sec, got my copy right here, wait, wait.

@Anglelyne (and others who have commented on difficulty of line-drawing etc.): "It'd be nice if people who disagree about abortion could figure out a way to have a productive argument about it." It would be nice. But the basic problem is that under the current legal regime arguments are bound to be unproductive because a certain absolutist position has been imposed by fiat. It enables the AAs of the world to wallow in their women-have-a-right-certitude while the Rubios counterproductively flail at making inconsequential moral gestures.

John said...

forgot the link above

http://caribbeanbusiness.com/upr-professor-cdc-exaggerates-to-justify-spraying/

Rhythm and Balls said...

Monty Python already figured that one out.

Every sperm is sacred.

rhhardin said...

@boycat It's just a raw power thing. If and when babies could rise up and abort their mothers then, presto-change-o, Althouse would as if by magic become anti-abortion.

You're putting social relations between baby and mother into the game to get the result you want, notice.

Put both senses of human into human to make it fully human.

I'm not against it, just pointing it out.

John said...

PUERTO RICO REPORTS ELDERLY VICTIM INFECTED WITH ZIKA DIES!!!!!!!

This was on Drudge yesterday. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CB_PUERTO_RICO_ZIKA_DEATH?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-08-05-20-25-29

But then, when you get into the actual story you find this:

The victim was a 75-year-old man who was hospitalized and died from health ailments unrelated to Zika, according to Health Secretary Ana Rius. She said no more details would be provided, and health officials did not respond to requests for further comment.


Kind of like someone dying of a stroke but, because they also had a hangnail, reporting "Man dies with hangnail"

Just more zika bullshit.

John Henry

David Begley said...

John Henry

Knowing the Dem party surely there is some corrupt scheme the pesticide companies. Oxitec had a 90% success rate in Brazil. It is a permanent solution. That's why the Dems are against it.

Educate yourself, family and friends about Oxitec and XON.

David Begley said...

Dear charming commenters on Althouse blog:

You can use some of your XON profits to buy stuff from AMZN through the Althouse portal.

JZ said...

Cynical response, Ann.

Gahrie said...

What God gave them the right to decide for another human being?

Who gave women the right to decide for their baby?

John said...

The pro-choice argument always boils down to "It's a woman's body and a woman's choice what to do with it."

Often reams of verbiage are added on to make the argument look more sophisticated but it always boils down to that.

So a question to all the pro-choicers what about my body? Will you support my right to do with my body as I wish?

Or is the only choice right the one to do with abortion?

John Henry

John said...

If the law says that a woman has the right to abort a baby with a birth abnormality is OK, does that include aborting babies that are likely to be gay?

Because we just know that homosexuality is an abnormality from birth not a learned behavior.

John Henry

Unknown said...

"Who gave women the right to decide for their baby?"

Nature. The baby is a part of the woman until it is viable to live outside the womb. Go back to biology class. Cells that have potential human life are not automatically afforded personhood. If you want to call it a person and give it full rights as a person, then the laws will have to reflect it's personhood.

Real American said...

yes, some people think baby murder is ok when the baby is inconvenient, so some people do have different values and priorities. Rubio falls on the side of not murdering innocent babies. Others, mostly leftists, take the opposite view.

Rhythm and Balls said...

At this very moment, as Gahrie sits in front of his computer screen and worries about what's going on inside women's bodies, there are millions perhaps of sperm cells inside his own body that are going unused, and being resorbed back into his testes (I assume he has testes) for recycling - in effect killing off many millions of his own babies-to-be.

Of course there is one way to stop this cruel fate - and that's by directing his little babies-to-be on to the eggs of a woman (possibly even a human woman) - and sending them on their way, to their destiny. Of course, this might actually require the consent of a woman for this outcome to occur - and perhaps even her sexual consent. But that is of minor importance to Mr Gahrie, the very concerned egg saver. We're talking about a matter of life and death here. Or at least we were, back when the same church that instructs him in matters of biology thought that the babies resided in the sperms themselves rather than in a sedentary and unremarkable sperm-egg union.

Rhythm and Balls said...

At least Holden Caufield had the maturity to want to save all the little kids, instead of just all the little eggs, and the virus-parasitized egg babies.

Unknown said...

Give Gahrie's sperm personhood. Afterall they are potential human life too.

AprilApple said...

The left are collectedly terrified that the right might ban abortion. They really are. It's all they care about - and despite Hillary's odious criminality - the idea that the right might over-turn Roe v Wade is right there on the tip of what frightens them most and keeps them on the corruptocart plantation.

I think we should become more progressive and place limitations on abortion like most of Europe. 20 weeks. I can be against abortion and still understand that the electorate wants to keep it legal. People should be allowed to say outwardly that they are against abortion. Democrats should be asked by the media why they accept late term abortion.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Every virus is sacred
Every virus is great
If a virus is wasted
God gets quite irate

John said...


Blogger David Begley said...

People have died due to Zika. Zika will really bankrupt PR.

Of course. People have died from hangnails too. What is your point? All illnesses have the potential to kill.

Perception is reality. Zika fears in PR will completely kill tourism.

Amen to that, about perception. Zika will hurt tourism, temporarily until the next big thing comes along, though I doubt it will "completely kill" it. That has nothing to do with the medical harmfulness or benignness of zika.

Zika is mostly a political, not a medical issue.

Get smart. Start leading the way in PR for Oxitec. Educate yourself about Oxitec and XON. Dead serious here. Be a leader. Save the Commonwealth.

Huh? Is this just more of the patented Begley bullshit or is it some kind of sarcasm that is going over my head? Why would I have a problem with Oxitec to kill mosquitos? We eradicated fruit flies 45 years ago using a similar technology (releasing sterile flies to mate)

I do not know much about Oxitec but have no problem with the little bit I do know about it. Nor have I heard any objections to its use here. In fact I have not even heard any contemplation about its use here. I've probably seen more mentions of it in this thread than all other mentions up to now.

I do have concerns about spraying Naled willy-nilly over the whole island. I would probably be OK with spraying Naled selectively where mosquitoes breed.

John Henry

Anglelyne said...

Sebastian: @Anglelyne (and others who have commented on difficulty of line-drawing etc.):

My argument wasn't apropos of line-drawing, but no matter, on to your next point:

"It'd be nice if people who disagree about abortion could figure out a way to have a productive argument about it." It would be nice. But the basic problem is that under the current legal regime arguments are bound to be unproductive because a certain absolutist position has been imposed by fiat. It enables the AAs of the world to wallow in their women-have-a-right-certitude while the Rubios counterproductively flail at making inconsequential moral gestures.

That's the basic political problem that makes political debate "unproductive". I was talking about the basic intellectual problem (really, basic logical fallacy) that makes both sides' arguments pointless, but it's fine if that's of no, or secondary, interest to you. Nonetheless, repeating the same defective arguments at each other ad infinitum does nothing to address the basic political problem, either.

Unknown said...

20 weeks with exception for the life of the mother and health of the baby, as it is in Europe, sounds reasonable. Most people, Democrats and Republicans alike reject late term abortion.

Rae said...

Going back to the article - I admire that Rubio is being true to his Catholic faith, instead of hedging for political reasons or being a cafeteria Catholic like many on both sides of the isle.

n.n said...

abort a baby with a birth abnormality... include aborting babies that are likely to be [trangender/homosexual]

Actually, this is an issue because the Democrats' congruence ("=") policies selectively/arbitrarily exclude stable orientations in the transgender spectrum disorder including transgender/flux and transgender/choice. Then there is [class] diversity (e.g. racism, sexism, skin color prejudice) that may also force a bias in selective child policies advocated by Democrats, their progressive, liberal, and aisle constituents, and Planned Parenthood.

rhhardin said...

@unknown "Who gave women the right to decide for their baby?" Nature.

That's a Tom Swifty. from L pp. natus, born.

AprilApple said...

Not Hillary. She is 100% for Planned Parenthood selling baby parts and Gosnellian abortion.

John said...

My understanding is that Rubio's position on abortion has always been pretty much absolutely never except to save the life of the mother. (Never paid that much attention to anything he had to say but I think this is where he is on this)

So how is his position on zika and abortion controversial? Are you saying, Ann, that his position should be "No abortions except for the life of the mother and zika."? that hardly makes any sense at all.

Yes, I understand you and many others, perhaps half the US disagree with is position on abortion. But how is his position on zika and abortion controversial?

He was pretty stupid for answering the question. He should have looked at the reporter and said "What are you, stupid or something? My position on abortion is well known. Go look it up. That will tell you what I think of a zika exception."

It was a gotcha question and little Marco was stupid enough to take the bait.

John Henry

AprilApple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

Trump's abortion answer was brilliant. oh wait - His insane answer was as STUPID and foot-shooting as you can get.

Big Mike said...

Unforced error by Rubio. I'm glad he isn't the GOP candidate for president. Unlike Rubio (or Hillary Clinton) Trump at least seems to learn from his mistakes.

coupe said...

John said...My understanding is that Rubio's position...

Rubio is Roman Catholic. His views are summed-up in Church doctrine, and everyone on the planet knows what that is.

To say Rubio has any views different than the church, is to say he has no religion too.

Imagine?

AprilApple said...

Little Rubio would be beating Hillary in the polls right now. He is young and articulate.

WE don't want young and articulate. We want a pro-wrestling blow-hard and an inarticulate farce who used to adore and praise Hillary and gave to the corrupt Clinton Foundation.

AprilApple said...

I thought Rubio's answer was a fine answer.

Much better than the dear in the headlight unprepared Trump-answer about how women should be punished. Geez - it's as if Trump is trying to throw down and lose.

***Pro wrestling is real, y'all.**** /

cubanbob said...

@rhhardin
First off the term evolution is a pet peeve of mine. Evolve denotes going from a lower state to a higher state when in actuality what occurs is an adaptation. And not always is the adaptation successful.

"My own theory is that this is just evolution-like selection. The problems that respond well to direct action have already been solved. What's left is problems that respond perversely to direct action.

The left persists in direct action, and the right says wait a minute that doesn't work.

The left tends to be wrong and the right tends to be right, because of the evolutionary selection of remaining problems.

I don't know that the left is wrong a priori at all. It's just the particular problems remaining that makes them wrong."

What have here is a circular argument. The Left tends to oversimplify matters as that makes it easier to engage in direct action and the Right tends to go by the precautionary principle under the premise of first do no harm but that heuristic can sometimes lead to perverse solutions as exemplified by the Global Warming Industry.

David Begley said...

John Henry wrote,
"Huh? Is this just more of the patented Begley bullshit or is it some kind of sarcasm that is going over my head? Why would I have a problem with Oxitec to kill mosquitos? We eradicated fruit flies 45 years ago using a similar technology (releasing sterile flies to mate) "

I don't get it. I gave you a million dollar stock tip in XON and a way to save PR and you attack me.

Oxitec will save lives and elminate much human suffering and Obama golfs. It helps to be Black and immune from criticism.

cubanbob said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
Every virus is sacred
Every virus is great
If a virus is wasted
God gets quite irate

8/7/16, 11:27 AM"

Now that there is funny! However on a somewhat more serious note if you were to have your genome read out you will find stretches of it have viral coding (thankfully dormant) so you are indeed a hybrid. So if you were to reproduce certain ancient viruses aren't wasted and God is pleased.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: That said, women do have a right to end their pregnancies. It's not an absolute right, and there are questions about the scope of that right. I understand that some of you think that the right to have an abortion isn't really a right at all but that the Supreme Court's precedents are wrong, but it's been a well-established right and that is not going to change — not unless the United States changes into a very different place.

This rests on rather a lot of assumptions that don't hold up well to scrutiny:

1. "Women do have a right to end their pregnancies." This depends on what you believe the source of rights are; whether you believe there is any distinction between moral/natural rights and legal rights; whether rights on either side of that divide come from the government, civic institutions, God, etc.; as well as how to determine what actions are permissible when those rights come into conflict with someone else's rights, i.e. the fetus'.
2. "Some of you think that the right to have an abortion isn't really a right at all but that the Supreme Court's precedents are wrong..." And more than that, given point 1. So you appear to be making the assumption that we're only discussing legal rights; that those legal rights emanate from the Supreme Court; and that whatever the Supreme Court said in 1973 is binding forever, which brings me to...
3. "It's been a well-established right and that is not going to change — not unless the United States changes into a very different place." It's only been "established" since 1973, in a country that has been around, legally, since 1776. The country was a very different place, and could very well become a very different place again, especially as sonographic technology and plain old video of what Planned Parenthood and the Dr. Kermit Gosnells of this world actually do, continue to reveal the truth. For that matter, we could very well end up somewhere that Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor suggested: Roe v. Wade's trimester framework is on a collision course with itself as the age of viability becomes younger and younger, and "terminating an unwanted pregnancy" can become a matter of the fetus continuing to live, either by transplant or incubation, to be placed for adoption later. Then the logical fallacy of Roe v. Wade will become unavoidably apparent, as the legal question of who acts in loco parentis of the living, but unwanted, fetus arises.

In other words, you can play lawyerly semantic games all day long, but the ineluctable fact is that Roe v. Wade rests on the death of a human being at the hands of its mother. Whether by further advances in medical technology improving viability, changes in the minds of the electorate as more evidence of what abortion does is presented, or most likely some combination of the above, it won't stand another century, and your complacency is first of all unwarranted, secondly legally obtuse, and thirdly evil.

n.n said...

Evolution is a chaotic process. Progress is a monotonic process (e.g. development from a highers state to a lower state). There are few processes in reality that are progressive. A human life is known to evolve from conception to a natural or anthropogenic death.

rhhardin said...

@cubanbob

Most people operate by direct action most of the time. It works great, except where it doesn't.

Evolutionarily adapted problems, those problems that produce the perverse consequences, survive. This is owing to their never being solved, owing in turn to the direct action to solve them.

This is the political realm, and because of it the political left is wrong most of the time.

Daily life left does fine. If you need milk, go to the store. Done.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

As for abortion rites, it is a natural right. The question is if civilized society intends to normalize, tolerate, or reject murdering, terminating, destroying, aborting another human life for causes other than self-defense, including: wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, government revenue (e.g. taxable labor), Democrat leverage, channel Mengele, spare parts, and exotic cars.

rhhardin said...

@n.n Evolution is a chaotic process. Progress is a monotonic process (e.g. development from a highers state to a lower state). There are few processes in reality that are progressive. A human life is known to evolve from conception to a natural or anthropogenic death.

There's a lot of DNA evolving before birth; there's a lot of social evolving that then starts but it does not come fast.

Your "human" lumps them together, where there's a huge discontinuity.

The trick here isn't to be me spotting it, but you spotting it.

rhhardin said...

I favor banning abortion on population replenishment grounds, myself. You get the advantages of society, now pay them forward. Too many people opt out. A political problem.

That's the response to Marge Piercy.

Of course the useful thing isn't to have children but to have ancestors.

Unknown said...

continue in a pregnancy that they know will produce a child with severe microencephaly, rather than to have a chance to begin again and produce a different child...

Ann,

The "begin again" argument presupposes that the abortion will not destroy the relationship, which has not been my experience.

When you talk about (paraphrased) what a horrible, different country we would be if abortion was banned, do you mean that the USA was a horrible place before 1973?

R&B,

The fact that my HS biology is quite a bit behind me, does not mean that it is not quite clear that equating discrete sperm, discrete ova, discrete gametes to their combination as a zygote, is sophistry.

Gametes necessarily have the same genetics (or subsets thereof) as their host organism. A zygote, a fertilized egg that is on a clear path to become a born human baby, is a discrete life form comprised of the combination of the male and female DNA, but not equal to either of them.

IMHO, which naturally is worth what it cost, you are just blowing smoke at this level of the argument, and should pursue it elsewhere. This just makes you look silly and cruel. (Some people of course delight in cruelty or the appearance of cruelty, equating it with strength or some other virtue, and so I would not deprive you of it if that is your choice; but I feel sure you don't want to look ridiculous)

cubanbob said...

Anglelyne said...
Sebastian: @Anglelyne (and others who have commented on difficulty of line-drawing etc.):

My argument wasn't apropos of line-drawing, but no matter, on to your next point:

"It'd be nice if people who disagree about abortion could figure out a way to have a productive argument about it." It would be nice. But the basic problem is that under the current legal regime arguments are bound to be unproductive because a certain absolutist position has been imposed by fiat. It enables the AAs of the world to wallow in their women-have-a-right-certitude while the Rubios counterproductively flail at making inconsequential moral gestures.

That's the basic political problem that makes political debate "unproductive". I was talking about the basic intellectual problem (really, basic logical fallacy) that makes both sides' arguments pointless, but it's fine if that's of no, or secondary, interest to you. Nonetheless, repeating the same defective arguments at each other ad infinitum does nothing to address the basic political problem, either.

8/7/16, 11:31 AM"

Just to be obnoxious let's cut to a political argument that most likely will not be too far into the future: there is a simple, cheap and quick genetic test that determines the probably baseline IQ of the fetus early in the pregnancy. Then what?

sunsong said...

This:

That "I" suggests the better answer: Do your own moral reasoning. It's a difficult decision. How do you make it? Erring on the side of life is one idea, and when it is your decision to make, you can embrace it. But to decide for someone else's family that they must continue in a pregnancy that they know will produce a child with severe microencephaly, rather than to have a chance to begin again and produce a different child... that is mind-bending intrusion into their suffering. I find it hard to believe Rubio actually wants a law that imposes his answer on those who face this decision. I assume he simply finds himself committed to a political position that requires purity at the abstract level, and he's trying to say that as nicely as possible.
~ Ann Althouse

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Rubio would be beating Hillary by 5-8 points."

Bollocks. The media would be in full shit-storm-freak-out-war-on-women mode. It would make what they're doing to Trump look like a massage.

Kudos to Rubio for sticking to his values, but those values mean he can never be a credible candidate for President. Sad but absolutely true.

Rhythm and Balls said...

A zygote, a fertilized egg that is on a clear path to become a born human baby, is a discrete life form comprised of the combination of the male and female DNA, but not equal to either of them.

That "clear path" is not so clear. Ever been pregnant? Chances are you were and didn't know it. The proportion of miscarriages sensed or not is high enough to quash the same stupid "zygote is destiny" thing that began and should have ended with the same Vatican that latched on to the supposed logic of ideas like this.

IMHO, which naturally is worth what it cost, you are just blowing smoke at this level of the argument, and should pursue it elsewhere.

It's being raised here, and it forms the basis of the thought process (I use that phrase lightly) of most people on their side of "the argument." So I will respond to it here. "Life begins" simply is not a true phrase or accurate idea. I'm not going to let people off the hook of their bad arguments just because they take advantage of a lazy language loophole.

This just makes you look silly and cruel.

Oh no. Sounds like someone's getting sentimental. Or image-obsessed. Or some other thing that has no bearing and should have no bearing on me.

(Some people of course delight in cruelty or the appearance of cruelty, equating it with strength or some other virtue, and so I would not deprive you of it if that is your choice; but...

First off, aren't you already making concessions on late term abortions? The cruelty there is that for the minuscule proportion of all that they represent, they are usually calamitous medical tragedies whereby willing parents decided, quite humanely, that undergoing a risky birth for the sake of seeing a grotesque baby cyclops with or without a neocortex and skull who has the chance of surviving for maybe a few minutes at most was just not worth it to anyone or any morality. So there's no way in hell I'm going to relinquish that one. I might let it go for the sake of reasonable people (April) who have better points to make. But I'm not conceding it. Google "wanted pregnancy abortion" and lecture to them.

Second, let the record show that I delight in making ignorance scarce, and its shameless promotion scarcer. Often that requires embarrassment of the proudly ignorant. But they're playing a game for which I'm quite certain I hadn't made the first move.

...I feel sure you don't want to look ridiculous)

No one knows what anyone here actually looks like. But image obsession is something you'll have to leave to others. Only a fool stops in the middle of a fight to part his hair.

cubanbob said...

R & B,
The flip-side of the pro-choice argument is at what point in the future will abortion be a requirement? As I suggested in another comment what do we as a society decide when the time comes we can test and determine IQ early in the pregnancy? We are near the point that we have a society that has a large segment of people who do not have the IQ needed to be successful in an advanced technological economy. What do we do? Of course the argument cuts the other way as well for the pro-life advocates. I have a bad feeling that advances in science may be bringing us back to bad old future of eugenics. I read somewhere that the Chinese are experimenting with genetic techniques to improve the average IQ of the Chinese population. If the Chinese are successful and can increase the average IQ of each Chinese newborn by a statistically significant amount do we sit by and allow a Communist IQ gap?

Bruce Hayden said...

I can see the point that evolution and progress are different, but then we are (currently) the end result of this process. And, I think that it is a decently good place where we have gone. You could almost believe in Intelligent Design, when it comes to the evolution of humans. A species that has been able to colonize most of this earth, and is potentially looking at colonizing much more. If we manage to keep from killing ourselves off first.

One of the things that I like about science fiction is that it asks "what if". Is what we consider intelligent life the ultimate end to evolution? Is there some force pushing it? Or, is it truly an anomaly that we just happened to be the accidental result of millions of mutations? If there is other life out there, is any of it intelligent? And what are the limitations? I think that we can maybe be seen as potentially dividing the species, with the smart getting smarter, and the rest maybe moving in the opposite direction. For one thing, we have seemingly removed the limitation on head size, and maybe even the time limit on gaining adulthood. Could the advantages of increased intelligence push evolution towards a species split? And what about longevity? Except most of the benefits there would be after the end of breeding.

Sorry to go off on a tangent, but the standard arguments about late term abortion get boring for me. And that is what we are really talking about here - late term abortion, where the left is off on a limb all by themselves, and this is one more extremely rare situation that is being used to justify society justifying the much more common situation of elective abortion after fetus viability. Personally, I cannot really condemn late term abortion in the case of major birth defects or serious health threats to the mother, but oppose it otherwise. Yet, I do morally respect the Sarah Palins of this world who follow their moral principles to the extent that she did, bringing a Down's Syndrome baby into this world instead of breaking one of the most basic of the Ten Commandments.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The flip-side of the pro-choice argument is at what point in the future will abortion be a requirement?

None. What is it about the word "choice" that is so hard to understand? My my. The bleak, industrial and authoritarian urges of the right really come out in moments like these. (Not that I blame you; you are approaching the discussion fairly, had a great point about ERVs/endogenous retroviruses to bring up, and are just honestly musing with ideas that may or may not be a legitimate or even personal concern). But seriously, that is way too much of a straw man to engage. Pure fantasy. If anything, forced pregnancies are more a concern than forced abortions - in America anyway, not in the least because one of those scenarios has been law and retains great support and the other never has and never will; and it's certainly not the left that has any admiration for China, let alone any interest in competing with or emulating it in any way, shape or form.

Anglelyne said...

cubanbob: Just to be obnoxious let's cut to a political argument that most likely will not be too far into the future: there is a simple, cheap and quick genetic test that determines the probably baseline IQ of the fetus early in the pregnancy. Then what?

Then the people who want high IQ offspring and have no moral objection to abortion will use it to ensure that only high IQ offspring are born. I'm not sure why that would affect the status quo re abortion. Nobody has to justify early abortions. Has the fact that people are using testing and abortion for sex-selection changed anything? No.

Anglelyne said...

cubanbob - ah, I see now where you were going with that question. Missed your later comment.

Donatello Nobody said...

What tim maguire said at 9:22. Those two points (conception and death) and those two alone are the only points at which what exists is fundamentally, irrevocably different from what existed before. All the rest is just window dressing that makes it easier for a person facing an inconvenient pregnancy to justify taking a human life. Freder calls this position "fervent and absolute", as if it isn't based on a fundamental principle. You might as well say that our opposition to ISIS is "fervent and absolute" because it's based on the principle that people should not be murdered for their religious beliefs.

I don't even believe that people who believe in a right to abortion think that what's going on isn't the taking of a human life.

Donatello Nobody said...

Forced pregnancies? What in hell is Rhythm & Balls taking about?

Phil 3:14 said...

The question that is so often asked is "When does human life begin?"

The question that is too often not asked is "At what point in intrauterine life are there beyond no exceptions to a ban on abortion?"

We still have cases of legally permitted abortions in the ninth month. It would be medically safer to deliver the baby at term and then kill it. Why is that banned?

Phil 3:14 said...

The question that is so often asked is "When does human life begin?"

The question that is too often not asked is "At what point in intrauterine life are there beyond no exceptions to a ban on abortion?"

We still have cases of legally permitted abortions in the ninth month. It would be medically safer to deliver the baby at term and then kill it. Why is that banned?

Phil 3:14 said...

The question that is so often asked is "When does human life begin?"

The question that is too often not asked is "At what point in intrauterine life are there beyond no exceptions to a ban on abortion?"

We still have cases of legally permitted abortions in the ninth month. It would be medically safer to deliver the baby at term and then kill it. Why is that banned?

Phil 3:14 said...

The question that is so often asked is "When does human life begin?"

The question that is too often not asked is "At what point in intrauterine life are there beyond no exceptions to a ban on abortion?"

We still have cases of legally permitted abortions in the ninth month. It would be medically safer to deliver the baby at term and then kill it. Why is that banned?

Phil 3:14 said...

The question that is so often asked is "When does human life begin?"

The question that is too often not asked is "At what point in intrauterine life are there beyond no exceptions to a ban on abortion?"

We still have cases of legally permitted abortions in the ninth month. It would be medically safer to deliver the baby at term and then kill it. Why is that banned?

hombre said...

"... a political position that requires purity at the abstract level."

There is someting abstract about coming down on the side of life? Seriously? And since when, Professor, do we live in a society where politicians refrain from making decisions that impose personal hardships on citizens?

n.n said...

"Forced pregnancies" is when the State directs a man at the end of a gun to rape -- not rape, rape -- without using contraceptives a woman strapped to a kitchen table. Democrats compensate for this gross violation of human rights through the provision of a final solution and profit sharing in Planned Parenthood which they subsequently recover through progressive government revenue schemes. The woman through superior or involuntary exploitation is forced -- for the greater good -- to have sexual relations with that man.

Fernandinande said...

cubanbob said...
Just to be obnoxious let's cut to a political argument that most likely will not be too far into the future: there is a simple, cheap and quick genetic test that determines the probably baseline IQ of the fetus early in the pregnancy. Then what?


That doesn't involve abortion, it consists of selecting which of several IVF zygotes to implant. "They" estimate that selecting one of ten zygotes could get an average 15-point increase in IQ, without gene editing; it'd be like choosing the smartest of ten kids.

Steve Hsu was involved with BGI figuring out the genetics to look for, still makes some posts about it. It's kinda complicated...

Terry said...

R&B wrote:
If anything, forced pregnancies are more a concern than forced abortions - in America anyway, not in the least because one of those scenarios has been law and retains great support and the other never has and never will; and it's certainly not the left that has any admiration for China, let alone any interest in competing with or emulating it in any way, shape or form.

But Leftist Thom Friedman shows that he is about as wrong as he can be . . .

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/opinion/09friedman.html?_r=0

The first rule of not beclowning yourself is to avoid making absolute statements such as "it's certainly not the left that has any admiration for China, let alone any interest in competing with or emulating it in any way, shape or form."

If you cannot make a point without referring to values in terms of absolutes, it is probably because you are an absolutist.

I expect that if R&B responds to this we will all get a wonderful example of the 'no true Scotsman' fallacy put to practical misuse.

Anglelyne said...

cubanbob: The flip-side of the pro-choice argument is at what point in the future will abortion be a requirement? As I suggested in another comment what do we as a society decide when the time comes we can test and determine IQ early in the pregnancy? We are near the point that we have a society that has a large segment of people who do not have the IQ needed to be successful in an advanced technological economy. What do we do?

Good luck getting a thoughtful response from R&B on this.

Of course there's going to be that kind of pressure. Medical costs have to be controlled, dontcha know, and low IQ people, as you point out, are more and more a net drain on technological societies. (Don't expect consistency here from utilitarian lefties, who will deny that IQ means anything while arguing for the moral and economic necessity of getting rid of excess dumb people.)

As for it "never happening", of course people, if not technically "forced" to abort, will certainly be bullied about it, and over time more "persuasions" applied, that will fall just within (some lefty casuist's) notion of "choice".

These gits don't believe in any right to "choice" but their own.

hombre said...

10:46 a.m: Here's another ubiquitous inanity from Ritmo, the sock puppet; claiming someone is ignorant of biology while displaying his own ignorance of human embryology.

But then, for the quintessential lefty science is only science if it supports the template.

(Bracing for the predictable invective.)

yoobee said...

"I find it hard to believe Rubio actually wants a law that imposes his answer on those who face this decision."

This statement proves to me that Professor Althouse doesn't truly understand the pro-life position. Obviously, Rubio is a politician, so one can speculate about his political calculus. But if he truly believes what he believes about abortion, his statements make sense and are in keeping with his beliefs. For those who have faith in God (or at least some sense of eternity after this mortal life), they understand that there are much worse fates than having the burden of raising a child with a debilitating disease.

Terry said...

Blogger cubanbob said...
R & B,
We are near the point that we have a society that has a large segment of people who do not have the IQ needed to be successful in an advanced technological economy.

By definition half of humanity will always be below average in intelligence. Average IQ's have been rising, not falling, by several points per decade since the 1930 ("Flynn effect"). If the average IQ today was twenty points higher than it is, you would still hear complaints that the bottom half of the curve was too stupid and that "something must be done about them" before they drag "the rest of us" down.

Lydia said...

I find it hard to believe Rubio actually wants a law that imposes his answer on those who face this decision.

The linked Politico article doesn't supply a direct quote of Rubio saying he'd outlaw abortions because of zika. All the direct quotes are simply Rubio’s boilerplate that he's been saying forever about abortion, so he was sticking to the script. Which basically comes down to he's not out to overturn Roe v. Wade but rather acknowledges the issue is a complex one and he seeks to limit the number of abortions.

Fernandinande said...

Phil 3:14 said...
The question that is so often asked is "When does human life begin?"


That's pretty obvious, @conception, duh, hence the nasty fighting over it and making up nonsense about so many weeks and nervous systems.

The question that is too often not asked is "At what point in intrauterine life are there beyond no exceptions to a ban on abortion?"

I think the real question is: how obnoxious does a person have to be to warrant being killed?

For born people "obnoxious enough" might consist of their murdering other people, or being in a different army; in 1800s England, pickpockets were considered obnoxious enough to warrant death.

Feminists think that an unborn person is obnoxious enough to warrant death just by growing inside a woman and then being born.

We still have cases of legally permitted abortions in the ninth month. It would be medically safer to deliver the baby at term and then kill it. Why is that banned?

That is odd, isn't it? I think it's nothing more than cuteness, as rhardin mentioned - a born baby is cute, a "partial birth" baby still has it's face hidden, so it's not cute. Not much more to it.

Unknown said...

Rhythm and Balls said...

(First, let me thank you for the reasonable and even elevated tone you're employing in this case. I deprecate the rhetorical hammering.)

A zygote, a fertilized egg that is on a clear path to become a born human baby, is a discrete life form comprised of the combination of the male and female DNA, but not equal to either of them.

That "clear path" is not so clear. Ever been pregnant? Chances are you were and didn't know it. The proportion of miscarriages sensed or not is high enough to quash the same stupid "zygote is destiny" thing that began and should have ended with the same Vatican that latched on to the supposed logic of ideas like this.


That graphic is quite baffling.

The point is not that zygotes aren't always born, or rather, that's not important. While humans are a K, vs an r, breeding strategy species, that does not mean that the biological process of reproduction, or any other, can be expected to have a yield rate like that of a Samsung chip foundry. Hearts miss beats, brains have memory lapses, anuses fart, eyes blur, skin itches, etc. That does not invalidate these other biological processes.

In fact, miscarriages do end perhaps...I have in mind the figure of one pregnancy in three, but more could be as you say undetected. It's possible, even likely, that God or Nature is performing the eugenics here, organically; sometimes helped along by malnutrition, drug abuse, trauma, stress, etc., and the intervention of a Dr. Gosnell is not really necessary from the biological perspective.

Again, not relevant though, because under NO circumstances will a single haploid cell by itself equal or create new life. While fertilization may not be sufficient, it is absolutely necessary.

That the process fails elsewhere, whether one morning in the third month the blushing bride greets the day with a horrible toilet, whether the baby is born blind, or whether the progeny fails to get into Harvard or marries a nogoodnik, does not mean that that zygote is/was not an individual human life worthy of respect.

Put it another way, if the average woman in sub-Saharan Africa averages 5.6 children, 2.6 of whom reach maturity, that wouldn't give one the right to kill three of them for sport or tissue as 'they would have died anyway'.

So,

IMHO, which naturally is worth what it cost, you are just blowing smoke at this level of the argument, and should pursue it elsewhere.

It's being raised here, and it forms the basis of the thought process (I use that phrase lightly) of most people on their side of "the argument." So I will respond to it here. "Life begins" simply is not a true phrase or accurate idea. I'm not going to let people off the hook of their bad arguments just because they take advantage of a lazy language loophole.


OK, you are firm on this point, so then let me understand the point better. I feel I've clarified what means 'life begins at conception' and defended it successfully. Can you restate, unemotionally, the argument that I, or these others, are making, and explain the holes? Do we need to redefine 'life' or 'begins'or 'conception'?

What I mean is, if you decided to concede, or were ultimately defeated on, this point, that the human reproductive process begins when egg meets sperm, have you got any other shots in your locker?

I should say that a naked statement of interest a la Orwell's de-obfuscation 'I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so'* is perfectly valid here, as all we are doing here is talking. If for whatever greater good, the core if your argument is that it's better and easier and thus (and only?) acceptable to take life and death power now, while the life is so very small and the death is so easy, please have the goodness to say so, and then we can get into other issues a la Handmaid's Tale.

...1/? for length

Unknown said...

2/?


* to clarify on that de-obfuscation - from George Orwell's Politics and the English Language (1946):

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:
‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’
The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’.

mockturtle said...

When I became pregnant in my late teens, my mother wanted me to fly to Japan for an abortion [it was still illegal in the US]. I refused and when I think that my beautiful, bright and vivacious older daughter wouldn't BE, had I agreed, it breaks my heart.

If you believe in abortion, you believe in infanticide. A woman who gives birth in an alley and tosses her newborn into a nearby dumpster is no different from, and no worse than, someone who has an abortion. I have compassion for these distraught women in either case but would like to see more options open to them.

Babies born with severe microcephaly don't usually survive more than a few hours or days. Those with mild or moderate microcephaly can actually live fairly normal lives. A friend of mine adopted one who is doing very well.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There is someting abstract about coming down on the side of life?

If you like "life" so much then stop dying, you old decrepit crypt-sniffer. Plant a tree, or a whole orchard. Tend a meadow. Save some species from extinction. Just stop playing around with trying to regulate vaginas that you weren't invited into. You're creepy enough already as is.

cubanbob said...

R & B I would pause there for a moment and remember that eugenics was a progressive concept back then. Was it Holmes who said three generations of imbeciles is enough? While I agree with you that unlike China we will not ever have mandatory enforced abortions that isn't to say that the Welfare State has no limits and at some point if enough economic growth doesn't occur, then demands to limit who gets welfare and how much will intensify with resulting curbs. To argue that a woman has a right to choose isn't an argument that society as a whole has to finance that choice. Of course the pro-lifers have the same problem. Back to the Chinese let us set aside your comment about the American Left and the Chinese Communists and let us return to the not so hypothetical question I posed about Chinese experimentation with respects to increasing the average IQ. What if they can find a way to do it? What if they then implement it? Do you think once that Genie is out of the bottle it will only stay in China? Do you envisage a US that just shrugs this off or instead goes retro-progressive and encourages through various policies and programs to encourage women who are choosing to get pregnant to go the higher IQ way and actively discourage women who don't choose to do so not to get pregnant or stay pregnant if the child will not have the minimum acceptable IQ?

Now that we are approaching Bruce Hayden's observation that we are now on the verge of actively changing our species through the ability to specifically choose adaptations. Governments of both the Left and the Right may in time force the issue albeit from different starting positions. We may be smart enough to perhaps do this (alter IQ) but intelligence and wisdom are not synonymous. Then again if I was completely dark and dystopian I wouldn't worry too much since first I'll be dead when this comes about and secondly with AI rapidly progressing we may be relegated to some other position on the intelligence totem pole by our machine offspring.

mockturtle said...

The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details.

Excellent!

Rhythm and Balls said...

Forced pregnancies? What in hell is Rhythm & Balls taking about?

Oh, my bad. Forced continuation of pregnancies. Is that better? Hopefully it was just subtle and precise enough to evade your silly objection.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Tell me Professor, if for some reason abortion was physically impossible, would infant exposure be permissible? This is not a complete hypothetical since infant exposure to the elements in cases were the infant was found to be defective was once a custom in many societies.

While it may be legal to abort babies the question is still whether or not it is moral, which hinges on the question, are the unborn people.

If they are not people, if they lack personhood, then abortion is morally permissible. If they are people then abortion is murder.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Good luck getting a thoughtful response from R&B on this.

A thoughtful response on the conspiratorial straw man (or "thought exercise," to put it more charitably than it deserves) of forced abortions? That's not even worth responding to. No one who supports CHOICE brought it up and no one pushed for it. Ever. Except on the right - as an imaginative (at best) or paranoid and desperate (at worst) response to the obvious objection to forcing pregnancies to be carried to term. That's where the force comes in. That's where strictures are advocated and where they would be required. No one legitimately forces people to become pregnant and no one legitimately forces them to abort.

Fritz said...

Wow, I guess the Democrats should stop blocking Zika funding.

Rhythm and Balls said...

R & B I would pause there for a moment and remember that eugenics was a progressive concept back then.

So was abolition. So was the American revolution. So was everything Teddy Roosevelt did. It's not a sufficient point for calling out an argument to merely claim that it is a "progressive concept." George W. Bush's "ownership society" is a progressive concept. Capitalist micro-lending is a progressive concept. Phones that you can see the person you're talking to and play music on were progressive concepts. Let's not demonize arguments based on ideological smear tactics. What a concept.

cubanbob said...

Fernandinande genetic editing is the point I'm making. If it can be done then when does it become an imperative? While two bright people are likely to produce a bright child that isn't always a given and it's even less likely that two dull people are going to produce above average bright children. Genetic editing if can be done successfully will almost always guarantee a smart child.

mockturtle said...

The likelihood that Chinese will create a 'super race' is no greater than that of Nazi Germany. Scientific zealots always make unwise decisions when they omit ethical and moral considerations. [Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was an interesting projection]. Cubanbob is correct that intelligence does not equate with wisdom.

Rhythm and Balls said...

If it can be done then when does it become an imperative?

Never.

When are you guys finally going to endorse the concept of reproductive autonomy?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Yep. Tom Friedman. Big leftist. Huge capitalist, warmonger, and American jingoist. Big strong voice for all things left-wing.

China is a right-wing cause.

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