Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The intellectual pebble in the shoe

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: What is your opinion on abortion?
Stranger: urrm, i duno, i think they should b legal
Stranger: how about u?
You: why?
Stranger: i personally think it is better for the woman, if it comes to it, then she should have the right to have on
Stranger: e
You: do you not care at all for the rights of the child?
Stranger: as a person, and a biologist, i dont think it has rights untill it is born
You: why not?
Stranger: cos it doesnt know its alive, its not living, its part of the mother
You: if its part of the mother, does that mean the mother has 4 arms?
Stranger: well in a sence ye, but thats a pretty week argument
You: do you not know that the fetus has its own blood type?
You: and its own DNA
You: the fetus is a separate organism that is merely using her body for sustenance.
Stranger: so its a paracite?
Stranger: so if i had a tick removed, is that wrong
You: no, because a parasite is, by definition, of another species
You: but lets say it is a parasite
You: if you see a tick on the ground and step on it, is that immoral?
Stranger: i supose, but if i didnt choose to step on it, maybe i just didnt see it there
Stranger: if the mother didnt mean to get pregnant
Stranger: that puts her in a bad postion, she may not b ready for a bady
You: what country do you live in?
Stranger: the UK
You: do you get TLC on the tv?
Stranger: TLC?
You: The Learning Channel, I believe.
Stranger: no, i dont have sky
Stranger: im afraid
You: well, here we have a show called I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.
You: many times, women get pregnant and never find out until birth
Stranger: honestly? so they dont know they are missing a period every month, or that there being sick most mornings, or that they have doubled in size
You: if she;s not ready for a kid, can she kill the born baby?
Stranger: not
Stranger: no*
You: some women still experience spotty bleeding that can be mistaken for a light period
Stranger: becaurse that is a human being, its actually been born
You: ahhh
You: so the issue is not whether she's ready
You: not whether she can care for the baby
You: but whether the fetus is a human being
Stranger: it is agaisnt the law to kill a human being! if she is not ready, then it can be given up for adoption
You: if the fetus is not a human being, she can have as many abortions as she wants, for any reason.
Stranger: well i never said i think they should give them out for any reason
You: why not?
Stranger: cos it should not be used as contraseption
Stranger: it should b a last option
You: if the fetus isn't human, she should be allowed to get pregnant so she can eat the fetuses
Stranger: for those unable to care for a child
Stranger: eat the fetus, what is wrong with you!?!?!
You: why would that be immoral?
You: it may be gross, but not immoral if the fetus isn't human.
Stranger: i supose
You: we eat non-humans all the time.
You: but the fetus IS a human being, and i can back this up scientifically.
Stranger: well befine a human being
Stranger: define*
You: a human being is any member of the species homo sapiens sapiens
You: specifically, any organism said specied
You: ^species
You: human beings, like all species, are defined by our DNA
Stranger: well, the definition af a species is a population with simular phisiology, morphology and behaivior, that can breed together to produce fertile ofspring
You: can you breed with a toddler?
Stranger: it can not be defined by its DNA cos all dna is different
You: or with a post-menopausal woman?
You: that definition is a valid one if you look at an organism's entire lifestyle.
You: ^lifespan
Stranger: lifecycle u mean
Stranger: and i dont know, i think we have both drifted off the point here haha
You: no, the core issue, as you yourself have admitted, is whether the fetus is a human being.
Stranger: well yes
Stranger: and i personally feel that it should b legal to a certain degree, very stricktly controlled, but legalk
You: why should it be strictly controlled?
You: In your view, it is no more bad than a mole-removal surgery
You: or a liposuction
Stranger: as i have said, so it is not relyed on as a method of contriception, but as a last option for those unable to car for a child
You: but if the fetus is a part of the woman's body, who are you to control or limit abortions?
Stranger: and i dont think u could compare it to mole removal surgery
You: why not?
You: you said its part of her body.
You: but, as i am trying to demonstrate, it is not.
You: the fetus is a separate organism.
Stranger: it isnt!
You: why isn't it?
Stranger: its relys on the mother
Stranger: its not a seprate organism
Stranger: right up intill birth
You: a tapeworm relies on its host. is a tapeworm not an organism?
Stranger: there for it is the mothers responsability
Stranger: ooo touché haha
Stranger: that was a good argument
Stranger: hmmm
Stranger: that wasnt sarcasm btw
Stranger: it sounded like it
You: we rely on the bacteria in our colon to aid digestion
Stranger: thats different
You: a clownfish relies on the anemone it inhabits.
Stranger: thats a mutualistic sinbiotic relationship
You: A fungus relies on the tree it grows on.
You: oftentimes harming the tree.
Stranger: but the fungas was not the trees choice
You: no, it was not.
Stranger: and its not the trees responability
You: the fungus is still a separate organism
Stranger: u can nto campre these as these animals do not have consions thought
Stranger: there all just chemical reactions
You: thought is also a series of chemical reactions in the brain.
Stranger: but thoughts can be reshionolised
You: what?
Stranger: spelling fail
Stranger: sorry
You: lol
You: its ok
Stranger: rationalised
You: what do you mean by that?
Stranger: that right, ull have to bear with me, i am dyslexic
Stranger: haha
You: whose bright idea was it to make the word dyslexic so hard to spell?
Stranger: i dont know but is sooooo annoying haha
You: would you acknowledge that the fungus is not part of the tree?
Stranger: yes, a fungus is a separate
You: what about a tapeworm? is a tapeworm part of its host?
Stranger: yes
Stranger: however the host did not choose to have the tape worm, and its not the hosts responsability
You: a tapeworm IS part of its host??
Stranger: if a person has a tape worm, it is removed cos it is bad for the hosts health
Stranger: in some cases, a bady can be bad for its host
Stranger: be it health, or otherwise
You: i know htat
You: im asking if the tapeworm is another organism.
Stranger: well yes, it is
You: so you know that an organism can rely upon another organism.
Stranger: yes
Stranger: but it is not the same, a tapeworm relys on a host as that is the niche it has evolved into, its how it suvives
Stranger: a bady is a product of breeding
Stranger: so therefore is the mothers responsability
Stranger: so its her choice, untill it becomes a huma being in the eys of the law
Stranger: ie, when it is born
You: if the law said that the fetus was a human being, would you support it?
Stranger: it depends upon the evidance supplyed to suport the claim
You: so your view is not entirely based upon the law.
You: do you acknowledge that the fetus is a separate organism?
Stranger: it is, however its dependant on the mother
You: yes, it is.
You: i entirely acknowledge that.
You: my next question is "is it human"?
You: ^?"
Stranger: i personally believe, that untill in it born, it is not human
You: then what is it?
Stranger: a fetus, embyo, zygote
You: what kind of embryo?
You: it has to belong to a species.
You: if not homo sapiens, is it a Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)?
You: is it Pristella maxillaris, the x-ray fish?
You: what about felis catus, the common house cat?
Stranger: well throw all the latin around that u like, copy and pating of the internet isnt a sign of intelligence
You: im just asking, what species does it belong to if not hte human one
Stranger: bottom line, opinion is opinion
You: we can argue about whether it has rights
You: that's opinion.
You: but fact is fact and it can be scientifically proven that the embryo is human.
Stranger: how?
You: the law of biogenesis states that living things reproduce after their own kind only
You: cats have cats
You: oaks have oaks
You: mushrooms have mushrooms
You: bacteria have bacteria
You: humans have _____
Stranger: yes, they have cats, as in they give birth to a car
You: what?
Stranger: that saying is not scientific and doesnt prove anything
Stranger: it has nothing to do with what it us up untill it is born
You: that sounds like it would hurt, giving birth to a car.
Stranger: there is a species of wasp that lays its egg in a species of ant
You: yes there is.
Stranger: the ant gives birth to the wasp lavie
Stranger: are they ants
Stranger: ?
You: i should ask you that question.
You: reproduction happens at fertilization and not birth
You: if it happened at birth, the larva would be ants.
You: also, im pretty sure that it lays it in an ant corpse
You: the larva eat their way out; they aren't born.
Stranger: haha, u might b right there actually
Stranger: well i just shot myself in the foot.........
Stranger: darrn
You: the larva's species is determined by its dna, which is determined by its parentage.
You: there was a story a few years ago about a zebra embryo that was implanted into a horse
You: it was born a zebra, of course.
You: the horse was not the zebra's parent, merely a surrogate.
Stranger: mhmm
Stranger: well i duno, i have a feeling this convo would go on like fire and ice
You: the actual reproduction occured when the zebra sperm fused with the zebra egg
You: thats not true
You: im merely seeking to agree on the biological facts.
You: this is not even into the realm of morality yet.
You: unless, that is, you already hold that it is immoral to kill human beings.
Stranger: well yes, i think its is immoral to kill a human being, however this then comes back to what or shouldi say when, a fetus becomes classed as a human
You: do you think it's immoral to kill someone in a coma?
Stranger: arrr, good argumant
Stranger: yes, cos he is human, iraspective of if he is consious
You: so, we are back to when reproduction occurs.
Stranger: looks like it ye haha
You: it cannot be birth, as is shown by surrogate mothers
You: reproduction is defined as the production of offspring.
You: in asexual reproduction, this is done typically by mitosis.
You: or, for multicellular organisms, sprouting or division.
Stranger: i know all this, basically, the issue is when does it become human
Stranger: and my personal belief is that it becomes human once the cord is cut to phrase it badly
You: organisms cannot change species during their lifetime.
You: if you posit that the embryo is not human, i would ask you what about the cutting of the cord changes the baby's DNA/
You: also, what about lotus births?
Stranger: lotus births?
Stranger: please explain
You: lotus births are where the parents decide not to cut the cord and instead allow it to dry up and detach naturally.
Stranger: right
You: the placenta is kept in a bowl.
Stranger: well still, at some point it becomes detached
Stranger: so is the time of birth classed as when it leaves the body, or when the cord is cut?
You: well, in america it used to be legal to kill the baby when his head was still in the birth canal.
You: we banned that, though.
Stranger: right
You: merely being attached to another organism does not change your species.
You: And it does not make you part of that organism.
Stranger: i agree
You: good.
You: see, we're getting somewhere!
Stranger: but as i keep saying, i believe that although it is not part of thr organism, it is still dependant, and thefore the mothers responsability
Stranger: surly a life of ill treatment due to bad care on the mothers behalf, is worst than never consiously knowing u exsisted
You: it may be the mother's responsibility, but it is still a member of the human species.
Stranger: therefore, some would argue, not actually ever exsisting
You: so, you are judging human value, not on being human, but on being self-aware.
You: you distinguish between human homo sapiens, and self-aware "persons"
Stranger: i am judging it PARTLY on quality of exsistance yes
You: quality of existence or on whether you are consciously aware of your existence?
Stranger: well u have to be consious to judge a quality of exsistance
You: how can you tell how someone's life will be in the future?
You: some of the greatest people in history were born to less than ideal circumstances.
You: some of the worst serial killers were born to happy families.
Stranger: good point
You: steve jobs was adopted.
Stranger: but how about genetic diseases
Stranger: we know they will have a less than full life, is it right to knowingly let a child be born into a life of suffering
You: anyone who's been around those with impairments will tell you that they are the happiest people they had met/
You: if an infant is born paralyzed, would you support killing her?
Stranger: know, because it has already been born, thus it would b murder
You: because self-awareness doesn't come when the cord is cut. it comes 12-18 months after birth
You: princeton bioethicist peter singer said “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons”
You: he concluded “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
Stranger: i disagree that it is of less value
You: why?
Stranger: however i would not claim it is of more value
You: why?
You: why not?
You: would you seriously hold a baby to be on par with a pig?
Stranger: well u say it as if a pig is not worthy of respect as it it not human.......
You: you say it as if a baby is not worthy of respect because it is not smart enough.
Stranger: i would respect an animals life as i would respect that of a child
Stranger: as would i respect a childs as i do an animal
Stranger: i never claimed that a child was not worthy of respect
You: are you a vegetarian?
Stranger: no, but i see where u are going here haha
You: would u eat a baby?
Stranger: yup, i though u would say that
Stranger: and no, i wouldnt
Stranger: eating a pig is evalution, eating a child is canablism
You: it is clearly an absurd position to say you are valuable by your level of self-awareness.
You: and it contradicts your earlier defense of the coma patient.
You: if you had been killed as a newborn, that would mean "never consiously knowing u exsisted"
Stranger: well yes, if u where killed as a new born, or a coma pationt, either way its murber as u are by law a human being
Stranger: i am not saying they would not b wrong
You: and many women never know they were pregnant until birth, so infanticide would prevent "a life of ill treatment due to bad care on the mothers behalf"
You: im not asking what the law thinks. im asking what YOU think.
Stranger: i have already told u what i think
Stranger: i personally believe, untill a fetus is born, it is not human, and therefore not worth of the same rights as a human, meaning its the mothers call
You: you think it is wrong to kill infants and coma patients despite their lack of self-awareness, which you use to justify abortion.
Stranger: and so far as i can see, the law suports this veiw for now
You: if its not human, what is it?
Stranger: see u keep asking this, u are using is as a fall back argument cos u know i can only say its human
You: organisms cannot belong to no species.
You: if its not a human, it has to be something.
You: it has human DNA and came from human parents
You: and will follow the developmental trajectory of the human species.
You: you, for instance, were a fetus however many years ago, and that fetus was you.
You: you were also an infant however many years ago
You: and a toddler.
Stranger: yes, yes i was, its is development
You: development happens from fertilization until death.
Stranger: the issue here is where does it become a human, not if it develops like a human
You: an organism cannot change species during its lifetime.
Stranger: u have said this
You: a dog does not hit its 5th birthday and become a tree.
Stranger: i now
You: so I ask you to diagnose the *species* of this organism with human DNA and human parents, and the most you can do it come up with its stage of development.
You: there are also dog fetuses and plant embryos
Stranger: i have an idea
You: that would be like me asking what species you are and you answering "im an adult"
You: what is it?
Stranger: that adds a new dimention to this argument
Stranger: would it hav mattered if you had been aborted? cos if u had u wouldnt hav ever exsisted, however as u wernt, all u do is waste ur time on internet chat rooms arguing with someone who before this convo started, didnt giv a toss. would it have been more efficiant and less resourful resource wise if u had just been aborted.......
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

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