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Explain Your Reasoning.

FutureIncoming

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Fantasea quoted: "Almost all of the argumentation that followed my last post (1) is related to your UNPROVED CLAIM that human life is more special than other life. Your comment (10), regarding religion, is therefore mistaken. ALL religions are fundamentally based on unproved claims. Since you are persistently making the unproved claim that human life is so special it must be preserved whenever possible, you actually ARE discussing abortion on the basis of a religious stand (although a non-formalized religious stand)."

Fantasea wrote: "You may wish to believe that human life is not superior to other life forms. It is self-evident to me that it is."

Again you confuse "superior" and "special". You are also exhibiting biased subjectivity (you are a human, right?) in claiming that humans are superior. In Science, only OBJECTIVITY counts (except sometimes in Quantum Mechanics, where there is no separating the observer from the observed). Your statement, therefore, is worthless.


Fantasea wrote: "Your introducing religion into a discussion of biology, which is as secular a subject as there is, is nothing more than dragging a red herring across the trail to confuse the issue."

I did not introduce religion. I indicated that you were reaching conclusions based on an unproved claim, which is what religions and not scientists do. YOU were the one who claimed that religious atitudes were not part of your debating tactics. But the evidence is against you. You DO continue to make the unproved claim that humans are more special than other life-forms. And you DO continue to reach conclusions based on that claim, as fanatically as any fundamentalist preacher concludes things from his own unproved claims.

If you REALLY TRULY want us to believe you do not take a religious stand, then you have exactly two choices. You must either prove that humans ARE somehow more special, OBJECTIVELY, than other life-forms (almost all of which are special in one way or another), or you must stop claiming that humans are more special than other life-forms. (I am reminded of George Orwell's novel "Animal Farm", in which the pigs claim superiority because they are supposedly more equal to each other than the other types of barnyard animals are equal to each other.) Have fun!
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea quoted: "I submit that humans are NOT more special than other life-forms, when seen from the grand perspective."

Fantasea wrote: "Submit whatever you wish. I have no idea of your definition of “the grand perspective”. However, here on earth, the child of even the most backward Australian aborigine, African tribesman, or impoverished Asian is far more advanced in every mental respect than any full grown animal or other known life form. Toss in any redneck kid, too, so you will be less likely to complain of discrimination.
This is self-evident to me. Is it not to you?"


What is self-evident is that you are confusing the words "special" and "superior". Yes, humans have mental abilities superior to plants and other life-forms. So? Other life-forms have other abilities superior to humans. For example, rats can make Vitamin C internally, and do not need any in their diet, unlike humans. I could probably trot out a dozen other examples, and YOU probably, could, too. Which is why I did not "submit" anything about "superiority". Humans are of course biased, to select traits in which they are superior. Whoop-te-do.

I specified SPECIAL. WHY should human mental abilities make them more special than, say, radiation-resistant bacteria? (There is one species that you can blast its DNA to pieces with gamma rays, and after a few hours, its DNA will be completely reassembled to what it was before the blast). You can bet they could survive World War Three just fine!

WHY should humans consider themselves so special that they claim the right to clear-cut the world's forests, destroying ecological niches and and exterminating uncounted species thereby, JUST because humans want wood for houses and other stuff? In case you don't know, History is repeating itself. On Easter Island the original Polynesian human population grew to about 20,000 people, who cut down trees to make fishing boats, and after the trees were gone, the population of those supposedly mentally superior humans quickly dropped 99%, to about 200, in a well-documented and perfect example of a Malthusian Catastrophe.

Planet Earth is just a bigger Island...and Malthus had merely observed ANIMAL populations, before writing his famous essay to warn humans against breeding like animals. Has humanity used its so-superior brainpower to pay attention? Not really; annual global population growth is currently equal to about nine New York Cities. And the seas are starting to run out of fish, literally.

From the grand perspective, humans have yet to prove themselves more special than any other mindless breeding animal on Planet Earth. We still have a chance, of course. But forcing the births of unwanted mouths-to-feed isn't the way. When humans who claim Mastery of the World first master themselves, and then become caretakers that recognize the special-ness of everything else in the world, THEN we will have done something unique as compared to what mere animals do. The fun thing about that in this Debate is, there is a Catch-22 there. We cannot use any thusly-proved specialness as an excuse to start raping the world again!
You may wish to take this up with Merriam-Websters which defines the word "special" in the following manner:

Main Entry: 1spe·cial Pronunciation: 'spe-sh&lFunction: adjectiveEtymology: Middle English, from Old French or Latin; Old French especial, from Latin specialis individual, particular, from species species1 : distinguished by some unusual quality; especially : being in some way superior
 

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Fantasea quoted: "But let me get back to your (2) comment about the superiority of humans. In actual fact you cannot honestly make the claim that humans are "light years ahead of every other life form", simply because we don't know about all the life forms in distant corners of the Universe. There may be types of life out there to which grown human beings have no more talent than the tube worms at various ocean-bottom hydrothermal vents. And even if we ignore the unknown, and focus only on the known life on Planet Earth, humans are not really light-years ahead of all of them. We have evidence that some gorillas and chimps are actually mentally ahead of some (severely retarded) humans. Which implies that when compared to ordinary humans, those gorillas and chimps are NOT light-years behind. Also, in measured scientific fact every single human mental ability except one has been found in other life-forms on Earth -- simply to lesser degree than possessed by the average human. (The one so-far-as-known unique mental trait of humans is the ability to see self in the situation of another.)"

Fantasea wrote: "This is the kind of philosophical discussion I referred to earlier; the kind which can never be concluded. I don’t believe it is useful in a discussion concerning the merits of snuffing of lives of unborn children."


You are NOT allowed to ignore evidence! The point of the quote is that humans are NOT so superior as you claimed ("light-years ahead"). And I had to make that point because YOU claim that human superiority is such that it must be preserved wherever possible. Well, the FACT is, humans tend to do things for selfish human-related reasons. Here is a quote or paraphrase of something I picked up from somewhere, years ago (Heinlein, maybe, but don't bet on it): "Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal." That means he makes excuses to explain his often-inexcusable behavior. Like claiming he is superior, and therefore has the right to exterminate anything he doesn't happen to like -- OR anything he likes to eat. Do you know that when humans first migrated into the Western Hemisphere, horses were already there natively? But the were hunted to extinction, and those oh-so-superior human hunters ended up without any animal that could be tamed and drafted for hauling big loads. As a primary result the wheel was never used for anything more than toys (carts require draft animals), and whereever farming was done, plowing had to be done by hand. As a secondary result trade never reached the scale it did in the Eastern Hemisphere, and the flowing exchange of ideas was thereby limited. The tertiary result, of course, was that Native Americans were unable to match the technology of the invading Spanish and English and French and Portugese...and the rest is History: Because the first humans in the Americas thought they were more special than the animals, millions of their descendants died.

Have I sufficiently made the point that what subjectively matters to humans can easily mean nothing when re-examined from the objective viewpoint? It is humans like yourself who claim that the lives of the unborn are important -- and this claim is made for the benefit of humans only (you might be surprised at how many already-born humans expect to benefit by requiring the preservation of the lives of the unborn -- but again, maybe not; maybe you are one of them, with an ulterior motive, like diaper manufacturers). SO, can you offer any OBJECTIVE reason why human lives are important -- EITHER born or unborn? If you cannot, then how do you expect to convice someonw who is thinking about getting an abortion? Mere rhetoric isn't going to work -- and hasn't worked for years. You need objective facts!
 

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Fantasea wrote: "You may wish to take this up with Merriam-Websters which defines the word "special" in the following manner:

Main Entry: 1spe·cial Pronunciation: 'spe-sh&lFunction: adjectiveEtymology: Middle English, from Old French or Latin; Old French especial, from Latin specialis individual, particular, from species species1 : distinguished by some unusual quality; especially : being in some way superior"

Heh, nice try, but no cigar. See that last part, "especially : being in some way superior"? Why is that word "especially" in that definition? You do know about circular logic, don't you?

Nevertheless, I will grant the point that OFTEN the word "special" is synonymous with "superior". But do note that that definition you quoted specified "unusual" BEFORE it specified "superior". And think about the most of the children in "special education" classes. Spin-doctoring is evident, between the era of Webster and this era's near-common usage.

Anyway, even if I decide to completely agree with your choice to equate "special" and "superior", YOU STILL NEED TO SHOW WHY VARIOUS HUMAN SUPERIORITIES ARE MORE RELEVANT, OBJECTIVELY, THAN THE VARIOUS SUPERIORITIES OF OTHER LIFE FORMS. Arguing about a definition won't get you off that hook, if you want to be able to use human "betterness" as a basis of your arguments.
 

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steen said:
Fantasea said:
But then, the term is HYDATIDIFORM MOLE!! Perhaps you have some dyslexia problems?

but let me help you:
http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec22/ch252/ch252h.html
http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/hydatidiform_mole.jsp
But it certainly comes from the zygote. It most certainly is human tissue, containing human DNA.
A quote from your source:

Often, doctors can diagnose a hydatidiform mole shortly after conception. No fetal movement and no fetal heartbeat are detected. As parts of the mole decay, small amounts of tissue that resemble a bunch of grapes may pass through the vagina.

As I wrote, these moles cannot produce a child. Don't you agree?
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea wrote: "You may wish to take this up with Merriam-Websters which defines the word "special" in the following manner:

Main Entry: 1spe·cial Pronunciation: 'spe-sh&lFunction: adjectiveEtymology: Middle English, from Old French or Latin; Old French especial, from Latin specialis individual, particular, from species species1 : distinguished by some unusual quality; especially : being in some way superior"

Heh, nice try, but no cigar. See that last part, "especially : being in some way superior"? Why is that word "especially" in that definition? You do know about circular logic, don't you?

Nevertheless, I will grant the point that OFTEN the word "special" is synonymous with "superior". But do note that that definition you quoted specified "unusual" BEFORE it specified "superior". And think about the most of the children in "special education" classes. Spin-doctoring is evident, between the era of Webster and this era's near-common usage.

Anyway, even if I decide to completely agree with your choice to equate "special" and "superior", YOU STILL NEED TO SHOW WHY VARIOUS HUMAN SUPERIORITIES ARE MORE RELEVANT, OBJECTIVELY, THAN THE VARIOUS SUPERIORITIES OF OTHER LIFE FORMS. Arguing about a definition won't get you off that hook, if you want to be able to use human "betterness" as a basis of your arguments.
Intelligence expressed in art, music, literature, mathematics, medicine, science, engineering, communication, agriculture, animal husbandry, to name just a few, are attributes which render humans superior to any other known life forms.
 

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Fantasea quoted: "Next, I thank you for admitting that the key thing that distinguishes humans from animals is their minds. AND I thank you for preferring to reference the vernacular (7). Because you seem to have never really thought about how the word "Being" is used in the vernacular. That is, how many times have you ever met any of these phrases (outside science fiction)? "Cat Beings", "Dog Beings", "Mouse Beings", "Frog Beings", "Grasshopper Beings".... DO YOU ADMIT that in the vernacular, the word "Being" is reserved for creatures that have MINDS? ("Alien Beings", "Intelligent Beings", "Sentient Beings"....) BY YOUR OWN PREFERENCE FOR THE VERNACULAR, THERFORE, THE ZYGOTE, EMBRYO, OR YOUNG FETUS CANNOT QUALIFY AS A HUMAN BEING. It is a PERFECTLY HUMAN ANIMAL BODY ONLY, "empty" until it acquires a MIND (3). ONLY THEN can it deserve the label of "Human Being", per your own preference for the vernacular!!! This directly relates to what you wrote at the end of (13). WE DO NOT have to reduce the status of (per vernacular) "an unborn child" to non-human. We merely have to recognize the simple truth that for most of a pregnancy it is not a (per vernacular) "Being"."

Fantasea wrote:"You do a yeoman job at bending, twisting, and massaging my words in an attempt to torture them into a parody never intended by me.
The word “be” indicates existence. “Being”, therefore, is one who exists. “Human being” is a human who exists. The product of human conception is, therefore, a human being. What could be simpler?
Merriam Webster’s puts it this way.
Main Entry: [1]be•ing
Pronunciation: 'bE(-i)[ng]
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 a : the quality or state of having existence"


HAHAHAHAHAH! You have fallen into my trap! YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT! If you avoid the vernacular usage of "Being", then you may NOT embrace the vernacular usage of "child" when talking about the unborn. Hypocrisy is NOT allowed in a debate.

Next, you still have not wiggled out of the logical knots in what you quoted above. YOU have stated that the human mind is what makes humans superior to mere animals, and I do agree that human minds are generally superior to animal minds. BUT FOR MOST OF A PREGNANCY THE UNBORN HAS NO MIND. It is NOT superior to an animal for AT LEAST the first six months, and even at birth its brainpower is roughly equivalent to the ordinary animal known as a "dog" (as I wrote in a much-earlier posting). That is absolute fact; there is no twisting of words whatsoever there. But I'd like to see how you are going to twist what I just wrote into a claim that the mindless unborn human animal (especially in the first six months) is, OBJECTIVELY, so much more special than any other animal that it should never be aborted.
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea quoted: "Next, I thank you for admitting that the key thing that distinguishes humans from animals is their minds. AND I thank you for preferring to reference the vernacular (7). Because you seem to have never really thought about how the word "Being" is used in the vernacular. That is, how many times have you ever met any of these phrases (outside science fiction)? "Cat Beings", "Dog Beings", "Mouse Beings", "Frog Beings", "Grasshopper Beings".... DO YOU ADMIT that in the vernacular, the word "Being" is reserved for creatures that have MINDS? ("Alien Beings", "Intelligent Beings", "Sentient Beings"....) BY YOUR OWN PREFERENCE FOR THE VERNACULAR, THERFORE, THE ZYGOTE, EMBRYO, OR YOUNG FETUS CANNOT QUALIFY AS A HUMAN BEING. It is a PERFECTLY HUMAN ANIMAL BODY ONLY, "empty" until it acquires a MIND (3). ONLY THEN can it deserve the label of "Human Being", per your own preference for the vernacular!!! This directly relates to what you wrote at the end of (13). WE DO NOT have to reduce the status of (per vernacular) "an unborn child" to non-human. We merely have to recognize the simple truth that for most of a pregnancy it is not a (per vernacular) "Being"."

Fantasea wrote:"You do a yeoman job at bending, twisting, and massaging my words in an attempt to torture them into a parody never intended by me.
The word “be” indicates existence. “Being”, therefore, is one who exists. “Human being” is a human who exists. The product of human conception is, therefore, a human being. What could be simpler?
Merriam Webster’s puts it this way.
Main Entry: [1]be•ing
Pronunciation: 'bE(-i)[ng]
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 a : the quality or state of having existence"


HAHAHAHAHAH! You have fallen into my trap! YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT! If you avoid the vernacular usage of "Being", then you may NOT embrace the vernacular usage of "child" when talking about the unborn. Hypocrisy is NOT allowed in a debate.

Next, you still have not wiggled out of the logical knots in what you quoted above. YOU have stated that the human mind is what makes humans superior to mere animals, and I do agree that human minds are generally superior to animal minds. BUT FOR MOST OF A PREGNANCY THE UNBORN HAS NO MIND. It is NOT superior to an animal for AT LEAST the first six months, and even at birth its brainpower is roughly equivalent to the ordinary animal known as a "dog" (as I wrote in a much-earlier posting). That is absolute fact; there is no twisting of words whatsoever there. But I'd like to see how you are going to twist what I just wrote into a claim that the mindless unborn human animal (especially in the first six months) is, OBJECTIVELY, so much more special than any other animal that it should never be aborted.
You may rationalize the killing of unborn children in any way that suits you. These children are human from the moment of conception. Their state of mental development is not a factor in their humanity.
 

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Fantasea quoted: "Anyway, even if I decide to completely agree with your choice to equate "special" and "superior", YOU STILL NEED TO SHOW WHY VARIOUS HUMAN SUPERIORITIES ARE MORE RELEVANT, OBJECTIVELY, THAN THE VARIOUS SUPERIORITIES OF OTHER LIFE FORMS. Arguing about a definition won't get you off that hook, if you want to be able to use human "betterness" as a basis of your arguments."

Fantasea wrote: "Intelligence expressed in art, music, literature, mathematics, medicine, science, engineering, communication, agriculture, animal husbandry, to name just a few, are attributes which render humans superior to any other known life forms."


The number of ways in which intelligence can be expressed do not change the fact that intelligence is just a way to talk about or compare mind-power. Your list, therefore, simply states in more detail what you have already stated before (and with which few disagree), that humans have more mind-power than other animals. SO WHAT?!?! Why is mind-power more important than a plant's ability to give us oxygen to breathe? Why is mind-power more important than a shark's extreme resistance to cancer? Why is mind-power more important than what dung beetles do (recycle biomass)? And when will you realize that even if you succeed in answering questions like those, you still cannot win the debate, because unborn humans have essentially zero mind-power (and thus zero associated objective importance) during the two trimesters in which an abortion is most likely to occur?
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea quoted: "Anyway, even if I decide to completely agree with your choice to equate "special" and "superior", YOU STILL NEED TO SHOW WHY VARIOUS HUMAN SUPERIORITIES ARE MORE RELEVANT, OBJECTIVELY, THAN THE VARIOUS SUPERIORITIES OF OTHER LIFE FORMS. Arguing about a definition won't get you off that hook, if you want to be able to use human "betterness" as a basis of your arguments."

Fantasea wrote: "Intelligence expressed in art, music, literature, mathematics, medicine, science, engineering, communication, agriculture, animal husbandry, to name just a few, are attributes which render humans superior to any other known life forms."


The number of ways in which intelligence can be expressed do not change the fact that intelligence is just a way to talk about or compare mind-power. Your list, therefore, simply states in more detail what you have already stated before (and with which few disagree), that humans have more mind-power than other animals. SO WHAT?!?! Why is mind-power more important than a plant's ability to give us oxygen to breathe? Why is mind-power more important than a shark's extreme resistance to cancer? Why is mind-power more important than what dung beetles do (recycle biomass)? And when will you realize that even if you succeed in answering questions like those, you still cannot win the debate, because unborn humans have essentially zero mind-power (and thus zero associated objective importance) during the two trimesters in which an abortion is most likely to occur?
It is not the degree of mental development which gives an unborn child the right to be born, it is absolute degree of humanness it possesses from conception.
 

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Busta wrote: "Let me know when Tube Worms or Gorillas go to the Moon or divelope Nuclear Power."

This was obviously in response to the following: "There may be types of life out there to which grown human beings have no more talent than the tube worms at various ocean-bottom hydrothermal vents."


Well, the second-quoted statement does not necessarily imply the first. For example, suppose that hypothetical "type of life out there" was telepathic. THEIR definition of "person" might require the presence of telepathy, might it not? If so, then neither tube worms nor humans would qualify as people by that definition. From THEIR point of view, the totality of human works merely classifies us as some sort of "super ant heap".

I only mention this, of course, because of all those fantastical alien-abduction stories out there. Step back and look at the two most common claims made by the abductees: (1) The aliens are telepathic; (2) The abductees are treated like animals. Whether the stories are truth or fiction doesn't detract from the POSSIBILITY that "There may be types of life out there to which grown human beings have no more talent than the tube worms at various ocean-bottom hydrothermal vents."
 

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Fantasea quoted: "HAHAHAHAHAH! You have fallen into my trap! YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT! If you avoid the vernacular usage of "Being", then you may NOT embrace the vernacular usage of "child" when talking about the unborn. Hypocrisy is NOT allowed in a debate."


Fantasea wrote: "You may rationalize the killing of unborn children in any way that suits you. These children are human from the moment of conception. It is not the degree of mental development which gives an unborn child the right to be born, it is absolute degree of humanness it possesses from conception."


Your indulgence in hypocrisy nets you zero debate points. Debates are not won by employing emotion-charged buzzwords. Why didn't you just say "the killing of unborn humans" and "These unborn are human" and "which gives an unborn human"? --OBVIOUSLY, because you thought the circular logic could be hidden! YOU LOSE!




Fantasea quoted: "Next, you still have not wiggled out of the logical knots in what you quoted above. YOU have stated that the human mind is what makes humans superior to mere animals, and I do agree that human minds are generally superior to animal minds. BUT FOR MOST OF A PREGNANCY THE UNBORN HAS NO MIND. It is NOT superior to an animal for AT LEAST the first six months, and even at birth its brainpower is roughly equivalent to the ordinary animal known as a "dog" (as I wrote in a much-earlier posting). That is absolute fact; there is no twisting of words whatsoever there. But I'd like to see how you are going to twist what I just wrote into a claim that the mindless unborn human animal (especially in the first six months) is, OBJECTIVELY, so much more special than any other animal that it should never be aborted."

Fantasea wrote: "Their state of mental development is not a factor in their humanity."

TRUE. However, you are implying logic of the following faulty type:
1. "Humans are important because of significant brainpower." --Let's pretend this is true, just for fun.
2. "Unborn humans have no significant brainpower." --This IS quite true.
3. "Unborn humans are important because they are human." --ILLOGICAL.

I'm sure you will resist believing that, so here is some similar faulty logic of the exact same type:
1. "Males seek sex because of testosterone" -- A true equivalent of 1. above
2. "Fantasea has no testosterone.' --A pretend-true equivalent of 2. above
3. "Fantasea seeks sex because he is male." --ILLOGICAL!

YOU LOSE, AGAIN.
 

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Fantasea quoted: "I'm curious to see EXACTLY how you would define "that which is deserving of the right to life" such as to include Human Beings and nonhuman Alien Beings, BUT EXCLUDE ORDINARY ANIMAL NON-BEINGS -- and then manage to somehow include the mindless zygote, embryo, or young fetus (even YOU have said that the important more-than-animal factor is the human mind). Really! I want to see your definition!"

Fantasea wrote:"The next time I encounter an “Alien Being”, I’ll size him up and let you know."


THAT IS A COP-OUT. You are perfectly capable of thinking about the IDEA of nonhuman intelligent Beings. Not to mention all the speculation that is available, in Star Trek shows, Star Wars movies, the SciFi channel, and so on, to help you think about the idea. Therefore, unless you are incompetent at logic (per my prior post, maybe you ARE incompetent), you are able think about how "Personhood" should be defined to accomodate any/all nonhumans who might happen to have mind-power equivalent to humans. It doesn't matter if humans are alone in the Universe and no such nonhumans exist. What matters is Being Prepared, per the Boy Scout motto, just in case. And "being prepared" ALWAYS involves thinking about possibilities.

So, go ahead. What IS your Universally Applicable Definition that anywhere and everywhere can separate the people from the animals? The definition you have been using up until now, based on human selfishness, human short-sightedness, and human parochial arbitrariness, just isn't going to work.
 

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Fantasea wrote: "All else aside, the result of an abortion is a dead child. That is irresponsible, no matter which way one attempts to twist it. The stage of development is inconsequential; an unborn child is an unborn child."

YOUR PERSISTENCE IN VERNACULAR HYPOCRISY DOES YOU NO CREDIT.
"Child" is not a proper description until after birth. "Human" is correct at all stages. Why do you have a problem with that? Are you lacking the linguistic data to realize that the phrases "human zygote", "human embryo", and "human fetus" can all be turned around, into "zygotic human", "embryonic human", and "fetal human"? You are on record as placing considerable importance on the fact that a pregnant woman has a living human in her womb. SO, BE CONSISTENT, NOT HYPOCRITICAL!!!!

Next, and the part that you still seem to have trouble with, is the CLAIM that human life always matters. Well, where is the evidence? WHY does it matter if one woman miscarries and another aborts, when both dead humans are no more special than animals, due to lack of brainpower?


Finally, I have an extra-simple little hypocrisy test for you. Tell us what you think about "minimum wage" laws. If human life is really important, then shouldn't every job pay at least as much wage as is necessary for the human working that job to be able to survive to continue working that job? Just answer Yes or No, please. And, Thanks in advance!
 

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Fantasea wrote: "Artificial intelligence is and will always be just that, artificial. There is nothing artificial about an unborn child."

SO SOON DO YOU FORGET THAT GENETIC ENGINEERING IS INCOMING FROM THE FUTURE, ALSO?

At the molecular level, biological molecules are just chemicals with special shapes and activity-sites. Perhaps you are aware that Nanotechnology is also incoming from the future? Do you not know that nano-machines are basically going to be molecule-sized objects having special shapes and activity-sites? Already we know that the entirety of molecular biochemisty is just Natural Nanotechnology In Action. The ONLY thing that gives Nature superiority over man-made stuff is that Nature has had billions of years to weed out things that didn't work well. Humans have been playing with advanced tools for only a century or two -- but the rate of improvement of those tools is going much much faster than Nature ever did.

The inevitable mergence of nanotechnology and genetic engineering is going to do a lot of good for the capabilities of humans, both physical and mental. The word "cyborg" has a bad reputation, mostly due to "Terminator" movies and the "Borg" of Star Trek. But all it means is "cybernetic organism", and some people even today claim that lots of humans qualify as cyborgs. How many people wear digital watches that they usually don't notice they are wearing, until needed? Watches may not actually be physically built into human bodies yet, but already they are taken everywhere that human bodies go. But in the Incoming Future, the potential is there for direct-connected memory banks, taking wisdom teeth, appendixes, and other defects out of the gene pool, adding Vitamin C and others to the gene pool, remodelling the eyeball after that of the octopus (has no blind spot and resists retinal tearing), enabling regeneration of lost limbs, and so on.

And, of course, with such an intimate future understanding of how brains work, Artificial Intelligences can be built that have as many hardware "cells", and as many interconnections between them, as human brains exhibit. They will probably qualify as People. Why not, if mere brainpower is the primary criterion?
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Busta wrote: "Let me know when Tube Worms or Gorillas go to the Moon or divelope Nuclear Power."

This was obviously in response to the following: "There may be types of life out there to which grown human beings have no more talent than the tube worms at various ocean-bottom hydrothermal vents."


Well, the second-quoted statement does not necessarily imply the first. For example, suppose that hypothetical "type of life out there" was telepathic. THEIR definition of "person" might require the presence of telepathy, might it not? If so, then neither tube worms nor humans would qualify as people by that definition. From THEIR point of view, the totality of human works merely classifies us as some sort of "super ant heap".

I only mention this, of course, because of all those fantastical alien-abduction stories out there. Step back and look at the two most common claims made by the abductees: (1) The aliens are telepathic; (2) The abductees are treated like animals. Whether the stories are truth or fiction doesn't detract from the POSSIBILITY that "There may be types of life out there to which grown human beings have no more talent than the tube worms at various ocean-bottom hydrothermal vents."
Whevever I come across a post which contains, as yours does, phrases and words such as "There may be", "suppose that hypothetical", "might require", "might it not", "alien abduction stories", "POSSIBILITY", and the like, I see the instigation of a philosophical discussion which may be fun, but has no basis in reality.

My concern is not hypotheticals. It is with actuals. During an actual pregnancy there is an actual unborn child which, if actually aborted will actually die.

No human has the absolute right to cause the death of another human, regardless of the fact that a misguided Supreme Court has opined otherwise.
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea quoted: "HAHAHAHAHAH! You have fallen into my trap! YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT! If you avoid the vernacular usage of "Being", then you may NOT embrace the vernacular usage of "child" when talking about the unborn. Hypocrisy is NOT allowed in a debate."


Fantasea wrote: "You may rationalize the killing of unborn children in any way that suits you. These children are human from the moment of conception. It is not the degree of mental development which gives an unborn child the right to be born, it is absolute degree of humanness it possesses from conception."


Your indulgence in hypocrisy nets you zero debate points. Debates are not won by employing emotion-charged buzzwords. Why didn't you just say "the killing of unborn humans" and "These unborn are human" and "which gives an unborn human"? --OBVIOUSLY, because you thought the circular logic could be hidden! YOU LOSE!




Fantasea quoted: "Next, you still have not wiggled out of the logical knots in what you quoted above. YOU have stated that the human mind is what makes humans superior to mere animals, and I do agree that human minds are generally superior to animal minds. BUT FOR MOST OF A PREGNANCY THE UNBORN HAS NO MIND. It is NOT superior to an animal for AT LEAST the first six months, and even at birth its brainpower is roughly equivalent to the ordinary animal known as a "dog" (as I wrote in a much-earlier posting). That is absolute fact; there is no twisting of words whatsoever there. But I'd like to see how you are going to twist what I just wrote into a claim that the mindless unborn human animal (especially in the first six months) is, OBJECTIVELY, so much more special than any other animal that it should never be aborted."

Fantasea wrote: "Their state of mental development is not a factor in their humanity."

TRUE. However, you are implying logic of the following faulty type:
1. "Humans are important because of significant brainpower." --Let's pretend this is true, just for fun.
2. "Unborn humans have no significant brainpower." --This IS quite true.
3. "Unborn humans are important because they are human." --ILLOGICAL.

I'm sure you will resist believing that, so here is some similar faulty logic of the exact same type:
1. "Males seek sex because of testosterone" -- A true equivalent of 1. above
2. "Fantasea has no testosterone.' --A pretend-true equivalent of 2. above
3. "Fantasea seeks sex because he is male." --ILLOGICAL!

YOU LOSE, AGAIN.
The apparent need to resort to shouting your denials does nothing to imbue them with the validity they sorely lack.
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea quoted: "I'm curious to see EXACTLY how you would define "that which is deserving of the right to life" such as to include Human Beings and nonhuman Alien Beings, BUT EXCLUDE ORDINARY ANIMAL NON-BEINGS -- and then manage to somehow include the mindless zygote, embryo, or young fetus (even YOU have said that the important more-than-animal factor is the human mind). Really! I want to see your definition!"

Fantasea wrote:"The next time I encounter an “Alien Being”, I’ll size him up and let you know."


THAT IS A COP-OUT. You are perfectly capable of thinking about the IDEA of nonhuman intelligent Beings. Not to mention all the speculation that is available, in Star Trek shows, Star Wars movies, the SciFi channel, and so on, to help you think about the idea. Therefore, unless you are incompetent at logic (per my prior post, maybe you ARE incompetent), you are able think about how "Personhood" should be defined to accomodate any/all nonhumans who might happen to have mind-power equivalent to humans. It doesn't matter if humans are alone in the Universe and no such nonhumans exist. What matters is Being Prepared, per the Boy Scout motto, just in case. And "being prepared" ALWAYS involves thinking about possibilities.

So, go ahead. What IS your Universally Applicable Definition that anywhere and everywhere can separate the people from the animals? The definition you have been using up until now, based on human selfishness, human short-sightedness, and human parochial arbitrariness, just isn't going to work.
The appropriate retort to so ridiculous a premise is found in the words of Lewis Carroll which need no amplification, "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe; all mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea wrote: "All else aside, the result of an abortion is a dead child. That is irresponsible, no matter which way one attempts to twist it. The stage of development is inconsequential; an unborn child is an unborn child."

YOUR PERSISTENCE IN VERNACULAR HYPOCRISY DOES YOU NO CREDIT.
"Child" is not a proper description until after birth. "Human" is correct at all stages. Why do you have a problem with that? Are you lacking the linguistic data to realize that the phrases "human zygote", "human embryo", and "human fetus" can all be turned around, into "zygotic human", "embryonic human", and "fetal human"? You are on record as placing considerable importance on the fact that a pregnant woman has a living human in her womb. SO, BE CONSISTENT, NOT HYPOCRITICAL!!!!
Perhaps this may be true on the distant planet on which, apparently, you reside among those alien beings you frequently reference. However, the legislatures of many of these United States see it differently. This is the way a few of them regard the unborn child. This will also give you some understanding of contempt they hold for the Roe v. Wade limitations placed upon them.

Arizona: The "unborn child in the womb at any stage of its development" is fully covered by the state's murder and manslaughter statutes. For purposes of establishing the level of punishment, a victim who is "an unborn child shall be treated like a minor who is under twelve years of age." Senate Bill 1052, signed into law on April 25, 2005, amending the following sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes: 13-604, 13-604.01, 13-703, 13-1102, 13-1103, 13-1104, 13-1105, 13-4062, 31-412, 41-1604.11 and 41-1604.13.

Idaho: Murder is defined as the killing of a "human embryo or fetus" under certain conditions. The law provides that manslaughter includes the unlawful killing of a human embryo or fetus without malice. The law provides that a person commits aggravated battery when, in committing battery upon the person of a pregnant female, that person causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to an embryo or fetus. Idaho Sess. Law Chap. 330 (SB1344)(2002).

Illinois: The killing of an "unborn child" at any stage of pre-natal development is intentional homicide, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide. Ill. Comp. Stat. ch. 720, §§5/9-1.2, 5/9-2.1, 5/9-3.2 (1993). Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 720 § 5/12-3.1. A person commits battery of an unborn child if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means causes bodily harm to an unborn child. Read with Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 720 § 5/12-4.4.

Kentucky: Since February, 2004, Kentucky law establishes a crime of "fetal homicide" in the first, second, third, and fourth degrees. The law covers an "unborn child," defined as "a member of the species homo sapiens in utero from conception onward, without regard to age, health, or condition of dependency."

Louisiana: The killing of an "unborn child" is first degree feticide, second degree feticide, or third degree feticide. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§14:32.5 - 14.32.8, read with §§14:2(1), (7), (11) (West 1997).

Next, and the part that you still seem to have trouble with, is the CLAIM that human life always matters. Well, where is the evidence?
It matters to the legislatures of the states listed above, as well as many others.
WHY does it matter if one woman miscarries and another aborts,
It is viewed the same as a death after birth. In the first case it is natural; in the second case it is deliberate. That is the difference.
when both dead humans are no more special than animals, due to lack of brainpower
Brainpower is not the criteria for the right to live; humanness is.
Finally, I have an extra-simple little hypocrisy test for you. Tell us what you think about "minimum wage" laws. If human life is really important, then shouldn't every job pay at least as much wage as is necessary for the human working that job to be able to survive to continue working that job? Just answer Yes or No, please.
NO!!!

Labor is a commodity used by employers. It varies in quality and quantity. Workers offer their labor for sale. Employers buy labor and pay what it is worth to them. Workers are free to sell their labor at the highest price it will command.

Workers who offer quality labor in sufficient quantities are never concerned with minimum wages because they are always able to earn considerably more than that.

The problem lies not with the employer but with the worker. If a minimum wage worker takes the necessary steps to solve his problem, he will no longer have to be a minimum wage worker.

The employer will get more for his money and the worker will get more money for his labor. Everybody will be happier.

Barring accident or disability, the place in which any individual finds himself is the sum total of all of the decisions he has made to that point in his life.
And, Thanks in advance!
You're welcome.
 

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Fantasea wrote: "Whevever I come across a post which contains, as yours does, phrases and words such as "There may be", "suppose that hypothetical", "might require", "might it not", "alien abduction stories", "POSSIBILITY", and the like, I see the instigation of a philosophical discussion which may be fun, but has no basis in reality.
My concern is not hypotheticals. It is with actuals. During an actual pregnancy there is an actual unborn child which, if actually aborted will actually die.
No human has the absolute right to cause the death of another human, regardless of the fact that a misguided Supreme Court has opined otherwise."


It is always wise to occasionally think about the POSSIBILITY of whether or not you are actually as superior as you might prefer to think. Human history is littered with the corpses of cultures who each thought they were the pinnacle group --and actually were, for a limited time.... You CANNOT "Be Prepared" without considering mere possibilities.

Next, it is actually a true fact that you are still hypocritically putting the word "child" in a sentence where it does not belong. It is also actually a true fact that you are continuing to make an unproved claim (the sentence that includes the phrase "absolute right"). It is also actually a true fact that human rights are associated with human abilities. For example, it is actually a true fact that young children do not have the right or priviledge to drive an automobile. And it is actually a true fact that unborn humans do not have an inherent right to live, if for no other reason than: It is actually a true fact that even fully adult humans do not have an inherent right to live; otherwise many myriads of adults would not have been killed by a tsunami in Descember 2004. The so-called "right to live" is actually in truth and fact just a convenient fiction and priviledge that various humans have granted to various other humans. And finally, YOU actually and in true fact have no right to arbitrarily by-fiat replace one set of human priviledges with another, especially when you would be giving more priviledges to the incapable than to the capable. Haven't you learned that priviledges are usually EARNED, not granted?

Now, if you should possibly happen to decide that any of the sentences in the previous paragraph is less than complete truth, then you had better be able to explain in detail, supported by actual true facts.
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Fantasea wrote: "Artificial intelligence is and will always be just that, artificial. There is nothing artificial about an unborn child."

SO SOON DO YOU FORGET THAT GENETIC ENGINEERING IS INCOMING FROM THE FUTURE, ALSO?

At the molecular level, biological molecules are just chemicals with special shapes and activity-sites. Perhaps you are aware that Nanotechnology is also incoming from the future? Do you not know that nano-machines are basically going to be molecule-sized objects having special shapes and activity-sites? Already we know that the entirety of molecular biochemisty is just Natural Nanotechnology In Action. The ONLY thing that gives Nature superiority over man-made stuff is that Nature has had billions of years to weed out things that didn't work well. Humans have been playing with advanced tools for only a century or two -- but the rate of improvement of those tools is going much much faster than Nature ever did.

The inevitable mergence of nanotechnology and genetic engineering is going to do a lot of good for the capabilities of humans, both physical and mental. The word "cyborg" has a bad reputation, mostly due to "Terminator" movies and the "Borg" of Star Trek. But all it means is "cybernetic organism", and some people even today claim that lots of humans qualify as cyborgs. How many people wear digital watches that they usually don't notice they are wearing, until needed? Watches may not actually be physically built into human bodies yet, but already they are taken everywhere that human bodies go. But in the Incoming Future, the potential is there for direct-connected memory banks, taking wisdom teeth, appendixes, and other defects out of the gene pool, adding Vitamin C and others to the gene pool, remodelling the eyeball after that of the octopus (has no blind spot and resists retinal tearing), enabling regeneration of lost limbs, and so on.

And, of course, with such an intimate future understanding of how brains work, Artificial Intelligences can be built that have as many hardware "cells", and as many interconnections between them, as human brains exhibit. They will probably qualify as People. Why not, if mere brainpower is the primary criterion?
I'm surprised that you didn't mention heart pacemakers, artificial joints, and breast implants, too.

During all of recorded history, man has been constantly striving to improve every aspect of human life. Technical progress will never cease and will continue to accellerate. This will be the case until the end of time. What's unusual about that?
 

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Fantasea quoted: "Your indulgence in hypocrisy nets you zero debate points. Debates are not won by employing emotion-charged buzzwords. Why didn't you just say "the killing of unborn humans" and "These unborn are human" and "which gives an unborn human"? --OBVIOUSLY, because you thought the circular logic could be hidden! YOU LOSE!"
<snip>...you are implying logic of the following faulty type:
1. "Humans are important because of significant brainpower." --Let's pretend this is true, just for fun.
2. "Unborn humans have no significant brainpower." --This IS quite true.
3. "Unborn humans are important because they are human." --ILLOGICAL.
I'm sure you will resist believing that, so here is some similar faulty logic of the exact same type:
1. "Males seek sex because of testosterone" -- A true equivalent of 1. above
2. "Fantasea has no testosterone.' --A pretend-true equivalent of 2. above
3. "Fantasea seeks sex because he is male." --ILLOGICAL!
YOU LOSE, AGAIN."

Fantasea wrote: "The apparent need to resort to shouting your denials does nothing to imbue them with the validity they sorely lack."


You are again making an unproved statement. Until you can offer proof of the invalidity of what you quoted, your statement is worthless. For example, in the second numbered grouping statements, the corollary of 1. is that males having no testosterone do not seek sex. And while the statement 3. makes the assumption that Fantasea is male, the illogic of the statement is otherwise quite valid, simply because 1. specifies that testosterone, not maleness, is the reason for seeking sex.

Similar reasoning applies to the first group of numbered statements. The corollary of 1. is that humans without brainpower are unimportant. YOU are on record as having stressed that human brainpower is the reason that humans are more special than mere animals. If the corollary of 1. is not true, then YOU have to produce some OTHER reason why humans are more special than other animals. Without such a reason, the illogic of statement 3. in that group is as perfectly valid as the illogic of statement 3. in the second group.

You are indeed losing the debate, so far. Certainly you quite obviously failed to provide any supporting evidence for the "Fantasea wrote" statement that I quoted above. Why should anyone believe what you say, if you offer no supporting evidence?
 

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FutureIncoming said:
Are you lacking the linguistic data to realize that the phrases "human zygote", "human embryo", and "human fetus" can all be turned around, into "zygotic human", "embryonic human", and "fetal human"?

Umm... there is a major difference when twisting those phrases.

"Human zygote" is a noun for a zygote belonging to a human.

"zygotic human" is a human that possesses the characteristics of a zygote. "Zygotic" is an adjective, hence, why it was never made into a real word in the English language.

The same is true with the word "embryonic." Just because it sounds like it could be a word doesn't mean that it is.

"Fetal," on the other hand, obviously is a word. The most common usage (I'm only guessing) would be in the term "fetal position." "Fetal position" and "fetal human" are exactly the same type of phrase. Fetal is used as an adjective to show characteristics of the subject.

"Fetal position" - a position of an object that shares characteristics of a fetus (scrunched up).
 

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[Quote = Futureincoming]
Fantasea wrote: "Whevever I come across a post which contains, as yours does, phrases and words such as "There may be", "suppose that hypothetical", "might require", "might it not", "alien abduction stories", "POSSIBILITY", and the like, I see the instigation of a philosophical discussion which may be fun, but has no basis in reality.

My concern is not hypotheticals. It is with actuals. During an actual pregnancy there is an actual unborn child which, if actually aborted will actually die.

No human has the absolute right to cause the death of another human, regardless of the fact that a misguided Supreme Court has opined otherwise."


It is always wise to occasionally think about the POSSIBILITY of whether or not you are actually as superior as you might prefer to think. Human history is littered with the corpses of cultures who each thought they were the pinnacle group --and actually were, for a limited time.... You CANNOT "Be Prepared" without considering mere possibilities.
There are two separate considerations. The one is the actual; the here and now, real life. The other is the contemplative, the speculative, the future. Each warrants individual attention. Attempting to co-mingle them as you do simply causes confusion.

Next, it is actually a true fact that you are still hypocritically putting the word "child" in a sentence where it does not belong. It is also actually a true fact that you are continuing to make an unproved claim (the sentence that includes the phrase "absolute right"). It is also actually a true fact that human rights are associated with human abilities. For example, it is actually a true fact that young children do not have the right or priviledge to drive an automobile. And it is actually a true fact that unborn humans do not have an inherent right to live, if for no other reason than: It is actually a true fact that even fully adult humans do not have an inherent right to live; otherwise many myriads of adults would not have been killed by a tsunami in Descember 2004. The so-called "right to live" is actually in truth and fact just a convenient fiction and priviledge that various humans have granted to various other humans. And finally, YOU actually and in true fact have no right to arbitrarily by-fiat replace one set of human priviledges with another, especially when you would be giving more priviledges to the incapable than to the capable. Haven't you learned that priviledges are usually EARNED, not granted?

Now, if you should possibly happen to decide that any of the sentences in the previous paragraph is less than complete truth, then you had better be able to explain in detail, supported by actual true facts.
First, your use of the word “true” as an adjective modifier for the word “fact” is superfluous since a fact is inherently true. Or, perhaps, you know of some “false” facts which you would care to share.

I am fascinated by your bold faced attempt to swap the meaning of the word “right” for the meaning of the word “privilege”. The Declaration of Independence declares to all, the inalienable “right” to life. There is no mention of life’s being a privilege which may be accorded to some but not to others.

Evidently, you are a student of the Orwellian style of writing in “newspeak”.

I am also fascinated by your discussion of the tsunami of December, 2004, and wonder why you haven’t included other tsunamis which have occurred, as well as the numerous hurricanes which occur, year after year, volcano eruptions, famines, plagues, and all of the other natural disasters which have claimed lives throughout the centuries.

Who, in your opinion, is responsible for withdrawing the “privilege” of life from the millions of victims, and what was the basis for their individual selection?
 
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