Fox's Kelly Wright, product of rape

by Susie Allen and Jill Stanek

Kelly Wright, co-anchor of Fox's Fox and Friends Weekend, was a guest this past Saturday on Mike Huckabee's show, promoting his book America's Hope in Troubled Times.

kelly wright.jpgKelly told the audience the story of his mother's rape at age 16 by a pastor, and that Kelly was the product of that rape.

Kelly's mother was offered an abortion, even though it was illegal at the time, but she obviously declined. Kelly's mother later adopted a girl, but Kelly is her only biological child

Kelly is a busy and talented man. Aside from working at Fox, Kelly is also a pastor and motivational speaker, wherein he tells the circumstances of his unplanned conception.

And Kelly is also a fantastic singer, as he demonstrated on Huckabee Saturday....

Such a great loss the world would have endured without Kelly's place in it.


Comments:

Maybe it's a pet peeve of mine, but "product" of rape just sounds so dehumanizing to me. It's right up there with "clump of cells", IMO.

Posted by: Marie at January 19, 2010 7:52 AM


amen.

Posted by: D at January 19, 2010 8:00 AM


All the "pro-lifers" who support abortion in situations of rape and incest need to remember that the circumstances of conception don't determine humanity or worth. And even in situations of rape and incest abortion is still physically painful and dangerous and emotionally damaging (some victims equated it to being raped again).

Kelly Wright is a precious, irreplaceable person even if he wasn't talented.

Posted by: Sydney M at January 19, 2010 8:22 AM



I became interested in the biography of the late actress Jayne Mansfield and was surprised that her first child, which she had at age 16, was the product of a "date rape". She wouldn't even consider an abortion, which she called "murder".

While Ms. Mansfield hardly led an exemplary life, it was in fact very troubled and tragic, she was adamant in her refusal to be pressured by Hollywood producers to even consider abortion, though she was told it would "enhance" her career and there were plenty of discreet Hollywood doctors who would provide this "service".

She had a total of 5 children and one of them is actress Mariska Hargitay, who survived the car crash that killed her mother. It doesn't seem her less than idyllic childhood produced too terrible of a person! She is a successful actess, wife, and mother.

Posted by: Mary at January 19, 2010 8:33 AM


Just look that Kelly became a pastor even knowing that his biological father was a pastor. He got beyond the bitterness he must have felt.Rape is horrible no doubt but look what good was brought out of an ugly event.

Posted by: Maria at January 19, 2010 8:36 AM



There was speculation in the book that Mariska may well have been the result of an extramarital affair her mother had. Ms.Mansfield was adamant that Mickey Hargitay was Mariska's father though there was reason to think otherwise since she was romantically involved with another man.
Again, who knows how any of us will turn out and the circumstances of conception do not determine much of anything.

Posted by: Mary at January 19, 2010 8:39 AM


Well Megan or Artemis....care to jump in on this thread? Would you tell Kelly to his face that he never should have been born? That he should have been aborted? That you advocate ripping him to shreds to "help" his mother deal with rape?

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 8:48 AM


No doubt that over the past few decades, we've lost people whose angelic and spectacular singing voices would be sitting in our CD collection or getting the 'Repeat' treatment in our ipods if only their mothers hadn't been lied to by a Culture of Me.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at January 19, 2010 8:52 AM


Julie Andrews is the result of her mother's infidelity. I'm sure Artemis and Nerd and all the others who support abortion would have counseled Julie Andrews mother to "just get rid of it" and save her marriage...and just think of that. We wouldn't have Mary Poppins or Sound of Music

Posted by: Sydney M at January 19, 2010 8:56 AM


Hi Sydney M,

I read that as well about Julie Andrews. I wonder if Ms.Andrews would have preferred not to be born. Or for that matter Mariska Hargitay.

I understand the late actress Gloria Swanson always regretted her abortion and that Judy Garland always bitterly resented being pressured into an abortion she did not want by her husband, mother, and studio head.

Posted by: Mary at January 19, 2010 9:21 AM


Would you tell Kelly to his face that he never should have been born? That he should have been aborted? That you advocate ripping him to shreds to "help" his mother deal with rape?
Posted by: carla at January 19, 2010 8:48 AM

Of course he should have been born. His mother didn't want an abortion. If my mother didn't want a child when she got pregnant with me, she could have aborted me. The world would have suffered a great loss, but I think you all would have somehow managed.

Posted by: Hal at January 19, 2010 9:31 AM


Hal,

Tell us you aren't glad your mother let you live.

Posted by: Mary at January 19, 2010 9:47 AM


I had a friend, who got preginant, due to sex outside of marrege, and her mother councled her to have an abortion, but my friend went againiast her mother's advice, and had the child anyway. I heard of a mother who forced her daughter into the car, and held a gun to her head while driving to the abortion clinic. The scum was arrested after the daughter called the police!

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at January 19, 2010 9:51 AM


Carla,

"Well Megan or Artemis....care to jump in on this thread? Would you tell Kelly to his face that he never should have been born? That he should have been aborted? That you advocate ripping him to shreds to "help" his mother deal with rape?"

The pro-choice position does not dictate whether certain pregnancies should or not should be aborted; rather, all that it advocates is that the woman have the right to choose to whether or not to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 10:04 AM


Hi RJ,

I think we all remember the case of Sharika Adams, who was gunned down by thugs hired by her baby's father football player Ray Carruth. Ms.Adams was 6 months pregnant and died a few days after the shooting. Her son survived with severe cerebral palsey and is being cared for by his grandparents.

Apparently a former girlfriend of Carruth's threatened to kill her if she didn't abort his child. She did. It seems she had good reason to fear for her life.

Just a senseless tragedy all around. Its not like Carruth couldn't well afford to just send a support check and Ms.Adams was very comfortable financially. Instead, she refused an abortion and he sent his thugs. I hope he rots.

Posted by: Mary at January 19, 2010 10:04 AM


Hal,
I guess you should read the rantings of Megan on the Sarah Palin, Bristol thread about abortion and rape.
When you advocate abortion to "help" a mother deal with rape you are advocating that the children who are conceived in rape should not be here. They should have been killed. Tell Kelly or Rebecca Kiessling that. Read what Megan wrote about Rebecca.
http://www.rebeccakiessling.com

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 10:05 AM


I don't know Hal - there would be 4 children who would not be today!
So I think you being aborted would have been a great loss to the world.
We might have "managed" but there's more to life than just "managing"!

As for Kelly: there's a saying - God is never outdone in generosity.

Posted by: angel at January 19, 2010 10:05 AM


Well Enigma,
I guess it's time for a conference call for you all then. So you can be a more cohesive group. You know get your stories straight. Most of you don't even know how to articulate what you advocate!!
I have read horrifying, disgusting things about "a rapist's child" "a bastard child" "spawn of a rapist." Absurd questions about "Would you WANT to have that growing inside of you?"

Yeah. Such compassion and love for women who are raped and subsequently get pregnant as a result of that rape. Such compassion for the children who are conceived in rape.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 10:14 AM


thanks for the link Carla.
Rebecca's essay on her life is very interesting and she makes some good points that I've never considered before.

I think God intends EVERY baby to be here, regardless of what we believe.

and of course proaborts will blow off her suggestion about Reardons research.
It's too bad these people don't have an open mind....

Posted by: angel at January 19, 2010 10:26 AM


Hal, if your mother had killed you when you were 5, we never would have known the difference either - would that make it right?
Why are you okay with the idea of your mother having conditional love for you?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 10:38 AM


Only a God of mercy and grace and our willingness to obey Him, even in the worst of circumstances, could produce such a great outcome.

O God, my Savior, your words are true and can be trusted. I praise you.

Romans8:28
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Posted by: Phil Schembri is Hisman at January 19, 2010 10:45 AM


Awesome prolife testimony. I really appreciate Mr. Wright sharing this with the world. Reminds me of my favortie scripture Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord plans to prosper you, plans to give you a future and a hope plans not for your destruction (or harm)". There is nothing more destructive or harmful to unborn babies than being mutilated, dismembered and vacuumed out of your mother's uterus with powerful suction. God had a purpose and plan for Kelly Wright and knew him before he was born and I am so glad his mother did not give him a death sentence for the crime of his father. I have related on this post before the story of a friend of mine who chose life although her ex-husband threatened to and then proceeded to throw her out in the streets if she did not abort. She did not know of course that this was the only child she would ever have just like Kelly Wright's mother. How arrogant of human beings to think we should decide who should live and who should die.

Posted by: Prolifer L at January 19, 2010 11:00 AM


Sorry for the double post mods, computer acted up.

Posted by: Prolifer L at January 19, 2010 11:04 AM


Carla,

"Well Enigma,
I guess it's time for a conference call for you all then. So you can be a more cohesive group."

Why? Diversity of opinion strengthens a position instead of weakening it. Some types of pregnancies are more likely to be aborted than others--that is statistical fact. That does not, however, imply that those types of pregnancies should be aborted; it all comes down to the choice of the pregnant woman.

Should all "pro-lifers" (I dislike both terms) also have a conference call of their own so that they can all get on board with the exact same opinions, underlying reasons, and strategies?

"You know get your stories straight. Most of you don't even know how to articulate what you advocate!!
I have read horrifying, disgusting things about "a rapist's child" "a bastard child" "spawn of a rapist." Absurd questions about "Would you WANT to have that growing inside of you?""

So some people who advocate for a "pro-choice" position do so in a manner that I would agree is abhorrent--aren't you one of the people who argues that just because there are bad Christians or priests/ministers in the world that we shouldn't condemn the entire religion for the actions/words of a few? How is this any different?

"Yeah. Such compassion and love for women who are raped and subsequently get pregnant as a result of that rape."

I'm not even going to dignify that with a response except for this--many view abortion in these circumstances as the most compassionate thing that they can offer.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 11:19 AM


So some people who advocate for a "pro-choice" position do so in a manner that I would agree is abhorrent--aren't you one of the people who argues that just because there are bad Christians or priests/ministers in the world that we shouldn't condemn the entire religion for the actions/words of a few? How is this any different?

Whether you express disgust in such words for the child or not, the fact that you're willing to kill it or allow it to be killed is what makes you inseparable from those who would say such awful things. Allowing someone to be killed for being the child of a rapist is something you all have in common.

Whether expressed with nice words or cruel words, the child is still considered non-human and imperfect in your eyes, not worthy of protection. What really makes you stand out as different?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:26 AM


Bethany,

"Whether expressed with nice words or cruel words, the child is still considered non-human and imperfect in your eyes, not worthy of protection. What really makes you stand out as different? "

For me the humanity, or lack thereof, of the z/e/f is irrelevant and, as such, I refuse to enter into debates about personhood because I believe them to be superfluous.

The point I was making is that one cannot take an extreme position and then argue that it is somehow representative of the views of everyone who holds that same position to some degree.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 11:32 AM


For me the humanity, or lack thereof, of the z/e/f is irrelevant

Okay, now how is calling the unborn child a z/e/f any less dehumanizing than the words that Carla used in her example that you were opposed to?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:38 AM


Enigma,
I have been on more conference calls than I can count. We are organized. Be afraid. Be very afraid.....muwhahahahahahaha

Yes, you all want a woman to have the choice to kill. Some of you just aren't as well spoken as you, is that it?

"I'm not even going to dignify that with a response...!!!" my favorite line!! LOL Like I have insulted your more sensitive nature.

I do have to say welcome back though. You stopped by to exchange words with little ol me? ::blushes::

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:39 AM


The point I was making is that one cannot take an extreme position and then argue that it is somehow representative of the views of everyone who holds that same position to some degree.

Okay, and my point is that you are no different than those you supposedly have a problem with. Your terms of dehumanization of these unborn children are no better or worse than the terms that Carla mentioned. They are not pro-choice words. They are pro-abortion words.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:40 AM


I love how the pro-choicers who say "I am fine with the fact my mother could have aborted me. I'm glad she had that choice" are ALREADY BORN with the FULL PROTECTION OF THE LAW. They aren't worried about being murdered so they can spout off ridiculous statements like that. Cause I guarantee you had they been the unborn baby having their head pulled from their body slowly and so agonizingly they bit through their own tongues like baby David, they would not have approved of choice or been glad. They would have been in mind-searing horrific pain.

I am not glad my mother had the legal right to kill me because I was a person from the moment of conception. I am very glad my mother chose life even though she was almost 40 when I was born and I was the youngest of four kids (gasp! what breeders, ya know?)

I am not glad I had the legal right to kill my son. I am glad life was the only real option for me and that my little boy is alive and healthy. It made me sad to know the law viewed him as nothing when I viewed him as diamonds and gold within my womb...the most precious experience of my life was feeling him grow under my heart. I hope God will bless me soon and allow me to experience that again.

My son, if you recall from other posts, was unplanned. Some have told me unplanned pregnancies should also be aborted. My son has already made the world a better place just by the joy he brings to our whole family. Everyone has the right to be born.

Posted by: sydney M at January 19, 2010 11:41 AM


my favorite line!! LOL Like I have insulted your more sensitive nature.

LOL

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:42 AM


I love how the pro-choicers who say "I am fine with the fact my mother could have aborted me. I'm glad she had that choice" are ALREADY BORN with the FULL PROTECTION OF THE LAW. They aren't worried about being murdered so they can spout off ridiculous statements like that. Cause I guarantee you had they been the unborn baby having their head pulled from their body slowly and so agonizingly they bit through their own tongues like baby David, they would not have approved of choice or been glad. They would have been in mind-searing horrific pain.

Well said, as usual, Sydney!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:43 AM


"I am glad life was the only real option for me and that my little boy is alive and healthy. It made me sad to know the law viewed him as nothing when I viewed him as diamonds and gold within my womb.."

Sydney M @ 11:41 AM

Beautifully said!

Posted by: Janet at January 19, 2010 11:46 AM


I am so proud of Kelly and his mother! It takes a lot of guts to stand in a situation like that. I can imagine what his mom must have felt. I'm astounded how she was so motivated by her love for her unborn child, to be able to move past all the other feelings and emotions tied to that tragic conception. Just think, as a young, christian girl, she was faced with either everyone finding out she was raped or making horrible assumptions of their own and judging her. We all know she had nothing to feel guilty about, yet that tends to be a major emotion in the scheme of things.

Wow! What a strong woman! I only wish when I was in the same situation, that I would've made the same choice she did. Having an abortion after a rape, was more traumatizing and painful than the rape itself. Whoever says it's the answer to a rape is sadly mistaken! All an abortion after a rape does is add more trauma, shame, and guilt, as well as cover up what happened. Two wrongs, never make a right. It's not okay to murder someone because you've been violated. Not only is a life being destroyed, so is the evidence of what happened. An abortion is a rapist best friend.

Posted by: nurse4life at January 19, 2010 11:47 AM


nurse4life,
Thank you for sharing. I agree with everything you have said. It echoes completely what my friends who have been raped and aborted have said. Abortion added to their trauma.

I am thanking God for your witness today!
God bless you!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 11:54 AM


Please, please, please, Susan and Jill stop using the phrase "product of rape" which is very degrading to those conceived in rape. We are not a "product", we are human beings. Pro-lifers should never use that phrase.

Words mean a lot in persuading people's opinions. The word "product" gives the impression that these babies' lives are worth less than other babies.

Women who are raped need therapy, not an abortion. Abortion is not therapy, it's murder!

This is a beautiful story, and I'm glad to see it here. That said, I wish fellow pro-lifers would defend babies conceived in rape more often.

How often on this site and others does anyone speak out against amendments and proposals that fund, or propose to fund, the yearly murder of 12 000 babies conceived in rape (in U.S)?

Rather, time and time again I read on this site, LifeNews, National Right to Life, etc, how these types of amendments are "pro-life' and "fund no abortions" even though they absolutely proposed to fund the murder of babies conceived in rape. It's as though these babies lives are so worthless to them they are not even consider abortions.

Please fellow pro-lifers start speaking up for babies conceived in rape, and don't merely post nice stories about those of us conceived in rape.

Then, and only then, will those of us conceived in rape believe you actually care.

Posted by: No_exceptions at January 19, 2010 12:10 PM


Bethany,

"Okay, now how is calling the unborn child a z/e/f any less dehumanizing than the words that Carla used in her example that you were opposed to?"

For me, the use of 'dehumanizing' terminology is not what I object to--rather, I object to the lack of compassion when talking to a woman who has already experienced a great trauma.

I refuse to use what you would consider 'non-dehumanizing' terminology because the moment that someone adopts her opponent's terminology she has already conceded something--I prefer not to be so handicapped. The terminology that I use additionally reflects my beliefs and, as such, I see no reason why I should use terminology that is more tractable to you and others who subscribe to your beliefs.

Posted by: Engima at January 19, 2010 12:15 PM


Carla,

"I have been on more conference calls than I can count. We are organized. Be afraid. Be very afraid.....muwhahahahahahaha"

Fear is a state that I do not consider to be either desirable or merited in this case--my interests in this topic are far too abstract for me to actually be interested in mobilizing.

"Yes, you all want a woman to have the choice to kill. Some of you just aren't as well spoken as you, is that it?"

No, that is not it at all--some people who are "pro-choice" are so for reasons that I would consider to be wrong (ie. all handicapped z/e/fs should be aborted, all pregnancies resulting from rape should be aborted, all pregnancies when a women is poor should be aborted). I should also note that some people hold "pro-life" convictions for reasons that I would also argue are wrong and cannot respect (ie. to control a woman's sexuality, because they view women's value as being confined to their ability to have children, ect)--I can fully respect the position of people who disagree with abortion because they consider it to be murder even as I disagree.

""I'm not even going to dignify that with a response...!!!" my favorite line!! LOL Like I have insulted your more sensitive nature."

You would have a complaint had I not given you a response directly after making that statement--I was only highlighting that I refuse, as is my prerogative, I might add, to address comments that I believe are deliberately inflammatory or designed to prevented as limited a view as possible of another position in order to further your own ends.

"I do have to say welcome back though."

Thank you.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 12:22 PM


sometimes to use the term product of rape is to use their own words against them. Kelly was the product of rape . Look at his face and life and dare to dismiss him as a product of rape and say that he should not have life because of the circumstances surrounding his conception.

Posted by: Maria at January 19, 2010 1:25 PM


For me, the use of 'dehumanizing' terminology is not what I object to--rather, I object to the lack of compassion when talking to a woman who has already experienced a great trauma.

And you think calling an unborn child a z/e/f is a compassionate way to talk to a pregnant woman?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 1:54 PM


Quick question, Enigma. What term do you use when refering to child just delivered?

Posted by: Lauren at January 19, 2010 2:12 PM


Bethany,

"And you think calling an unborn child a z/e/f is a compassionate way to talk to a pregnant woman?"

Why should compassion be required in the absence of trauma? When I hold a door open for someone or help a hall-mate with luggage, I'm not being compassionate, I'm being considerate. By definition, compassion necessitates the presence of some kind of loss or suffering.

When talking to a pregnant woman, however, I tend to adopt the terminology she uses when referring to her pregnancy specifically as opposed to in general.

I see no reason why referring to a zygote as a zygote, an embryo as an embryo, or a fetus as a fetus should be considered offensive--they are all medically correct terminology. Z/E/F is simply a shorthand that encompasses all of them.

Posted by: Engima at January 19, 2010 2:17 PM


"Of course he should have been born. His mother didn't want an abortion. If my mother didn't want a child when she got pregnant with me, she could have aborted me..."

So wait a minute...women get raped on purpose so they can keep their babies? LOL, WUT, HAL?!

Posted by: xalisae at January 19, 2010 2:25 PM


I see no reason why referring to a zygote as a zygote, an embryo as an embryo, or a fetus as a fetus should be considered offensive--they are all medically correct terminology. Z/E/F is simply a shorthand that encompasses all of them.

Do you refer to newborn babies as "neonate"? That is medically accurate as well.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 2:27 PM


Oh and do you sometimes abbreviate it... like when you talk about babies in general, do you refer to them as the n/i/o's? (neonate, infant, offspring)

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 2:57 PM


Bethany,

"Do you refer to newborn babies as "neonate"? That is medically accurate as well."

To my knowledge, no.

"Oh and do you sometimes abbreviate it... like when you talk about babies in general, do you refer to them as the n/i/o's? (neonate, infant, offspring)"

I've personally never seen a need, no.

I am, however, quite fond of kid instead of child.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 3:53 PM


I've personally never seen a need, no.

Do you think it might be strange if a person referred to born babies as N/I/O's instead of just saying "baby"?

And do you think it might be possible that a woman would be rightly offended or just plain weirded out if you called her baby a neonate rather than just calling it a baby?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 4:19 PM


Enigma says "I've personally never seen a need, no."

Exactly. You use the term Z/E/F because you see a need to do so. It is part of a stratagy. What stratagy? To dehumanize the unborn child in order to push support for abortion.

Just so you know, the term "neonate" is often used to dehumanize a sick or disabled newborn when discussing discontinuation of care or (in the Neatherlands) outright killing.

There's always a reason behind language choice.

Posted by: Lauren at January 19, 2010 4:30 PM


Bethany,

"Do you think it might be strange if a person referred to born babies as N/I/O's instead of just saying "baby"?"

Yes, but I would never think it strange if a person applied any one of those three terms as they refer to periods of development that are, by and large, not distinct; thus, one is using the three different terms that can be taken to mean roughly the same thing--neonate is a bit of an exception because it does denote a specific time frame, apart from that, to me this is the same as using the abbreviation k/c to mean both kid and child.

"And do you think it might be possible that a woman would be rightly offended or just plain weirded out if you called her baby a neonate rather than just calling it a baby?"

Weirded out--yes. Offended--maybe, but I don't think that it would be reasonable for her to be so: I would never take offense if someone called me a Homo sapiens or some other scientific/medical term. Why should someone be offended by medical terminology?

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 4:32 PM


Well said, Lauren and so true.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 4:34 PM


Weirded out--yes. Offended--maybe, but I don't think that it would be reasonable for her to be so: I would never take offense if someone called me a Homo sapiens or some other scientific/medical term. Why should someone be offended by medical terminology?

If they were using that term to imply that you somehow were a non-person, you would be rightly offended. Anyone would be rightly offended.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 4:36 PM


Bethany,

I neither confirm nor the deny the humanity, or lack thereof, of the zygote, embryo, or fetus (since you object to the abbreviation)--it is irrelevant to my position.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 4:38 PM


Lauren,

"Exactly. You use the term Z/E/F because you see a need to do so. It is part of a stratagy. What stratagy? To dehumanize the unborn child in order to push support for abortion."

I have no incentive to dehumanize when I view the fetus' potential humanity as irrelevant.

"Just so you know, the term "neonate" is often used to dehumanize a sick or disabled newborn when discussing discontinuation of care or (in the Neatherlands) outright killing."

Though this is most likely abhorrent to you, I would not argue that this is inherently wrong.

"There's always a reason behind language choice."

I would agree that there should be, but not that there always is.

Posted by: Enigma at January 19, 2010 4:43 PM


Hi Enigma

"I have no incentive to dehumanize when I view the fetus' potential humanity as irrelevant."

Yes you do. It helps you to avoid contradicting yourself in further debate.

Posted by: Janet at January 19, 2010 5:03 PM


Bethany,I neither confirm nor the deny the humanity, or lack thereof, of the zygote, embryo, or fetus (since you object to the abbreviation)--it is irrelevant to my position.

Oh please. @@

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 5:13 PM


Enigma says "I view the fetus' potential humanity as irrelevant."

No, you don't. If you did you would have no problem calling an unborn child a child, as has been done for thousands of years. The term isn't "with embryo," now is it?

Apart from that, the humanity of the the child is immensely relevent to the discussion. If humanity is stripped away, there is no basis for rights.

Do you concede that the child is indeed a human being? If so, the issue becomes one of competitive rights. You might say that the child's rights to not outweigh the mother's. That's a debatable point. Humanity, however, must be the starting point. Human rights stem from humanity. Discussing one without reference to the other makes little sense.

Posted by: Lauren at January 19, 2010 5:28 PM


Thanks for this great testimony. But please don't call us a "product" of rape. No hard feelings but when you can call a baby a "product" then you can throw it away more easily right? We don't say that person was a product of too much wine or a product of love or a product of fertility treatments. We are human just like everyone else. Conceived in rape works fine to distinguish.

Even though I was conceived when 8 men raped my mom I was calling myself a product too til I was corrected. Now I share that with others.

Thanks Jill for your unceasing stand on pro life!

Posted by: juda at January 19, 2010 6:47 PM


I hate it when pro-choicers act like if a woman gets pregnant through being raped, having an abortion will somehow "help her forget the whole thing" or "help her move on." Yeah, because having another strange man (abortionists are overwhelmingly men) invade your vagina while you have to lie back passively is REALLY going to help. Then, of course, if you tell anyone you wish you hadn't had the abortion, you just hear, "It was the right thing to do," as if your feelings are irrational or nonsensical.

A friend of my extended family's was raped shortly after finishing college and got pregnant. She had the baby and he was adopted by her aunt and uncle. Everyone in the family adores him, but even if everyone in the family loathed him, he'd still be a human being who shouldn't be punished for what his criminal biological father did.

Posted by: Marauder at January 19, 2010 6:51 PM


No_exceptions and juda,

I'm with ya'! (first post on this thread).

If your mothers are still with you today, please let them know that I am so proud of them and admire them so much for their courage and love for accepting you guys as the beautiful blessings you are!

Posted by: Marie at January 19, 2010 8:24 PM


As someone currently in possesion of five pregnant goats I am fully qualified to point out that the correct definition of "kid" is a baby goat when used as a noun and to give birth to a baby goat when used as a verb.

Enigma, you nauseate me with a nauseaus super-naus.

Posted by: Hooves at January 19, 2010 8:30 PM


Juda,
Thank you for your precious witness!! What an amazing mother you have!!
God bless you!!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 9:38 PM


Hi Hooves!! :)

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 19, 2010 9:39 PM


Thank You for pointing that out, Hooves. That is one of my personal 'pet peeves'...calling a child(especially a BABY) a 'kid'. I even 'called someone' on that once. He said something like "when we have this kid..." about his preborn baby, and I said "Kid? Oh...are you having a goat?" :)

Posted by: Pamela at January 19, 2010 10:17 PM


My heart & prayers go out to all the brave moms who had these wonderful children after the trama of rape. And to the children who are witnessing to others how precious the gift of life is and the love of God for each and everyone of HIS children. God DANCED the day you were born... even if he cried with your mom on the day you were concieved. How Good is our God that you are here for your mom to bring her joy and comfort her.... and to make her proud of YOU and your LIFE!

Posted by: med.rn.msn4life at January 20, 2010 3:29 AM


Lauren,

"No, you don't. If you did you would have no problem calling an unborn child a child, as has been done for thousands of years. The term isn't "with embryo," now is it?"

I use the terms because they are correct and lack significant emotional connotations, unlike the term "infant" or "baby," which is disputed in any case when applied to fetuses.

"Apart from that, the humanity of the the child is immensely relevent to the discussion. If humanity is stripped away, there is no basis for rights."

That's the basis of your argument, not mine.

"Do you concede that the child is indeed a human being?"

The term "human being" is entirely a subjective, constructed one; I prefer to use terms with unambiguous and relatively uncontested meanings.

"If so, the issue becomes one of competitive rights. You might say that the child's rights to not outweigh the mother's. That's a debatable point. Humanity, however, must be the starting point. Human rights stem from humanity. Discussing one without reference to the other makes little sense."

Not if one views and potential right to life on the part of any party as fundamentally incapable of overriding another's rights to autonomy and her own body. I say that humanity is irrelevant on the part of the fetus because my argument would still be the same whether or not this humanity existed in truth.

Posted by: Engima at January 20, 2010 3:46 AM


Hooves 8:30 PM, Amen.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 6:51 AM


The term "human being" is entirely a subjective, constructed one; I prefer to use terms with unambiguous and relatively uncontested meanings.

Do you ever get tired of making stuff up?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 6:54 AM


I prefer to use terms with unambiguous and relatively uncontested meanings.

LOL yeah, sure you do.
Cause using the term z/e/f sure has been uncontested on this site!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 6:56 AM


I use the terms because they are correct and lack significant emotional connotations, unlike the term "infant" or "baby," which is disputed in any case when applied to fetuses.

Then you should also use the term neonate when describing infants. From now on, when you congratulate a woman on her new baby, call it a neonate. I'm sure she'll appreciate it!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 6:59 AM


Not if one views and potential right to life on the part of any party as fundamentally incapable of overriding another's rights to autonomy and her own body. I say that humanity is irrelevant on the part of the fetus because my argument would still be the same whether or not this humanity existed in truth.

If it's irrelevant to the issue, then you should have no problem saying whether it is a person or not.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 7:00 AM


Hooves & Pamela,

Out of curiosity, are you offended when people have, maybe, 3 children and they refer to them as their "kids"? (i.e., "I'm taking my kids to the zoo today.")

Posted by: Marie at January 20, 2010 7:28 AM


Since Enigma can't seem to remember her stance on whether an unborn child is a human being, I thought I'd just bring out some fun Enigma nuggets from the past.

Most important quote to note:
"My arguments are based more on my personal philosophies than science. "

Then the rest:
"One ceases to be a human being when one ceases to have a functioning brain."

"Since I don't consider them [unborn children] lives, my conscience rests at ease."

"That also depends on how you define human life. I do not think that the fetus possess human life (which is different from physical life) so the fetus's potential cannot possibly by objectively equal to the woman's life."

"Since fetuses only have potential life, I'm only advocating removing said potential in order to preserve the rights of those who have actualized their potential. "

"In any case, before viability there is nothing to kill."

"One can be a member of the human species without having human life."

"Human life in not defined by the body but by the mind."

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 8:04 AM


Hi Bethany 6:54am,

I'm sure those who have enslaved, brutalized, massacred, and denied rights to their fellow human beings, or whatever they are called, couldn't agree more with this statement!

Posted by: Mary at January 20, 2010 8:29 AM


Bethany,

"Do you ever get tired of making stuff up?"

Pardon me, I thought I was talking to someone who was actually interested in debating and answering points as opposed to either dodging them or engaging in baseless attacks.

"Cause using the term z/e/f sure has been uncontested on this site!"

Uncontested in terms of their accuracy--whine and moan all you want about the terms "zygote," "embryo" and "fetus"--or the shorthand that I use, forgive me for offending your delicate and omnipotent sensibilities, I didn't realize that every word or position I have the privilege to hold must first be approved by Mrs Bethany--they are both valid and medically accurate terms.

"If it's irrelevant to the issue, then you should have no problem saying whether it is a person or not."

Refraining from answering is vastly different from a lack of opinion; I refuse to be diverted by answering senseless questions that have no basis for informing my arguements. In order to refute something you need to actually address it, otherwise you're just throwing up sand and obscuring the issue. Should you prefer not to engage the argument I am making that is your right; be intellectually honest enough to admit that it instead of pretending, first, that you do, and then that you have. Telling someone about the number of sheep in a field when they've asked you about the weather isn't actually addressing their query.

"Since Enigma can't seem to remember her stance on whether an unborn child is a human being, I thought I'd just bring out some fun Enigma nuggets from the past."

I can't decide whether to be amused, horrified, or pitying that you've actually complied a list of quotes that are rendered meaningless via removal from context--you've been quite dishonest by presenting a number of quotes that deal with slightly different topics in the same space as though they all address the same issue.

In particular, you seem particularly eager to conflate my arguements about my own personal philosophies about how I run my life and formulate decisions with arguements that are distinctly based on current medical or scientific standards.

Of course, as long as it serves your agenda, I'm sure that it's the right thing to do and that everyone else is just being mean or offensive.

Posted by: Engima at January 20, 2010 12:49 PM


Hooves,

"Enigma, you nauseate me with a nauseaus super-naus."

I am absolutely in awe of your stunning command of the English language and ability to use words that don't actually exist--congratulations, I'm sure your parents and teachers must be very proud.

Posted by: Enigma at January 20, 2010 12:54 PM


I am absolutely in awe of your stunning command of the English language and ability to use words that don't actually exist--congratulations, I'm sure your parents and teachers must be very proud.

At least Hooves speaks without a robotic tone.

Pardon me, I thought I was talking to someone who was actually interested in debating and answering points as opposed to either dodging them or engaging in baseless attacks.

Absolutely- and I have responded to all of your points. And my question to you was in all seriousness. Don't you get tired of making things up?

You have yourself admitted more than once that you only come here to converse because you think of it as a game and out of sheer boredom. You are the one who is not interested in a serious debate, Enigma. Not me.

Refraining from answering is vastly different from a lack of opinion;

Sometimes. Sometimes not.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 1:32 PM


I can't decide whether to be amused, horrified, or pitying that you've actually complied a list of quotes that are rendered meaningless via removal from context--you've been quite dishonest by presenting a number of quotes that deal with slightly different topics in the same space as though they all address the same issue.

They aren't rendered meaningless just because you say so.

You admitted yourself very clearly that you do not base your position about human life on science but rather your own personal philosophy.

I'll post the link so anyone can see these quotes in their context and decide for themselves.

Here 'tis:
http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2007/11/twinseparable.html

Marykay wrote: "Human life is, and you should love this, is a SCIENTIFIC term."

Enigma responded: My arguments are based more on my personal philosophies than science.

Comment can be found at the above link at November 10, 2007 10:54 AM

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 1:39 PM


Uncontested in terms of their accuracy--whine and moan all you want about the terms "zygote," "embryo" and "fetus"--or the shorthand that I use, forgive me for offending your delicate and omnipotent sensibilities, I didn't realize that every word or position I have the privilege to hold must first be approved by Mrs Bethany--they are both valid and medically accurate terms.

We've already been over this. Neonate is also a medically accurate term, but you don't seem to feel the same need to use it rather than the term baby. And that is illogical. If clinical, medically accurate terms are appropriate for the unborn child, then they should also be appropriate for the born child.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 1:44 PM


I can't decide whether to be amused, horrified,

Probably horrified, because the quotes really don't make you appear very informed.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 1:48 PM


Hi Enigma.

"Enigma, you nauseate me with a nauseaus super-naus."

Not that it makes a bit of difference for the conversation at hand, but it's actually a line from a song in the cartoon version "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Leave it to the guy with two little kids to know that...

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 1:55 PM


Ha! Bobby, I knew it sounded familiar but couldn't place it! Thank you! LOL

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 1:57 PM


Mary, 8:29...absolutely. They would be in complete agreement with Enigma's words.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 2:14 PM


Bethany,

"You have yourself admitted more than once that you only come here to converse because you think of it as a game and out of sheer boredom. You are the one who is not interested in a serious debate, Enigma. Not me."

An intellectual game in which the object is better understand my opponent's position as well as my own. If you cannot appreciate that kind of learning than we have nothing to say to one another.

Posted by: Enigma at January 20, 2010 2:15 PM


Hello Bobby, good to see you again, although I think I may just be on my way out.

"Not that it makes a bit of difference for the conversation at hand, but it's actually a line from a song in the cartoon version "How the Grinch Stole Christmas.""

I know, actually. I looked it up right before I posted and then decided that it didn't matter--if one has to result to children's songs in order to find insults, one is displaying an appalling lack of originality.

Posted by: Enigma at January 20, 2010 2:18 PM


An intellectual game in which the object is better understand my opponent's position as well as my own. If you cannot appreciate that kind of learning than we have nothing to say to one another.

That is not quite how you put it when you've mentioned it before. But okay...

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 2:20 PM


If you are truly interested in a serious debate, maybe you could explain why it's necessary to use clinical terms in one instance and not the other, if the root of this has nothing to do with the humanity of the unborn.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 2:25 PM


Yeah, I'm not able to stay around and discuss much right now either... really busy with the job search, preparing job talks, and trying to finish the dissertation. Lots of fun though!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at January 20, 2010 2:35 PM


I read that as well about Julie Andrews. I wonder if Ms.Andrews would have preferred not to be born. Or for that matter Mariska Hargitay.

Marisa Hargitay, no kidding? The star of Law & Order: SVU, a television show which deals with this issues (I'm a Law & Order: SVU addict). I wonder how she feels and where she stands on the issue of abortion, in consideration of her own circumstances.

Also, in relation to this discussion, a few years back, I wrote a piece concerning abortion and rape, entitled: "Abortion: A Solution to Rape?" which landed me in hot water with a lot of pro-choice bloggers. In the heated comments section(which wasn't saved when I transfered the article over to my new blog, the comments can be read at this archive though), there was a very vocal (and verbally abusive) pro-choice activist, who'd became pregnant and had an abortion because of rape, she appeared very angry and still hurting from the rape. On the other hand, we also had a few individuals, who identified themselves as pro-life, who'd also been raped and became pregnant, however they had either chosen to parent or place their child for adoption; the rape was years prior and they were at a more healed place. One commenter brought up two relevent books, Victims and Victors and Healing Hidden Hurts, both documenting rape victim's stories. Needless to say, it was an interesting and insightful discussion.

Posted by: Rachael C. at January 20, 2010 2:44 PM


Bethany,

"If you are truly interested in a serious debate, maybe you could explain why it's necessary to use clinical terms in one instance and not the other, if the root of this has nothing to do with the humanity of the unborn."

I use the terms which are true and that I believe.

Whatever your beliefs may happen to be, you cannot argue that a zygote is not a zygote, an embryo not an embryo, or a fetus not a fetus. All of these terms are accurate, though perhaps not ones that you would chose to use.

You use the terms that you feel are accurate and appropriate--I do the same.

While neither humanity nor 'personhood' is relevant to my argument, you are correct that I do not believe fetuses (to use the most general of the three) are people--there is a difference between cell activity and human life (as evidenced by the medical definition of death, ie. brain death), as well as a difference between belonging to the species of Homo sapiens (as do corpses) and possessing human life.

As this line of reasoning is not pertinent to my argument, I refuse to pursue it further. Humanity, or lack thereof, is irrelevant. In addition, if your goal is as I suspect it to be, such approaches are futile: attempts to alter my opinion on the subject of abortion must actually respond to my position (ie. why I support abortion rights).

Posted by: Enigma at January 20, 2010 5:20 PM


Enigma, I appreciate that you have finally stated your position on unborn children clearly. Obviously we differ there.

However, I am still left without an answer as to why you feel that neonate is not just as appropriate as fetus or embryo in normal everyday speak. Not just the fact that you feel it's not the same (we already know this) but the reason WHY.

Posted by: Bethany at January 20, 2010 5:54 PM


Marie--the term "kid" does not offend me. I was simply pointing out that if your argument is that you are using scientifically correct terms you have just shot yourself in the foot by calling a child a "kid".

Anyone who cannot see the humor in a Grinch reference has already made my point for me.

Engima: I could have said you are as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel but I would hate to insult any flora or fauna on your behalf.

Posted by: Hooves at January 20, 2010 6:43 PM


"Marisa Hargitay, no kidding? The star of Law & Order: SVU, a television show which deals with this issues (I'm a Law & Order: SVU addict). I wonder how she feels and where she stands on the issue of abortion, in consideration of her own circumstances."

SVU in general tends to be liberal about abortion; I actually assumed that she was pro-choice. I know she plays a character, but when she asked a pro-life protester in one episode "what about rape? You are going to force a woman to give birth after that?" (or something to that effect), I wouldn't be surprised if she personally feels the same way. After all her character was also the 'product of a rape'

Posted by: prettyinpink at January 20, 2010 8:32 PM


SVU in general tends to be liberal about abortion; I actually assumed that she was pro-choice. I know she plays a character, but when she asked a pro-life protester in one episode "what about rape? You are going to force a woman to give birth after that?" (or something to that effect), I wouldn't be surprised if she personally feels the same way. After all her character was also the 'product of a rape'

Or just liberal period :p But that doesn't bother me too much (although I wasn't too happy with the underlying suggestions made in the pro-choice abortion episodes), since it's good writing and plot and storyline most of the time. Yeah, but you've got to keep in mind that the show producers and writers come up with that stuff and she's just being paid to read the lines, regardless of whether or not it fits in with her personal beliefs. However, I did a Google search and came up with something:

Los Angeles Power of Choice Reception with special guest speakers Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice America President & Amy Everitt, NARAL Pro-Choice California Executive Director

Hosted by Dana Delany and Host Committee Chairs: Debbon Ayer, Dana Baratta, Ann Colgin, Carol Olson Coote, Marcia Cross, Karen & Frank Dabby, Carol Flint, Annabeth Gish & Wade Allen, Janet Grillo, Deborah Haggis, Mariska Hargitay, Marg Helgenberger, Ricki Lake, Carol Leifer & Lori Wolf, Amy Madigan & Ed Harris, Kim Newton, Patti Rockenwagner, Cherie Rodgers-Nozik, Vivian Shimoyama, Corky Hale Stoller & Mike Stoller, Brenda Strong, Holland Sutton, Leslie Urdang, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Bradley Whitford

Thursday, September 18, The Home of Dana Delany (address upon RSVP)
6:00pm-8:30pm
http://www.margamania.net/2008/09/20/marg-at-la-power-of-choice-reception/

Also, in 2009 Law & Order SVU Executive Producer Dr. Neal Baer and Mariska Hargitay were both nominees for the 2009 Global Woman's Rights Award by the Feminist Majority Foundation.
http://feminist.org/globalwomensrightsawards/AwardRecipients.html

*Ahem* Well, it appears Hargitay is active or at least well-liked in the pro-chocie feminist movement and I think that answers our question.

Posted by: Rachael C. at January 20, 2010 11:13 PM


Bethany,

"However, I am still left without an answer as to why you feel that neonate is not just as appropriate as fetus or embryo in normal everyday speak. Not just the fact that you feel it's not the same (we already know this) but the reason WHY."

In the latter case those are the only terms that I feel are appropriate to use--they are accurate and devoid of unnecessary connotations. In the former instance I defer to my tendency to use the same terms that either the pregnant woman or the mother herself has used--it's only common courtesy, in my opinion. Furthermore, "baby" and "neonate" are each equally applicable; neither term is more accurate or appropriate than another.

As an aside, I've also heard the latter terms used quite frequently in conversation, even apart from the times when I am using them; I have never been in a conversation in which these terms were used when all parties did not know exactly what they meant. I've heard "neonate" used exactly once--this is it.

Posted by: Enigma at January 21, 2010 4:02 AM


Bethany,

I feel that I have overlooked your point slightly--perhaps deliberately, perhaps not.

I feel that the terms "baby" and "fetus" are not the same because they describe different stages of development and thus cannot be used concurrently.

zygote, embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult

An embryo is not an adult nor a fetus a child--they may describe different developmental stages of potentially the same entity, but they are not the same.

And please don't pull out dictionary definitions--we could war on that all day. Words in the English language are overloaded with meaning; thus is is possible to be using the same term to mean fundamentally different things (as an aside, quite common in politics--the American understanding of conservatism is in many ways much closer to the European understanding of liberalism than European conservatism). Words can often encompass fundamentally opposing meanings. I should also mention that I come from an academic tradition in which it is quite common for theorists to re-define words slightly, not to give them some contradictory meaning, but in order to add clarity to their arguements.

Posted by: Enigma at January 21, 2010 4:57 AM


Hooves & Pamela,

Out of curiosity, are you offended when people have, maybe, 3 children and they refer to them as their "kids"? (i.e., "I'm taking my kids to the zoo today.")
Posted by: Marie at January 20, 2010 7:28 AM
______________________________________________
No, I'm not. I just think to refer to a child as a child sounds somehow kinder and...I don't know... "warmer".

Posted by: Pamela at January 21, 2010 11:38 AM


Enigma says " "baby" and "fetus" are not the same because they describe different stages of development and thus cannot be used concurrently."

You're wrong.

The American Heritage Dictonary defines "baby" as

"ba·by (bb)
n. pl. ba·bies
1.
a. A very young child; an infant.
b. An unborn child; a fetus.

ect.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

The term is not a medical one, nor is exclusive to infants. Clearly unborn children are included in the definiton. Thus, the term can be used concurrently.

Posted by: Lauren at January 21, 2010 3:33 PM


Enigma says "I use the terms because they are correct and lack significant emotional connotations, unlike the term "infant" or "baby," which is disputed in any case when applied to fetuses."

You're joking, right? Of course z/e/f has significant emotinal connotations. When someone refers to their unborn child in such a way, it is immediately recognized as dehumanizing language. When another references the children they advocate killing in such a manner, it has the same effect.

You then say "Not if one views and potential right to life on the part of any party as fundamentally incapable of overriding another's rights to autonomy and her own body. I say that humanity is irrelevant on the part of the fetus because my argument would still be the same whether or not this humanity existed in truth."

So your arguement is, basically, even if a unborn child could be determined to have complete personhood, it would still be just peachy to kill them because they happen to reside within the mother, right?

This argument rests on the competitive natural rights. These rights are inherent to humanity. You don't realize it, but humanity does affect your argument.

The bigger point though is why do you believe that the right to life does not override the right to property (privacy is based on property and bodily integrity is based on privacy, ergo bodily integrity is really an issue of property)?


Posted by: Lauren at January 21, 2010 3:41 PM


I notice you negate dictionary definitions. Very convienant for you, dear. It's nice to be able to set your own definitions to serve your own purposes.

Posted by: Lauren at January 21, 2010 3:44 PM


Lauren,

I fail to understand why you are balking at a simple academic concept. I could quite easily give you a half-dozen such examples if not more. Even in ordinary conversation, people rarely mean to encompass the entirety of a word's myriad of meanings in conversation. Academia, at least, is explicit about it.

And if you would kindly refrain from telling me what my argument entails I will refrain from doing the same to yours.

Posted by: Enigma at January 22, 2010 2:07 AM


Enigma, you are hiding behind what you call a "simple academic concept" instead of admitting that you choose your language for the very specific reason of dehumanizing the unborn. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the terms "child" "baby" or "unborn child" all are equally valid to the conversation as medical terminiology. We do not use medical classification when speaking of born individuals for the very reason that it is dehumanizing. We use familiar language. Your rejection of this, based not on any facts regarding the language as a whole, but rather your own twisted "academic" cover, is very telling.

You're lying to yourself if you truely believe that the terms "z/e/f" is not dehumanizing. Unborn child incompasses all stages of prenatal developement while recognizing the humanity of the unborn. Since it is both technically and linguistically correct, there is absolutely no reason not to use the term unless you are specifically trying to dehumanize. It's really pretty simple.

Since you're so sure of your argument, and the fact that it does not rest on humanity, why don't you sum it up for me?

Posted by: Lauren at January 22, 2010 9:46 AM


Laurenn

It's actually far more extensive than merely a simple academic concept--academia simply must be more explicit because theorizing at a certain level is impossible unless one removes confusion realating to the meanings of temrs.

Example 1: The summer showers came softly in the morning, drenching the delicate blooms of the flowers and leaving drips upon every leaf that fell gently on her face as she walked through the trees.

Example 2: No, the showers at my old university were far more satisfactory--these have inadequate water pressure and are never hot enough.

from dictionary.com

show⋅er1  /ˈʃaʊər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [shou-er] Show IPA
Use showers in a Sentence
See images of showers
Search showers on the Web
–noun 1. a brief fall of rain or, sometimes, of hail or snow.
2. Also called shower bath. a bath in which water is sprayed on the body, usually from an overhead perforated nozzle (showerhead).
3. the apparatus for this or the room or stall enclosing it.
4. a large supply or quantity: a shower of wealth.
5. a party given for a bestowal of presents of a specific kind, esp. such a party for a prospective bride or prospective mother: a linen shower; a baby shower.
6. a fall of many objects, as tears, sparks, or missiles.
7. Astronomy. air shower.
8. showers, a room or area equipped with several showerheads or stalls for use by a number of people at the same time.

–verb (used with object) 9. to bestow liberally or lavishly.
10. to deluge (a person) with gifts, favors, etc.: She was showered with gifts on her birthday.
11. to bathe (oneself) in a shower bath.

–verb (used without object) 12. to rain in a shower.
13. to take a shower bath.

So you tell me--does the term "shower" mean the same things in Example One or Example Two? If it does not, is either meaning incorrect?

And if it's not incorrect to use a word when it encompasses only one of its possible meanings, why do you object why I do the same?

That's all I have time for at the moment.

Posted by: Enigma at January 22, 2010 10:16 AM


No one is arguing that your terms are incorrect, we're arguing that they are dehumanizing. You have no counter to this argument other than "nu-uh...my use is totally academic!"

Use your term if you want, but don't pretend that you're not using the language to a very specific end. Doing so shows that you lack even a shred of academic or moral integrity.

Honestly, I care much more about your rational for killing others than your use of language. Why don't you respond to that point?

Posted by: Lauren at January 22, 2010 10:29 AM


"An intellectual game in which the object is better understand my opponent's position as well as my own. If you cannot appreciate that kind of learning than we have nothing to say to one another."

Posted by: Enigma at January 20, 2010 2:15 PM

"I refuse to use what you would consider 'non-dehumanizing' terminology because the moment that someone adopts her opponent's terminology she has already conceded something--I prefer not to be so handicapped. The terminology that I use additionally reflects my beliefs and, as such, I see no reason why I should use terminology that is more tractable to you and others who subscribe to your beliefs."

Posted by: Engima at January 19, 2010 12:15 PM

A debate like this doesn't end because there is no common language with which to debate. Is that the point of the "game"?

Posted by: Janet at January 22, 2010 11:12 AM


Lauren,

"No one is arguing that your terms are incorrect, we're arguing that they are dehumanizing. You have no counter to this argument other than "nu-uh...my use is totally academic!""

No, I said that the terms I used were accurate and in line with my beliefs.

"Use your term if you want, but don't pretend that you're not using the language to a very specific end. Doing so shows that you lack even a shred of academic or moral integrity."

Just because my answer differs from what you would prefer it to be does not demonstrate a lack of integrity of my part, much as you may wish it do so.

Posted by: Enigma at January 22, 2010 11:52 AM


It is not "what I prefer" it is the truth. It is dehumanizing language. There is no question. The very fact that we find such language to be dehumanizing is evidence that it is such.

Connotations are built by perception. You realize this, yet continue to use the term. Even if prior to this discussion you did not view your language as dehumanizing, you have now been enlightend to its perception. You can not continue to pretend that you have no nefarious intention when faced with this knowledge. It is for this reason you are being intellectually dishonest.

Now, for the 15th time, why don't you explain why you believe abortion to be acceptable. I've keep asking you, yet you keep refusing to respond. Why?

Posted by: Lauren at January 22, 2010 12:45 PM


Lauren, you've made excellent points and raised questions that Enigma has no intention of answering because she knows that being honest about it would show clearly that she using her language intentionally to dehumanize babies. She has been intellectually dishonest this entire debate.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 22, 2010 12:47 PM


Connotations are built by perception. You realize this, yet continue to use the term. Even if prior to this discussion you did not view your language as dehumanizing, you have now been enlightend to its perception. You can not continue to pretend that you have no nefarious intention when faced with this knowledge. It is for this reason you are being intellectually dishonest.

Well said!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 22, 2010 12:49 PM


Thanks, Bethany. What gets me about Enigma is that she just won't say "yep, it's dehumanizing. That's the way I intend it. Moving on."

It's like Obama pretending he was "picking something up off the ground" when he bowed to the Saudi king. Come on!

The cover up is far more insulting than the actual offense. I suspect that Enigma is quite aware of what she's doing and is debating language to avoid debating substance.

Posted by: Lauren at January 22, 2010 1:08 PM


Lauren and Bethany,

I haven't been "educated" about anything--you stated your position, and I stated mine. Based upon the points that you both made I see no reason to alter either my opinion or my vocabulary.

I support abortion rights because I believe that even grave need does not entail obligation. Just as men are, women are fully entitled to decide when, where, and how they wish to allow others to have temporary access to their bodies; and this consent lasts no longer and means no more than they intend it to. It is paternalistic to argue otherwise.

Posted by: Enigma at January 22, 2010 2:49 PM


Others, or potential others, of course.

Posted by: Enimga at January 22, 2010 2:51 PM


The cover up is far more insulting than the actual offense. I suspect that Enigma is quite aware of what she's doing and is debating language to avoid debating substance.

Oh absolutely...no doubt about it!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 22, 2010 3:32 PM


Enigma says "I support abortion rights because I believe that even grave need does not entail obligation."

From where do you get this belief? It does not match our current system of parental obligation in which children have the right to not be neglected.

"Just as men are, women are fully entitled to decide when, where, and how they wish to allow others to have temporary access to their bodies; and this consent lasts no longer and means no more than they intend it to. It is paternalistic to argue otherwise."

Do you believe that one conjoined twin should have the right to demand separation, even if doing so will result in the death of the weaker twin? Note, without separation neither will die.

Posted by: Lauren at January 22, 2010 3:50 PM


"Others, or potential others, of course"

Enigma, sperm and egg are potential humans. After amphimixis, there is no potential, just an actual living human being.

Posted by: Lauren at January 22, 2010 3:52 PM


Lauren,

"From where do you get this belief? It does not match our current system of parental obligation in which children have the right to not be neglected."

By either having or adopting children, parents explicitly consent to their care--only this type consent begets this obligation.

Unless a woman has explicitly consented to her pregnancy by deciding that they she wants to get pregnant, it bestows upon her no obligations.

"Do you believe that one conjoined twin should have the right to demand separation, even if doing so will result in the death of the weaker twin? Note, without separation neither will die."

The case is not analogous to abortion, however you may wish it be so. In the case of conjoined twins, each is imposing equally upon the other and has always done so--there are no prior states to restore by removing said imposition. By contrast, a woman's prior state has been altered and imposed upon by a fetus (and may I note that imposition requires neither consciousness nor consent)--she thus has every right to end this imposition should she choose to do so.

"Enigma, sperm and egg are potential humans. After amphimixis, there is no potential, just an actual living human being."

Genetically human, yes. However, genetics do not a human being make. Corpses, for instance, are still human, but are they human beings?

Posted by: Enigma at January 23, 2010 4:35 AM


Enigma says "By either having or adopting children, parents explicitly consent to their care--only this type consent begets this obligation.

Unless a woman has explicitly consented to her pregnancy by deciding that they she wants to get pregnant, it bestows upon her no obligations."

That's not true. If someone leaves a baby on my doorstep, I have an obligation to find it care, even at the expense of my rights. I can't just say "well, that kid was on my property infringing on my right to privacy, so I shot him!"

"The case is not analogous to abortion, however you may wish it be so. In the case of conjoined twins, each is imposing equally upon the other and has always done so--there are no prior states to restore by removing said imposition. By contrast, a woman's prior state has been altered and imposed upon by a fetus (and may I note that imposition requires neither consciousness nor consent)--she thus has every right to end this imposition should she choose to do so."

Just because an impostion has been from birth doesn't mean that it has less value in a discussion on bodily rights than if the two were joined only later in life.

Also, it is very rarely the case that twins are imposing equally on one another. Almost always there is a strong twin and a weaker twin. The weaker twin uses the stronger twin's organs for survival. There was a case a few years ago that involved twins who were able to be separated only when a kidney transplant could be found for the weaker twin. Should the stronger twin have been able to demand seperation prior to finding the transplant since the weaker was using the stronger's body?

"Genetically human, yes. However, genetics do not a human being make. Corpses, for instance, are still human, but are they human beings?"

Engima, you seem to have missed the key word here. *Living*. A corpse is not living, now it is it? Any human is a *living* human being from amphimixis by any scientific definition.

Posted by: Lauren at January 23, 2010 8:25 AM


Lauren,

"That's not true. If someone leaves a baby on my doorstep, I have an obligation to find it care, even at the expense of my rights. I can't just say "well, that kid was on my property infringing on my right to privacy, so I shot him!""

You're confusing social and physical dependency--in the former case, anyone can provide the necessary care, while, in the latter, only a specific person or persons are capable of doing so. The former can be required while the latter cannot.

In the case of a baby left on your doorstep--yes, the state does impose upon you the obligation to either call emergency services or leave the infant at a hospital. Since that burden falls equally upon all citizens, the state is not committing an injustice in requiring it (ie., while the infant may have been left at your specific doorstep and thus you or your family has to take the appropriate action in this instance, had the bundle been left at another house the same burden would have fallen equally upon another.)

I would further add that the imposition is lessened by the nature of the minimal nature of the actions that you would be required to take--the state is not requiring you to raise that infant, but merely to alert the the proper authorities. Had the state instead required you to raise the infant yourself the state would be committing an unjust act, even though once again that burden would hypothetically fall equally upon all, because of the severity and long-term imposition of the acts required, combined with your complete non-consent in the matter.

"Just because an impostion has been from birth doesn't mean that it has less value in a discussion on bodily rights than if the two were joined only later in life."

I said nothing about value--value does not factor into my argument.

"Also, it is very rarely the case that twins are imposing equally on one another. Almost always there is a strong twin and a weaker twin. The weaker twin uses the stronger twin's organs for survival. There was a case a few years ago that involved twins who were able to be separated only when a kidney transplant could be found for the weaker twin. Should the stronger twin have been able to demand seperation prior to finding the transplant since the weaker was using the stronger's body?"

Without knowing the specifics of that case I cannot comment on it definitively--I would, however, tend towards waiting until the proper organ could be found. You misunderstand my use the term imposition--in the manner in which I use it, it refers both to the physical use of another's body and the disruption of prior bodily states, tending more towards the latter in this instance. In the case of conjoined twins, there was no independent prior bodily state--thus, the twins can be said to be imposing upon each other's bodies equally even if one is more physically dependent upon the other. By contrast, such an argument cannot be applied to a pregnant woman and her fetus--there was the existence of a prior bodily state which can be restored without the violation of rights, since these rights have never included the ability to use another's body without his/her express consent.

"Engima, you seem to have missed the key word here. *Living*. A corpse is not living, now it is it? Any human is a *living* human being from amphimixis by any scientific definition."

So then are identical twins not really people, because they have the same genes?

There is also a difference between medical/scientific terminology and that used in philosophy--we are distinctly discussing the latter. Neither cell activity nor development does a human being make.

Posted by: Enigma at January 23, 2010 1:24 PM


Hmm, I appear to have misspoken slightly on that last point.

Yes, I rely on scientific/medical judgments to make my arguements, but one must be cognizant of the differences between how words are used in science and how they are used either colloquially or in other disciplines.

Is a fetus genetically human? yes

Does a fetus possess cellular life? yes

Does a fetus possess the capacity for development? yes

Is a fetus a human being? No, because "personhood" is not dependent upon genetics, cellular life, or the capacity for development.

Posted by: Enigma at January 23, 2010 1:32 PM


I'm interrupting here, but something seems quite obvious to me. Enigma isn't using logic. Enigma, read again your last two sentences.

Is a fetus a being? Of course! It's alive.
Is a human fetus a human being? Of course!
Is a human fetus a person? Well now, that's a philosophical and religious question. As a Christian, I know that human life is special and that God has reserved to Himself the authority to end a human life.

Posted by: Jon at January 24, 2010 1:35 PM


It must be fun to live in Enigma's world where you make up all the rules.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 24, 2010 2:32 PM


Jon,

"I'm interrupting here, but something seems quite obvious to me. Enigma isn't using logic. Enigma, read again your last two sentences."

It only doesn't make sense if one fails to realize that I am equating the terms "personhood" and "human being" (ie. I take them to mean roughly the same thing).

"Is a human fetus a person? Well now, that's a philosophical and religious question. As a Christian, I know that human life is special and that God has reserved to Himself the authority to end a human life."

And as I do not share your beliefs I do not share the convictions derived from those beliefs.

Posted by: Enigma at January 24, 2010 3:48 PM


Bethany,

As a self-professed born-again Christian who purports to love her fellow men (and women), I would think that you could find better ways to act in line with your faith than by making snide comments.

Posted by: Enigma at January 24, 2010 3:51 PM


Or does your commitment to love Christ and obey His teachings end when walk out the church doors at the conclusion of a service?

Posted by: Enigma at January 24, 2010 3:58 PM


Enigma, if you are indeed "a self-professed born-again Christian who purports to love her fellow men,"--as your introductory adverbial clause at 3:51 PM would seem to say--then you are speaking to yourself. Seriously, are you going to take offense at a comment recommending you face up to reality? I think your comment is about as snide as a comment can get.

And no, you were not permissibly equating the two terms personhood and human being. You were trying to prove that a (human) fetus is not a human being. You can't make arbitrary equations in a proof. Read your two sentences again.

Posted by: Jon at January 24, 2010 7:04 PM


I'm an atheist, so I'll go ahead and tell you that you're being an irrational, unscientific moron, Enigma.

Posted by: xalisae at January 24, 2010 7:26 PM


Xalisae,

So now you've descended to the level of petty attacks and insults--congrdulations.

Posted by: Enigma at January 25, 2010 5:00 AM


Jon,

"Enigma, if you are indeed "a self-professed born-again Christian who purports to love her fellow men,"--as your introductory adverbial clause at 3:51 PM would seem to say--then you are speaking to yourself."

Read it again--I made neither claim about myself.

"Seriously, are you going to take offense at a comment recommending you face up to reality? I think your comment is about as snide as a comment can get."

Again, reread the relevant portions of the thread. It's not my fault if someone wants to be hypocritical and act in a manner that belies those beliefs that she claims to hold most dear. I would add that, should one actually care about trying to, in your words, "recommend...that...[someone else] face up to reality," one would most assuredly not attempt to do so in the manner in which Bethany has.

"And no, you were not permissibly equating the two terms personhood and human being. You were trying to prove that a (human) fetus is not a human being. You can't make arbitrary equations in a proof. Read your two sentences again."

A difference in understanding pertaining to the meanings of relevant terms does not constitute a failure on my part--there's no statue of which I am aware that says I must acquiesce to your, or anyone else's, understandings of the proper meanings and uses of various words.

Would you object less if I reworded my statement to:

Is a fetus a human being? No, because being a 'human being' is not dependent upon genetics, cellular life, or the capacity for development.

To me, that statement is identical in meaning to the one that I previously made.

Posted by: Enigma at January 25, 2010 5:15 AM


Is a fetus a human being? No, because being a 'human being' is not dependent upon genetics, cellular life, or the capacity for development.

You can't seem to stop confusing personhood, a philosophical concept, with being a human being, which is a scientific reality. They are not one and the same, as much as you'd like them to be.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 25, 2010 8:15 AM


Bethany,As a self-professed born-again Christian who purports to love her fellow men (and women), I would think that you could find better ways to act in line with your faith than by making snide comments.

Hmm, maybe you are misreading my comment, as I've decided to use my words using your rules, Enigma. (ie. I can change them based on my feelings on any particular moment).

All of the words that I say have different meanings that can change however I want them to be anytime I want to. Therefore, my post to you was probably a compliment. I'm sure it was.

What? You disagree? Well, I don't think you can, because after all, "there's no statue of which I am aware that says I must acquiesce to your, or anyone else's, understandings of the proper meanings and uses of various words".

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 25, 2010 8:23 AM


Bethany,

"You can't seem to stop confusing personhood, a philosophical concept, with being a human being, which is a scientific reality. They are not one and the same, as much as you'd like them to be."

The term "human being" is more than a simple combination of the terms, human and being, as Joh seemed to imply. It is both a scientific and a philosophical concept, as well as a moral and legal one; however, the term may be taken to have different definitions and uses within each domain, much as you protest to the contrary.

"Hmm, maybe you are misreading my comment, as I've decided to use my words using your rules, Enigma. (ie. I can change them based on my feelings on any particular moment)."

And now you're just being absurd--it's not my fault that you can't understand the simple concept that many words, particularly those used in philosophy or other similar domains, do not have absolute meanings that are equally applicable to each mode of use.

"What? You disagree? Well, I don't think you can, because after all, "there's no statue of which I am aware that says I must acquiesce to your, or anyone else's, understandings of the proper meanings and uses of various words"."

And now you're taking quotes out of context and misrepresenting them again--I would have thought that you were capable of producing reasonable and articulate arguments without the need to debase yourself through the use of such inanity and pettiness.

Posted by: Enigma at January 25, 2010 8:53 AM


And now you're just being absurd--it's not my fault that you can't understand the simple concept that many words, particularly those used in philosophy or other similar domains, do not have absolute meanings that are equally applicable to each mode of use.

Oh no no, I absolutely understand and I agree, Enigma! That's what I was trying to tell you. :D
See, my comment could easily have multiple meanings, depending on who is reading it and how they determine to understand the words they are reading. I understand now!

And now you're taking quotes out of context and misrepresenting them again--I would have thought that you were capable of producing reasonable and articulate arguments without the need to debase yourself through the use of such inanity and pettiness.

I don't think you understand, Enigma! I was agreeing with you! ;) I am so glad that you showed me how you can easily win a debate by simply changing the definition of words, and ignoring dictionary definitions. If I had known about this technique years ago, I could have won so many more debates!

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 25, 2010 12:06 PM


Enigma says "You're confusing social and physical dependency--in the former case, anyone can provide the necessary care, while, in the latter, only a specific person or persons are capable of doing so. The former can be required while the latter cannot."

You're changing the terms of the debate. I responded to your statement that "By either having or adopting children, parents explicitly consent to their care--only this type consent begets this obligation"

Your own example is one of social dependency. Beyond that, you assume what you are trying to prove. What makes physical dependency different than social depenedcy? You claim that the difference is that physical dependency can not be required. This is not so. Mothers can be arrested and charged with the deaths of their children if they refuse to breastfeed them.

"there was the existence of a prior bodily state which can be restored without the violation of rights, since these rights have never included the ability to use another's body without his/her express consent."

You have still not answered the question to why this matters in any way. Furthermore, you assume that the child does not have the right to use the mother's body without her consent. This is an assumption, not a fact.

"So then are identical twins not really people, because they have the same genes?"

Of course they are people. Nothing I have said would lead you to believe I think otherwise. Monozygotic Twinning occurs at or immediately following amphimixis.

"There is also a difference between medical/scientific terminology and that used in philosophy--we are distinctly discussing the latter. Neither cell activity nor development does a human being make."

Yes there is a philosophical idea of personhood, but you are questioning if the unborn child is a human being. There is no question, the answer is yes. If you want to claim that the unborn child is a "non-person human" be my guest, but remember that there is a long history of defining individuals in this manner. Without question it occurs when one group wishes to dehumanize the other and make killing the sub-person group morally acceptable.

Posted by: Lauren at January 25, 2010 2:43 PM


Engima says "Is a fetus a human being? No, because "personhood" is not dependent upon [human]genetics, cellular life, or the capacity for development."

Then what, pray tell, is personhood dependent upon?

Posted by: Lauren at January 25, 2010 2:49 PM


Lauren: "Then what, pray tell, is personhood dependent upon?"

I'm interested in seeing the answer to this one. Go on, Enigma.

Posted by: Oliver at January 25, 2010 5:52 PM


You guys are still here?

Posted by: Janet at January 25, 2010 5:58 PM


To continue on the Law & Order topic (don't know if anyone's even interested at this point), apparently this past Saturday was Mariska Hargitay's birthday, because the station USA was having a Law & Order: SVU marathon for it, and one of the episodes aired, "Undercover" (season 10, episode 15) was the most intense and disturbing SVU episode I've ever seen, in which one of the corrections officers at a female correction facility is raping and brutalizing women and Detective Olivia Bensen (Hargitay) goes undercover at the same facility to catch the officer, but comes very close to being raped in the basement of the facility.

Posted by: Rachael C. at January 25, 2010 9:43 PM


Lauren,

"You're changing the terms of the debate. I responded to your statement that "By either having or adopting children, parents explicitly consent to their care--only this type consent begets this obligation""

No, I am not changing the terms of the debate. Parents have obligations to their children both because they have chosen to assume them. The government can then legitimately enforce the existence of these obligations because they have been contractually assumed and because the relationship between parent and child is one of social, not physical dependency.

Breastfeeding is not physical dependency--the mother is not the only one who can provide the required care. For instance, there are subsitute milk powders that can be fed to the infant, or another woman can be stimulated to produce milk via injection.

"What makes physical dependency different than social depenedcy?"

The former can only be provided by a specific indiviual (or individuals) while in the latter case, the required care can be provided by many.

"You have still not answered the question to why this matters in any way."

It is a restoration of rights--the pregnant woman can assert that her rights are being violated and demand that they be restored to the exclusion of any other's (or potential other's) rights while the conjoined twins cannot, even though their rights are being violated by virtue of how they were born, due to the equal nature of the violation (ie. no one's rights--assuming both parties have rights) takes precedent.

"Furthermore, you assume that the child does not have the right to use the mother's body without her consent. This is an assumption, not a fact."

Nor is it fact that a fetus (or later, a child) does have that right. This, too, is assumption.

I am simply asserting that the ability to use another's body without express consent is not a right that is currently granted to anyone--it cannot thus be construed as a human right.

"Yes there is a philosophical idea of personhood, but you are questioning if the unborn child is a human being. There is no question, the answer is yes. If you want to claim that the unborn child is a "non-person human" be my guest, but remember that there is a long history of defining individuals in this manner. Without question it occurs when one group wishes to dehumanize the other and make killing the sub-person group morally acceptable."

The answer is yes in your mind--that does not make it so. I see no reason why the idea of non-person genetic humans should be considered particularly dangerous or offensive; while the idea has of course been misused, misuse should not be taken to wholly condemn an idea or concept.

Posted by: Enigma at January 26, 2010 9:34 AM


Lauren,

"Then what, pray tell, is personhood dependent upon?"

Brain activity--a standard that is currently upheld by medical science.

Posted by: Engima at January 26, 2010 9:36 AM


Enigma....brain activity is measured as early as 40 days after conception. So are you saying that abortion after 40 days after conception is wrong because it then is killing a person?

Posted by: Sydney M at January 26, 2010 9:52 AM


Sydney,

No, because personhood/humanity is irrelevant, or weren't you reading my earlier posts?

In any case, the medical articles that I have read hold that substantive brain activity occurs during the late 2nd to 3rd trimester, not before.

Earlier activity can in many cases be observed, however, these are not definitive brain waves and more of the typical random firing of nerve clusters that occur during development.

Posted by: Engima at January 26, 2010 11:13 AM


"Brain activity--a standard that is currently upheld by medical science."

Brain activity can not be a classification for personhood because of the obvious issue that animals have brain activity and are not people, while anacephalic children have no brain activity and yet are people with human rights and protections.

Posted by: Lauren at January 26, 2010 12:24 PM


Lauren,

Brain activity occurring within a genetically human brain, of course.

Death occurs when a person's brain activity ceases. It is possible to restart someone's heart, for instance, but not his/her brain. Failure of the other organs also generally occurs before brain activity ceases; theoretically, if one could intervene in time the necessary processes could be restored without the person's death.

Anencephalic infants do not possess human rights--rather, they are accorded rights to comfort their parents, much in the same way that corpses possess "rights" in that it is illegal to defile them. Medical professionals can withhold life-sustaining care from these infants without facing federal prosecution--were they considered to be "persons," this refusal (even against the wishes of the parents) would be far more problematic than it currently is.

Posted by: Enigma at January 26, 2010 2:51 PM


"No, I am not changing the terms of the debate. Parents have obligations to their children both because they have chosen to assume them. The government can then legitimately enforce the existence of these obligations because they have been contractually assumed and because the relationship between parent and child is one of social, not physical dependency. "

You brought up the situation re: parents and then screamed "social dependency!" when I countered with the example of an abandoned child. You then argued that pregnancy was different because it was physical and not social dependency. That is where you changed the terms of the debate. We were talking about dependency in general, but you balked when backed into a corner and suddenly changed your criteria.

"Breastfeeding is not physical dependency--the mother is not the only one who can provide the required care. For instance, there are subsitute milk powders that can be fed to the infant, or another woman can be stimulated to produce milk via injection. "

The fact that alternatives may exist does not change the maternal infant relationship is one of infant dependence upon maternal sustanance. If I were in a situation where no alternative nutrients existed, I would still be required to feed my child, in this case using my body. Such a scenerio is not hard to imagine.

Perhaps I am a missionary in Haiti when the earthquake struck. No safe water is available to mix formula, and no milk banks exist. Thus, I am the only person who could possibly feed my child. If I were capable of nursing, yet refused, I would be held responsible for my child's death. Thus, a mother can be obligated to use her body to care for her child.

"The former can only be provided by a specific indiviual (or individuals) while in the latter case, the required care can be provided by many."

That is a quantitative difference, not a qualitative difference. The number of people available to perform an act does not change the innate ethics of the act.

"It is a restoration of rights--the pregnant woman can assert that her rights are being violated and demand that they be restored to the exclusion of any other's (or potential other's) rights while the conjoined twins cannot, even though their rights are being violated by virtue of how they were born, due to the equal nature of the violation (ie. no one's rights--assuming both parties have rights) takes precedent."

Again, why does that matter? Simply because the pregnant woman once existed without the child's presence does not give her demands more merit than the demands of a person who never had this luxury. If anything, the demands of the person forever infringed upon by another would have more weight than the temporary situation of the pregnant woman. You are simply restating the situation, not giving insight into why your distinction matters.

"Nor is it fact that a fetus (or later, a child) does have that right. This, too, is assumption."

It is a fact that human beings have the right to life. When actively denying one of the fundamental rights of our country, your reasons must rest on more than opinion and assumption.

"I am simply asserting that the ability to use another's body without express consent is not a right that is currently granted to anyone--it cannot thus be construed as a human right. "

Again we return to conjoined twins. Each twin's right to life is upheld against the other's bodily domain. The human right to life supercedes the rights of property, including ownership of one's body.

T"he answer is yes in your mind--that does not make it so. I see no reason why the idea of non-person genetic humans should be considered particularly dangerous or offensive; while the idea has of course been misused, misuse should not be taken to wholly condemn an idea or concept."

The idea has been only misused. It has never, in the history of mankind, been used in any other way except to deny rights to another group of humans. It's batting 1000 in terms of deadly precision.

Posted by: Lauren at January 26, 2010 4:32 PM


Lauren,

"Brain activity occurring within a genetically human brain, of course."

So genetics do play a role in personhood then?


"Death occurs when a person's brain activity ceases. It is possible to restart someone's heart, for instance, but not his/her brain. Failure of the other organs also generally occurs before brain activity ceases; theoretically, if one could intervene in time the necessary processes could be restored without the person's death."

That's not the definition of "brain death"

To be considered "brain dead" a patient must: "First, the patient must be in a severe coma not caused by a potentially reversible condition such as hypothermia."

Unborn humans fail this test because their condition is not permanant. They will not always lack brain activity.

"Second, brain stem reflexes, tested with various bedside exams, must be absent."

Again, even the earliest unborn children fail this criteria as brain stem activity and reflexive activity occur almsot immediately as noted by Sydney.

"Third, the patient, once disconnected from the ventilator, must make no spontaneous attempts to breathe and must have blood tests with corroborating elevations in carbon dioxide. "

This isn't applicaple to early term abortions because they lack the structure necessary for gas exchange, but obviously does apply to abortions performed past 15 or so weeks, after which time the unborn child often attempts to breathe.

http://www.vqronline.org/articles/2005/fall/chen-dead-enough/

"Anencephalic infants do not possess human rights--rather, they are accorded rights to comfort their parents, much in the same way that corpses possess "rights" in that it is illegal to defile them. Medical professionals can withhold life-sustaining care from these infants without facing federal prosecution--were they considered to be "persons," this refusal (even against the wishes of the parents) would be far more problematic than it currently is."

They do indeed have human rights. You could no more smother an anacephalic child to death than you could a normal child. They are protected as citizens. They generally have DNR's, but providing extraordianary care is a far cry from eliminating rights. They have the same rights as any other minor. There right to life is protected, despite their lack of brain activity.

Posted by: Lauren at January 26, 2010 4:48 PM


Lauren, you are awesome.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 26, 2010 4:52 PM


GREAT response Lauren and very well put.

It is truly frightening to me that someone as cold-hearted as Engigma lives on this earth. And the fact that there are many more cold, uncompassionate, unfeeling people out there like her is truly more horrifying than the greatest Stephen King novel.

Posted by: Sydney M. at January 26, 2010 7:18 PM


Thanks, guys!

Posted by: Lauren at January 26, 2010 9:10 PM


Lauren,

"You brought up the situation re: parents and then screamed "social dependency!" when I countered with the example of an abandoned child. You then argued that pregnancy was different because it was physical and not social dependency. That is where you changed the terms of the debate. We were talking about dependency in general, but you balked when backed into a corner and suddenly changed your criteria."

First off, using the term "screamed" is highly inaccurate--I remain cordial unless provoked, much as you may decry the positions that I uphold.
Secondly, one cannot discuss dependency without accounting for the different forms of it. I am in no way changing the terms of the debate--I am specifying that different forms of dependency can indeed--and should--be treated differently.

"The fact that alternatives may exist does not change the maternal infant relationship is one of infant dependence upon maternal sustanance. If I were in a situation where no alternative nutrients existed, I would still be required to feed my child, in this case using my body. Such a scenerio is not hard to imagine."

Physical dependency--in addition to its limitations on who can provide it--is when one entity is entirely physically dependent upon the body of another for survival (ie. you cut the link, the first entity dies). The existence of viable alternatives (such as in the breastfeeding example) even when they are not available means that the relationship is one of social, not physical, dependency.

"Perhaps I am a missionary in Haiti when the earthquake struck. No safe water is available to mix formula, and no milk banks exist. Thus, I am the only person who could possibly feed my child. If I were capable of nursing, yet refused, I would be held responsible for my child's death."

As you rightly should be (though it is unlikely that even were this to occur you would ever be charged--there's too much of a ruckus going on over there at the moment, and by the time things settled down enough for this to be dealt with it would probably be too hard to prove, in addition to the fact that the recent traumas may have impacted the ability of currently nursing mothers to produce milk) because you have chosen to assume obligations to this child. Just because the relationship is one of social dependency does not mean that you will never have to use your body to care for it--taken too far, that definition would define almost all forms of dependency as physical.

"That is a quantitative difference, not a qualitative difference. The number of people available to perform an act does not change the innate ethics of the act."

Firstly, people disagree over ethics. Secondly, there is a difference between an ethical obligation (or imposition, assuming it is one that was voluntarily assumed) and enforceable ethical obligations.

"It is a restoration of rights--the pregnant woman can assert that her rights are being violated and demand that they be restored to the exclusion of any other's (or potential other's) rights while the conjoined twins cannot, even though their rights are being violated by virtue of how they were born, due to the equal nature of the violation (ie. no one's rights--assuming both parties have rights) takes precedent."

"Again, why does that matter?"

Because autonomy is more valuable than life--what is the point of existence if one cannot determine the course of one's life?

"It is a fact that human beings have the right to life. When actively denying one of the fundamental rights of our country, your reasons must rest on more than opinion and assumption."

No, that is not a "fact," unless you wish to indulge in an abuse of the term. However, should you so wish to abuse the term, it is also a "fact" that one has a right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness--the order does not denote their importance.

"Again we return to conjoined twins. Each twin's right to life is upheld against the other's bodily domain. The human right to life supercedes the rights of property, including ownership of one's body."

That's not my argument, and nothing that I ever said. By virtue of how they were born, neither can claim a complete right of bodily domain; thus neither twin can assert this right (which both hold jointly and incompletely over both their individual bodies and, to some extent, those parts that are shared) to the detriment of the other.

Is it fair? No. Is either life or nature fair? Despite our best efforts, no. And it never will be.

"The idea has been only misused. It has never, in the history of mankind, been used in any other way except to deny rights to another group of humans. It's batting 1000 in terms of deadly precision."

Again, you perception. I also note that you have a somewhat worrying tendency to appeal to terms of concepts that shut down conversation instead of allowing it to flourish. Every opinion has a right to be heard, no matter how reprehensible you may believe it to be.

"So genetics do play a role in personhood then?"

As the term currently stands, the entity to which it is applied must be genetically human, yes.

I found different information concerning the definition of brain death--in any case, my point above was that medical science can only do so much. Once a person's brain is dead or gone, that person has ceased to exist even if the body lives on.

I never argued that fetuses were brain dead, I was simply establishing that current standards of where death has occurred while the body still lives (necessary for transplants both to take place and be ethical) are based upon the brain. In its absence, a person does not exist.

You are, however, broadly correct about clinical procedures to establish brain death, though these procedures do not affect my point.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Brain-death/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.braindeath.org/clinical.htm

"They do indeed have human rights. You could no more smother an anacephalic child to death than you could a normal child. They are protected as citizens. They generally have DNR's, but providing extraordianary care is a far cry from eliminating rights. They have the same rights as any other minor. There right to life is protected, despite their lack of brain activity."

Nothing you have said has refuted my point that they have been granted rights, but that the basis of these rights is not their humanity or status as "persons."

Posted by: Enigma at January 27, 2010 12:38 PM


Yes, Sydney, I'm certain that you think I kick puppies for fun.

Posted by: Enigma at January 27, 2010 12:46 PM


One more thing that I probably should have added.

Even assuming, for sake of argument, that fetuses are people and have the right to life, this right would not be violated by pregnant women obtaining abortions, since the right to impose upon and use another's body to sustain your own life is a "right" that humans do not possess.

Posted by: Engima at January 27, 2010 12:55 PM


Yes, Sydney, I'm certain that you think I kick puppies for fun.

I wouldn't be surprised. You've made plenty of points that would make it perfectly acceptable to do so in your world.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 27, 2010 1:09 PM


Bethany,

"I wouldn't be surprised. You've made plenty of points that would make it perfectly acceptable to do so in your world."

Name one, the requirements being that the statement itself must intrinsically and logically imply that I support kicking puppies

Posted by: Enigma at January 27, 2010 2:33 PM


I think that your words speak for themselves, Enigma.

It's impossible to reason with someone who creates their own reality. I've given up with trying to reason with you. Lauren has the patience of a saint.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 27, 2010 4:29 PM


I had a huge response written out and my daughter came up, grabbed the mouse, and somehow erased everything. I don't have the time to write the whole thing out again tonight. I'll post tomorrow.

Posted by: Lauren at January 27, 2010 8:18 PM


Ugh, don't you hate it when that happens? It's so frustrating.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 27, 2010 8:20 PM


Bethany,

"I think that your words speak for themselves, Enigma."

So basically, you mean that you can't.

"It's impossible to reason with someone who creates their own reality."

You have created your own version of reality no less than I--it's inherent within humanity.

Would it surprise you to know that several of the people I am personally acquainted with have told you that I am among one of the nicest people that they know? Of course, you'll probably claim that I have sociopathic tendencies--I mean, that is how things work around here, right?


Posted by: Enigma at January 28, 2010 4:13 AM


Would it surprise you to know that several of the people I am personally acquainted with have told you that I am among one of the nicest people that they know? Of course, you'll probably claim that I have sociopathic tendencies--I mean, that is how things work around here, right?

No more than it would surprise me to know that Hitler also had a circle of friends who considered him one of the nicest people they knew.

Before you suggest it, no, I'm not comparing you to Hitler, but making the point that having friends who think you're nice doesn't mean you are so.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 28, 2010 7:21 AM


Of course, you'll probably claim that I have sociopathic tendencies

Sounds like you've heard that one before somewhere.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 28, 2010 7:23 AM


Bethany,

"No more than it would surprise me to know that Hitler also had a circle of friends who considered him one of the nicest people they knew."

Ah yes, what discussion with people who support abortion rights would be complete without appeals to the merits--or lack thereof--of Hitler?

Unless you're seriously suggesting that you somehow "know" me better than people who have actually met me in person and been present throughout significant portions of my life, I suggest you drop the point--it proves nothing apart from your (and Sydney's) willingness to judge and condemn on the basis of trivial amounts of knowledge.

"Sounds like you've heard that one before somewhere."

Not about me specifically, but it seems to be a common refrain here about people who genuinely believe in or support a position that others find appalling. Women who have abortions and don't regret it--either in denial or sociopathic. Obama--power-hungry, egotistical, sociopahtic, or a mixture of all three.

And this is why psychologically labels should be neither used nor applied by those who know nothing about psychology apart from what is written in pulp-psych books.

Posted by: Enigma at January 28, 2010 8:13 AM


Unless you're seriously suggesting that you somehow "know" me better than people who have actually met me in person and been present throughout significant portions of my life, I suggest you drop the point--it proves nothing apart from your (and Sydney's) willingness to judge and condemn on the basis of trivial amounts of knowledge.

My opinion that you are not nice is not dependent on personally knowing you. Any more than the opinions you gather from reading my comments are dependent on personally knowing me.

Not about me specifically, but it seems to be a common refrain here about people who genuinely believe in or support a position that others find appalling. Women who have abortions and don't regret it--either in denial or sociopathic. Obama--power-hungry, egotistical, sociopahtic, or a mixture of all three.

So are you saying you are post abortive?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 28, 2010 8:42 AM


Bethany,

"So are you saying you are post abortive?"

If you can demonstrate for me how you logically extrapolated that from my previous statement I would happy to answer the question--noting, of course, that I specifically denied that the accusation in question had ever been leveled against against myself.

Posted by: Enigma at January 28, 2010 9:02 AM


If you can demonstrate for me how you logically extrapolated that from my previous statement I would happy to answer the question--noting, of course, that I specifically denied that the accusation in question had ever been leveled against against myself.

It's called reading between the lines.

Ever heard someone say, "I have a friend who has this problem and wonder if you can help me figure out how to solve it?"

Sometimes they are not really talking about a friend.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 28, 2010 9:04 AM


Have you ever had an abortion, Enigma?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 28, 2010 9:08 AM


Bethany,

"It's called reading between the lines.

Ever heard someone say, "I have a friend who has this problem and wonder if you can help me figure out how to solve it?"

Sometimes they are not really talking about a friend."

There's a difference between reading between the lines to find an either implied or obscured meaning and creating a meaning that could not possibly be there. I suppose you also believe that I'm President Obama, come to haunt Jill's blog.

To forestall this line of reasoning, the answer is no.

Posted by: Engima at January 28, 2010 9:15 AM


creating a meaning that could not possibly be there.

I didn't create a meaning that had no possibility of being there. You support abortion. Passionately. So is it really such a stretch to think you might have had an abortion?

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 28, 2010 9:19 AM


Enigma, instead of going line by line as I have previously in this thread, I'm just going to make a few points in general. If I miss something that you feel is pertinent, let me know and I'll address it. Our posts going back in forth are turning into novels, so I thought I'd truncate things just a bit.

The first point I'd like to make is in regard to your understanding of the nursing relationship.

Your contention is that it is primarally a social depedency that occasionally bleeds into a physical dependency. You're looking at it backwards. A nursing child is very much physically dependent upon her mother. Though man has intervened, the design or evolution of the maternal child relationship is one in which the child is very much reliant upon the mother's body for the first two years following birth.

We can now subvert this relationship through artificial means, but it doesn't change the foundation of the relationship. One wouldn't say that an unborn child at 30 weeks gestational age is not physically dependent upon his mother simply because an isolet offers a poor substitute. The reliance exists, despite an alternative.

In regards to bodily domain: You have still not explained why rights differ when a person is born with an infringement on bodily domain vs a person born with full bodily capacity. We see the error in this type of thinking when we look at other situations in which two people become entangled.

Lovestruck teenagers can not bash one another's head in if their braces become stuck together during a make out session. Though each had bodily integrity prior to the event, they can not use that standard as an excuse to free themself if doing so would harm the other.

Finally, I would like to respond to your charge that autonomy is more fundamental a right than life. The flaw in such reasoning is clearly seen in the fact that life can exist without autonomy, but autonomy can not exist without life. In the balance of rights, life is the most fundamental.

Posted by: Lauren at January 28, 2010 6:13 PM


Lauren,

Works by me.

"Your contention is that it is primarily a social dependency that occasionally bleeds into a physical dependency."

No, you misunderstood me. I argued that just because a state of social dependence exists does not mean that the carer will not ever have to use her body to provide that care. An infant whose mother is using her body heat to keep her child alive in a blizzard is not physically depend upon its mother--she may be the only one who can provide this care, and it may involve using her body, but it is not a state of physical dependency.

Likewise, your nursing example fails: even before technological advances, the mother didn't have to nurse the infant herself to keep it alive--the infant just needed to be nursed by someone (a wetnurse, for example).

Physical dependency involves a state in which one individual (or potential individual) is entirely dependent upon uninterrupted and unmitigated physical access to another's body in order to survive.

The only relationships that even come close to qualifying for this type of relationship are the relationship between conjoined twins, the relationship between the violinist and the donor (if you know this argument), and the fetus and the pregnant woman.

"You have still not explained why rights differ when a person is born with an infringement on bodily domain vs a person born with full bodily capacity."

If a person is born with an infringement upon bodily domain, presumably there is someone doing the infringing who is also being infringed upon. This dual relationship cannot be severed without violating one of the two parties' rights due to the equal nature of the violation.

By contrast, when one possess full bodily domain and is then infringed upon, the nature of this violation is not equal and thus can be terminated without a violation of rights (assuming, of course, that such rights exist in the first place).

"Finally, I would like to respond to your charge that autonomy is more fundamental a right than life. The flaw in such reasoning is clearly seen in the fact that life can exist without autonomy, but autonomy can not exist without life. In the balance of rights, life is the most fundamental."

Within an individual person, the right to life does supersede the right to autonomy, as demonstrated by people who society grants the former but not the latter for their own protection (ie. children and the mentally impaired). However, one cannot collapse these rights across multiple people (or potential people) and then claim that this relationship still holds constant. and permits certain people to infringe upon other's rights.

Grave obligation does not entitle need; just because someone desperately needs something that I have or could provide does not give me an obligation to do so.

Assuming for sake of argument that fetuses do have a right to life, this right would not permit them to infringe upon the rights of others, particularly one that is so valuable as the right to autonomy.

Posted by: Enigma at January 30, 2010 4:45 AM