Roe v. Wade overturned

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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Marmaduke » 30 June 2022, 11:32

Brenden wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Brenden wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:I don’t know that I’m entirely surprised by, or meaningfully against, there being no time limit on abortion. I think the protection of life under law isn’t merely the preservation of biological function, but rather the preservation of consciousness. Yes, the mechanical potential is there for a foetus to feel pain, but it has never been conscious. It has no notions, much less a notion of pain. There has been no input, there is no baseline upon which to build consciousness. The slate is pristinely blank.

So I suppose premature babies aren't conscious either, unless you think passing through a vaginal canal or a caesarian incision magically imparts consciousness?

I mean, in many, many ways children aren't particularly conscious beings until a few years into their life. Maybe we should also allow very late-term abortions up to the point at which they can pass the mirror test!

No, I don’t think I’d consider them conscious until they first gain consciousness. I’m not saying that needs to immediately develop into intelligence, but from the off there is information being held and the building blocks are being laid. Before birth, there is no consciousness, there is no data in, there is no data out.

Fatuous as you make it sound, yes, passing through a vaginal canal is the process by which first consciousness is imparted. On one side, an unconscious and never before been conscious baby enters a canal, the traumatic process if it passing through delivers a baby on the other side now awake and screaming, functioning on pure instinct but for the first time conscious. From THAT moment, that child exists. In THAT moment it goes from being a little meat computer to a baby.

Babies kick within their mothers before birth, often in reaction to external stimuli such as loud noises, speaking, rubbing, etc. They have sleep-wake cycles, with dreaming. They learn to distinguish their mother's voice from other voices. They retain recognition of specific speech heard during gestation. They begin to develop their native language.

Plants react to external stimuli, such as moving towards the light, or closing a flower in response to adverse weather or in other cases physical touch. The response of a nervous system to external stimuli isn’t a measure of anything apart from a healthy central nervous system. Physical response can be stimulated in people declared brain dead.

And those studies don’t draw conclusions, they simply present patterns of behaviour noted as possibly supporting the assertion. I’d posit, just offhand, that a foetus is always more likely to react different to its own mother making noise to an external voice seeing as it exists within one of the people. I’d imagine the nature of the stimulus experienced from within a speaker is very different to that speaker being outside of the body within which it exists.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Brenden » 30 June 2022, 21:27

What, exactly, about birth do you think imparts consciousness? At what exact point does it occur? When the centre of mass of the brain has passed the vaginal canal? When the pituitary gland has passed an invisible plane made by the hole it's passing through? Are caesarian babies ever even conscious or have doctors been making zombies this whole time!?
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Marmaduke » 1 July 2022, 05:11

What do you think consciousness is? And how can it conceivably exist without ever having been conscious? At most, your post suggested a degree of sub-conscious, but I don’t see how that can be of any meaningful value when that child has never been conscious in the first place.

You worry, as you often do, for the undue suffering placed upon children. Suffering is a concept that requires relativity to experience. How do I suffer without knowing what it is to exist without suffering? Upon what foundation is even my most rudimentary experience of suffering to be based when all there has been of my 9 months in existence is unconsciousness in a fluid-filled sack? I can’t begin to fathom anything, much less self, I don’t even have the most basic of foundational experiences such as the differences between wake and sleep, between light and dark. These baselines don’t exist in my brain, the data has never been written. So upon what could my consciousness possibly be based? Outside of the belief that somehow at 24 weeks, God gets to the baby, assesses it and says “oh go on then, I’ll pop a soul in there now” I cannot fathom how you can’t appreciate that until that baby is born, there is nothing in it aside from instinctual programming. No more than you would find in an animal. What additional value is there that I am legislating to defend?
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Marmaduke » 1 July 2022, 05:33

Actually, let’s keep this more succinct. “Conscious” is a word with more than one meaning, I can be conscious as in awake and conscious as in aware. I am positing that you cannot be one without being the other.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby René » 1 July 2022, 07:00

Marmaduke wrote:What do you think consciousness is? And how can it conceivably exist without ever having been conscious?

I'm not sure this wording makes a lot of sense to me. I feel like perhaps you meant to write something slightly different?

Marmaduke wrote:You worry, as you often do, for the undue suffering placed upon children. Suffering is a concept that requires relativity to experience. How do I suffer without knowing what it is to exist without suffering? Upon what foundation is even my most rudimentary experience of suffering to be based when all there has been of my 9 months in existence is unconsciousness in a fluid-filled sack? I can’t begin to fathom anything, much less self, I don’t even have the most basic of foundational experiences such as the differences between wake and sleep, between light and dark. These baselines don’t exist in my brain, the data has never been written. So upon what could my consciousness possibly be based?

This line of reasoning would appear to apply equally well to a neonate. Personally, I'm pretty confident that if you stab a newborn baby, it's gonna suffer and show extensive signs thereof, regardless of whether it's ever experienced the absence of pain.

Your premise that suffering is a concept that requires relativity to experience strikes me as speculative. How does one suffer? I would say the ability to experience physical pain appears to be a very basic feature possessed certainly by nearly all mammals, with exceptions such as congenital analgesia being exceptionally rare. We don't know exactly how it works, but we know less intellectually developed beings can experience it and we consider ourselves to have a moral obligation to prevent it.

Marmaduke wrote:Outside of the belief that somehow at 24 weeks, God gets to the baby, assesses it and says “oh go on then, I’ll pop a soul in there now” I cannot fathom how you can’t appreciate that until that baby is born, there is nothing in it aside from instinctual programming. No more than you would find in an animal. What additional value is there that I am legislating to defend?

Are the 24 weeks and birth not analogous? Is this not just the complaint that was levelled against your miracle-of-birth scenario? It could easily be said that you seem to be implying a magical moment yourself, just at birth rather than before.

I don't think anyone here is saying there is such a magical moment, but clearly, as biology is imprecise and every member of our species is unique and not tied to a specific timetable, the best we can do is estimate roughly when our developmental trigger point occurs and legislate accordingly.

Brenden's questions, while clearly facetious in part, do not seem unreasonable.

I would also point out that we are in fact animals ourselves, and just because most of us are more intellectually capable than most other animals and we can try to describe what's going on with all these fancy words, that doesn't mean suffering is unique to us or has prerequisites only we fulfil.

Finally, it has to be said that you are getting worryingly close to a line of reasoning that could feasibly be used to justify Nazi-style eugenics, infanticide and cruelty to animals, among other horrors.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Marmaduke » 1 July 2022, 08:15

Godwin’s law once more proves itself to be an immutable constant 😂

As facetious as Brenden’s fascination with passing through a vaginal canal is, whilst certainly reductive, it doesn’t represent a wholly inaccurate summary of my view on the issue and I will draw back to my remark on the nuance between awake and aware, and how I do not believe one can exist without the other.

If a baby is delivered prematurely, and that baby - now out in the world, having passed through the magical vaginal canal or not - wakes and cries then that baby is now awake. It is processing stimuli consciously and whilst not necessarily understanding or effectively processing that stimulus, information is being stored. Experience retained. It cannot hope to have a sense of self, and it understands nothing of its existence, but it has commenced in establishing those baselines and has made some small progress towards them. The potential for it to live outside of the mother has been realised. It has been born. It has been conscious, and so that consciousness should be preserved. It isn’t developed, it is of nominally no useful value, but it now exists where before it did not. For want of a better word, the seed of a soul has sprouted and that seed should be nurtured.

Where a baby is born prematurely and does not exhibit any conscious behaviour or exercise any core survival drives - be it as seemingly superficial as crying or as obviously essential as respiring - then the viability of that child and the wishes of the parent are of core interest. If the child’s life can be supported whilst development continues and the parents want those attempts at support made, absolutely. Hook the baby up to all that modern science has to offer, but not for the baby’s sake. For the parents. The baby isn’t conscious. Never has been. It is functionally no different to having not been birthed. It has made no conscious progress whatsoever towards its own sentience. Any capacity it had to suffer in the womb is surely being strained on life support, on being poked and prodded with needles and probes that are proportionally much larger to it than they would be to you or me, like being stabbed with a knitting needle in the foot every 4 hours. If your primary concern with preventing abortion is preventing suffering in pre-term infants, where does once draw the line with pre-term infants that have been delivered? If the parents never wanted it and without mechanical assistance it would die, I don’t think there should be any impetus on a physician to intercede. That’s not an abortion. That’s a stillbirth.

There was a long held belief, as recently held as 1999, that babies couldn’t feel pain until they were one year old. It’s since been demonstrated that they can, but the damaging effects around this are imprinted sub-consciously in the early developmental baseline of an infants brain and don’t really manifest until there is sufficient development to comprehend them. All the evidence around this shows that this only becomes an issue once the baby is conscious and able to perceive that pain. There is no evidence to suggest that foetuses in the womb retain any meaningful imprint of the experience of pain. This being an issue around abortion, and - correct me if I’m wrong - nobody here asserting that parents should be allowed to “abort” children post-birth, I don’t really see the relevance of post-birth infant pain processing on the matter of abortion.

Yes, we are animals. But unlike the vast majority of other animals we are apex predators at the absolute top of all the food chains, we have no predators, the process of birthing and raising a child is incredibly safe. Much more so than a gazelle, for instance. That being the case, evolution has recognised over time that birthing our offspring earlier and finishing their development outside of the womb is the better survival option for both as it places less strain and less risk on a mother. If we were birthing gazelles, which have to be able to exercise fight or flight from the second they hit the floor lest they be eaten, this would be a much simpler issue at hand because the gazelle would be up and walking around and clearly about as developed physically and neurologically as it is going to get for the purposes of this debate. We aren’t having gazelles. We’re having little people, little people who’s developmental program makes no requirement that the child be able to fend for itself at all. As such, evolution has set the timetable that as soon as independent viability is possible, pop it out. Before that, it’s all a matter of conjecture.

A foetus still in the mother has led an existence all but free of broader external stimuli. It has never been awake, it has never exercised any instinct or drive, it has never felt hungry it has never squinted in the daylight. It has never been awake. It has never been aware. To all intents and purposes, I cannot fathom how that foetus is cognitively different at 40 weeks than at 30 weeks than at 20 weeks. It’s a blank slate until it wakes for the first time. Once it wakes, it’s conscious. Until it does, it’s not. Until it’s conscious, I don’t see what difference at all it’s developmental stage makes to the practical issues at hand reference the morality of its termination.

If a mother at 24 weeks wants a child, and a 36 weeks has a catastrophic change in circumstance and can no longer see how that baby can be supported, she should be allowed to terminate it. She made a mistake. She failed to foresee a likelihood of change in her circumstances and was not as well prepared as she should’ve been.

Lord knows we’ve got too many people already with the people happily electing to birth as many children as they can pop out, let’s not start legislating against any hope of error correction in the ones that don’t even want them based on a notion that we’re what? Defending a potential soul? Where do we draw that line? From what moral baseline did you even draw it? Should we outlaw condoms as well? Get rid of birth control, for the potential much be preserved at all times?

No. Obviously not. Nobody here is saying that. I’m saying that sure, potential for existence and joy and value and human worth and all that good stuff exists from the very commencement of mitosis on the jizz covered wall of a uterus. That potential alone isn’t the basis on which we can legislate over people’s body and the infliction of a life upon those ill-equipped to foster it.

My assertion remains that a baby in the womb, regardless of developmental age, has the same actual age of 0 because it hasn’t been born yet. It’s cognitively the same because it has no cognition beyond the necessary programming of basic survival necessities.

If believing this makes me a Nazi sympathiser, so be it. I disagree, but if the choice is between believing something else or killing all the Jews? I’m afraid I don’t have a great deal of choice in the matter. My beliefs remain unswayed and I suppose the Jews will have to die. Not my ideal outcome, but I find myself unable to find a practical workaround.
Last edited by Marmaduke on 1 July 2022, 19:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Marmaduke » 1 July 2022, 08:18

In fact, on reflection, this being a debate, I suppose it’s actually your fault the Jews are dying. To my mind, you’ve failed to present even the rudiments of a compelling position. The fall of the Jewish faith is blood on your hands, not mine.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 1 July 2022, 20:20

Marmaduke wrote:In fact, on reflection, this being a debate, I suppose it’s actually your fault the Jews are dying. To my mind, you’ve failed to present even the rudiments of a compelling position. The fall of the Jewish faith is blood on your hands, not mine.


Damn it! You'd let me die, ol' Marmie? I knew I wasn't your favorite, but I'd at least have thought you didn't wish my death lol
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 1 July 2022, 22:16

You sure seem to think you know quite a lot Rene. I love you, of course, but I can't help but think this whole thread is a bit silly. Don't take the personally though, because my reason for finding it silly isn't that it's stupid or some such thing.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby McTaggartfan » 1 July 2022, 23:26

Marmaduke wrote:What do you think consciousness is? And how can it conceivably exist without ever having been conscious? At most, your post suggested a degree of sub-conscious, but I don’t see how that can be of any meaningful value when that child has never been conscious in the first place.

You worry, as you often do, for the undue suffering placed upon children. Suffering is a concept that requires relativity to experience. How do I suffer without knowing what it is to exist without suffering? Upon what foundation is even my most rudimentary experience of suffering to be based when all there has been of my 9 months in existence is unconsciousness in a fluid-filled sack? I can’t begin to fathom anything, much less self, I don’t even have the most basic of foundational experiences such as the differences between wake and sleep, between light and dark. These baselines don’t exist in my brain, the data has never been written. So upon what could my consciousness possibly be based? Outside of the belief that somehow at 24 weeks, God gets to the baby, assesses it and says “oh go on then, I’ll pop a soul in there now” I cannot fathom how you can’t appreciate that until that baby is born, there is nothing in it aside from instinctual programming. No more than you would find in an animal. What additional value is there that I am legislating to defend?


Your contrast argument is nonsense, Marmie. (And, as with Rene, that doesn't mean I don't still like you. :keke: )
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby Eryx » 26 September 2022, 20:52

So I just skimmed through this, did René and Brenden become anti-abortion along with the anti-trans stuff? Or am I mistaken?
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 27 September 2022, 03:20

Eryx wrote:So I just skimmed through this, did René and Brenden become anti-abortion along with the anti-trans stuff? Or am I mistaken?

I think René’s point is succinctly summarized here: “Because that's not for courts to decide. It's for the people and their elected representatives.” To me, that’s a little naive, given that the Supreme Court has ruled against things like safeguards for voter discrimination, for gerrymandering, and so forth. If you rig the states so that Republicans can cheat and have supermajorities, you can’t now as a Justice come in and say you’re the reasonable voice in a sea of hysteria because all you’re doing is just simply relegating the issue to the The People™.
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Re: Roe v. Wade overturned

Unread postby PopTart » 3 October 2022, 12:12

Eryx wrote:So I just skimmed through this, did René and Brenden become anti-abortion along with the anti-trans stuff? Or am I mistaken?

I think the position they take, is that legislators should have closed the loophole used by the supreme Court, to prevent Roe V Wade from being overturned in the first place. That having failed to do so demonstrates a lack of will or impetus on the issue. For whatever reason that maybe this isn't really about the morality of abortion, women's rights and all that good stuff and maybe it's all political grandstanding and posturing.

Or that was my take anyway. But possibly because that is my position.

Fact remains that there are compelling arguments on both sides and I don't think there is a definitive answer.

I get what Marmaduke is saying, from a detached, logical perspective is makes some sense. But I also understand the emotive and more human argument advanced by Brenden here.

As such, legislators should have enshrined the rulings of Roe v Wade in legislation and not left the door open for someone to come and overturn it. Why they didn't? It probably wasn't politically convenient to do so. For either party.
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