13
Nov
08

Open Letter

I love reading posts from the religious because you think your claims are valid. A few of the frequent claims I hear are as follows:

premise: Fetus=baby

premise: infanticide=murder

conclusion: abortion=murder

That’s some seriously twisted equivocation there, and a stretch to say the least.

Another:

Science, philosophy and theology agree that these human lives begin at the point of conception

This one particularly annoys me since it equates all three of these having equally valid conclusions and they are ALL THE SAME! Let’s see now:

1) What science, exactly, says “human life” begins at conception; specifically, how does one define “human life.” It could be argued that life began a few billion years ago (possibly more, depending upon how you define “life”) as our lineage can be traced to the dawn of life on this planet. As gametes are also considered living cells which have terminally differentiated, the problem involves delineating “human” from non human life.
2) I know of no valid philosophical argument which makes a case for human life beginning at conception, either.

As such, I find your comparison of abortion to murder disgusting. The termination of an embryo (or at most fetus (fœtus) is NOTHING like taking the life of a developed human. We have, scientifically, NO reason to assume said embryo experiences any emotions or physical sensations as the neurons which would control such things are not developed. The hippocampus isn’t even functional until day 70 of gestation. It has been argued, quite convincingly, that because of this, human memories responsible for the emotional and behavioral associations which one frequently considers essential to being “human” are impossible. As such, no developing embryo (or fetus/fœtus) is human.

If you would like to use the “potential” argument, you probably shouldn’t take a bath and exfoliate as, thanks to modern advances, every cell in your body is a “potential” human.

It’s also a bad idea to use the “but deity x doesn’t want people to kill babies” since, frankly, said deity must really love to kill babies considering 31% of all KNOWN PREGNANCIES result in miscarriage. This does not include those which have miscarriages prior to the pregnancy becoming known. Taking into account how frequently sex results in an infant being born, even without any form of contraception, one has to assume that said deity must love to kill little babies.

Also, the Beethoven thing on this page is a myth. Like so many religious myths, it is shrouded in generalizations, nonspecifics (i.e. unnamed professor at unnamed university said this) and is blatantly wrong on details or at least includes unknowable details.

Here’s the myth:

Here’s the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again, The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?

What parts in here are wrong? Let’s begin with the father having syphilis; how exactly would you know this? Next, he was the second born, his older brother, who died at 6 days old, gave no indications of ever being deaf, blind, or having TB, although he did die. Only his mother is known to have contracted TB, and that wasn’t until he was 20. Seriously, it’s a myth.I’m tired of your myths being used to try to convince me. It won’t work.

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3 Responses to “Open Letter”


  1. November 13, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    I saw that same exact myth pop up elsewhere on the internet today. Anti-abortion panic going on, perhaps? Also: might want to fix your post past the “Here’s the myth” part. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I can only see it if I highlight it. Must have turned black for some reason.

  2. 2 jaredcormier
    November 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Yea, it was a bit of HTML in there fucking with me:
    My girlfriend just said, “If you don’t agree with abortion, sir, then don’t have one.”

  3. 3 Stacy S.
    November 17, 2008 at 8:49 am

    I’m sure there is a lot of conception that takes place that never results in a baby; and I’m not just talking about miscarriage either.

    A little something about attachment to the uterus seems to get left out.
    Or is my definition of conception wrong? (Frustrating is that even Wikipedia calls the beginning of pregnancy “conception” – anyone know how to fix it?)


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