Saturday, February 21, 2009

Abortion, Taking the Life of a Person?

There are those that argue from the point of view that the fetus is not a person and that only persons have a right to life. there are a couple of fallacies with this argument. This argument depends upon the definition and meaning of the word person and that would involve the discipline of Philosophy.

Every philosophical argument put forth in regards to a definition has shown to be fallacious in some manner or another so far. The dictionary is no help in this dilemma either. The dictionary only describes it as it is commonly used in a certain society as it does all words. Therefore, it would be a fallacious definition also. Thus, any definition given would only be an arbitrary one and one meant to promote or degrade one or the other position instead of aiding in the solution as it should

If this human being that exists within the womb of a woman isn’t a person then it can only be described in terms of being an animal. But again, this requires an arbitrary description of the human being within the womb meant only to support a position. This argument depends upon the physical makeup of the fetus and being a person involves more then physical appearances. Physical appearance alone is more of a description of the term human being and that has already been established in regards to the fetus.

Still others have proclaimed that the fetus is only a potential person. This also is dependent upon your definition of the word person, which cannot be anything but an arbitrary definition. Besides, whatever it is called or defined as, there is one thing we do know. It is the most basic element of being a person and without it, no person can exist. That cannot be denied. When we destroy the seed of what we are, as a person, we are also destroying what we are too. Every person is the sum total of all that goes into his being a person and that includes all that he ever was too.

The only thing we can hope for as we live is that we continue to develop in some manner so that we may say we are more of the person we would like to be than we were in the past. It is our personhood that is always in the stage of development and is the one attribute of human beings that can be said as never being fully developed throughout life. That could very well be the reason that no one has ever been able to fully define the word. It is because no one has ever known what a fully developed person is.

Another point in regards to the potential person argument is the factor of when change occurs. At what point in the life of a human being does a potential person or this animal being change and become a person? There has to be a moment in time when this change occurs if this argument is to hold up and it needs to be a very specific moment also. That is impossible to determine.

These type of arguments are what I call conclusionary arguments rather than evidentiary arguments. The difference between the two type of arguments is how you view and determine the evidence used to justify the conclusion. An evidentiary argument gathers up all of the evidence to be used, then analyses that evidence to eventually come to a conclusion. A conclusionary argument is one where a person has already come to a conclusion and then attempts to create the evidence necessary to support the conclusion he wants to have so that he may feel justified in his conclusion.

I have my own ideas about what constitutes a person but for this issue it is irrelevant. I say that because it would and could be construed as an arbitrary definition also. So, I will leave that for another post where it can be said I am not trying to impose my views on another.


tweetey30 said...

Here is one for you Griper. I was seven months pregnant with our oldest and I was riding the city transit and this lady was talking about babies and abortion. She said they werent human being until they took there first breath. I didnt say a word to her because I was wearing my winter coat. But as I got off the bus I said "Yes they are human being when you can feel them move every day and see little limbs." The bus driver told her I was pregnant after I got off the bus. I guess she shut up mighty quickly on her little rant after that though. So it just depends on who the person you are talking to is about this debate.

The Griper said...

yes it does depend upon who you are speaking to, tweety. that is why i am trying to touch on all of the arguments used. i may not succeed and i know i probably won't change anybody's mind but as i said in my intro, i'm not trying to change the minds of others only trying to make them think a little deeper on their own thoughts.

tweetey30 said...

Yes you are but I still dont like t he idea of so many being what we look at as killing. I mean there are so many women who cant have babies of there own that could adopt these unwanted babies. Then we wouldnt have fertility places implanting 8 embryo's in one woman and succeeding in them all.

The Griper said...

the banning of abortion would not have prevented the octuplet situation. something like that was bound to happen sooner or later. abortion is not the reason for the existence of fertility clinics. the advancement of science is.

and while i do have some questions in regards to that case. none of them, though, are about the idea of giving birth to 8 kids or even about implanting 8 embryos within her.

the idea of the morality of abortion should be able to stand on its own merits and i haven't heard of an argument yet that allows it with exceptions, of course.


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