I keep hearing a lot about how all atheists are pro-abortion. I am an atheist. I have been since age 14. I personally believe in a woman’s right to choose but this is my personal belief. I do not believe that atheism dictates pro-abortion. Are there any atheists out there who are anti-abortion and how do you feel about President Obama’s position on abortion?

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Not all abortions, life threatening rape pregnancies grants self defence abortions.

Yes I'm well aware of his work I did an essay on his argument for sentient animal rights which while parts of it are good, he fails to consider his own principles.

Ok he argues species membership isn’t relevant & that sentient beings have interests in avoiding pain. Since we grant these interests to our own species we should at the very least grant similar interests to them.

The problem I have is that there are other interests namely existential than can override sentient interests. If I will suffer pain from chemotherapy I’d rather suffer the pain than die. If I have existential interests I think plainly, so do other animals.

& BTW we don’t have to grant awareness of or intentionality regarding existential rights as we are quite prepared to give our children those rights when they have no thoughts about the concept.

So while he is quite happy to grant sentient based interest in avoiding pain he is not prepared to grant existential interests. I’m still trying to find the link that says only sentient being have interests or rights.

It’s nice that Singer raisers the Potentiality argument because it has a double edge. If I a potential person doesn’t have the rights of a person, by the same principle a past person shouldn’t either. So a recovering coma victim or age impaired senior with advanced alzheimers shouldn’t be granted personhood rights either. & you cannot even appeal to memory to link it either.

Unfortunately IMO much of the argumentation by conservative philosophers have been sub rate and preoccupied with the potentiality argument. I don’t make the same mistake.
Normally humans have the personhood capacity and sentience. But at that early stage we like animals only have sentience alone.
The problem and the solution is quite simple...It is the implementation that will be difficult. Abortion is an education issue. Give proper sex education and abortion becomes far less of an issue. Until proper education is protected by a Constitutional Amendment, radical religious groups will have their way with what can and can not be taught.
Yes and no my above post to Sydni addresses some of this. I've also posted that I think many religious conservatives are hypocrites on this matter and in fact it is mostly their views that stop the Pro-life case from advancing. Afterall Christianity in its roots was anti pleasure, body and woman, so what do you expect.

I had a bit of a laugh not long ago, I found there is a group of saved masturbators who have found Christ. They even have T-shirts to prove they are reformed masturbators LOL
I'm not familiar with this Tooley person, but we here are no experts and we have little trouble drawing very solid lines between fetus and infant. Brain activity. Full-term developed. Enough bodily functions developed to reasonably survive outside the womb as any full-term infant.

Aborting a first or second trimester fetus is clearly not the same as infanticide.

I can see some arguments against third trimester abortions, particularly as our technology develops enough to allow a premature infant to develop outside the womb. But even then, it's still a slippery slope.
That's just it if you are going to stake a stance it is at the very least beholden to you to know what you are talking about especially when there are premature babies being kept alive.

If you want to address the points I've already made.

The overriding justifications for abortion, bodily autonomy and only persons have moral worth.

Infants aren't persons.

Sentience is shared by other animals at this stage. Species membership is not morally relevant.

So invoking brain activity at this stage by itself means nothing. Boonin and Rudderm know this and try to say being a sentient potential person is relevant But surely since potentiality has already been King hit by Peter Singer I fail to see how they can use it here.

The justifications for abortion bodily autonomy and non-personhood haven't changed by invoking viability so it is ad hoc and late term abortions at the very least should be allowed.
I agree with Mary Wood, third trimester abortions are worth some further arguments given the advances in our technology but still the woman is the one who has to carry around the child and so I must remain pro-choice particularly if the child proposes a health risk to the mother or is the result of a rape incident.
As I posted to Sydni the mother has put her life at risk and since we cannot expect to use this as a justification in cases outside of pregnancy why should we here?

In rape it is different.

Here's a thought experiment: A couple with an infant is stranded like in The Shining the husband is sexually abusive and she kills him in self defence. The mental anguish of the abuse means the mother cannot bear to look after the infant. Now the infant isn't a person and no one can come to her aid to take the child, the best she can do is get radio counselling.

Now to end her anguish she wants to kill the infant should she be allowed to or should she accept counselling until someone can relieve her of the infant?

By rights because of mental anguish, it isn't a person and no one else can take the child for some time she should be able to kill or let die this infant.
Simon -

You make the point that if abortion is ok, so must infanticide be ok as if no distinction is made between the two.

I'm not sure how to make the distinction any clearer. One can exist outside the mother's womb. The other can not.

If the mother doesn't want/can't care for an infant, it can be put up for adoption, cared for by a relative, etc. And that too should be her choice.

If the mother does not want a 2 month fetus, it can't be simply put up for adoption for that point.

Once technology advances to the point where we can transfer that 2 month fetus to another willing surrogate or an incubator, with the very, very important qualifiers that this procedure poses no more risk to mother than abortion or risk to fetus than normal gestation, then there's a solid, moral argument for doing just that in lieu of abortion. Just as the state would take in an unwanted infant as an orphan.

Again, the line is; once the fetus can reasonably survive as an infant outside the womb. Then it becomes a 'person' and not a parasite completely dependent on physical attachment to and hinderance upon the mother's body. Sorry again for the ugly term 'parasite' to describe a developing human being, but I know of no other equivalent word.
Mary, viability can cut it with street corner arguments between the uninformed, but for many academic philosophers it very problematic for a number of reasons.


I’ve tried to raise some of those problems here concerning personhood, bodily autonomy and the problems of invoking sentience but no one has stepped up to address these underlying concerns. If all you can do is invoke viability there is nothing to discuss as for the reasons I’ve already raised it doesn’t work.

As I said this topic is a socialized identity issue with both sides parroting whatever the rest of the herd comes up, with without ever looking at the underlying reasons for their sides stance. By and large most people can only operate under a confirmation bias and if it meets some minimal level of sense they run with it.

Again why this is so for abortion is that the underlying rationale is never raised. If the overriding issue is bodily autonomy combined the main criterion for moral inclusion personhood, then late term abortions and infanticide are acceptable, and men shouldn’t have to pay child support.
Viability doesn’t address the lack of personhood, why you should value the late term prenatal at all, or overcome bodily autonomy.

A kitten has viability and sentience should we give them moral in-group rights?

The main Liberals have gotten away with such poor reasoning is that like most herds the majority go with the herd and don’t think outside the box. While conservative philosophers are handicapped for the same reason plus their religious baggage concerning sex and homosexuality.
Your last point doesn't stack up either. BTW that isn't the underlying definition of a person cognitively or morally though conveniently it is for legal reasons.

Pro-choice cannot have it both ways either it is part of the mother with no idependent identity or like a parasite who is attached but does.

I've came across one feminist philosopher who noted this fact plus that even outside the womb the infant is also dependent on food and shelter and cannot supply its own needs. the only difference is that this dependent entity is outside the body while the other is inside.

Neither are persons. For viability to work you needed an additional premise to value non person post partum humans since in the earlier justifiction potential human persons cannot be used. Again you cannot have it both ways.

Did you see the point I raised about how we have a fundamental moral precept that can be applied arbitrary based solely on the wishes of the parent. Funny how we don’t have such latitude with race or sexism. Also notice people can have child destruction laws but allow abortion and not bat and eyelid. I suppose when the chips are stacked in your favour consistency doesn't matter.
BTW I noticed I've been calling David Boonin, Doonin my apologies.

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