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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Election Matters: the Tea Party, incumbent dissatisfaction, and Christine O'Donnell (Page 0)

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Author Topic: Election Matters: the Tea Party, incumbent dissatisfaction, and Christine O'Donnell
Rakeesh
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Dan_Frank,

quote:
Part of why I think the tea party is so great is because it's not a unified group. It's a bottom-up, grass roots movement that's only loosely affiliated in any official sense.
You've just described some of the characteristics of an angry, property destroying mob. I'm not characterizing the Tea Party that way here, just pointing out that the traits you're lauding here do not seem to me to be very desirable in and of themselves.

quote:
But what is tying these loose groups together, the single cause that they all agree on, is fiscal conservatism.
It seems to me, from the outside looking in, that what unites these groups is the kind of fiscal conservatism that says, "Spend less," period. No nuance, no compassion, no reasoning. Spend less, cut taxes, cut spending - except for the military, of course. And while we're at it, lower oversight because that's somehow often included in fiscally conservative outlooks.

quote:
Just because Tea Party members support her doesn't mean she's a Tea Party leader. Is she funding the Tea Party and planning these rallies? Nay. She supports them, and they support her.
Saying they 'support' her seems to me to be pretty darn incomplete to me, FoolishTook. They don't just support her. They turn out in droves and listen very carefully to what she has to say. They 'support' her in many ways in the way that far-right conservative Repulicans 'support' Rush Limbaugh. Why are you shying away from identifying Sarah Palin as a leader among the Tea Party?

quote:
Because her views are so far removed from your own doesn't mean she can't run for office and win or lose according to the people's support or lack thereof.
Who said anything about 'can't'? This always seems to come up in these sorts of discussions. I didn't say she should be disallowed from running. I said her views on sexuality are absolutely relevant to her campaign for senate. And they are.

quote:
However, it is not possible for someone to believe -- for example -- that 9/11 is an inside job or Barack Obama is a secret Muslim plant without being an evil nutcase.
I don't grant the evil premise, or even necessarily the nutcase premise. I do, however, believe that it is impossible for someone to believe such things and not be very dangerous for them to have any real political power in the world.
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Olivet
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I am perfectly willing to believe that up to 30% of a given country's population falls into the category of "evil or a nutcase."

If you make that "evil, a nutcase, stupid or badly informed" and I agree. (Though the qualifiers would raise the percentage considerably, I suspect.)
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Rakeesh
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quote:
If you make that "evil, a nutcase, stupid or badly informed" and I agree. (Though the qualifiers would raise the percentage considerably, I suspect.)
Likewise. Personally I reserve words like evil and nutcase for stronger things than politically attractive but very little considered beliefs such as 'OMG SECRET MOHAMMEDAN!' which is what I tend to think is the root of much of that nonsense.
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Samprimary
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quote:
At issue are more than $20,000 of spending in 2009 and 2010 that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims was illegal.
"It turns out Miss O'Donnell has treated her campaign funds like they are her very own personal piggy bank. She's used that money to pay for things like her rent, for gas, meals and even a bowling outing. And that's just flat-out illegal," said Melanie Sloan, the group's executive director.

In an interview on CNN's "AC360," Sloan said her organization would be sending letters to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware and the Federal Elections Commission on Monday asking them to investigate.

"For example, in 2009, Miss O'Donnell wasn't a candidate for anything, yet she had numerous campaign expenses, things like travel and gas, and yet she had no actual campaign," Sloan said.
O'Donnell's spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

At this point I would consider O'Donnell dropping out of the race a significant possibility, if not yet the most likely outcome.


http://edition.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/18/odonnell.ethics/index.html

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BlackBlade
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And this after Newt Gingrich used his powers of prophecy to predict her ultimate win in Delaware.

Guess his prophet status lasted just a few hours.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
But if you're against it with exceptions for rape and incest, what you're saying isn't "a fetus's life is worth as much as that of a child or an adult." If you were saying that then you'd be okay with executing a five year old kid who was the product of rape and incest.
...What?
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MattP
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quote:
...What?
It's pretty straightforward and an entirely consistent position. *IF* you consider a fetus a human being with every right owed to any other human, then the fact that it was produced by rape or incest would be immaterial. If you wouldn't allow the murder of a five-year-old because it was discovered that the child was a product of rape or incest then you also shouldn't be allowed to abort a fetus for the same reason.

I disagree with the premises upon which this argument is based, but I fully understand it and I think it's a more consistent argument than that made by people that say, essentially, that abortion is murder unless the mother was raped. That's where I say "...What?".

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
...What?
It's pretty straightforward and an entirely consistent position. *IF* you consider a fetus a human being with every right owed to any other human, then the fact that it was produced by rape or incest would be immaterial. If you wouldn't allow the murder of a five-year-old because it was discovered that the child was a product of rape or incest then you also shouldn't be allowed to abort a fetus for the same reason.

I disagree with the premises upon which this argument is based, but I fully understand it and I think it's a more consistent argument than that made by people that say, essentially, that abortion is murder unless the mother was raped. That's where I say "...What?".

Yep. Though I'm pro-choice, I have a lot of respect for the pro-life position if applied consistently. If you believe life starts at conception, then you should be pro-life. Period.

I especially hate it when pro-choice people say things like "I think an abortion is a terrible, lamentable choice and I don't know if I could do it, but everyone should have the right to choose." This totally sidesteps what is actually at issue, which is when a fetus becomes a person. Why is it a terrible, lamentable choice you'd never do? Is it because you think even the most undeveloped embryo is a person? If so, then how can it be everyone's person right to decide? That's like saying you think it's tragic when someone chooses to kill someone and take their stuff, and you would never kill someone for their stuff, but really, who can decide whether it's wrong for everyone to kill people for their stuff?

I'm wandering off on a tangent here, sorry.

Rakeesh, I appreciate the bottom-up grassroots nature of the Tea Party because I approve of their overall message, and I think that their nature makes it much harder for the media to marginalize them. There is no one spokesman for the tea party, to which every member must be held accountable. I agree that simply having that nature inherently is not necessarily a positive attribute, sorry if I was unclear.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
There is no one spokesman for the tea party, to which every member must be held accountable.
What this seems to mean in practice is that whenever a big, well known Tea Party mouthpiece says something objectionable such as O'Donnel, the Tea Party as a whole cannot ever be held to it as a group, because they're 'grass roots', though of course they never seem to have much compunction doing the same to liberals, Democrats, Muslims, socialists, etc.
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BlackBlade
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That's one of the risks of being anti-government, the moment anybody starts showing leadership you've got to snuff em out. [Wink]
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
If you believe life starts at conception, then you should be pro-life. Period.

I especially hate it when pro-choice people say things like "I think an abortion is a terrible, lamentable choice and I don't know if I could do it, but everyone should have the right to choose." This totally sidesteps what is actually at issue, which is when a fetus becomes a person. Why is it a terrible, lamentable choice you'd never do? Is it because you think even the most undeveloped embryo is a person? If so, then how can it be everyone's person right to decide? That's like saying you think it's tragic when someone chooses to kill someone and take their stuff, and you would never kill someone for their stuff, but really, who can decide whether it's wrong for everyone to kill people for their stuff?

It is consistent to believe that a fetus has rights but that even the rights of a person do not trump the right to sovereignty over one's own body. A living person cannot force another person by law to even be a marrow donor much less coerce the use of his organs - even if the person would die without them. I am comfortable saying that I would never have an abortion but am unwilling to let the law take that sovereignty away from another person.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
It is consistent to believe that a fetus has rights but that even the rights of a person do not trump the right to sovereignty over one's own body. A living person cannot force another person by law to even be a marrow donor much less coerce the use of his organs - even if the person would die without them. I am comfortable saying that I would never have an abortion but am unwilling to let the law take that sovereignty away from another person.
Well, we've had this back-and-forth before, so I'll just point out that while a person cannot compel someone else to become their bone marrow donor, it's also true that someone also cannot force someone else to need their bone marrow and then refuse to give it. So it's not quite as cut-and-dried as that, kmbboots.

In other words, it may be consistent to make that claim, but it doesn't seem especially morally or ethically reasonable a claim, that it ought to be acceptable to create a person and then say, "But you have no claim to temporary use of my body." If we're granting personhood at conception, that is. Something I don't think myself, but do grant as possible.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, we've had this back-and-forth before, so I'll just point out that while a person cannot compel someone else to become their bone marrow donor, it's also true that someone also cannot force someone else to need their bone marrow and then refuse to give it. So it's not quite as cut-and-dried as that, kmbboots.


Sure they can. Even due to evil actions. I am driving drunk and I hit a car. You are injured and need a kidney. The law can not take one of my kidneys. It is, I think, unethical for me to not give you one, just as I think that many abortions are unethical, but it would be reprehensible for the government to take that choice away.
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scholarette
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Rakeesh- I could smash into someone with my car and still refuse to donate blood, even if I was a perfect match and the other guy might die because of it. And it is possible that in a car accident, the circumstances would be such that I was at fault, but not legally negligent homicide.
Also, you can think that the baby is a potential life and so in that sense it is a bad choice, but not murder cause potential not life.

ETA- too slow at posting.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
...What?
It's pretty straightforward and an entirely consistent position. *IF* you consider a fetus a human being with every right owed to any other human, then the fact that it was produced by rape or incest would be immaterial. If you wouldn't allow the murder of a five-year-old because it was discovered that the child was a product of rape or incest then you also shouldn't be allowed to abort a fetus for the same reason.

I disagree with the premises upon which this argument is based, but I fully understand it and I think it's a more consistent argument than that made by people that say, essentially, that abortion is murder unless the mother was raped. That's where I say "...What?".

Yes, you're correct. That's not what Sinflower said though. She (He? Sorry, correct me if I'm wrong) said that "If you hold position X, it means you hold belief Y." Which is not necessarily so. There are multiple other sets of nuanced beliefs regarding fetuses and what rights they have, and why they have them, that are entirely consistent.

That such an absurd conclusion (you should then be okay with executing a five-year-old that was the product of incest or rape) was reached is not an inherent weakness in the position sinflower was critiquing, but in the belief (s)he ascribed to those holding that position.

...See this is the post I should have written in the first place. Sorry, sinflower.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Sure they can. Even due to evil actions. I am driving drunk and I hit a car. You are injured and need a kidney. The law can not take one of my kidneys. It is, I think, unethical for me to not give you one, just as I think that many abortions are unethical, but it would be reprehensible for the government to take that choice away.
But the law can, and in many places will, take away your liberty for doing so, which is the law's only recourse in terms of penalty. It's not as though you'd support imprisonment of people who have abortions either, after all. If I were to die from kidney failure as a result of your drunken driving, the law might even take away your life, for that matter.

I am curious, though, by what reasoning it would be 'reprehensible' of the government to compel you to yield up to me one of your kidneys after you effectively stole one from me, though. I mean, what is the basis for labeling such an action reprehensible? Body sovereignty and all that, yes, but most such ideologies I've ever heard of stop where fists meet noses.

quote:
I could smash into someone with my car and still refuse to donate blood, even if I was a perfect match and the other guy might die because of it. And it is possible that in a car accident, the circumstances would be such that I was at fault, but not legally negligent homicide.
An automobile accident is one thing, even being at fault is one thing, but I personally think that drunk driving is a bit different.

quote:
Also, you can think that the baby is a potential life and so in that sense it is a bad choice, but not murder cause potential not life.
I was talking about the example given of abortion being more or less unethical for people who believe a fetus is a human being, period. Kmbboots replied that it can still be just as ethical for someone to have an abortion because of body sovereignty issues.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
There is no one spokesman for the tea party, to which every member must be held accountable.
What this seems to mean in practice is that whenever a big, well known Tea Party mouthpiece says something objectionable such as O'Donnel, the Tea Party as a whole cannot ever be held to it as a group, because they're 'grass roots', though of course they never seem to have much compunction doing the same to liberals, Democrats, Muslims, socialists, etc.
Mark Williams demonstrated this from beginning to end, leading to a somewhat paradoxical nature as an ex-leader of the tea party, and some True Scotsman defenses still linger when he's brought up.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I was talking about the example given of abortion being more or less unethical for people who believe a fetus is a human being, period. Kmbboots replied that it can still be just as ethical for someone to have an abortion because of body sovereignty issues.

No. I was talking about it being just as ethical and consistent to believe someone should have the right to have an abortion. An important difference. I think that it is ethical for people to have the right to do some things that I consider unethical because the coercion is less ethical.
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scholarette
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I suppose there is some debate as to whether or not getting pregnant is more like an accident or drunk driving, but in either case, the government will not force you to give up any body parts of blood of anything else to save the victim's life. I agree with this in principle and would extend it to abortion. I would think someone who refused to donate was a jerk (pick stronger word that inappropriate for board) but I don't want the government to have the right to force that donation. If you are drunk driving, you might do better by providing the donation, but the charge against you would not be failure to donate, it would be homicide because of the drunk driving.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Christine O’Donnell isn’t the only Delaware Tea Party candidate making waves.
The seat in the House of Representatives currently held by Republican Mike Castle — who was defeated by O’Donnell in Tuesday’s Senatorial primary — is also up for grabs. The Republican primary for that office was won by Tea Partier Glen Urquhart, and it turns out that his political positions may be even more unique than O’Donnell’s.
“Do you know, where does this phrase ’separation of church and state’ come from?” Urquhart asked at a campaign event last April. “It was not in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. … The exact phrase ’separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.”

"wait, but, that's not .."

"why are you a Nazi?"

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Rakeesh
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quote:
No. I was talking about it being just as ethical and consistent to believe someone should have the right to have an abortion. An important difference. I think that it is ethical for people to have the right to do some things that I consider unethical because the coercion is less ethical.
*shrug* Just as ethical to have the choice, then. Functionally it comes out to much the same thing.

But I am curious about the kidney question. How it it reprehensible for the government to compel restitution for what amounts to theft, kmbboots? Is it just because it threatens body sovereignty? I'm not talking about just a car accident, I'm talking about a drunk driving accident where one person's willful, potentially murderous behavior harms another. Isn't one of the key underpinnings of society that, well, individuals stop having an inalienable right to their own lives, liberties, and bodies at some point, somewhere?

quote:
I suppose there is some debate as to whether or not getting pregnant is more like an accident or drunk driving, but in either case, the government will not force you to give up any body parts of blood of anything else to save the victim's life. I agree with this in principle and would extend it to abortion. I would think someone who refused to donate was a jerk (pick stronger word that inappropriate for board) but I don't want the government to have the right to force that donation. If you are drunk driving, you might do better by providing the donation, but the charge against you would not be failure to donate, it would be homicide because of the drunk driving.
I'm not making the argument that pregnancy is like drunk driving, though personally in the 21st century I think the argument could potentially be made (ETA: Absolutely, that goes for men as well as women), I was just sticking to the example being given. You're right, the government won't force you to donate blood, but I think there are two very good reasons for that. One, it's almost never, ever necessary. Two, the government simply doesn't do that: we have a penalty system in place, and it's called the civil courts or the criminal courts, with jail or prison time or fines. The question at hand isn't, "Should the government have the power to compel donation," but rather, "Should the government have the power to intervene at all."

Unless I'm mistaken, kmbboots for example thinks the answer to the latter question is 'no', the government should not have the power to coerce in any way whatsoever, in part because it's wrong to interfere in the right to bodily sovereignty. But we do interfere in that right.

[ September 19, 2010, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
[QUOTE]You're right, the government won't force you to donate blood, but I think there are two very good reasons for that. One, it's almost never, ever necessary. Two, the government simply doesn't do that: we have a penalty system in place, and it's called the civil courts or the criminal courts, with jail or prison time or fines. The question at hand isn't, "Should the government have the power to compel donation," but rather, "Should the government have the power to intervene at all."

Unless I'm mistaken, kmbboots for example thinks the answer to the latter question is 'no', the government should not have the power to coerce in any way whatsoever, in part because it's wrong to interfere in the right to bodily sovereignty. But we do interfere in that right.

I think Rakeesh's point about the penalty system in place is excellent, and he elaborates on that point very well. I just want to elaborate off of the first point he made (boldness added.)

The analogy breaks down completely, because you need to go through serious logical contortions to create a scenario where the person who caused the accident is the only person who can save the guy missing a kidney.

Let's make a much more direct analogy. For my analogy I will be assuming it's an abortion-in-the-case-of-rape situation, where the pregnant person did nothing to get themselves pregnant, and it is entirely the fault of the person who assaulted them.

Okay, so a madman kidnaps you and chains an innocent man to your back. For the sake of the analogy, the chain is unbreakable. Before he releases you the madman shows you that the chain is on a time-lock, and nine months from now it will fall away. He also explains that if the man on your back dies, the lock will automatically release.

The chained man can't feed himself, he's bound to your back hand and foot. It's annoying and difficult to get around with him on your back. He begs you to feed him something every time you eat a meal.

Finally, one day, fed up with this crap, you buy a gun. The chained man begs for you to spare him, you've only got seven months left to go! He sobs and pleads and rants. But you know that seven more months of this would be intolerable. So you shoot him in the head. (Or maybe you get a doctor to shoot him in the head for you?)

Is that immoral?

The only thing that keeps abortion from actually being the above scenario, to my mind, is the fact that an embryo is not a person. But for those that believe it is a person, how is this a faulty analogy?

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scholarette
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Well, for one thing, chance of death is a whole lot higher with pregnancy, as well as other permanent problems. Annoying and difficult to get around is a horrible description of pregnancy- ten months of hell is a better one. Of course, I personally have 2 friends who would have died 20 years ago with the problems they had during pregnancy and another that eliminated all chance of future pregnancy after her last child because the drs said pretty much zero chance of surviving pregnancy again.

ETA- also make the man numb so no pain or awareness of shooting him (depending on age of abortion) and make him mute. And the chain should be breakable, but breaking it kills him- no need to directly kill him- just break the chain.

Also, you say oh, the accident and need for blood or liver will never happen so that scenario doesn't work- but neither will the crazy guy who locks up the guy.

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scholarette
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One more point- didn't some ethicist argue the point like with the violinist I think and in the end still argued that it would be unethical to force someone into that position.
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Mucus
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Yep, here.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Well, for one thing, chance of death is a whole lot higher with pregnancy, as well as other permanent problems.
I agree, actually, which is why I don't liken it to drunk driving or kidney loss. I was just sticking to the comparison someone else made, and wondering why it would be 'reprehensible' for the state to compel the drunk driver to yield up a kidney in such a case. I'm perfectly aware that 'annoying and difficult to get around' don't describe pregnancy, and also quite aware that sometimes it is literally a death sentence.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Well, for one thing, chance of death is a whole lot higher with pregnancy, as well as other permanent problems. Annoying and difficult to get around is a horrible description of pregnancy- ten months of hell is a better one. Of course, I personally have 2 friends who would have died 20 years ago with the problems they had during pregnancy and another that eliminated all chance of future pregnancy after her last child because the drs said pretty much zero chance of surviving pregnancy again.

First of all I just want to say that I'm really not trying to marginalize how difficult pregnancies can be. If I sounded that way, or even continue to sound that way, I definitely apologize.

However, a significant percentage (I want to say a majority but I have no relevant stats handy so that could be wrong) of pro-lifers, even ones who don't want an exception for rape, will still make an exception if the life of the mother is directly endangered. So, for that reason, it's important that the chained man not be threatening your life, just your health. I mean, having a guy chained to your back, eating a bunch of your food, getting fatter and fatter, that's not just a little inconvenient. That would be incredibly difficult and it would wear your body out pretty quickly, too. Your back would probably never recover.

quote:
ETA- also make the man numb so no pain or awareness of shooting him (depending on age of abortion) and make him mute. And the chain should be breakable, but breaking it kills him- no need to directly kill him- just break the chain.
It's no less immoral to kill a guy who can't beg for his life, it just makes it easier on the shooter. Also, it's not as if abortion simply consists of snipping the umbilical cord and calling it a day. Regardless though, these are cosmetic differences. The very fact that someone is arguing for the changes says a lot, I think. "Shooting a begging man in the face" versus "Indirectly killing an unconscious man" are worlds different if we're talking about how easy it is on the killer. Less so if we're trying to draw a moral distinction.

quote:
Also, you say oh, the accident and need for blood or liver will never happen so that scenario doesn't work- but neither will the crazy guy who locks up the guy.
Sure. I chose an intentionally impossible analogy to exaggerate the issues at play. If you think it's silly and pointless to discuss, that's fine too. Just say so. I promise I won't be offended. [Smile]
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Rakeesh
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Dan_Frank,

quote:
I think Rakeesh's point about the penalty system in place is excellent, and he elaborates on that point very well. I just want to elaborate off of the first point he made (boldness added.)
Just to be clear, I don't actually think we ought to have a penalty system in place that does things like harvest people's organs. I do, however, think that our penalty system does involve itself in questions of bodily sovereignty, liberty being a huge such question for example, and taking away another's rights another.

quote:
The analogy breaks down completely, because you need to go through serious logical contortions to create a scenario where the person who caused the accident is the only person who can save the guy missing a kidney.
The analogy is silly for a variety of reasons, not least this one.

quote:
The only thing that keeps abortion from actually being the above scenario, to my mind, is the fact that an embryo is not a person. But for those that believe it is a person, how is this a faulty analogy?
As scholarette quite rightly points out, this analogy is much more fundamentally flawed than the drunk driving one was. Pregnancy can be much more dangerous than simply being chained to another human being against one's will for period of, shall we say, eight to ten months. It can even be fatal in the presence of the best possible medical care. Happens all the time. Don't believe me? Look it up. So for those who believe the fetus is a person, the analogy is faulty for those reasons. The person chained to you isn't simply an inconvenience, the person is a potentially fatal inconveniece. And that's above and beyond describing the situation as 'inconvenient'. It's a little strange to me, as a man, with some academic and limited personal understanding how onerous pregnancy can be, describe it in such a way.
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scholarette
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The problem with saying, sure it's ok if the mom's health is in danger is that the highest danger to mom's health comes near the end and post partum complications. At 3 months (almost all abortions are done before then) the risk factors may not be apparent. In the cases I know of, at 3 months, none of my friends knew the risks. One didn't know until a week after the baby was born. So, when a woman is making this decision, she has to guess at what her chance of death is. And when you find out at say 33 weeks, you have a different decision than at 7 weeks. I have had 2 friends who induced knowing baby would be a preemie with potential problems because the risk got too high. Both have since done permanent sterilization.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I do, however, think that our penalty system does involve itself in questions of bodily sovereignty, liberty being a huge such question for example, and taking away another's rights another.

I consider imprisonment and external-to-the-body-itself rights fairly distinct from sovereignty over an individual's actual body. And I cannot think of any examples -- short of the death penalty -- where we currently consider it acceptable for the government to violate bodily sovereignty of an individual considered to be an adult. And quite a few historical and/or theoretical/fictional examples where doing so is now considered a heinous crime. (Tuskegee experiments, forced sterilization, etc.)

What am I missing?

Edit: Of course, as soon as I posted that I thought of things like handcuffing, tasering, etc. Those still seem different to me, but I'm having difficulty articulating why.

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LargeTuna
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I will be voting Chris Coons.

woohoo Delaware in the news!

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Chris Bridges
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Nope, what you're actually saying is "Worthy people can get abortions, but not those stupid sluts who brought it upon themselves and should accept punishment for their actions."

Or you're saying "I think fetuses should have the right to life, but the idea of a victim of rape or incest being then forced to give birth to and raise a lifetime reminder of such a horrific event is so off-putting to me that abortion seems less offensive in comparison."

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sinflower
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Right, but in that case you'd have to necessarily concede that while fetuses have some right to life, it's not equal to the right to life of a child or an adult human, but rather more similar to the right to life of say, a dog. Or a monkey. Something that's not a person, anyhow.

And then you'd have to justify why you get to decide whether other people euthanize their dogs and monkeys or not.

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Chris Bridges
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That's why people against abortion, with exceptions, get edgy when asked about them.

However, your initial statement was pretty screwed up.

But if you're against it with exceptions for rape and incest, what you're saying isn't "a fetus's life is worth as much as that of a child or an adult."

True, although even people willing to permit abortions for rape and incest get more resistant to the notion the farther along the fetus development is. It's not an either/or.

If you were saying that then you'd be okay with executing a five year old kid who was the product of rape and incest. Nope, what you're actually saying is "Worthy people can get abortions, but not those stupid sluts who brought it upon themselves and should accept punishment for their actions." Which is pretty evil in my book.

And no, I offered another viewpoint. Many believe that all abortions are wrong, but in extreme cases abortions may be less wrong. And there are other viewpoints, whereas you've limited everyone to just that one.

Granted, if you believe in allowing abortions at all, for any circumstances, than yes, you believe the fetus has less rights than the mother. Which is also what the law believes, but the fetus gains rights as it develops and the closer to viability and life outside the womb, the more rights the fetus has. You seem to be operating in an all-or-nothing place.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by sinflower:
Right, but in that case you'd have to necessarily concede that while fetuses have some right to life, it's not equal to the right to life of a child or an adult human, but rather more similar to the right to life of say, a dog. Or a monkey. Something that's not a person, anyhow.

And then you'd have to justify why you get to decide whether other people euthanize their dogs and monkeys or not.

Or maybe it's worth more than a dog or monkey, but less than a already-born human. Which is, in fact, what many pro-life people quite clearly believe.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
... And I cannot think of any examples -- short of the death penalty -- where we currently consider it acceptable for the government to violate bodily sovereignty of an individual considered to be an adult.

Suicide/self-euthanasia might be one. Force-feeding detainees at Guantanamo might be another. Both examples are obviously very controversial, I'm just trying to think of examples.

quote:
And quite a few historical and/or theoretical/fictional examples where doing so is now considered a heinous crime. (Tuskegee experiments, forced sterilization, etc.)
Actually, I was thinking about the Babylon 5 mindwipes and the alien healing machine, where both were used as methods of punishment. Clearly controversial, but approaching it from a bit of a different angle although historically you could think of it as an extension of the "eye-for-an-eye"-based legal systems.
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sinflower
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quote:
Or maybe it's worth more than a dog or monkey, but less than a already-born human. Which is, in fact, what many pro-life people quite clearly believe.
You're right, I'm treating this issue as more binary than it actually is. If it matters, it's partly because in real life the pro-life people I know tell me "abortion is murder," which implies that they think fetuses are people and have equal moral value as already-born humans (several people confirmed this when asked). The idea of personhood/moral worth as a sliding scale makes sense to me, even though it leads to the potentially disturbing conclusion that some people's lives are intrinsically worth more than others.

The view you describe is more justifiable. I'd like to know what those justifications are specifically though (not directed at you). What makes a human of more moral value than a chimpanzee, and a chimpanzee of more moral value than a duck? I can't write out a complete answer yet, but it'd definitely include things like "self awareness" "intelligence" "emotional complexity"-- all things that fetuses don't have.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
The problem with saying, sure it's ok if the mom's health is in danger is that the highest danger to mom's health comes near the end and post partum complications. At 3 months (almost all abortions are done before then) the risk factors may not be apparent. In the cases I know of, at 3 months, none of my friends knew the risks. One didn't know until a week after the baby was born. So, when a woman is making this decision, she has to guess at what her chance of death is. And when you find out at say 33 weeks, you have a different decision than at 7 weeks. I have had 2 friends who induced knowing baby would be a preemie with potential problems because the risk got too high. Both have since done permanent sterilization.

That's an excellent point. Nearly all of the friends I have that experienced life-threatening complications knew pretty early on that they were very high risk factors for those complications. The only exception I can think of was my own mother, whose serious complications didn't arise until she was already in labor.

So, I definitely neglected to take that into consideration. Sorry about that!

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
It can even be fatal in the presence of the best possible medical care. Happens all the time. Don't believe me? Look it up.

I'm probably just being thin-skinned, but this seems needlessly snippy to me. I don't need to look it up. You are correct. I wasn't trying to imply otherwise, and I apologize if I did.

quote:
And that's above and beyond describing the situation as 'inconvenient'. It's a little strange to me, as a man, with some academic and limited personal understanding how onerous pregnancy can be, describe it in such a way.
I thought I said in my last post that I wasn't trying to marginalize how serious pregnancy can be. Once again, if I had to choose a single word to sum up pregnancy, "inconvenient" would not be it. If my choice of words gave a different impression, that was an error on my part.

quote:

So for those who believe the fetus is a person, the analogy is faulty for those reasons. The person chained to you isn't simply an inconvenience, the person is a potentially fatal inconveniece.

Well, "potentially" fatal seems to have a lot of wiggle room. I mean, in my absurd analogy the guy on your back could throttle you to death in your sleep, too. Then it seems like we're in the territory of preemptive strikes, which are somewhat controversial in themselves.

Also since I was writing this, I left, saw a movie, and came back, and now I see Chris has said some interesting things about a fetus being less than a person but more than, say, a dog. A good point, but, as sinflower said, when people say that abortion is murder, that seems to imply that they see a fetus as a person. And being a person, in most other cases, is a binary status. We don't usually say that people with Down Syndrome have less of a right to life than people without.

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rivka
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The debate tends to be polarizing, which means it is all too common for people to exaggerate the position they actually hold. And of course, SOME people actually do consider abortion to be equivalent to murdering a child or adult. But I suspect those are probably not the same people who believe that exceptions should be made for rape and incest.

quote:
The idea of personhood/moral worth as a sliding scale makes sense to me, even though it leads to the potentially disturbing conclusion that some people's lives are intrinsically worth more than others.
Still not what I said. Saying there are two levels (unborn and born) does not necessarily imply there are others.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
...of course, SOME people actually do consider abortion to be equivalent to murdering a child or adult. But I suspect those are probably not the same people who believe that exceptions should be made for rape and incest.

I think that's an excellent point.
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sinflower
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quote:
Still not what I said. Saying there are two levels (unborn and born) does not necessarily imply there are others.
I am confused. What did you mean? You say personhood is not a sliding scale, which means you must consider it a quality with discrete, not continuous levels. I'm not sure how more than two discrete levels ("not person," "person") would be consistent. If both unborn and born humans are under "person," with all the moral worth that that bestows, then why do they need to be distinguished at all? Unless one of them is more of a person. Which would then make three discrete levels ("not person," "slightly person," "wholly person"). Is this the categorization you describe? But if there are different levels of personhood, why would there only be two or three? Presumably a one month old fetus isn't as much of a person as a eight month old one. So then that makes "not person," "slightly person," "slightly more person," "wholly person." Applying the same logic, you'd eventually get a continuous scale. And I'm not sure why that continuous scale would "cap out" at a value most humans attain, either.

As for whether the pro-lifers who allow exceptions for rape and incest are or are not the same ones who claim fetuses are people, my experience suggests that they often are. The vast majority of pro-lifers allow exceptions-- and yet many still claim fetuses are people as much as already-born humans are. But this is testable. I'd really like to see a survey that quantifies the overlap, or else we're all just guesstimating from personal experience.

[ September 19, 2010, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: sinflower ]

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rivka
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We have yet to discuss what I actually believe. All I am pointing out is that you keep making assumptions about what pro-lifers believe -- assumptions that strongly differ from the beliefs of those I have discussed this with. And the consistent factor, both when you are oversimplifying and under-simplifying is that in each case it makes it easier for you to vilify them. Aka strawmen.
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sinflower
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I'm not denying that my model of pro life beliefs is flawed. I'm trying to make it better, incorporating your suggestions. But I'm not sure how to incorporate "they don't think personhood/lack of is continuous or binary" into my model of their beliefs. It seems inconsistent to me; I explained why and am now hopefully awaiting clarifications as to why I'm wrong.

If it turns out a subset of them believe "personhood is a sliding scale," and they accept the implications of that belief (some humans are worth more than others) I wouldn't consider that a reason to vilify them. I would actually respect them more, since it takes guts to take your premises to their logical conclusions. I lose respect for people who excessively compartmentalize and hold contradictory beliefs, not those who believe mean things.

[ September 19, 2010, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: sinflower ]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
We have yet to discuss what I actually believe. All I am pointing out is that you keep making assumptions about what pro-lifers believe -- assumptions that strongly differ from the beliefs of those I have discussed this with. And the consistent factor, both when you are oversimplifying and under-simplifying is that in each case it makes it easier for you to vilify them. Aka strawmen.

I just want to say that I am also making assumptions about what pro-lifers believe (well, also based on what I've read them say, or discussed in person... more the former than the latter) but my intent was not at all to vilify. I started by saying I actually tend to have more respect for the pro-life position than the pro-choice position, because from what I've seen the most common pro-life arguments are more logically and internally consistent.

This despite the fact that I am actually pro-choice myself.

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scholarette
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Dan_Frank- the pregnancy inconvenience is a big point because frequently in abortion debates, the negatives of pregnancy are minimized. And of course, at 9 months pregnant, I am even more negative regarding pregnancy than a lot of people might be. [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Dan_Frank- the pregnancy inconvenience is a big point because frequently in abortion debates, the negatives of pregnancy are minimized. And of course, at 9 months pregnant, I am even more negative regarding pregnancy than a lot of people might be. [Smile]

Oh! Congratulations! [Smile]

So, yeah. I'm not trying to minimize those negatives at all, I promise. I assure you, I do understand how difficult an experience pregnancy can be, at least from the outside.

My only contention was that if one accepts the common pro-life stance granting embryos personhood, then one should by rights be measuring the negatives of pregnancy against murdering someone. And, in my opinion, once you accept that stance, the instances where an abortion can be justified seem vanishingly small.

My real point in all this is that the kind of pro-choice arguments that are logically consistent and persuasive, to me, all have to do with denying embryos full personhood. If you grant personhood but claim body sovereignty trumps it, I really think you're standing on uneven ground.

That's a general "you," by the way, not specifically saying you've claimed that, Scholarette. [Smile]

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Rakeesh
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rivka,

quote:
I consider imprisonment and external-to-the-body-itself rights fairly distinct from sovereignty over an individual's actual body. And I cannot think of any examples -- short of the death penalty -- where we currently consider it acceptable for the government to violate bodily sovereignty of an individual considered to be an adult. And quite a few historical and/or theoretical/fictional examples where doing so is now considered a heinous crime. (Tuskegee experiments, forced sterilization, etc.)
Why are they to be considered separate? To me that has always seemed a pretty, well, deliberate and artificial distinction. I realize it's a distinction we've decided to make, but it seems pretty arbitrary to me. "I'm going to put you in a cage for fifty years," doesn't seem fundamentally different from violating bodily sovereignty to me, though thankfully I have no personal experience with either that or with loss of organ function.

I genuinely don't know why they should be considered different either, just that many people think they are different.

quote:
I'm probably just being thin-skinned, but this seems needlessly snippy to me. I don't need to look it up. You are correct. I wasn't trying to imply otherwise, and I apologize if I did.
It wasn't intended as snippy, sorry if it came across that way.

quote:
I thought I said in my last post that I wasn't trying to marginalize how serious pregnancy can be. Once again, if I had to choose a single word to sum up pregnancy, "inconvenient" would not be it. If my choice of words gave a different impression, that was an error on my part.
I realize that, it's just that you say that, but your choice of analogy was really odd given your protest that you weren't trying to marginalize how serious pregnancy can be, that's all.
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theresa51282
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quote:
Originally posted by sinflower:
I am confused. What did you mean? You say personhood is not a sliding scale, which means you must consider it a quality with discrete, not continuous levels. I'm not sure how more than two discrete levels ("not person," "person") would be consistent.

I can try and tackle this part from my perspective. I do think there isn't a sliding scale of human. Something either is a human or its not. I can say that I am confident that an embryo outside the womb is not a human. I am perfectly ok with destroying and researching on them. I am also confident that a newborn is human. The question becomes for me where in between these two states does a fetus become human. All I can say with confidence is that I don't know. I don't think science knows. Its not that I think a 10 week old fetus is slightly human. It's that I don't know what category it falls in. I'm not sure if it has developed self awareness and consciousness. This makes me more unwilling to infringe on a woman's right to her body than I would be with a 39 week old fetus which I have a fair level of confidence has reached human status. If I don't know for sure if something is human or not, it becomes decidedly harder to figure out if abortion should be permissible. I have to weigh the risk of something being human with the amount of intrusion on a woman's right to her body. I am less willing to force pregnancy upon a woman who had no choice in becoming pregnant than to tell a woman who willingly accepted the risk of becoming pregnant she can't back out now because the woman's rights side is higher in one case and weighs more heavily against the risk of infringing on another human's rights.

My personal views on abortion are pretty mixed. I would never have one. I wish others would stop having them. I wish the gov't would do more to make pregnancy less of a hardship on women. I would like to see them banned after the fetus has reached the age of viability outside the womb at which point I feel confident that the fetus has become human. But before that point, I am really torn. I just don't know if the fetus is human or not. I hate to take away sovereignty of body away from a woman but I hate to think of the idea that humans are killed because we don't have the science to know when consciousness is reached. I also struggle with the notion that banning abortion isn't going to actually stop abortions but simply push them underground and make them more dangerous.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I'm probably just being thin-skinned, but this seems needlessly snippy to me. I don't need to look it up. You are correct. I wasn't trying to imply otherwise, and I apologize if I did.
It wasn't intended as snippy, sorry if it came across that way.

No problem. [Smile]
quote:
quote:
I thought I said in my last post that I wasn't trying to marginalize how serious pregnancy can be. Once again, if I had to choose a single word to sum up pregnancy, "inconvenient" would not be it. If my choice of words gave a different impression, that was an error on my part.
I realize that, it's just that you say that, but your choice of analogy was really odd given your protest that you weren't trying to marginalize how serious pregnancy can be, that's all. [/QB]
That's fair. The point of the analogy was that if a fetus is a person, then abortion is exactly on par with killing another human, and at that point any pregnancy complication that isn't life threatening becomes much more shaky grounds for abortion. The goal was to strip the situation down to a very basic level, but clearly it didn't work and was offensive, so, yeah. My mistake.
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Samprimary
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Hate to derail the derail but

Christine O'Donnell: I'm not doing any more national TV interviews. National exposure is now "off the table, because that's not going to help me get votes," O'Donnell told Sean Hannity.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/christine-odonnell-im-not-doin.html?hpid=topnews

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