Abortion

I promised that I would do this topic soon, I may as well do it now. Especially since I’m in the mood after my raging debate on Facebook about it. Allow me to set the stage. My friend posted this image:
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After which her friends chat about their side of the issue. And I’m reading this Tumblrism and I notice something… the Tumblr post, the “Fun fact” never addresses the original question. It never addresses whether or not it’s one body or two. In fact, it skips that step altogether, and calls it one body on an assumption that the fetus, embryo, child, whatever you want to call it (I shall henceforth call it ‘the entity’) isn’t a human life. So because I’m an instigator, I have to get my hooks in and make some people mad. Over the course of some 20 or so messages, I could not get a straight answer out of the other individual as to why the being inside was not human and was not alive. So here’s my take on the issue. And before I start I’m just going to point out that I’m not a doctor, I have no medical background, I’m just a random blogger here.

Human:

First – is it human? Don’t be ridiculous, of course it’s human. On what grounds? It’s the offspring of two humans, it can only BE a human. If you mate a horse and a donkey you get a mule. A mule isn’t a horse, and it isn’t a donkey, and it can’t mate with either one. Or other mules for that matter, it’s completely sterile. If two horses generate offspring, that offspring will reliably grow up to a horse that could (in theory) mate with one of its parents. Chickens mate with their species, generate another chicken. So what you’re telling me when you say that this fetus isn’t a human is either that one of its parents isn’t human (unlikely) or what I think you’re really saying is that it’s not a human yet.

If you want to say that the entity isn’t a human yet, then that means you have the define a point in the development cycle in which the entity does become a human. How do you set that point? Obviously when the big bulge is on the mother, the entity is about to make its exit, it’s probably ‘human’ by that point. In fact, I think ‘abortion’ at that point may take the name ‘birth’ (sarcasm). But what about… say 2nd trimester? Hmmm… Maybe not then. The child’s hair has developed and we come from apes so… probably a bit too far in the cycle. The sex of the child can be determined. Probably safe to call it a human at that point. So how about we go further back. How about middle of the first trimester? The second month, the neural tube is distinguishable from the rest of the body. The fingers and toes are forming, the bones are forming. Is that human yet? Why?

I’ve asked this question several times and the discussion suddenly shifts from what makes the entity a human and turns into the rights of the mother. But we’re not worried about the rights of the mother just yet. We’re worried about whether or not the entity is a human and whether or not it should be afforded human rights. So how far back can we go?

I would argue that the entity becomes human at fertilization, or perhaps shortly after. The reason being eggs and sperm separately aren’t necessarily human. Why? Well, if they are, it presents a great problem because if eggs by themselves are humans, killing a woman is like a forty-thousand homocide or something. Women would be, by natural design, killing one human a month or so. Sounds like a dangerous path to go down for philosophy and law. On the flip-side if sperm were humans, we’d have to take a lot of guys downtown for killing humans regularly. Really, the main reason I argue that egg and sperm aren’t human by themselves because what happens if the host abstains? (Let’s just ignore Mary) In the female host, she will continue to have her period until menopause and no life will spring forth from her. In the male host, sperm will get reabsorbed by the body and the male will continue to produce sperm until he dies. No new life will spring forth from the male host either. Nothing you could count in the United States Census would be brought into this world. Let’s take the case of the newly pregnant female. If she maintains her healthy lifestyle, the entity will be born in 9 months-ish. The entity will be human assuming human parents.

I’m sure someone has noticed the problem with my definition of human. Evolution. If a human is the offspring of human parents, and I’m a human then my parents have to be human, and so on, until we get to our great ape ancestors which were not human by any definition of the word. So how do we resolve this issue? We run into the same issue of when is the entity a human versus when it is not a human. Hmm… How about this. Humans and chimps have a common ancestor. We stop there. So we can pick me, and go up through my parents and their parents and so on. When we meet a parent that can mate with me and chimps, we’ve gone too far.

Life:

So there’s my human definition and since the entity has two human parents, it’s a human. Now how about whether or not it’s alive? Well now we need to define life. There’s no good way to answer the question “what is life?” According to wikipedia, this is life:

“the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” – Wikipedia

I tend to use an input-output definition of life. If an autonomous being requires sustenance from outside its being to survive, grow, and reproduce, it’s alive. If it can die, it was alive. This might get me into trouble when it comes to the robot revolution, and the question as to whether or not true AI self-replicating robots are alive, but that’s a problem for another day. And I’m not entirely sure I could argue that these robots wouldn’t be alive. I mean, think about it. If your issue with robots is that they can just chop-shop fix themselves, WE ARE GETTING TO THAT POINT TOO. How long before you can just go into the store and pick up a new arm? Holy smokes.

By my definition, the entity has to be alive, because it’s a parasite on its host. It eats the host’s resources to grow.You can’t use an autonomous self-providing definition because let’s be real here – babies are really useless for like two years. They can’t feed themselves, they can’t walk, they can’t do jack. So if you require mobility and the ability to provide for oneself for something to be alive, newborn babes are just as alive as the entity within. Which, if abortion is legal, would make the… neutralization of newborns also legal. It’s a natural extension.

Doctors have several types of life and death. When your heart stops being, you’re not really dead. We could bring you back through CPR, or the use of defibrillation. I guess most people go by brain death, where you can still have blood pumping through you, but you cannot be brought back… yet. If you go by the beating of the heart, you have 3 weeks to discover that you’re pregnant and then get your abortion. If you wait for the brain to partially develop, same deal, the beginning of the nervous system forms in the timespan it takes to form a heart. End of the first trimester the entity will have a functioning circulatory system. If you’re waiting for the brain to form, that would be in the second trimester. So if you require a fully developed brain, to call something alive, the entity is alive in the second trimester. But I don’t like the requirement of a brain for life. Single-celled organisms don’t have a brain, but they’re ‘alive’.

When are most abortions performed? CDC stats say about two-thirds in the first 8 weeks (first two months) and let’s just round about the last third done between 8 and 13 weeks (the third month). Because I was given a range of time, I’ll assume a Gaussian distribution of when the abortion was performed (though strictly speaking, I should probably assume a Laplacian distribution). That means most of the abortions were performed in the 3 week to 5 week range. But wait, that’s when the baby’s heart was formed. That’s when the neural tube, what would become the nervous system was formed. That’s when bones are forming. If we accept my definition of life and human, the entity will be a human and it will be alive. the removal of it would then be murder.

How about this, how do you determine what is the host’s body compared to the entity’s body? You can’t, if you accept the entire system as the host’s body. So how do you know how much host to remove? You have to accept that there is knowledge of the entity and its scope, so you remove the entity alone and not the host. But that assumption itself implies that the entity has a body, in which case, it is no longer just the host’s body.

Now understand, my issue with abortion is pretty much entirely the murder part. And not because I have some preconceived notion of the value of human life. My problem is with the consistency of law. A legal abortion would be legal murder by the logic presented. What you’re proposing is a condition under which murder would be legal. Which makes it a target for setting precedent. Precedence is a very dangerous thing when applied to topics which you might find rather invasive. I’m not entirely sure that I would argue that slippery slope doesn’t apply. I can just imagine the future in which doctors shrink themselves to operate inside a patient. A patient could, while the doctor is inside have the doctor removed and killed on the premise that it was the patient’s body. How much of the entity must the host contain for the removal of the entity to be fair. I hate to get gross here, but what if a couple is having sex and the female suddenly decides to chop of the male’s penis. It was inside her, was it ‘her body’? Bear in mind this example is arguing from the ‘is is not alive and it is inside my body’ point of view.

Conclusion:

 So you see, I’m at a bit of a pinch. Because I don’t think the government should pass two contradicting laws. And I don’t very much like the idea of setting a precedence like this on something which in its best case is mutilation and in its worst case is murder. The safest option is to outlaw it altogether and file it under murder. And it’s not like non-human things don’t get rights. You can’t up and kill your dog, that’s animal cruelty. The murder of threatened species like Bald Eagles will net you fines and jail-time. And I wonder if this does anything to the rights of people in vegetative states. I don’t know. Legal abortion could open up it’s own can of worms. Until we agree on what’s human and what’s alive, we should avoid permitting abortions. That’s just my take on it.

Artemis Hunt

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Abortion

Reactions: “Make Rape Legal”

This blog post has been about a month in the making.

The trigger for this post is (ironically) a blog post made by RooshV, probably fitting the bill for what people call a ‘pickup artist’. I believe the blog post was made on February 4th despite saying February 16th. I think it was later edited to add in the paragraph at the top of the post which may change the date associated with it but I don’t really care about the specifics since, like last post, the small details aren’t that important. More specifically the trigger is a conversation I had with a couple of people on the topic. And it starts like this. RooshV claimed to be arranging a worldwide meeting on February 6th for everyone who believed in the policy of making rape legal on private property to discuss how to make things become a reality. For those interested, this meeting was later cancelled to ‘protect the identities of the individuals that would attend’. But the conversation I had with these individuals pretty much came down to ‘they should not be allowed to have a meeting’.

Now this is the part where I have to explicitly state that I do not agree with the views stated by the author RooshV. I do not believe that rape should be legal under any circumstance. And the reason I have to explicitly state this is because what I’m about to do is defend the rights of Return of the Kings to meet in the United States. And naturally everyone and their dog is going to conflate defending rights to agreeing with ideas. So allow me to reiterate that I do not agree with the proposition that rape should be legal on private property.

The reaction of the individuals that I was arguing with was that these guys (attending a meeting, on private property) should be arrested. I’d love to bring up quotes but I was blocked by the individual that I was arguing with and it was on their Facebook status so… I got nothing. So I’ll be paraphrasing as honestly as I can to accurately represent the views of the ones that I argued with.

First, a quick summary. The gist of the article is ‘to hell with teaching men not to rape, teach women to not get raped’. The premise is that women are reliant on every person being decent to not get raped. So RooshV proposes that we allow ‘the forceful taking of a woman’ on private property. With this in effect, women will think twice about whom they follow home, or allow into their home. He claims that this will reduce rape over the country. RooshV directly references ‘the forceful taking of a woman’, I don’t like this. Since rape is a state issue in the United States, I’ll accept the Uniform Code of Military Justice definition which is (thankfully) unisex. Why is this important? Because rape should not be impossible for anyone to commit. Which means, rape should apply male to female, female to male, male to male, and female to female. I have no idea how to treat the genderless or doubly gendered, but then I’d have a lot more cases to list and let’s just assume that rape is violently taking another person in sexual act. Everything covered? Good.

In general, I agree with the statement RooshV makes early on in “I don’t know of a single man entering adulthood who thought that rape was good and had to be manually taught it was bad in order to stop him from raping”. It’s rather similar to that response to Christians claiming that without God, what’s to stop men from raping as much as they want or killing as much as they want. “I already rape as much as I want. I already kill as much as I want. And the amount that I want to rape and kill is none”. What RooshV is saying here is that men already know not to rape. It’s implied in the law that rape is not something our society (the United States) agrees with. RooshV also references the acts of women accusing men of rape for sex that they feel guilty about or don’t remember perfectly. Let’s disregard sex that women don’t remember fully. Depending on the time period, it’s either rape or the fading memory. But women accusing men of rape for sex that they feel guilty about? That’s an issue. Right now, since women can decide if the sex was consensual after the fact (something that was literally pointed out to me on my first day of college orientation) women have a HUGE bargaining chip. [Side note: I actually don’t recall any reference to men being able to claim rape first, leading to what my friend at this orientation jokingly referred to a ‘race’ to see who can claim rape first and be ‘safe’. I’ll assume that they can]. A woman can retroactively accuse a man of rape and they have to go through the court processes to clear their name. And this isn’t always enough. Just the accusation of rape is enough to get men fired. Just the accusation of rape is enough to get men labeled rapist for their lifetime. It doesn’t even have to be true. 

This issue also annoys me in general because only now am I able to find examples of same sex anti-rape ads on the bus and on campus, but I have still yet to find an example of a female to male rape ad. And the problem is that it’s a sexed up issue. People will gladly tote around false ‘One in five female college students will get raped over her four years’ but not the more accurate ‘One in five male prison inmates will get raped over their time in prison’ because (I suspect) it’s inconvenient to the narrative. Same issue with breast cancer. Breast cancer gets all of the attention (and funding). And I won’t deny that it’s a fairly common cancer that can kill its victims. However most breast cancer is treatable. So why are we dumping so much money into breast cancer awareness when Leukemia and Lung Cancer are both much more deadly and take more lives? Maybe because the issue has been sexed up? Who knows.

Let’s get back on topic. Since I do not wish to publicly shame individuals, let’s refer to my opponent in this argument as ‘Carol’. Carol says that these men should not be allowed to have their meeting. When I ask her why not, she says “Because they plan to attack women”. Now I’m looking at this blog post (I can’t find it but it’s the one where the meeting was proposed) and I don’t see anything about attacking women. In fact, the whole plan seemed to be to discuss how to get this make rape legal thing a reality. I did note that women and homosexuals were not invited, but that does not mean that these individuals having this meeting are going out of their way to rape women. And then I point out that RooshV’s goal is to help women be safer by having them take more accountability for their own safety. If you oppose rape, it would seem that your goals are aligned with his. So I ask Carol where it says specifically that they plan to attack women. She then references the blog post ‘How to Stop Rape’, the one I posted at the very beginning of this blog. I did not see anything in that post which specifically says that they plan to attack women. In fact, it’s just a proposal, there are no threats made to women in it at all. So at this point, I have deduced that while she and RooshV want there to be safer women, they disagree on the methodology. So I ask Carol why she believes that they shouldn’t be allowed to talk about making this a reality. Remember, these are a collection of men in 42 countries that are just meeting up privately. I can’t speak for other countries, but in the United States, you are completely free to ask your friends to come over to your house to chat while you eat cake and tea. Oh, but they’re talking about influencing laws, so that doesn’t make it okay? Consider the Democratic and Republican parties. These parties are privately owned (the United States cannot endorse a party nor can there be a ‘United States’ party) so every four years they have a whole convention in which they decide who gets to represent their party in the run for president. Which if you ask me, is probably a way to influence laws. This group, Return of the Kings, do you honestly think they’re as powerful as groups that effectively decide who gets to run the United States? Either the United States is weaker than I previously thought or you have access to some information that I don’t. Then Carol’s friend… uhh… Coral hops in and claims that it’s okay to let them have their meeting because then whenever they do commit rape, it’ll be premeditated. Coral clearly forgot that under the proposed law, it wouldn’t be illegal. Carol said that she had a right to feel safe and that’s why this meeting could not go on. Because it wouldn’t make her feel safe? But I do not recall there being any law in place requiring that you ‘feel safe’. I thought the point of law was to make you feel safe in the first place. To rest assured that if you are ever wronged, those that wronged you would be brought to justice. And where are you safe anyway? I could just as easily be attacked by a madman as I type this blog wearing nothing but a towel. I’m in my apartment, but he could get an axe. Where am I going to go? I’m on the second floor in the middle of Alaska with only a window to escape (unless I’d like to take my chances with the door – where the madman with the axe is.

I’d like to point out one more qualitative thing that is actually on topic because that will be the last thing I can remember that was actually on topic. The rest of the argument was me being accused of being a rapist, agreeing with these guys, asking me if I’ve ever been raped, and asking if I was in a particular photo. Lord knows why they wanted to know if it was me in the photo but they seemed REALLY insistent that they know if it’s me or not. I wonder if they have a blog and they’d like to do some naming and shaming. I don’t know. But here’s the final point at which I was convinced that there was no point in continuing the ‘debate’. I asked her why they shouldn’t have this discussion and she said ‘because rape is wrong, plain and simple’. I don’t find that sufficient reason to not have this discussion. Imagine if when women were asking to vote (a right that men are still required to sign up for the selective service to enjoy but women get for free) and they wanted to discuss how they were going to get this right, they were prevented from doing so because ‘women voting is wrong, plain and simple’. Imagine if it happened for the black vote. My hangup here? Why are we saying that certain ideas are automatically disqualified from being discussed? I don’t see the basis for doing so. Rape is illegal today, why can’t it be legal tomorrow? There’s a movie called ‘The Purge’ which has a subtle message of what’s illegal today can be legal tomorrow (and what you do with that freedom is apparently show that humanity is scum).

I suppose that before I wrap things up, I should address my issues with the article (remember, I didn’t agree with the conclusion?). First of all, private property is a very poor definition to go by. There’s A LOT of private property in this nation. I went to a private college. Would rape be legal on their grounds? You betcha. The church you visit on Sunday? Privately owned. The bar you met that fly lady at? Also privately owned. There’s too much ‘private property’ for the claims of ‘back alley rapes’ to be all that remains. What RooshV may have meant is residential property, but again, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the private property. You could rape a woman in her own house and it would be ‘legal’ despite you committing this act on someone else’s property. Of course, all of this in regards to the blog post is moot because the author has come out and called it satire. Poe’s Law strikes again!

So I’d like to end with my beliefs. It is my belief that no idea is too bad to discuss. No idea is worth automatic dismissal. What then, would filter these ideas, separating ‘good ideas’ from ‘bad ideas’? Evidence, reason, and the guiding morality of those that discuss them. At the time of writing, Sweden will have been having a rape issue for quite some time. The justification for these rapes? Difference of culture between perpetrator and victim. So what is a ‘bad idea’ in one place can easily be a ‘good idea’ somewhere else. In Anaheim, a KKK rally gets bloody because people are not tolerant of listening to ideas. Are you truly so scared that people will follow someone else’s ideas that you would shut them down through force? Do I agree with the KKK? Nope. But do I agree with their right to assemble? Damn straight. Do you think that the Earth is 6000 years old? Bill Nye debated Ken Ham on this topic. Both sides presented their evidence, with whom do you agree? Still not convinced? Ask Nye and Ham to provide more evidence (if possible). Do some research on your own. Do you think the Earth is flat? I disagree, let’s talk about it. May the individual with more evidence make it into the public education system. If your ideas are too weak to stand up to reason, then they will be weeded out with the rest. Today’s truth can be tomorrow’s lie; it all depends on what we learn as time goes on.

Artemis Hunt

Reactions: “Make Rape Legal”