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Should a woman give birth to a child that can't survive?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Montresor, May 4, 2007.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    My wife had a test to check for some of the more common birth defects. If we found out that our child would die within days, if not hours after birth, and there was nothing medical technology could do, we would have decided for an abortion. So yes, I think it should be the mother's decision here.
     
  2. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    I find it difficult to imagine that a person could prevent another from going to heaven. I mean this because the argument being presented here is that the moment the child is _born_ it now has the ability to go to heaven or hell, yet before it's born it apparently has an immortal soul, even before it's concieved!

    So, I fail to see how if it was aborted it wouldn't go to heaven. It still has the immortal soul, right? It's still a human being. The only difference is that it hasn't left the mother's womb. Does a womb have an 'anti-divine influence lining' or something? I thought God could do whatever he wants.

    Basically, the argument makes no sense.
     
  3. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Abonimation: That's where the argument gets confusing. If the child is not born, then no spirit can enter it. In the Mormon belief, once that child is born a spirit enters the body. If the child dies young, that spirit is accepted to heaven. Aborting the child does not allow a spirit into heaven and is considered akin to murder (convoluted logic, but religion is seldom logical). Another point of view is the Catholic belief; if the child dies before being baptised it is doomed to an eternity in hell (original sin and all that junk) in this case either having a priest at the birth or aborting it would make the most sense (except the whole abortion = murder thing).

    Nobody said life was fair. The argument doesn't have to make sense to a religious person -- it's just the way it is for them. To the religious person God CAN do whatever he/she wants and appears to be quite cruel in some cases (such as this).

    My point is that you cannot simply ignore the religious implications of abortion -- especially if you do not understand it. In the eyes of people who believe as Gnarff does, this abortion IS wrong. The birth of this child DOES accomplish something in their religion. You cannot argue that away -- especially not with rudeness or sarcasm. The problem with many pro-choice people is they refuse to see this point.

    My opinion has not changed, it is the mother who needs to decide -- governments and religions need to stay out of this (which will never happen).
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Catholics don't actually believe this. Unless you've committed some mortal sin without receiving the sacrament of reconciliation, you will go to heaven according to Catholic doctrine (although you may have to spend quite a while in purgatory).
     
  5. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    *shakes head* I just don't get it how people can believe this drivel and not be deemed insane. I think all children are really being controlled by purple invisible space monkeys and because my belief is deemed a religion nobody can say it's wrong. What's more I'm 100% sane, apparently.
     
  6. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    It's hardly surprising that people believe things they've been taught from birth. Nor is it surprising that they feel they have independent confirmation of their beliefs (psychologists have, AFAIK, been able to duplicate the 'religious experience' feeling by messing about with the brain. Apparently it's a quite compelling feeling).

    Besides, if you want to call religion insane, then you're going to have to call the bulk of all humans everywhere and everywhen insane, and that ain't gonna persuade many people. Nor will it win you many friends (though Richard Dawkins might like you).
     
  7. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    It wasn't hateful to my religion, but specifically towards me. You came right out and specified that religion was not welcome in an ethical discussion. I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for neglecting this part of my post:

    That was a point potentially favouring bringing the pregnancy to term that was *not* based on religion. I've actually done something that you've been after me to do for how long now? Honestly, how am I supposed to take you seriously?

    But at what point in the pregnancy would carrying the pregnancy to term be less risky to your wife than the abortion procedure?
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Hmmm, Gnarff. I'm glad that was a decision I didn't have to make. You are correct that the later the abortion is performed, the greater the risk to the mother. There is no medical consensus on this either, although most doctors will say the following:

    In the first trimester (weeks 0-13) getting an abortion is less risky for the mother than carrying the baby to term. It all but very rare cases it is considered a low-risk procedure.

    In the second trimester (weeks 14-26) the risk to the woman's health are about the same between an abortion and carrying the fetus to term, but it greatly depends on each individual woman, and exactly where you are in the second trimester. The risk to the woman increases the most during the second trimester, and thus, an early 2nd trimester abortion is low risk, while a late 2nd trimester abortion is high risk.

    In the third trimester (week 27 and over), getting an abortion is considered a more risky (thus high-risk) procedure than carrying the baby to term.

    Now, as I have already said, I greatly oppose third trimester abortions, simply because medical technology has advanced to the point that a 27 week old fetus has a pretty decent chance at surviving outside the womb, so these abortions are effectively killing a (usually) viable fetus.

    The initial tests that were run on my wife took place in the 10th week - so that's the first trimester. However, the way the test is setup, there's a much higher chance for a false positive than a false negative. Basically, that means that if the test comes back negative, your kid is OK, but even if the test comes back positive, your kid still may be OK. In fact, about half the time the test comes back positive you still have a normal child.

    My wife's test came back negative, so we didn't have to worry about it. However, if it had come back positive, then we would have been faced with a difficult decision. The way to confirm the test is positive would be to perform an amniocentesis. However, that has a chance of causing the woman to have a miscarriage. The alternative is to take a "wait and see" approach. As the fetus develops further, it will become evident whether or not it's OK. Which is fine if the fetus is OK, but bad if it isn't, as it would require the woman to get an abortion well into the second trimester.

    Having said all that, since the risk to the woman is about the same in the 2nd trimester, I still probably would agree with getting the abortion. I think it would be horrible for a woman to go through 9 months of carrying a child, only to have it die shortly after birth, and there being hope of it turning out differently.
     
  9. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Edit - never mind, I'm not going through this again. Drew can defend himself, and Gnarff can look up "ad hominem."

    [ May 08, 2007, 15:45: Message edited by: Death Rabbit ]
     
  10. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Gnarff clearly stated in his first line that this is religious doctrine. To a believer doctrine is fact. Others may disagree and there are many different religious beliefs. Relious beliefs are not insane except in the sense that all humanity is insane.

    Fact: The later the abortion the more risk to the mother.

    Opinion: In this type of case I believe the choice should be up to the woman.
     
  11. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    In Gnarff's defense, the opening words of his post are:
    That said, I doubt such theology applies in this case. In all probability, "Miss D" is likely Catholic, and not Mormon.

    I know a devout Catholic couple who was faced with this situation, over her third pregnancy. I forget if she terminated or miscarried, but the child wasn't born. Either way it was heartbreaking for her, even though she can now be comforted by knowing that the baby won't be stuck in Limbo for eternity
    :rolleyes:

    @Drew: I completely agree that debaters must start from the same groundworks to reach any sort of meaningful conclusion, but that was not what I inferred from your first posting. To me, it did come across as a rather brusque way to express what you later explained to be a very reasonable sentiment - so brusque, in fact, that I had to do a triple-take to verify that it was really you that had made the post.

    [ May 08, 2007, 15:50: Message edited by: Rallymama ]
     
  12. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Thank-you for finding that Rally. I can remember many Catholic converts to the Mormon church for just that reason -- I though it was hell, instead it was limbo (is there really a difference -- either sounds terrible).
     
  13. Equester Gems: 18/31
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    Limbo, at least not in dantes divene comedy, dosn't include any torment, you will just never recieve the love of god (which i suppose is a form of torment).

    oh and to stay on topic, i think it should be purely the womans choice.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Upon review, I agree with you. My post did come off too brusque. I was actually making a reference (which, obviously, no one got) to an earlier argument I made to Gnarff about why religious arguments are actually harmfull to the pro-life agenda when it comes to abortion, because the pro-choice community is not only never going to accept a religious argument at face value, but is likely to latch onto such arguments as a means of making ad-hominem attacks against anyone who happens to be pro-life. I figured that Gnarff and anyone else who had read the thread would have picked up the reference and understood what I was getting at without me needing to re-hash the whole argument again. I should have been more clear about my intent.

    I admit that the post came off too brusque and I'm sorry that it offended you. However, pointing out that religion is not relevant (note that I use the word "relevant" in lieu of "welcome") in an ethical discussion does not constitute hate. The reason that religious viewpoints are not relevant is because religious belief is not based in fact or logic. Ethics, on the other hand, absolutely must be based in both fact and logic. Much of what is considered moral (morality stems from religion) can be considered unethical and, likewise, much of what is considered ethical can be considered immoral. I state this not to belittle religion, but merely to point out that religion and ethics really don't have anything to do with each other. Gnarff, you seem to think I "have it in" for the LDS church in particular. You couldn't be further from the truth, though, since I actually hold equal contempt for all organized religion. I don't believe that Christ died on the Cross, rose from the dead 3 days later, and ascended into heaven. I don't believe that Moses parted the Red Sea, that Noah took two of every creature into a big boat for 40 days (and nights!), that the Lord smote Sodom and Gomorah, that Krishna sang Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna before a great battle, that Buddha is constantly being reincarnated as the Dalai Llama, that the Angel Gabriel dictated the Quran to Mohammad, that Zeus lived on Mount Olympus with the other gods and Demi-Gods....I don't believe any of it (but, ironically, I do believe in God). The big difference in the case of the LDS church or Scientology is that they are young enough that a plethora of (in my opinion, damning) information is readily available about almost every aspect of the history and evolution of these religions.


    Now that that's taken care of, down to business: This is a sad case, and I also agree that the woman should be allowed to choose. I already know what my wife and I would do. We would bring the child into the world, hope against hope that the child would defy all odds and live (this kind of thing has happened before), and give all the love we can to the child until it dies. Then we would bear blinding despair of seeing our child go before we do, name the child, and have the child buried in one of those tiny little caskets.

    [ May 09, 2007, 01:16: Message edited by: Drew ]
     
  15. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I have noted that some of your past criticisms have left out some key parts. It sometimes obscures your point. The Brusque nature led to the interpretation of unwelcome as opposed to irrelevent.

    I still disagree with seperation of ethics and morality. Ethics is what's the right thing to do in a situation. Morality is a system to determine that right thing. The two are inseperably linked.

    Ironically for all the dissention between us, we still reach the same conclusion...
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Completely false. If they were linked, they would always agree. Human sacrifice, for example, can be a moral action if your religion requires it. It will never, however, be ethical. Gay sex is often considered immoral, but you would be hard pressed to come even close to proving it unethical.

    [ May 09, 2007, 21:33: Message edited by: Drew ]
     
  17. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Eh? I don't think I've ever seen a definition of one that had no reference to the other. Are you implying that there is some objective set of principles called ethics defined somewhere, but any set of morals are necessarily subjective? I don't believe I would agree with that.
     
  18. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Hmmm. I have to agree with BTA, and by extension, Gnarff (shudder) on this one.

    /me dons helpful person hat.

    eth·ics
    - noun

    1. (used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
    2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
    3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
    4. (usually used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

    mor·al
    –adjective

    1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
    2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work; moralizing: a moral novel.
    3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
    4. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
    5. conforming to the rules of right conduct (opposed to immoral): a moral man.
     
  19. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    ethics (eth'iks) n.pl. 1 [ with sing. v. ] the study of standards of conduct and moral judgement. 2 the system of morals of a particular person, religion, group, etc.

    Ethics are dependent on the moral compass of the individual or group. What is ethical and moral to one group may not be to another.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Dictionary definition leaves out a very fundamental difference between morality and ethics, though. Morality stems from religion and does not require justification. Ethics does not stem from religion and most assuredly does require justification. Further, any time you change your religion, you change your morality from one static set of principles to another. Ethics, on the other hand doesn't radically change in the face of changing belief systems because it is fluid, unlike morality.

    The following article explains the difference between the two concepts very well. Ethics vs. Morality


    [ May 09, 2007, 22:44: Message edited by: Drew ]
     
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