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Which of these scenarios are logically consistent?(22 posts)

Which of these scenarios are logically consistent?ClydeTri
Jun 19, 2003 11:27 AM
I will propose four scenarios. I ask you to think which are morally and logically consistent, then I will comment.

A society has laws set up enabling:

1) The execution of convicted criminals of very serious crimes and legal abortion.

2) The execution of convicted criminals of very serious crimes, but abortion is illegal.

3) No capital punishment, but abortion is legal.

4) No capital punishment and abortion is illegal.

Okay, here is how I see those using moral based logic. "Guilty" are defined as convicted criminals of a serious crime.

1) Somewhat consistent in that society has deemed it is okay to take human life, both the innocent and the "guilty". One may argue neither is moral, but a believer of these is being logically consistent.
2) Morally logically and consistent in that innocent live is protected, but "guilty" life is not.
3) Totally morally and logically inconsistent. Society says it is okay to take innocent life, but, the "guilty" are protected.
4) Morally and logically consistent. Society does not allow any taking of human life.

Now, ask where you fall into this, and where do the vast majority of conservatives and liberals fall into these categories. I would venture to guess that the predominance of conservatives would agree with category 2, "moderates" of both republicans/democrats would agree with category 1.

What bothers me is that most liberals I bet would agree with category 3. They fight and protest to protect the lives of convicted murderers, yet will also march in support of abortion which is killing totally innocent life. I find it hard to logically reconcile these two actions.
the one where ...sacheson
Jun 19, 2003 12:22 PM
... the fanatical, soap-box preaching, morally exempt Christian gets their bible thumping rhetoric out of my politics and back into their church.

How about these?

1) The execution of convicted criminals of very serious crimes, legal abortion, and we justify killing innocent people in other countries for easier access to oil reserves.

2) The execution of convicted criminals of very serious crimes, abortion is illegal, and we justify killing non-Christians whereever they live.

3) No capital punishment, abortion is legal, and we invade Third-World countries so we can exploit their resources.

4) No capital punishment, abortion is illegal, and we invade Third-World countries for reasons based on lies, where we can exploit them for their resources.
Can't think of too many times I've agreed with you...The Walrus
Jun 19, 2003 12:27 PM
...but when you're right, you're right. It never fails to amaze me when the "pro-choice" faction professes shock that someone can want to protect the unborn and still advocate capital punishment, as if there's some great inconsistency. Executions are retribution imposed on those who've committed capital offenses of
i their own volition.
Abortion is punishment of the fetus for the "crime" of making a poor choice of parents, almost a literal rendering of the old "sins of the fathers (and mothers) being visited on the children". I find a sort of grim humor in the sanctimonious argument that it's so unfair to bring an unwanted child into the world; the apparent answer is reproductive nihilism--we have to kill the child in order to save it.

Abortion is a chickensh!t "solution" to parental irresponsibility.
Well to take a rationalists approach to the issue...Dwayne Barry
Jun 20, 2003 7:32 AM
I don't think there is anything rationally inconsistent with anti-abortion/pro death penalty if your underlying morality is religious based.

The differences come with how you define a fetus. Most modern judeo-christian religions define a fetus as a person at conception. Most people who don't oppose abortion don't view it that way. They would probably not define the fetus as a person and therefore worthy of protection until it is born or at least viable outside of the womb. That's how I look at it. So I'm pro-choice. I don't think an aborted fetus flys up to a heaven and pines away for the mortal life he or she missed or ever suffered in anticipation of being killed.

As far as an abortion being parental irresponsibility, you are aware that thanks to our vast behaviorial flexibility humans (along with some of the other great apes) have sex for the sheer enjoyment of it, not just to reproduce?
Jun 20, 2003 11:34 AM
Except for the fact that the most of these people are devout Christians. Last I checked the bible did not support the taking of human life (even as a form of retribution). This is one of the fundamentals being that it's a commandment.
I agree withmoneyman
Jun 19, 2003 1:00 PM
number 4. I don't believe abortion is right, and I don't approve of capital punishment.

My position is, as you say and I believe, morally consistent. It is the result of many years of contmeplation regarding these matters.

Isn't patria/matria potestas consistent with right to choose?Continental
Jun 19, 2003 1:02 PM
I can't understand why the right to choose ends when the fetus is viable. As long as you abort the life painlessly, why not extend the right to choose until the offspring is six months old, or two years old, or until the child becomes an adult? Kids can be such a burden, and some people just don't have the forsight to get an abortion. There are quick, painless ways to kill. The kid never has to know. There is extensive historical precedence for this right, and it was widely exercised until those damn religious nuts imposed their will on the civilized world.
I agree with a right to choose...ClydeTri
Jun 19, 2003 1:09 PM
A womans right to choose if she gets pregnant or not...once pregnant, the choice has been made...meaning, yes, if raped, abortion should be legal since she had no choice in that, and also, in cases of the mother's health, it should be legal. Abortion as a means of birth control devalues our society's value we place on life so much......
You're missing the fact....Dwayne Barry
Jun 20, 2003 10:34 AM
that once the child is viable out of the womb there are others willing to take care of him/her than the biological mother. However, at the fetus stage it solely falls upon the mother. Her body, her decision as to whether to kill the fetus or not.
mostly 4DougSloan
Jun 19, 2003 1:12 PM
You don't kill unnecessarily. Self-defense or defense of others is authorized. Convicts can be locked up forever. Unborn children are defenseless.

3 until a fetus is viable, then 4 - Why OK to murder Saddam?PdxMark
Jun 19, 2003 1:43 PM
Death penalties have no measuable deterrent effect. Legal systems are too imprecise to reliably impose death on any regular basis. I haven't figured out how to reconcile some state-sanctioned killing (like "reasonable" shoot-to-kill policing) with a moral justification for no death penalty. But I do know the death penalty doesn't work and, even more importantly under our Constitution, we make frequent mistakes. Without 0% mistakes, I think it's unconscionable for us to have the death penalty.

A non-viable fetus isn't a "life" or an "innocent child." It's an amalgam of cells growing in a woman - the possibility of a child. If it were a life, it could live outside the womb, but it can't. It's not viable. Once it's viable, it is a person and should be protected. If this is not the case, then birth control devices that disrupt implantation of a fertilized egg are killing children, and I think that is a difficult position to support.

But here's one, if you oppose the death penalty, why is it justified to try to kill Saddam Hussein for failure to comply with UN sanctions? It wasn't self-defense. He wasn't threatening the United States. Are UN sanctions a high enough law for the US to impose the death penalty?
Kill a maggot on a festering wound of a starving child is moralContinental
Jun 19, 2003 5:14 PM
Saddam is a lower life form than that maggot.

Also, we named all of our non-viable fetuses--Audrey, Sam and Jacob--and never considered them to be an amalgam of cells growing in my wife. If it matters, I'm a devout atheist, not a religous zealot, although I do have a lot of respect for the religious zealots who value human life, even in its incipient form.
You might rethink...rwbadley
Jun 20, 2003 8:41 AM
your disparagement of the maggot.

The maggot serves a high purpose in the life cycle. The maggot will clean the festering wound of that child. The maggot will also supply protein to that starving child.


My cat has a name, that doesn't make it a person nmPdxMark
Jun 20, 2003 9:28 AM
It's a crime to kill your catContinental
Jun 20, 2003 11:44 AM
I don't think that I have profound knowledge directly from God that makes me infallible about the abortion issue. I do know the excitement and love and responsibility that was present throughout my wife's 3 pregnancies. After those experiences I can never view the beginning of life so casually that I can consider abortion as tantamount to a tonsillectomy.

How many abortions would there be if the woman had to view a high resolution ultrasound of the fetus just prior to the abortion procedure? I don't think that most people would look at the organism with arms, legs, fingers, toes, a face, and a developing brain then consider it an amalgam of cells and proceed with the abortion. I know that I would puke if I watched what happens to a 12-week fetus during abortion. I didn't puke when I watched my son's tonsillectomy.

I don't advocate making abortion illegal because it would do nothing but transfer abortion to underground clinics. I do think that the prevalence of abortion is a symption of a dysfunctional society.
Jun 21, 2003 7:39 PM
I have a couple of friends (married) that have 5 or 6 cats. They don't have the slightest compunction towards the abortion of millions of children, but 'would have a cat' (an old colloquial expression meaning 'have a fit') if someone harmed their animals, much less perpetrated to them what is done to the aborted children/fetuses. And the cats are completely useless.

Good people but a very strange world in the way that so many think.
Jun 19, 2003 8:33 PM
I'm more of an iconoclast than a liberal, these are not marching issues for me, but given the four choices I pick #3.

I don't believe a fetus is a viable life form any more than a comatose hospital patient who is able to stay alive only by the grace of mechanical technology. I don't buy this "innocent" crap - so's the patient - and if I was that patient, I'd say (if I could) pull the plug! And I'd do it to a loved one as well, even an "innocent" one. Is that murder?

The bottom line is you do what your heart tells you is right, and that is based upon what you believe in; your faith. Oh yes, lest I forget to mention, you do what the law allows at that point in time. The key phrase there is "at that point in time" - because laws change, and anyone who bases their decision on "innocence" ought to think about moving to a little more solid ground.

As for executing criminals, after many years of leaning in favor of it, I've come to the conclusion that I wouldn't do it anymore. Way too many men compared to women on death row, and as the Illinois (or was it Michigan) governor recently discovered, a lot of these guys are innocent. Why take the chance - I am bothered that the American justice system as wonderful as you all say it is, is overly oppressive to its male citizens. Sure there are some real baddies, but I'm not convinced that the male gender is 10 times more criminal than the female gender... maybe two or three times, but 10??? It's a social problem waiting to be attended to, and when it is, I think all the laws, the entire justice system will have to be scrutinized very closely.

So, no to executing my brothers. It wouldn't solve a damn thing; and I'm not into revenge. I prefer to let the universe deal with the person's soul however it will. And that's because I do have faith in universal justice, which compensates for my disappointment in the earthly systems of justice which now exist.
Ther is one error in your logic.Len J
Jun 20, 2003 9:45 AM
Your arguments are based on an assumption that not everyone would agree with....that is that all unborn fetuses are "Innocent Life". Pro-Choice people would start with an assumption that Life starts sometime after conception, which would make number 3 entirely consistant as long as abortion is only allowed prior to the time they define as life starting.

I personally can not see any viable, defendable reason for capital punishment. On the abortion issue, I think that it is a personal choice issue. Since no one can definitivly state weather life starts with conception or not, the state needs to come up with something that has some basis in reason, the current definition is as good as any. But just because something is legal does not mean that you have to do it. Choice & individual conscience has to be the ultimate arbiter of the final decision. While we all would like to reduce this decision to simple moral "check the Box" rules, this one is never going to be that simple. There are just too many shades of grey, too many unique situitations, between yes or no to allow for a simple declaration. Those that cling to one are looking for simplicity in a complex world.

Jun 20, 2003 10:31 AM
I think that the people who want legal abortion (except in cases of rape,mother's health,etc) are just wanting an easy way out for their reckless behaviour. They dont want to have to suffer the consequences of their actions. The "CHOICE" comes in having sex with a person, if they dont want to get pregnant, dont do it.
Ther is one error in your logic.Jon Billheimer
Jun 20, 2003 11:29 AM
I think most of us are looking for simplicity in a complex world, which is why rule-based or prescriptive ethics are so attractive. Not knowing whether one is doing the "right thing" is tough to deal with.
Glad someone else noticed thatwilki5
Jun 20, 2003 11:35 AM
I fit #4.Spoke Wrench
Jun 20, 2003 4:04 PM
I don't believe in any killing unless there is simply no alternative. I don't think that happens very often.