I am pro-life: Change my mind!

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Joel 96
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I am open to changing and questioning my views on everything. I believe that you have to be in order to be a rational human being.

I am pro-life in regards to abortion. As we already know, human life begins at the point of conception, and it seems, to me, to be wrong to end that human life for whatever reason. My position is a deontological position; I am not concerned with any consequent utility from killing the unborn as I don't believe you can morally justify the killing of an innocent human being.

If you believe that you have a strong argument from a pro-choice perspective, please challenge me.

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SubhanF
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What if the mothers life Is at risk if the pregnancy continued ?
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username5778314
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The reality is that in the UK women have, with various caveats, the right to an abortion. This has come about because those opposed to abortion lost the intellectual and ethical arguments a long time ago. The overwhelming majority of the population supports the right to an abortion.

So why would we care that you are anti-abortion and be concerned with changing your mind?

If those that are opposed to abortion sincerely want to see abortion law changed in this country, then they are going to have to come up with some original and compelling arguments rather than the usual tiresome ones that are recycled from an Introductory Ethics course.
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miser
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Are you opposed to contraception? If not, at what point do you think it's wrong to disrupt the process of a human life coming to be?

I think that pro-life and pro-choice people mostly just differ in where they draw that line.
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QE2
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(Original post by Joel 96)
I am open to changing and questioning my views on everything. I believe that you have to be in order to be a rational human being.
Are you talking ideally or practically?
Ideally, I would like there to be no abortions. However, I recognise that this is simply not reasonable or realistic in practice.
Therefore we need to decide which abortions we consider acceptable under the circumstances.
For me, it is those that are medically and legally sanctioned under our current medical, psychological and social understanding.
Which abortions do you consider acceptable, in practical terms?

I am pro-life in regards to abortion. As we already know, human life begins at the point of conception, and it seems, to me, to be wrong to end that human life for whatever reason. My position is a deontological position; I am not concerned with any consequent utility from killing the unborn as I don't believe you can morally justify the killing of an innocent human being.
So I assume you are a vegan pacifist and absolutely opposed to capital punishment. A laudable position.

But just to clarify your philosophical position - you would allow 5 people die rather than pull the lever and only one die (the Trolley Problem).
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QE2
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(Original post by Joel 96)
I am open to changing and questioning my views on everything.
I am not concerned with any consequent utility from killing the unborn
Methinks you are not being entirely honest with us here.
You say you are "open to changing and questioning my views on everything", yet in the next breath tell us you are not prepared to consider opposing arguments.

If you believe that you have a strong argument from a pro-choice perspective, please challenge me.
If you believe that you have a strong argument from a pro-life perspective, please challenge me.
I am not prepared to consider the "but it's a human life" argument.
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Joel 96
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(Original post by SubhanF)
What if the mothers life Is at risk if the pregnancy continued ?
Steps must be taken to ensure that both parties come through unscathed. If the mother is in a serious predicament where medical intervention is necessary, then that intervention must be applied. If the baby tragically passes away because of the medical intervention, then I don't consider it an abortion, but actually an unfortunate consequence of the help that was provided to the mother. For it to be an abortion, it needs to be a deliberately intended procedure to end the baby's life.

(Original post by Trilobite.)
The reality is that in the UK women have, with various caveats, the right to an abortion. This has come about because those opposed to abortion lost the intellectual and ethical arguments a long time ago. The overwhelming majority of the population supports the right to an abortion.

So why would we care that you are anti-abortion and be concerned with changing your mind?

If those that are opposed to abortion sincerely want to see abortion law changed in this country, then they are going to have to come up with some original and compelling arguments rather than the usual tiresome ones that are recycled from an Introductory Ethics course.

Aside from the rather obvious bandwagon fallacy that you've provided, can you come up with a compelling argument as to why the current abortion law of 1967 should stand? What is your position?

And regarding the question you asked about why you should care about changing my mind, this is more of an opportunity for you to see if you can justify and rationalise your beliefs in a public forum.

(Original post by miser)
Are you opposed to contraception? If not, at what point do you think it's wrong to disrupt the process of a human life coming to be?

I think that pro-life and pro-choice people mostly just differ in where they draw that line.

I am not opposed to any contraception that prevents conception from happening. Before the point of conception, there is no value in the singular sperm or the singular egg, as they will never grow into a fully developed human being. However, a fertilised egg - if left to its natural processes - will grow into a fully developed human being if not prevented from doing so by violence.

From a pro-life standpoint, I believe that the line is objective and easy to point-out. Where do you draw the line as a pro-choicer and why?

(Original post by QE2)
Are you talking ideally or practically?
Ideally, I would like there to be no abortions. However, I recognise that this is simply not reasonable or realistic in practice.
Therefore we need to decide which abortions we consider acceptable under the circumstances.
For me, it is those that are medically and legally sanctioned under our current medical, psychological and social understanding.
Which abortions do you consider acceptable, in practical terms?


So I assume you are a vegan pacifist and absolutely opposed to capital punishment. A laudable position.

But just to clarify your philosophical position - you would allow 5 people die rather than pull the lever and only one die (the Trolley Problem).

I am speaking in practical terms. Regarding what abortions I consider "acceptable", I don't.

I am vegan, not a pacifist (violence can be justified in cases of self-defense), and I believe in capital punishment (I don't assign value to humans that are guilty of first-degree murder or rape). I don't feel that being against capital punishment or the meat industry is required for being pro-life. You can be pro-life and not prescribe value to animals (though I would challenge them on that), and you can simultaneously be pro-life and be for the death penalty (innocence determines value).

Regarding the trolley problem, pulling the lever to deliberately end the life of a human being makes you morally culpable - so I wouldn't pull the lever. I don't consider the inaction of pulling a lever to make you morally culpable in the deaths of the five people.

(Original post by QE2)
Methinks you are not being entirely honest with us here.
You say you are "open to changing and questioning my views on everything", yet in the next breath tell us you are not prepared to consider opposing arguments.


If you believe that you have a strong argument from a pro-life perspective, please challenge me.
I am not prepared to consider the "but it's a human life" argument.

I don't think it's wise to go into a discussion and assume your opponent is lying. I wouldn't do the same to you as it's not productive.

Just to clarify, I am not 100% on anything I believe in. For my pro-life views, I am 99% sure I'm right with them. I don't expect to have my mind changed, but I am open to having it changed. I don't know what else to say if you're not happy with that.

Okay, I'll challenge you:

There is a 9-year-old girl who suffers from a rare genetic condition where she cannot feel pain. She has also slipped into a temporary coma from which she will awake in 9 months. Is it morally justified, in your view, to pull the plug on her?
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username5778314
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(Original post by Joel 96)
And regarding the question you asked about why you should care about changing my mind, this is more of an opportunity for you to see if you can justify and rationalise your beliefs in a public forum.
I was going to direct you to the many other abortion threads on TSR rather than rehashing the same ground, except I can see you've been active in them. Contrary to your claim that you are open to questioning your own views, you seem exceptionally intransigent in your perspective.

So why would I devote my Sunday to debating with someone who is stuck in their way of thinking when there is no likelihood of the current abortion status quo changing?
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Joel 96
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(Original post by Trilobite.)
I was going to direct you to the many other abortion threads on TSR rather than rehashing the same ground, except I can see you've been active in them. Contrary to your claim that you are open to questioning your own views, you seem exceptionally intransigent in your perspective.

So why would I devote my Sunday to debating with someone who is stuck in their way of thinking when there is no likelihood of the current abortion status quo changing?
You're asking the same question again which I already answered:
This is more of an opportunity for you to see if you can justify and rationalise your beliefs in a public forum.

I already explained to QE2:
Just to clarify, I am not 100% on anything I believe in. For my pro-life views, I am 99% sure I'm right with them. I don't expect to have my mind changed, but I am open to having it changed. I don't know what else to say if you're not happy with that.

To describe myself as "stuck in their way of thinking", aren't you just projecting your own mindset onto mine? I'm going to take a rough guess and say that you don't expect to have your mind changed on abortion either, so why are you so insistent on ridiculing my mindset? Seems hypocritical, no?
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Final Fantasy
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I am also pro-life. Come 19th July, I will no longer be wearing this ridiculous face covering. I was already exempt, but still felt forced to conform in public. It's gone on for what seems years now and I'm sick of it.
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64Lightbulbs
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The line between what is considered a human life, and what is not is blurry and hard to draw, so if fetuses are assumed to have the same moral weight as a full human being, human beings cannot use another human being's body for support without their consent.
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hotpud
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(Original post by Joel 96)
I am open to changing and questioning my views on everything. I believe that you have to be in order to be a rational human being.

I am pro-life in regards to abortion. As we already know, human life begins at the point of conception, and it seems, to me, to be wrong to end that human life for whatever reason. My position is a deontological position; I am not concerned with any consequent utility from killing the unborn as I don't believe you can morally justify the killing of an innocent human being.

If you believe that you have a strong argument from a pro-choice perspective, please challenge me.
So as someone in favour of being pro-life, are you ready to take on the consequences of people who conceive by accident? Would you adopt?
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Joel 96
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(Original post by hotpud)
So as someone in favour of being pro-life, are you ready to take on the consequences of people who conceive by accident? Would you adopt?
This question alludes to the idea that in a pro-life utopia, there would be an influx of children for adoption agencies. I don't consider this to be relevant when it comes to whether or not abortion is morally justified, as it's just a utilitarian argument.

Even if there hypothetically was an influx of unwanted children in society, I wouldn't consider abortion to be a justifiable solution to this problem. I would seek to solve it in other areas.
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QE2
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(Original post by Joel 96)
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It makes things easier if you reply to posters individually rather than lumping them all together.

Steps must be taken to ensure that both parties come through unscathed. If the mother is in a serious predicament where medical intervention is necessary, then that intervention must be applied. If the baby tragically passes away because of the medical intervention, then I don't consider it an abortion, but actually an unfortunate consequence of the help that was provided to the mother. For it to be an abortion, it needs to be a deliberately intended procedure to end the baby's life.
So you are in favour of abortion in some cases, you just don't want to call it abortion.

Aside from the rather obvious bandwagon fallacy that you've provided,
Citing the law as a reasonable guide to what is acceptable is not the bandwagon fallacy.

can you come up with a compelling argument as to why the current abortion law of 1967 should stand?
Because it is a reasonable and practical solution to a problem that is supported by the majority of medical, psychiatric and social experts. (Before you try, citing expert opinion on an issue relating to their field of expertise is not an "appeal to authority"). The law is not intended to please everyone. It is intended to best address problems.
Can you come up with a compelling argument as to why the current law is wrong?

And regarding the question you asked about why you should care about changing my mind, this is more of an opportunity for you to see if you can justify and rationalise your beliefs in a public forum.
Same applies to you. From experience you usually resort to appeals to emotion.

I am not opposed to any contraception that prevents conception from happening. Before the point of conception, there is no value in the singular sperm or the singular egg, as they will never grow into a fully developed human being. However, a fertilised egg - if left to its natural processes - will grow into a fully developed human being if not prevented from doing so by violence.
Question begging. Seems you are setting up arbitrary divisions to suit your existing position. A sperm and egg will grow into a human if not prevented by contraception. How do you justify your position to those who insist that contraception is preventing a human life from developing?

From a pro-life standpoint, I believe that the line is objective and easy to point-out. Where do you draw the line as a pro-choicer and why?
For elective abortions it should be the earliest point that a foetus can survive outside the womb, for obvious reasons.
For medical abortions there should be no limit, for obvious reasons.

I am speaking in practical terms. Regarding what abortions I consider "acceptable", I don't.
So you would allow the mother and foetus to die rather than abort the foetus.
Kinda makes a mockery of your claim to be "pro-life".

I am not a pacifist (violence can be justified in cases of self-defense),
So if you support killing a grown, adult human to save the life of another, why won't you support killing a foetus to save the life of another? Seems pretty hypocritical.

and I believe in capital punishment (I don't assign value to humans that are guilty of first-degree murder or rape).
So you are not actually pro-life. In reality you are "pro-death" for people who you have decided don't deserve to live. Agin, the lack of consistency is alarming.

I don't feel that being against capital punishment or the meat industry is required for being pro-life.
Of course you don't, because your argument is based on appeal to emotion rather than practical reason and logic or genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.

You can be pro-life and not prescribe value to animals (though I would challenge them on that), and you can simultaneously be pro-life and be for the death penalty (innocence determines value).
But to do so requires a breathtaking level of hypocrisy.

Regarding the trolley problem, pulling the lever to deliberately end the life of a human being makes you morally culpable - so I wouldn't pull the lever. I don't consider the inaction of pulling a lever to make you morally culpable in the deaths of the five people.
Nonsense. If you know those five will die if you don't pull the lever sending the trolley towards the one, and you deliberately refuse to pull the lever, the deaths of those five are just as much your responsibility as the death of the one would be. Simply saying "it wasn't my fault" is no defence. From the moment you know that you can save them, deliberately not saving them is the same as killing them.

I don't think it's wise to go into a discussion and assume your opponent is lying. I wouldn't do the same to you as it's not productive.
I didn't "assume". I came to a conclusion based on the available evidence.
(BTW, I don't think you were lying, just not being entirely honest. Disingenuous, if you prefer)

Just to clarify, I am not 100% on anything I believe in. For my pro-life views, I am 99% sure I'm right with them. I don't expect to have my mind changed, but I am open to having it changed. I don't know what else to say if you're not happy with that.
So what you meant was "Try and change my mind. You won't, because whatever argument you present will be wrong, but have a go anyway".

Okay, I'll challenge you:
There is a 9-year-old girl who suffers from a rare genetic condition where she cannot feel pain. She has also slipped into a temporary coma from which she will awake in 9 months. Is it morally justified, in your view, to pull the plug on her?
You need to come up with an example where the subject is at least similar to an early-stage foetus.
How about a 9 year old who, since birth, has never displayed any sentience and cannot survive without intensive medical support. Should the parents be allowed to pull the plug? Yes.
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QE2
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(Original post by hotpud)
So as someone in favour of being pro-life, are you ready to take on the consequences of people who conceive by accident? Would you adopt?
This is a point I always bring up. They are insistent that unwanted babies are born, but their "concern for life" ends at birth. The victims of their concern can live a life of trauma, suffering and abuse as far as they care.
Until there are no children in care, the "pro-life" brigade can just STFU.
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Joel 96
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(Original post by QE2)
It makes things easier if you reply to posters individually rather than lumping them all together.


So you are in favour of abortion in some cases, you just don't want to call it abortion.


Citing the law as a reasonable guide to what is acceptable is not the bandwagon fallacy.


Because it is a reasonable and practical solution to a problem that is supported by the majority of medical, psychiatric and social experts. (Before you try, citing expert opinion on an issue relating to their field of expertise is not an "appeal to authority"). The law is not intended to please everyone. It is intended to best address problems.
Can you come up with a compelling argument as to why the current law is wrong?


Same applies to you. From experience you usually resort to appeals to emotion.


Question begging. Seems you are setting up arbitrary divisions to suit your existing position. A sperm and egg will grow into a human if not prevented by contraception. How do you justify your position to those who insist that contraception is preventing a human life from developing?


For elective abortions it should be the earliest point that a foetus can survive outside the womb, for obvious reasons.
For medical abortions there should be no limit, for obvious reasons.


So you would allow the mother and foetus to die rather than abort the foetus.
Kinda makes a mockery of your claim to be "pro-life".


So if you support killing a grown, adult human to save the life of another, why won't you support killing a foetus to save the life of another? Seems pretty hypocritical.


So you are not actually pro-life. In reality you are "pro-death" for people who you have decided don't deserve to live. Agin, the lack of consistency is alarming.


Of course you don't, because your argument is based on appeal to emotion rather than practical reason and logic or genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.


But to do so requires a breathtaking level of hypocrisy.


Nonsense. If you know those five will die if you don't pull the lever sending the trolley towards the one, and you deliberately refuse to pull the lever, the deaths of those five are just as much your responsibility as the death of the one would be. Simply saying "it wasn't my fault" is no defence. From the moment you know that you can save them, deliberately not saving them is the same as killing them.


I didn't "assume". I came to a conclusion based on the available evidence.
(BTW, I don't think you were lying, just not being entirely honest. Disingenuous, if you prefer)


So what you meant was "Try and change my mind. You won't, because whatever argument you present will be wrong, but have a go anyway".


You need to come up with an example where the subject is at least similar to an early-stage foetus.
How about a 9 year old who, since birth, has never displayed any sentience and cannot survive without intensive medical support. Should the parents be allowed to pull the plug? Yes.
You clearly haven't matured since we last debated this subject, so I won't be responding to your posts.
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QE2
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(Original post by Joel 96)
You clearly haven't matured since we last debated this subject, so I won't be responding to your posts.
Crikey!
I thought I had presented some pretty reasonable arguments and rebuttals, but ya definitely got me there.
Top debating bro!
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looloo2134
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(Original post by hotpud)
So as someone in favour of being pro-life, are you ready to take on the consequences of people who conceive by accident? Would you adopt?
Many people adopt every year in Britain in Britain are rules are very strict some agencies do not allow people who smoke or over weight to adopt etc. I know people who tried adopting British children and they were turn away (An Asian couple who were not allow to adopt a white baby for example) most ended up going abroad to adopt.

Many agencies have strict rules that children are on their books for years when they could have be in a happy loving family since they were babies.

In the 1960s many children were adopted at few weeks old and did not end up in system for years and lead good lives.
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miser
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(Original post by Joel 96)
I am not opposed to any contraception that prevents conception from happening. Before the point of conception, there is no value in the singular sperm or the singular egg, as they will never grow into a fully developed human being. However, a fertilised egg - if left to its natural processes - will grow into a fully developed human being if not prevented from doing so by violence.
I'm not sure that's true. I agree that conception is a line that's objective and easy to point out, but it's not assured that conception (if left to natural processes) will lead to a fully developed human being, and it's just one line among many in the causal chain between sex and childbirth.

I think the chain of events that creates a human doesn't begin at conception but before it - conception itself is a consequence of prior events that caused the conception to take place. Contraceptives such as condoms effectively prevent a sperm and egg that otherwise would have developed into a new human from not developing into a new human - it's just that it's much harder for us to know which sperm and which egg because the interaction is chaotic and not easily inspected.

Once conception takes place, the fertilised egg must still undergo other processes such as combining the genetic material from each cell. Defects can easily occur and if they do the egg will stop developing and the pregnancy won't take, despite conception having taken place. If things work out well, the egg will attach itself to the uterine wall and continue development (implantation), however this could also fail, for example by happening too early or too late, and again fail to develop into a human.

Given there is a long causal chain and many hurdles to overcome, do you think there is a reason why the moment of conception in particular is ethically significant? If so, why choose conception as opposed to (for example) implantation or ejaculation?

(Original post by Joel 96)
From a pro-life standpoint, I believe that the line is objective and easy to point-out. Where do you draw the line as a pro-choicer and why?
I don't think there is a bright line ethically. I think there is a scale, and any line we draw on that scale would be an arbitrary one, but useful for making laws as a society.

Ethically speaking what I care about the most is preventing suffering, so I'd be in favour of a line that would be expected to cause the least. Because we don't know at what point a baby can begin to suffer, I think we should be conservative in our estimates about it.

I'm not a firm believer in pro-choice, it just seems on balance to look like the best option from a perspective of minimising suffering, so I would change my mind if I saw that (for example) drawing the line at conception was more effective in minimising suffering.
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Joel 96
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(Original post by QE2)
Crikey!
I thought I had presented some pretty reasonable arguments and rebuttals, but ya definitely got me there.
Top debating bro!
Nice bait, and it worked. I'll show you why your arguments are unreasonable.

"So you are in favour of abortion in some cases, you just don't want to call it abortion."
- I already clarified what abortion is, but you refuse to acknowledge the definition and go on to conclude that the tragic passing of a baby - a consequence of medical intervention - is abortion. It's not abortion if it isn't deliberate, but you proceed to conclude nonetheless that I must be in favour of abortion, which is just an incredible non sequitur to make.

"Citing the law as a reasonable guide to what is acceptable is not the bandwagon fallacy."
- His bandwagon fallacy was pointing out that the majority of the population supports the right to an abortion, implying that a majority rule trumps minority rule in ethical discussions, which it doesn't.

"Question begging. Seems you are setting up arbitrary divisions to suit your existing position. A sperm and egg will grow into a human if not prevented by contraception. How do you justify your position to those who insist that contraception is preventing a human life from developing?"
- This is just terribly misinformed. A singular sperm and a singular egg will not grow into fully developed human beings by themselves. The egg requires the sperm to fertilise it. If there is no fertilisation, then in its present state, there is no human life: just a sperm and an egg.

"For elective abortions it should be the earliest point that a foetus can survive outside the womb, for obvious reasons. For medical abortions there should be no limit, for obvious reasons."
- You say for obvious reasons, but it's not really that obvious. Why do you consider viability the all-consuming veto as to whether or not a human life has value? If a human isn't viable outside of the womb, then they don't have value?

"So you would allow the mother and foetus to die rather than abort the foetus. Kinda makes a mockery of your claim to be "pro-life"."
- I clarified that medical intervention to save a mother is necessary. If the baby dies as a result of said medical intervention, then I don't consider it an abortion.

"So you are not actually pro-life. In reality you are "pro-death" for people who you have decided don't deserve to live. Agin, the lack of consistency is alarming."
- For there to be a lack of consistency, my view on capital punishment would have to contradict my view on abortion. It does not. My view on human life is that all human life has the same value, until the moment in which you violate the rights of another human being.

"Of course you don't, because your argument is based on appeal to emotion rather than practical reason and logic or genuine concern for the wellbeing of others."
- How insightful.

"Nonsense. If you know those five will die if you don't pull the lever sending the trolley towards the one, and you deliberately refuse to pull the lever, the deaths of those five are just as much your responsibility as the death of the one would be. Simply saying "it wasn't my fault" is no defence. From the moment you know that you can save them, deliberately not saving them is the same as killing them."
- If I am automatically morally culpable in this trolley problem for whatever decision I make, then what is the point of the hypothetical?

"I didn't "assume". I came to a conclusion based on the available evidence.(BTW, I don't think you were lying, just not being entirely honest. Disingenuous, if you prefer)"
- There is no "evidence" for me being disingenuous. Please quote me where I have been disingenuous about having my mind changed.

"So what you meant was "Try and change my mind. You won't, because whatever argument you present will be wrong, but have a go anyway"."
- No. I've LITERALLY stated that there is a chance that I'm wrong about anything I believe in.

"You need to come up with an example where the subject is at least similar to an early-stage foetus. How about a 9 year old who, since birth, has never displayed any sentience and cannot survive without intensive medical support. Should the parents be allowed to pull the plug? Yes."
- You seem to be arguing that my analogy is disanaloguous because the 9-year-old has never experienced sentience before. Thus, you are making an argument based on the past - not the present. Please explain to me why an argument for the past is reasonable, but an argument for the future isn't reasonable. You can't have your cake and eat it.
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