Is the life of the mother or father more important than a baby?

When reasoning you are supposed to understand the underlying principles and not superficially or emotionally look at just the situation at hand and apply those principles consistently.

The problem is you most Pro-choicers basically use personhood to claim moral significance for things in general, then use other rules to stop non person things you want to include from being killed i.e babies, but these equally apply to animals with exactly the same or higher cognitive abilities, that you in fact allow to be killed!!!

In other words you use a rule when it suits you for a foetus, but then arbitrarily ignore it for a baby.

Ralph and others here think Pro-Lifers are monsters for choosing the life of a foetus over a mother, but what about a baby which isn't a person either?

Do the rest of you automatically prefer the life of the mother or father over the life of a baby?

I can think up a thought experiment where both a mother and baby's lives are threatened and there is only one drug or organ to spare. Now either could live while the other dies, but also there is a none zero chance both will live. I would argue both have a right to life and right to the cure, so personally unless the mother decides to lay down her life for the child, as a doctor I would let fate decide.

Any two innocent moral entities have the same right to life as each other.

But what about where the mother or father through abuse or carelessness caused a smilar situation? Wouldn't they then be the offending party and the innocent party take precidance over her?

I certainly think in an analogous situation where a assassin poisoned both himself and me and where there is only one antidote, as the innocent party I have the moral right to the antidote.

Put another way does a baby have less rights than its parents? I think you guys are on the horns of a dilemma either way.

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To the extent that eating meat consumes more resources than eating plants directly (and it does, by a large margin), eating meat is self-destructive if the resources are stretched to the breaking point, which they basically are on a planetary scale. That said, the effect on the individual carnivore is quite small. The aggregate negative effect of too many carnivores is quite large. I still eat meat, but I try to eat less than I used to.
I'm sorry, that was thoughtless of me :P I should have provided the exact link before. The discussion started with a shout-out by Chris Z on the comments page for the group, not a particular discussion within the group. At the moment, that's the 2nd page. The actual debate, however, didn't begin until what is currently the first page.
I'd have to agree with most others here that we lack context and clarification of definitions.

- It seems as though you are saying baby=fetus. If so, then I have no answer to your question because your supporting given is false.

- If we are talking full-term babies here and not fetuses and if I understand your basic query correctly: Two lives hang in the balance, an infant and an adult. I as a third party can save one but only one. Who do I save?

If that's the question, my answer would depend on context, but all things being equal, if it were me, I'd save the adult. Huge emphasis on the qualifier: "All things being equal."
No a baby is not a foetus both neither are either a person.

So when dealing with a baby you would save the adult based on what?
Strength of social ties?
"So when dealing with a baby you would save the adult based on what?"

Nothing in particular. Just imagining a snap decision: Both are about to fall off a bridge. I can save one but not the other. Being perfectly honest, I believe my gut instinct would be more to reach for the adult.

It's a shitty situation no matter what. And has nothing to do with abortion as fetus does not equal baby.
On your thought experiement, letting fate decide would have to be the most immoral choice. The parameters of your experiment show that without the drug each person would die. I'm going to be blunt here: by denying treatment you have personally condemned to death a person who could otherwise be saved. Not because it's moral, but because your misguided ethics won't let you get your hands dirty making a difficult decision. So instead of one dead person you have two.

Going by these rules hospitals would have to stop performing life-saving organ transplants because some people die while waiting for suitable organs. Surely if the choice is between two dead people and one dead person the ethical choice would be to save someone.

As to who should get the life-saving treatment out of the adult or baby: triage rules. Whoever has the greatest chance of surviving. Failing that the moral thing to do would be to go by waiting lists, as they do with organ transplants. Or you could try and measure how much suffering each death would cause the world: the adult could be cancer researcher or a serial killer, the baby may be loved by a huge extended family or may have other medical complications that would cause a lifetime of suffering even if they live.

If all else fails then you toss a coin.

However, this is different from any pro-choice debate. You are talking about a two creatures that are capable of living independently. With abortion you are talking about a parasite that cannot exist without a host. If we turn your thought experiment around we can see how ludicrous equating the two 'lives' is. What if the foetus and the mother are both critically ill and you can save one or the other? If you choose to save the foetus it still dies because it is completely reliant on the mother's body to live. Hence, the mother's life always has to come first.
I talked later about a coin with Ralph. It's here somewhere.

& No a baby cannot live independently it after all cannot look after itself.

The thought experiment was to deal with the idea that a mothers life is automatically more valuable than its offspring in all situations and that it is harsh to want to kill a adult human with more social ties than something that has less. Which in itself isn't morally relevant.

You do raise an interesting point when given a choice between a woman having a chance but that is only if the foetus dies. Granted this isn't always the case with 0% of both surviving, but a interesting point non the same. Thanks

I would then think that the none rape mother is allowed to have the abortion but then face criminal charges. The analogy being my assassin has poisoned me and himself but I'm too far gone, so only the assassin will benefit from the antidote. Fine let him use it but then he goes to gaol afterwords.
A baby can't survive on its own, but it can survive independently of the mother. It happens in adoption, child-care and baby-sitting. That makes it different from a foetus.

Out of curiosity, why do you specify a 'non-rape' mother? If your argument is based around the rights of a foetus one foetus is as good as another isn't it? Is the rapey-foetus somehow more inherently evil? Do rape-foetuses deserve to die in your system of ethics? If it's based on the trauma of the mother then it's pretty judgmental to decide that no non-raped mother would be traumatised through forced pregnancy and birth.

If you only allow raped mothers to have abortions then it's admitting that pregnancy is a punishment for promiscuity. It has nothing to do with any right to life for the foetus.

Your analogy of the assassin doesn't work because the foetus is a part of the woman's body. If it were a separate entity, like a new-born baby, it would be illegal to kill it and you would be right in your poisoning scenario. But the foetus depends entirely on its host to live, like a parasite.

A better analogy is that an assassin has drugged you and attached himself to your body in a weird conjoined-human experiment. He is now entirely dependent on your body to live. He steals your blood, digests your food and excretes into your system. This is entirely against your will and you are traumatised by the event and don't want it to continue. Do you have the right to remove the assassin from your body and regain your life or not? More importantly, does someone else - who will never suffer conjoined-assassin trauma - have the right to tell you that you have to keep the parasite alive?

You insist on making this entirely about hypotheticals and philosophers opinions. Please consider the following example:

A couple in your circle of friends, despite taking reasonable precautions, is pregnant. Despite the fact that both parents are employed, they are barely making ends meet and know, absolutely, that carrying through with the pregnancy will result in substantial financial hardship, probably driving them into debt, perhaps homelessness. Due to these factors, they decide to have an abortion.

Are YOU, you SIMON JM, (not some hypothetical "we" person, YOU) going to give them money out of your pocket (not a benefit via your taxes, out of YOUR WALLET) so they and the new baby can have a reasonable standard of living (pay for food, heat the house) for the next 20 years in order to talk them out of having an abortion?
Mel: you get the last personal reply. If you wish to continue leave a comment at my page.

While I grant many but not all conservatives jump up and down about abortion but then won't finance a single mother or poor families in general, I’m not one of them. Personally I find this hypocritical.

Myself and others yes, would change the laws regarding most, but not all abortions. But we would also mandate that this situation would never come down to money and make sure your couple would be financed adequately to meet this new demand. Also throw in welfare to ensure no one goes without the basic needs of good food, health, shelter and education.

Some over there might object to a true safety net and having to pay extra taxes to do it; and would rather the dog-eat-dog, claw your way out of poverty state of affairs. But there are at least some from the Pro-life side of things who consider this just another social and equity justice issue. So no, I don’t have to pay directly out of my wallet, in the same way I’m quite happy to pay more taxes that orphans in state care get better treatment then they often get due to lack of resources or that everyone get the above basics.
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I may have poor grammar granted, but that was true when I've discussed this with pro's and they cut me the slack and don't nitpick to this degree because they see that I'm informed on the subject; and even if they disagree with the points I raise, they realise they have philosophical validity within the debate. They don't just scoff and blow it off ranting opinion, opinion. Here, people like Duane are just mocking things they know nothing about, that the pro's accept as valid parts of the debate. If anyone here even bothered to not only to read the academic papers from the sources Tooley, Boonin, Thompson et al. but papers reviewing these arguments, they would pick this up.

Maybe I'm not up to convincing you guys, with my poor grammar; or maybe, just maybe, -given you all seem to just blow away things, those who are paid to teach and research this stuff, do think as valid within the debate- you don't have a clue how to reason, or are even opened minded enough to see the other side of the debate. Yes my grammar can be bad, but not so bad that if you had an open mind you wouldn’t pick up the gist of it. Oh, but that’s just my opinion.

Now the cheer squad can continue its routine.
Actually, Simon, I cut people a lot of slack for errors in writing. But it is genuinely difficult to understand sentences like these: "No a baby is not a foetus both neither are either a person." I'm really not sure what that means. A baby is not a fetus and neither a baby nor a fetus are persons? It's the writer's job to make himself understood. A few typos or grammar errors are no big deal if the meaning is clear, but you really need to proofread so we don't have to go back and forth about what you might have meant. Measure twice, cut once and all that.

And like I said earlier, if you want a debate where everybody is up on the same literature you are, this probably isn't the forum you're looking for. In any case, just because some academics presented certain arguments that you find compelling doesn't mean they have a lock on the issues. Morality isn't like physics. It's a lot harder to pin down all the variables, and if the philosophers you're quoting haven't considered these issues from an economic or gene strategy perspective, then they're missing critically important components. Perhaps philosophy isn't taken very seriously because philosophers have a long habit of not grounding their work in empirical research.

The bottom line, though, as far as I can tell (and it's certainly possible that I've misunderstood you), is that you want to ground this debate in the issue of personhood, without wanting to admit that different persons have different worth. Because of these differences, even on your terms, abortion on demand is OK if the woman makes the call, whereas infanticide is simply unnecessary in almost all scenarios, so even though the baby is not worth as much as the adult, there's no good reason to kill it if it's not wanted by the mother. I don't think your terms are sufficiently expansive to explain the behavior we see in the world, but they don't override the alternative perspectives, and in fact would appear to align well with them. So no, we don't get how your position is an adequate justification for abortion restrictions. If we're missing some key part of your argument, it's because it isn't in the thread for us to see. Again, not really our job to research your debating points for you.




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