Thursday, January 24, 2008

choice

so anyway, some people don't know when to shut the fuck up, so it's time to fisk a forced-pregnancy fanatic. (like the framing? more where that came from, trust me.)

gloves on. let's take this fucker apart.

So I got two basic thoughts on it right now, being as I’m all in favor of life AND liberty and the pursuit of happiness ‘n shit.


so long as that liberty does not extend to being free to do what you choose with your own body and its contents, don's a liberty man.

In other words, does the kid being got rid of have any rights, or is it really just something the mother can get rid of if she chooses, like, I don’t know, a finger.

notice how don frames this discussion. the foetus is a "kid", which is being "got rid of".

i'll give you the answer up front. no. the foetus does not have rights. none at all. that is because it is not a person, and people alone have rights. well, they used to. but rightist arsewits like don extended the rights of a person to corporations so that they could rape the rest of us with impunity.

b-b-but, dr zen, surely the foetus will become a person if you don't callously wipe it off the face of the earth. well yes, but so will every sperm i produce, and every egg in mrs zen's ovaries.

is menstruation genocide? am i committing a masturbation holocaust every time i have one off the wrist?

b-b-but, dr zen, the egg only contains the full potential of a human being when it is fertilised, because only then can it become a human.

yeah, like an acorn. it contains the full potential of an oak, right?

but you note that we don't consider that an acorn is an oak. all things being equal, it might become one. if it entered the soil, remained undisturbed, and was rained on, it might become an oak.

well, you're getting the point, i hope. something has to happen to the fertilised egg for it to become a human. (that something, for those who need a clue, is to be permitted to rest unmolested in a woman's womb for a time.)

anyway, soon -- practically already -- science will be able to create humans from unfertilised eggs. what then?

b-b-but, dr zen, that's unnatural, not what gahd intended.

yeah okay, but so is dialysis. better hope your kidneys hold up.

It won’t grow back but the beauty of a fetus is, even if you do kill it, you can always grow another.

let's do some word analysis, boys and girls.

what does "kill" mean? yes, you, don, at the back there, what do you say it means?

"deprive of life". yes, that's pretty close to its meaning. so for something to be killed, what does it need to have? "a life". yes, don.

does a foetus have a life? well, tell you what, here's a deal we can do. we'll take some foetuses out from the womb at ten weeks and see what happens. if they have a life, they'll be fine, right? they might need some care, but they'll survive. amirite?

clearly, foetuses are in this way like fingers. without the body that nourishes them, they do not "live" very long.

the problem the antichoice brigade have is that they do not distinguish things that are living from things that have a life. tumours live. but they do not have lives. the distinction isn't all that difficult. my blood is living. my dog has a life. are you seeing a difference? one clear one is that one entity is fully independent, and can make choices that direct itself.

eventually, a foetus has something approaching a life. personally, i don't believe a foetus is alive until it pops out, but of course, foetuses are viable beings in the womb after a certain point. if the debate were over late-term foetuses, we would be having a different discussion, one rather more harmonious.

don goes on to say:

Of course, if someone else kills it, say while killing you, they will be prosecuted for two murders, not just one, even in California, and that confuses me.

i'm not sure why (some?) American states have this law on their books. i think it's probably a hangover from pre-Roe days. it's clearly intended to express society's disgust at killing pregnant women. whether we should be disgusted more by that than by the killing of any other type of person is an interesting question, which i will not try to answer here. suffice it to say that this law doesn't really shed any light on the choice debate, not least because most prochoice advocates would wish it struck out of the books, not least so that retarded antichoicers don't try to beat them over the head with it.
Anyway, point is, being pregnant when you don’t want to be is very damn inconvenient.

yes, so let's not burden people with that. end of disc--

oh no, i see it isn't.
Many women have had to dredge up truly heroic proportions of courage to bear a child they have no means to care for.

what the fuck are you talking about?
Others have made the enormously difficult decision to terminate (let us not understate that difficulty!).

as i noted in my previous post, this can be a difficult decision, but it needn't be. you could consider it as simple as getting an ingrown toenail seen to. the implication here is that don doesn't consider this viewpoint valid.
why is that, don? let's see:
Choices all round. But we don’t make choices in a vacuum. If we are moral people, we must take into account the consequences our choices have for other people.

hands up those who think don would be willing to argue that pregnant women should not have terminations if the man responsible for knocking them up doesn't want them to?
So the question remains, is the fetus someone with rights, or is it not?

we already answered that. no, it's not.
If you cannot answer that question immediately with unequivocal proof that it is not, then there is doubt, and in every just society I have ever heard of, the benefit of the doubt goes to the living.

what?

well, i have a proposition for you. are you a figment of my imagination or not?

answer it immediately with unequivocal proof, or, if there is doubt, the benefit of the doubt goes to the living. which, since i think you are a figment of my imagination, is me. i get the benefit of the doubt, you are a figment of my imagination, and if i was to axemurder you, i should surely be acquitted by the (imaginary) court because, dude, i get the benefit of the doubt.

see where this sort of sophistry gets you?

"i say a foetus is alive, and you can't prove to my satisfaction that it isn't, so you have to allow the foetus to live."

well, no, dude. i actually only have to prove to my own satisfaction that it's not alive. i don't have to prove it to every last retard on this planet.

and living people do not get teh benefit of teh doubt in Texas, dude. they get executed if the law says so. and there is always a doubt that someone committed a crime they are convicted of, because we do not convict with absolute certainty.

we convict with certainty beyond reasonable doubt. we can apply that standard here because you cannot make any definition of "life" or "personhood" that works for a foetus but would work for actual people without including foetuses. try it. you have to define those terms (succinctly) so that your definition covers foetuses, but does not contain flab that is there solely to define them. good luck with that.

no mentioning gods or other fairy stories btw. god made me do it is not a defence in court and it doesn't wash here either.

of course, "prolife"tards are not really about "life". they mostly couldn't care less about life when it's something possessed by Arabs or criminals, both of whose extermination they are generally willing to see pursued. this has become a cliche of the choice side: the prolifers care about "life" right up to the moment of birth.

what do they care about though? don gets to the crux of the matter:
Besides, a choice was made when a potentially fertile couple chose to have sex. The risk of pregnancy was known. Kind of like the risk of killing someone is known when you start your car while blind drunk. If there’s a predictable consequence, I’m not sure what makes the choice to ignore that consequence so sacred.

yes, guys, pregnancy is a punishment for sex. and how dare those sluts try to escape their punishment, when they know damned well that gahd ordained it as Eve's punishment for not obeying him?

this is the core message of the antichoice movement: women deserve their punishment for sex and should not escape it by having terminations. it's simply another plank in a misogynism that propels the christian (and not so christian) right. these people are scared of women. even when they're women. they want women to be subservient, to know their place, not to want anything, not to have or express ideas. the notion that women desire anything from sex but to be receptacles for man juice horrifies these people. jeezus, if women start negotiating over sex, we'll have to talk about it. we might have to confront what we want.

no wonder don wants women to be punished for that! slap the bitches down with babies, don, before they start making you look at yourself and asking why you find sex so fucking unsatisfactory.

don moves on, having framed his issue. we're now going to talk about privacy:
Self-determination is one thing we all agree is sacred.

do we?

maybe don could have explained what he means by it before making such a bold statement. he certainly didn't, and still doesn't, believe that Iraqis have the right to self-determination. he believed that Americans had the right to do some determining for them.

on the more personal level, what does it even mean? what am i free to determine?

Not everyone believes in natural rights, and I’m not eddicated enough to argue for or against the concept


i don't, and i am.

but I’m sure everyone within reading range agrees that each individual at least has the right to express themselves, to say what they want, to have some control over their own privacy

they have those rights if they are permitted them, don. which is why we fight so hard to maintain them! we know that rights are something you force others to allow you, and they are something that can be taken away by force.

Roe v Wade established a woman’s right to an abortion as an extension of her right to privacy.

no. it ruled that a woman's right to privacy extended to making decisions over her own body. it did not extend the right to privacy at all. it clarified that the right to privacy included the right to choose what to do with your own body.

That pretty much ends the discussion as far as a lot of people are concerned.

yep.
They aren’t going to let the gummint decide something so important

no, dude, we're not. and you know why?

because first they come for our terminations, then they come for our gu^H^H^H^Hsodomists, then it's blowjobs, then it's whether you can have your hair long or short, then it's which god you are permitted to worship, then it's...

well, no. basically, it's just that if you do not have rights over your own person, your other rights are not really worth anything. why would you even need other rights if your person is not inviolate?

though how much they object to gummint having authority over public smoking

harms others.
or gun ownership

harms others.
or marijuana use

should be protected by your right to privacy.
or “hate” speech

harms others.
or control of rents or the sale of sexual services etc. etc.

harms others.
is always to be seen. It appears we all have opinions as to where our privacy really ends and our responsibility to others begins

what?

this isn't rocket science, dude. your right to privacy, in this context, means your rights over your own person. most liberals do not believe you should be coerced to do or refrain from doing anything to do with your own person.

there is a grey area, of course, but it's generally the right--and those who oppose a genuine right to privacy--who want that grey area broadened.

the grey area arises because we mostly agree that you are free to do with your own person anything that does not harm others, but our definitions of "harm others" differ.

some feel that a family man who does smack is harming his family, and that should be prevented. some feel the same about gambling. they argue that your right to your own personal wealth, for instance, is limited because your family, who depend on you, have a claim on it.

but consider these cases:
a/ don smokes in his loungeroom and his wife is forced to breathe it in
b/ don smokes in the garden and his wife disapproves

does don have the right to smoke? is it covered by his right to privacy?

does don recognise that prscriptions against case a can very easily be extended into proscriptions against case b if we are not vigilant? does he further recognise that these are quite different cases, and that our motivation for proscribing case a is that it directly harms his wife, and we believe the harm done to her is disproportionate to his enjoyment of his right, while for case b, it's simply a matter of opinion?

b-b-but, dr zen, terminating a pregnancy harms the foetus and you've just said that we must prevent harms.

no, i've just said that we have to weigh harms carefully before infringing on people's rights over their own person. this clearly places the benefit of the doubt on the person whose rights are being infringed.

just as i cannot justifiably prevent you from smoking in a train carriage if i cannot show that you harm others by doing it, you cannot justifiably prevent women from having terminations if you cannot show that they harm others by doing it. your philosophical qualms are not evidence in this process, any more than your wife's not liking your smoking is reason for you to stop if you do not choose to.
opinions that differ, because we all differ, because we all come from different backgrounds and have slightly different perspectives on what privacy really means.

as i think is clear from how i've outlined the issue, it's actually our perspective on whether your preferences should be permitted to define my rights over my own person that differs.
In 1973 when Roe v Wade was established, this was in many ways a different country. Rights to privacy and free speech that we take for granted today were not yet established.

i think you'll find that they were established in the constitution, and that they haven't shifted one iota since then.
But they were on the march. Recent years had seen massive movements in defense of free speech

nope. there has been a broadening of the means of expression, not of the right to express yourself, which pretty much remains unchanged, Larry Flynt notwithstanding.
of political opposition, etc.

indeed, one can argue that Congress has worked to stifle political opposition. one notes the motion against MoveOn.org for instance, or Harman's "antiextremism" measure. this movement is more pronounced in the UK, where some types of political expression have been banned outright.
Meanwhile, there were still laws against many consensual sexual acts, against many types of speech we today consider protected, and the last laws against mixed-race marriages were only recently overturned.

and we say hooray for progress, right?

wrong. don says boo:

A momentum had built to relegate all those antiquated laws to history's dustbin. At the same time, the unsafe conditions created by the deadly combination of prejudice against unwed mothers and inadequate abortion facilities had enabled a horrible kind of back-alley slaughter. Scared young women who had exercised their natural rights to sexual activity and wound up pregnant were at risk of being killed by unprofessional abortionists taking advantage of their fear and desperation. Roe v Wade was a natural response to these converging trends. In one stroke, a major blow was made in defense of privacy, of sexual freedom, and of feminine emancipation. What of the child? Well, it was unfortunate, and not everyone agreed that the life was really a life, and in the end privacy concerns trumped the question. I wondered how that was possible, how privacy could be found more important than the question of life, until I remembered more about the early 1970s.

actually, the changes don notes were outcomes of a change in society's mores. it stopped being tenable to oppress blacks, to try to suppress speech and to ban teh gayness because society wouldn't tolerate it. society also would not tolerate the continued illegality of abortion. what don misses is that there's a "because" in here.

it would not tolerate it because it's none of the state's fucking business what you do with your own body. which, yes, trumped "maybe it's alive". mostly because most people realise that if you take a ten-week-old foetus out of the womb, it will die fairly promptly, and even if you are able to keep it alive, it will not "live" in any real sense of the word.

see, eggs grow into babies within the womb. they do so as part of the woman who rears them. we can easily recognise them for what they are: like tumours, they are separate but not divisible from the body that houses them. this is true through much of the pregnancy. we can argue over when it ceases to be true and what the implications of that are, but that's a different question.

b-b-but, dr zen, the foetus is a potential human being. why yes, it is. and i accept that it actually is more so than the sperm i waste when i have a wank.

but when don makes legalistic-sounding arguments about how we err to the side of the living, i strike back with another: we do not err to the side of potential.

we do not say, do not imprison this man because he might find jeezus next week and spend his life doing good works. which might save lives. blah blah.

we err to the living. that's true. but the woman--whom don dismisses as little more than an incubator--is the living being here. she is the person.

don blathers some about marital rape and child abuse. i'll spare you because you don't need to know what he has to say to grasp his message. which is that the seventies were brutal, man, and we wised up, and hey, maybe we could wise up about the baby holocaust that those fucking bitches are indulging in:
Roe v Wade was passed in this atmosphere of respecting privacy. Society has evolved since then, but we still accept Roe v Wade. It’s a complex political issue and as such it is much more difficult to change our attitude towards it than to, say, pass a law requiring teachers to report evidence of abuse. But an entire generation has passed, and in my opinion it may be time, with rationality and compassion, to take another look. Not necessarily to write more restrictive laws, but certainly to reconsider, as we must always do periodically, our underlying assumptions.

to which i say no, never.

we should never let the regressive fuckheads claw this one back. not ever.

Roe was an important step in women's rights. it is part of a framework, a bastion, if you like, that stands against people like don who want to punish women for having sex by forcing pregnancy on them. this is so grossly unjust that we should stand against it.

you should have the right to choose what you do with your own body. in any society that claims to be "free", that should be fundamental.

the right to privacy, in this instance, is about your right not to be bothered with. broadly, we accept that we afford each other the right not to be bothered with just because we suspect each other of doing things we disapprove of. it's more a right to noninterference.

if it helps, consider the right not to be stopped and searched without cause. this is a privacy right. you have the right not to have a tool of the government rifle through your pockets without cause because what's in your pockets is your business. but it's also a right of the person, because you have the right not to be molested without cause. the right to termination of pregnancy is a right of the person in this sense, and a right to privacy in the sense that your body is your private concern, not the concern of the state (although with the recent attention given to obesity, you would be forgiven for thinking you'd recently lost that right).

rights do change. they are not "natural" or "inherent". they are negotiations between individuals and between those individuals and the broader societies they are part of. they change with the times--less so when they are codified, which is one reason people depend so heavily on bills of rights and constitutions, not because they are necessarily models, but because at least they are written down. we all know that a written contract is easier to stand up than a verbal one.

sometimes, they are chiselled away by "reasonable" men; sometimes, they are swept away by bad men; sometimes, through lack of care, they dissolve piece by piece until we wake up and they are gone.

the "debate" don wishes to have would basically take the form of his, and people like him's, demanding that we roll back rights over our own persons. why should we give that a hearing? fuck don and those like him. we should not give them an inch, unless it's of good shoe leather up their backsides.

40 Comments:

At 5:34 pm, Blogger Don said...

I read seven paragraphs. I truly wish I had time for this shit. Your so-called fisking (judging by the first seven paragraphs) cries out for a return of the favor, it's so poor. Let me just illustrate what I mean.

so long as that liberty does not extend to being free to do what you choose with your own body and its contents, don's a liberty man.

Nowhere do I suggest this. You on the other hand assume this is what I mean only because I suggest that doing one specific thing with your body -- having an abortion -- might violate the rights of some being that has rights. Might. I don't know if it does or not. It is an open question. Your assertion that

no. the foetus does not have rights. none at all. that is because it is not a person, and people alone have rights.

is completely unsupported. As I've said before, you arbitrary delineation between baby-like objects that have rights and baby-like objects that do not have rights (whether or not naturally ejected from the womb being the difference, I suppose) is just as arbitrary -- being as you provide no support for it -- as the assertion by southern American society in the early 1800s that black men are only 2/3 of a person. I'm not saying you are wrong but I am saying you have totally failed to support your case.

Just because you are fixated on the point, and I've said this before, I don't know why you ignore it: Men and women can fuck all they want, and should, anyone who's up for it. Your "forced-pregnancy" frame is a smokescreen and a pretty lame one at that.

I don't get you, dude. You are a hater of the first order. You are only able to accuse me of being a hater by twisting my shit until it's unrecognizable. You need to look in the mirror more, and get out of that damn basement.

And that's all I can take time for. Fortunately, as you've said, you only write for yourself anyway.

 
At 5:46 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

1/ My delineation between things that have rights and things that do not is not "arbitrary". Had you read further, you'd have seen that I challenge you to define "person" in a way that is not invented solely to include foetuses.

Southern American society defined "person" as "white", Don. They drew their definition specifically to exclude blacks. I'm not being "foetusist". I am saying that no definition of "person" that you can draw will include foetuses unless you include them specifically, or define it in a way that your definition is coterminous with the definition of "foetus". I am not even putting forward a definition. I'm simply saying you can't.
2/ Don't be such a whiny prick. Of course I'm a hater. I hate people who hate women and want to punish them for having sex. I think the world would be better off if, at least, you stopped.
3/ I suggested that I would frame the post in a manner of my choosing. You need to think (a lot) more about your views on who should be free to fuck, because they are not congruent with your views on the need to punish (fertile) women for doing it.
4/ Above and beyond all else, rights are something we afford each other, not something that inheres in us. So foetuses have no right not to be "killed" because we deny them that right. This is not the only contest of rights or pseudorights in the world, but this one has gone our way. And by fuck, we should not allow misogynists like you to tell us that we should step back from it.

 
At 5:50 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 5:55 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Dude, he expressed it in clear English:

"If there’s a predictable consequence, I’m not sure what makes the choice to ignore that consequence so sacred."

How much more clearly do you need it put to you before you get the message?

Don's a nice guy. I like him and I'm sure you do. But his politics sucks arse. So does yours. You are like a social liberal and an economic neocontard. You might want to think it through one day.

 
At 5:57 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:00 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:02 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"you actually think that's a tough job?"

Yes, I do.

Please supply your definition.

As for squirrels, you have never grasped the concept, have you? Because you can't, you make a joke out of it. That's how you work. It's cute but it's not all that productive.

 
At 6:05 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:07 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:13 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:13 pm, Blogger Don said...

I lied. I do have time to read further. An acorn's not an oak. Therefore a foetus is not a human. Oh, AND it therefore should never be considered as having a right to exist.

That's some pretty shallow thinking, old boy.

Not a life because it can't survive outside the womb? Who cares? What you have done is assumed that human rights accrue only to people who meet your definition -- as in my purposely crazy comparison above to antebellum African-Americans. But how do you KNOW they cannot apply to the unborn? You talk about tumors and blood versus dogs that can make choices. Fine, there are differences between these that live and those that have lives. Again: So what? We're talking about a specific organism, human in every way but for several months' gestation. To consider its extermination as amoral rather than immoral is a convenience, certainly, but not naturally a given.

Surprising to me is this: what the fuck are you talking about?

You've never known anyone who got knocked up while young and poor and let the kid live. You've no idea how courageous that often was. You think it was stupid: they could have just gotten scraped. Of course, the convenience. Kill the little bastard, she has no rights. You need to say that to the single mothers out there, all right?

*sigh* Your little thought experiment about immediate proof is off the mark too. Whether or not I exist is simply not an analog.

*sigh* again. I'm up late cause my kid needs help with physics, and I get up in less than six hours. Starting to ramble. But

yes, guys, pregnancy is a punishment for sex. and how dare those sluts try to escape their punishment, when they know damned well that gahd ordained it as Eve's punishment for not obeying him?

caught my eye. WTF? Pregnancy is a predictable result. Punishment? WTF again?

women deserve their punishment for sex and should not escape it by having terminations

That is so fucking stupid. An abortion is not some kind of out for a result of having sex, a sort of get out of hell free card. You seem fixated on the idea that sex is a sin and that it is your heroic duty to rescue women from punishment for it. No part of my thought process is about that. I am merely questioning the right to terminate something that might have a right to live. That's it. I'm happy for you that you know an unborn child has no rights. Other people know that abos, niggers or young Burmese women have no rights. You ought to get along with them just fine. Tired. Out.

 
At 6:15 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

A person is a DNA type thinger? Are you taking the piss?

"not everyone who struggles with the morality of abortion does so because they're either sexual morons or oppressively anti-woman."

No one is saying they do. But Don clearly expressed that that is behind his opposition to it.

As for squirrels, will a squirrel fight you for a peach?

 
At 6:19 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:21 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"That's some pretty shallow thinking, old boy."

Sorry no. It's precisely your thinking. Hey, an acorn becomes an oak, so it might be an oak. Well no. It's not. It just might become one.

"Not a life because it can't survive outside the womb? Who cares?"

Me. Because that is a simple definition of "living". Please, if you're not going to try to refute it, why mention it? Obviously, I think that it's an argument in good standing. You can't convince me just by going "who cares?"

"What you have done is assumed that human rights accrue only to people who meet your definition"

Again with the frame. I simply define "person" as, erm, a person. I have invited you more than once to define that in a way that includes foetuses. I note the lack of definition on your part.

"We're talking about a specific organism, human in every way but for several months' gestation."

We're talking about a specific organism, human in every way but for being fertilised and having several months' gestation.

You just don't get it, do you? No matter how many times it's put to you.

"Punishment? WTF again?"

You express your view that women should not escape consequences they know are potential outcomes of their actions. We call punitive outcomes of actions that you know might have punitive outcomes "punishment", Don. Welcome to the English language.

"An abortion is not some kind of out for a result of having sex, a sort of get out of hell free card. You seem fixated on the idea that sex is a sin and that it is your heroic duty to rescue women from punishment for it."

Erm, no. Nice try though.

 
At 6:22 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"are you sxtill working on your Zenalla answer?"

Did you actually read my post?

 
At 6:23 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

As for squirrels, will a squirrel fight you for a peach?

it's damn well certain that a squirrel will not be fighting with any Orions or Martians over any peaches.

theft = fight?

 
At 6:25 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:29 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Your reply is that there is no difference between a late-term foetus and a child?

It's not much of a reply.

As for squirrels, please answer the question.

 
At 6:32 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:35 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:36 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

The difference between Zenella on the day she was born and a week prior was that she was born.

Now, your definition of a "person" please.

And squirrel reply.

 
At 6:37 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Please answer the question about squirrels. It's essential to this discussion.

 
At 6:44 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:49 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

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At 6:53 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"no crime committed against Zenella?"

None.

Not no crime however. Try to figure it out.

As for the squirrel, please answer this crucially important question. You are barred from my comments until you do.

 
At 1:34 am, Anonymous theminotaur said...

Much has been asked, but I'll add another question: if it were men that carried fetuses, do you think that they would ever second-guess their right not to?


For further reading, please look into Lori Campbell's essay "Private Lives" (appearing in this January's American VOGUE). It outraged plenty of rightards. Here's a snippet of it I found online, and even though it's a tiny one, it certainly overshadows the pro-life bilge that tries to somehow belittle it.

http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2008/jan/08011009.html

 
At 8:49 am, Anonymous theminotaur said...

Well, I'll admit that my question is irrelevant and doesn't really prove anything, because men do not carry fetuses and cannot know how it feels. But I can say for sure that the reason abortion is such a huge issue in America is that enough men, who make up the vast majority of all branches of government, feel that it is their business to somehow control pregnancy. And the need to control it comes directly out of the need to control sexual activity, because America is still a vastly Christian society, which came to a conundrum between its dogma and its reality.

Don, if you say things like :"a choice was made when a potentially fertile couple chose to have sex. The risk of pregnancy was known... If there’s a predictable consequence, I’m not sure what makes the choice to ignore that consequence so sacred", you cannot then proclaim that you do not wish to hinder a woman's sexuality. When a fertile couple chooses to have sex, it's not the man that will have to deal with the consequence on pregnancy. He can simply walk away from the fetus, and while society may look on such behavior with apprehension, no one had ever dreamed up a law that would make it punishable. Therefore, the burden of the consequence lies solely on women, and of course, as you dam well know, the only sure way not to get pregnant is not to have sex. Another sure way is to have your ovaries removed, but if you do want children sometime, well, that wouldn't work. So all you fertile women better think twice before fucking, and better yet - imagine a screaming infant or a shitty diaper, and it'll kill the urge right there. This is what your statement says, Don. Don't fuck if you don't want a child. If that's not denying women their sexuality, I don't know what is.

Such thinking, as I said before, is a direct product of America's Christianity. Even those who do not consider themselves Christian cannot escape its influence, because it penetrated their morals deeply from school, from parents or neighbors, from film and music. I come from an atheist society where abortion, while certainly not taken lightly and often discouraged, is ultimately not a part of determining morality of a person or a society. When I first learned how huge an issue abortion is to so many people that have never dealt with one personally (i.e. been in the situation or even known someone who had), I seriously could not understand why. Now I know why. The answer is organized monotheistic religion, whether you like it or not. It is the root of many problems in today's world, and this is just one of them.

 
At 10:37 am, Anonymous Ruth said...

Well Zen - you copped the flak this time.

Rights only apply to an actual, separate person, not to a potential that is part of another.

That5's easy to understand as far as I can see.

 
At 10:25 am, Blogger annie said...

i so appreciated this post. oh, and i am mom to 3 lovely (&wanted) full-term fetuses.

...stunned at the misconceptions (no pun intended)about pregnancy,abortion, and a woman's right to be or NOT be a parent. i mean seriously, have you seen what passes for "parenting" lately? maybe some people ought not procreate. or wait a while.

 
At 11:01 am, Blogger Don said...

Don't fuck if you don't want a child. If that's not denying women their sexuality, I don't know what is.

You don't, then. I certainly never said anything against fucking. Fuck all you want. It's the "fertile" qualification you are ignoring. Fuck someone who's had a vasectomy, or uses reliable birth control, or is female, etc. etc.

You statement of my position paraphrases to, if you don't want consequences, don't do the thing that brings the consequences. Does this really deny anyone their rights?

the burden of the consequence lies solely on women

This is true if they pick a shitty partner for getting them pregnant. I'm all for random fucking. I only remain unconvinced that the result of fertilization has no moral implication.

Rights only apply to an actual, separate person, not to a potential that is part of another.

Yes, this is asserted regularly. Proof of it remains in doubt. Also true that women and men have different views. True that many men take the pro-choice view and that many women take the pro-life view. Whether they do so out of greater clarity of conscience or in some subconscious bid to gain approval from the opposite sex, I can't say. Can you? Or does this question have a different answer depending on the gender?

 
At 11:14 am, Blogger Don said...

the "debate" don wishes to have would basically take the form of his, and people like him's, demanding that we roll back rights over our own persons.

In truth I think the government has taken too much right of control already. Drug tests, for example, are a violation of privacy. Even if there is an immediate safety need, say the operation of a school bus. I much prefer to test for capability, and leave the bloodstream contents alone. I also believe laws against sex for sale are a violation: It's no one's business how an adult chooses to express themselves sexually. True, prostitution has other immoral implications built in, oppressions based on power and wealth disparities and so on. But the act itself, of trading sex for love, or for companionship, or for a ride across the country, or for three hundred dollars cash, none of that is anyone's business (in terms of law and punishment -- mental health may be another story).

My sole point (again) is that a human being's right to exist being granted at birth is arbitrary; that basing it on viability is also arbitrary (plenty of people are hooked up to life-saving devices); that there may be a simpler, more elegant, more broadly civilized approach. It is not accurate to twist this into me being some sort of atavism.

 
At 11:15 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"Proof of it remains in doubt."

No, quite clearly the proof is in the pudding. In nearly every place on this planet, "rights" are only afforded to people, not to parts of people's anatomy.

"True that many men take the pro-choice view and that many women take the pro-life view. Whether they do so out of greater clarity of conscience or in some subconscious bid to gain approval from the opposite sex, I can't say. Can you? Or does this question have a different answer depending on the gender?"

Can you push a more retarded line than this? I doubt it.

1/ Women do sometimes vote against their own interests. We all do. Politicians work hard to confuse us what our interests are, and we often allow "principle" to trump self-interest, even though it doesn't make any sense to do so. Also, women are not a homogenous bloc. Your inability to see that people are individuals is an outcome of your rightist political philosophy, curiously, because rightists cannot conceive of the world as diverse, but need it to be polarised, otherwise "us" vs "them" becomes hard to maintain. You could not be a successful patriot if you were not able to conceive of the world as "American" and "not American" and to believe that that difference is more significant than other smaller-scale ones.
2/ Yes, I believe women should choose because I want them to like me. You caught me, Don. My whole political position is based around appealing to different constituencies: choice because I want women to like me; antiracism because I want blacks to like me; antinationalism because I want, erm, stateless people to like me.
3/ "Or does this question have a different answer depending on the gender?" OMG.
4/ Did it just not occur to you that people believe in one thing or the other for a host of reasons, and generalising, particularly by gender, is likely to mislead you into absurd statements? Like the ones here.

 
At 11:27 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Don, you just don't get that unless God fucking Almighty descends from his celestial throne and tells us whether we should consider foetuses are people, it will always be an "arbitary" decision in your view.

Because you want to prevent women from choosing what to do with their own bodies, you pose a metaphilosophical objection to what is basically a practical issue.

Of course, it isn't arbitrary. There is nothing "arbitrary" about viability. It's fairly well defined. Many advocates of an absolute right to choose will compromise on viability because we can establish it by consulting with experts. Even if we feel that the foetus's being "viable" should not prevent a woman from choosing to terminate the pregnancy, we can accept that a compromise is necessary, and at least we are compromising at a point that science can establish, not one that depends on your personal philosophy and nothing more.

Ultimately though, a rights argument is bound to fail, because rights are negotiations, and we do not have to negotiate with you. We are in the clear majority and you cannot have your way. So we do not need to "debate" it with you.

A consideration for us is that in any discussion between moderates and extremists, any "compromise" ends up with a position towards the extreme. That cannot be good for us. This is a continuing problem for progressives. We have fought tooth and claw to push progressive positions and have in many areas achieved a middle ground, a sort of centre-right consensus. But any sellout, any compromise with the right will undermine the progress we have made. My view is that consequently we should never "debate" this with you. We should take extreme positions of our own and refuse to budge.

 
At 4:34 pm, Anonymous theminotaur said...

"Fuck all you want. It's the "fertile" ***qualification*** you are ignoring"

If you include a qualification, it's no longer "all you want".

"if they pick a shitty partner for getting them pregnant"

That doesn't quite fit into the "random" category. And I guess according to you 50 bucks a month in child support is a burden equal to carrying it inside for 9 months - and that is only the beginning.

Sure, you want to smoke pot and fuck hookers. And if one is to get pregnant, that must be the stupid bitch's own for not having her uterus removed and being fertile.The only "moral" way for her now is to give birth, and if her kid doesn't die because her line of work doesn't provide health insurance and your beloved Preznit doesn't think children worthy of state health insurance, she might be finally rid of it when a bus driver who's on crack drives the school bus into a cliff.

And you dare speak of morality?

Your stupidity is somewhere between cute and infuriating.

 
At 6:08 pm, Anonymous theminotaur said...

"I much prefer to test for capability, and leave the bloodstream contents alone"

And WTF does "capability" mean? How do you test it? All the blacks, mexicans, and those who enjoy surfing please stand up?

 
At 6:13 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

He means make the nigras and spics walk the white line because the subjective judgement of a cop is far more reliable than a test mandated by the gummint.

 
At 2:48 am, Blogger Don said...

You guys crack me up.

 
At 4:05 am, Blogger Don said...

Your stupidity is somewhere between cute and infuriating.

I only find it frustrating that your arguments are clearly not meant to be taken seriously. I find it frustrating because I was never one to peacock around saying and doing shit that is useless except for positioning. IOW (spelling it out for you) literally every one of your responses has been thoughtless bullshit.

 
At 4:08 am, Blogger Don said...

it will always be an "arbitary" decision in your view

I get that, except to the extent that I believe in the ever-advancing understanding brought by science. But yes, let's assume I will always regard it as arbitrary. That ought to explain why we need a better decision point than brought by your least "harm" to the most people understanding of rights. It doesn't take much to see how often THAT's gone wrong.

 
At 9:38 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Don, this is precisely the argument that creationists use on the theory of natural selection: "because we deny your science, you can be held hostage to your views in perpetuity". Well no. Not while judges are rational, we can't.

You cannot expect to hold the rational world to ransom simply by refusing to accept the facts. Your first line of defence is a right to life for a person, which you refuse to define. Your second is to deny that there is any borderline between person and nonperson, while refusing to define where that border would be for you. You're slightly more sophisticated than the Catholics, who insist that because God endows you with a soul at conception, you become a person then, but you're not less ridiculous.

BTW, theminotaur is slapping you silly and trying to set him aside is not doing you any favours.

 

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