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An Attempt at an Unbiased & Libertarian Stance on Abortion

Seeing as us all being individuals with our own beliefs... no one has the right to define "life" as it's a subjective term. Polarizing that with your religious belief or lack of religious belief doesn't change the fact that there are libertarian principles on both sides of the argument (the liberty of the mother versus child in different circumstances) and no conclusive evidence to bring us to one defined "beginning of life".

Example: Science aside, one religion might define life at conception while another might define it at birth. As a libertarian you respect another person enough to not force your subjective beliefs on someone else.

Because of this, we can only use conclusive evidence to determine an "individual". It sounds cold, and I know this because I myself am pro-life in the sense that I wouldn't take the risk of killing an unborn "person" myself if I were pregnant, but at the scientific end regarding a woman's body... until viability... the unborn child is still a part of her as it wouldn't sustain life without her... the mother being a host to the child just as necessary organs are a "mother" of an appendage. An arm or leg wouldn't survive if you inserted an active brain into it and cut it off. Again I know it's cold, but conclusive evidence shows we're possibly just meat and flesh.

As an agnostic, someone that sees only supporting evidence on both sides of the theist/atheist argument of whether or not god exists, and no conclusive evidence in sight, I can only focus on trying to be a good person. This also allows me to be less biased regarding areas of belief.

(Yes, believing there is no god is still a belief with its own faith system. You can be an atheist your entire life, die, and find out there's a heaven... meaning you could find out you were wrong. If you could have been wrong in that situation in the future... then you can be wrong right now. You have faith that there isn't a god because all of your conclusive evidence of what IS proven is in itself your only supporting evidence to that which is not existent.)

In conclusion, my stance is that the most libertarian law regarding abortion would be that it were legal up till viability, even though I myself wouldn't do it if it were me. Your personal belief may disagree with that from either side of the pro-choice/pro-life stance, but as a libertarian, you can't impose your personal subjective beliefs and definitions of a word on others.

What do you think?

(This was originally going to be at the end of another post, but it became longer than the post itself so figured it deserved it's own topic for discussion and reference: http://www.dailypaul.com/262272/which-party-is-closer-to-lib... )



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So all that...

From that whole response, the only fault you can come up with is my semantic misuse of the word baby?

ob·jec·tive
adj.
1. Of or having to do with a material object.
2. Having actual existence or reality.
3. Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal.

All living human beings have a beating heart (observable phenomena).
A fetus has a beating heart (observable phenomena).
Therefore, a fetus is a living human being.

log·ic   /ˈlɒdʒɪk/
noun
1. the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference.

While the logical failing of this argument is obvious,

And was well refuted in the below response, I wanted to add a small tidbit in case there was confusion.

All living human beings have a beating heart (observable phenomena). A fetus has a beating heart (observable phenomena). Therefore, a fetus is a living human being.

A lizard has a heartbeat, (observable phenomenon). Therefore a lizard is a human being.

Woops.

Flaw in logic...

A = Has heartbeat
B = Living Human Being
C = Unborn Fetus

Your logic is:
IF B = A and C = A THEN C = B
IF "Living Human Being" has a heartbeat and an "Unborn Fetus" has a heartbeat THEN "Unborn Fetus" = "Living Human Being"

"Living Human Being" does not equal "Unborn Fetus"

Why that doesn't work outside of math...
If Red = Color and Blue = Color then Red = Blue

Anything after "THEN" is an ASSIGNMENT statement... not an observed condition. It being an assignment statement means you're trying to DEFINE "life" with heartbeat... when we could use similar flawed logic in order to come to the same conclusion you tried coming to.

Here's your fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

It's flawed reasoning... and in turn... doesn't work to objectively define.

Your flawed reasoning leads you to a non-objective conclusion.

You had an objective appraisal as best you could, but ended up coming to a biased conclusion rather than an objective one.

And no... if you read the rest of what I wrote and actually gave it consideration... you would have seen there was more to pointing out a definition. I explained how your misuse of the word showed A LOT more about you, your overall position, and why you wanted to misuse words in the first place.

Heavy bias... which has no place in an objective debate.

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True the arguement is

True the arguement is fallacious. My flawed argument is irrelevent to the objectivity of a beating heart. It is tangible and can be seen and heard, not something I simply believe or is plastic like the definition of "viability" which varies from country-to-country, state-to-state, person-to-person.

My opinions.

Feel free to reply if I sound "hypocritical" or don't make sense. I welcome all criticism as long as it is thought-provoking :)

1. I am Pro-Life, but I don't necessarily believe that Life begins at conception. If I am to give my religious views a name, I guess I would call myself a "Spiritualist". I believe that the Pineal Gland (Third Eye) may be the "Seat of the Soul" which creates a hormone called DMT. DMT is produced naturally by the Pineal Gland at certain times in our lives; an initial burst of DMT is created approx. 49 days after conception, which I take to be as the moment a "soul" actually enters the body; during birth; while we sleep (dreaming); and at the moment of death, when our "soul" leaves our physical bodies.

2. Being Pro-Life I believe that ALL life is precious and a gift from our creator. I will always advocate for adoption, as opposed to abortion.

3. I do however believe that I do NOT have a right to tell someone else (a woman) what she can or can NOT do with her own body. It is not up to me to tell someone else what to do. I believe that if someone chooses to abort a pregnancy then they must live that decision. That decision is ultimately between them and God.

4. Abortions are a moral issue and we can not legislate morality. The answer to change morality is to EDUCATE and ADVOCATE.

5. Since we live in an "immoral" society (not collectivising anyone, just making a point) I would prefer that Abortion be LEGAL as opposed to ILLEGAL. IF a woman were to choose abortion as the answer to her choices, I would prefer that she have the option of doing so in CLEAN and STERILE facilities, as opposed to back alley (underground) clinics or dinky clinics across the border (in Mexico or whatever). If someone wants an abortion, they will get an abortion. Just like if someone wants to do drugs, they will do drugs; regardless of the LEGALITY issue.

So in my personal life, I am an advocate for LIFE. But in regards to others I do not have the right to limit the choices of others. I don't like titles, but I guess I am on both sides of the coin; Pro-Life and Pro-Choice.

Does this make any sense to anybody? I am looking forward to any responses or rebuttals anyone may have.

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I appreciate your position...

I appreciate your position with regards to not having a right to tell somone what they can or can't do with their body. I used to share this position as well. That was until I saw my son's first ultrasound at 8 weeks and saw his beating heart. On later reflection, I realized that to silence that beating heart would be murder. Once I truly believed that abortion was murder, then the belief that it was a woman's right went right out the window. No one has the right to commit murder.

Thank you, for your personal story re: ultrasound;

to me it is interesting how people keep saying the woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body. The preborn baby is not her own body, it is a separate human being. Shucks, Dr. Paul says when he went to medical school they taught the student when a woman is pregnant, there are two patients. It is revolting to the extreme when people act as if the preborn baby is part of the body, no different than fingernails to be clipped or hair to be cut, for cryin' out loud. It's a different person that is precious to God.

Another thing is interesting is when people say, prenatal murder should be legal, I have no right to tell someone not to do it, but I wouldn't do it myself. If there's nothing wrong with it, why not? If it's murder (which it is) then it's illegal.

Answer this then...

When did the woman's body lose ownership of her egg?

When it turned into a zygote?

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At fertilization....

a new human being is created. All that is added to this new precious human, from fertilization to birth, is time and nutrition.

Dogma...

Something has to have "life" for it to be murdered... and defining "life" as a heartbeat still doesn't work because there is no objective definition of "life"... meaning it's murder to you, but not everyone... meaning it's a personal belief rather than a fact. It's an opinion.

The problem with the world is that we take our opinions, try to claim they're facts, and then fight for them as though they are... trying to force our pseudo-facts on each other and enforce the policies created by them.

That is the very opposite of libertarianism... and because of this counter-productive thought process... many so-called libertarians... are doing the very opposite of being libertarian. They can't separate their facts from their opinions because they've made those opinions/assumptions define them.

Ideas > Identity defining Beliefs... wait for it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efTwYSuqIgo

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I disagree

Libertarians believe in the freedom to pursue your own goals as long as your actions do not infringe on the rights of others.

We have a right to life. Murder is wrong because it infringes on the right to life. If an unborn fetus is alive, then to abort it is murder, a violation of its right to life. You talk about facts and opinions. What fact is there that a fetus is not alive and therefore does not have a right to its life? Here's a fact, every living person has a heartbeat (except Dick Cheney). Name a time when a person's right to life is not being violated when their beating heart is stopped by another human being. I can name couple.

Open heart surgery, a doctor sometimes has to stop the heart while trying to repair it. True, but that procedure is being performed under the informed consent of the patient who agreed to the procedure. It is not a violation of his right to life.

Another would be when they "pull-the-plug" on a terminally ill patient's life support. Severing the life support of a terminally ill patient, right or wrong, and that of an unborn fetus are very different. In the case of a terminally ill patient, the person could be sustained on life support until their body ultimately fails and they die, dispite sciences best efforts to keep them alive. With an unborn baby, you are severing the life support of a human being whose life would continue normally after birth.

If a patient was expected to make a full recovery as long as they remained on life support while their body healed and a doctor pulled-the-plug and allowed that patient to die, wouldn't that doctor be guilty of murder? If the patient was unable to communicate their wishes to live, would the their mother's consent to severing her child's life support make it okay?

A subjective definition of an unborn child's life would be I believe an infant starts thinking at 20 weeks, therefore it is alive then. That definition exists only in the mind of the person who believes it because they have no objective evidence to prove it.

A beating heart is an objective observation of an unborn baby's evidence of life backed up by the fact that a living person has a heartbeat.

"Heartbeat" is still subjective to other definitions

An unborn fetus doesn't have goals or a pursuit of happiness. "Potential" for such things does not equal having reached that potential.

Repeating "right to life" and the morals that implies when your PERSONAL BELIEFS/opinions of when life begin... no matter how hard you believe out of the thousands of different beliefs out there... yours is right... doesn't make it so.

Enforcing your personal beliefs and all of the reasoning that are derived from them onto others is the very opposite of libertarian.

Your belief that "life" begins at a heartbeat... is subjective... as there are people that believe it starts at conception, starts at brain activity, starts at viability, starts at birth, starts at the first production of a certain hormone, etc etc.

If a fetus can't survive outside of the woman long enough to make it to special care, that doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to no longer be "support" for something else to POTENTIALLY become an individual.

The doctor would be guilty of murder, but only because that patient at one time was able to survive on its own for even a moment.

The observation of a heartbeat versus the measurement of brain activity are BOTH still subjective, because there are STILL other definitions against it scientifically let alone elsewhere.

Where the human race has failed in determining what the best libertarian course of action is regarding abortion... we've been worrying more about coming to our own conclusion (personal belief and then fighting for it) than coming to a conclusion about how ALL OF OUR beliefs can be protected in OUR OWN cases.

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"The doctor would be guilty

"The doctor would be guilty of murder, but only because that patient at one time was able to survive on its own for even a moment."

The doctor would be guilty of murder because he prematurely ended the life of the patient. A life that would have continued normally if not for the doctor's intervention.

I agree there are many subjective definitions of when life begins and there are some objective ones as well: conception, heart beat, brain activity. Objectivity does not equal validity. I know my defintion that life begins when the heart starts beating is an opinion. I can, however, back my opinion up with observable phenomena that support it.

In another post, you asked when a woman's egg becomes not her's anymore. Personally, I think it should be when the woman made the choice to engage in sexual activity and accepted the risk of possible pregnancy. Unfortunately, personal responsibility for our own actions is being replaced by governmental intervention designed to alleviate us of responsibility.

Some may say that is unfair to the woman. What in the Constitution garauntee's a Right to Fairness? The Constitution tries to create an equality of opportunity, not outcomes. You have the right to the opportunity to pursue your goals, but there is no garauntee the outcomes will be what you wanted. If a person's goal is to have sex and they get pregnant, they have no one but themselves to blame and should accept the outcome of their actions. Abortion alleviates them of the responsibility for their actions.

"The doctor would be guilty

"The doctor would be guilty of murder because he prematurely ended the life of the patient. A life that would have continued normally if not for the doctor's intervention."

You can't use "a life" in your reasoning as the beginning of life is what's in question in the first place.

It's as ridiculous as calling a 1 day old zygote's abortion murder.

"I think it should be when the woman made the choice to engage in sexual activity and accepted the risk of possible pregnancy. Unfortunately, personal responsibility for our own actions is being replaced by governmental intervention designed to alleviate us of responsibility."

That logic is based on the personal belief that something supernatural happens at conception... which again is your personal subjective beliefs.

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Conception is a more

Conception is a more objective definition that viability. I don't agree with conception either, but viability is to malliable a yardstick to base moral judgements like, "When would abortion be considered murder?"

By your viability arguement:

A fetus is aborted at 15 weeks, several weeks before viability with today's technology. That's not considered murder.

Ten years ago, a fetus could be aborted by partial birth abortion performed up to 23 weeks That is murder now, but it wasn't 10 years ago.

A fetus is aborted at 30 weeks which would be viable in all except the poorest countries. That is murder.

A woman today can't abort a 23 week fetus in the United States because it is considered viable. She goes to another country where 23 weeks isn't considered viable and has the fetus aborted. Is that murder, or isn't it?

Murder is murder, its definition doesn't change over time and with changes in technology or geographical location.

A beating heart is objective, and static over time.

My view:

Before brain activity = acceptable (in my personal opinion)

After brain activity begins = not acceptable (in my personal opinion)

In the later case, if the mother is unfit/unwilling to care for the child, it should be put up for adoption.

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What about an independent heartbeat?

So, even if there is a viable, independent heartbeat of another human being, that's ok to abort?

Ask the fetus if it wants to live or die...

If it doesn't answer, allow it enough time to learn a language and ask it again.

Until it can answer the question itself, the government exists to protect its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and for little other reason.

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Circular Reasoning

1. Ask something that may or may not have (subjective) "life" whether it wants to become viable when you know it cannot.
2. Wait until it is viable.
3. Wait until it can talk and already has guaranteed rights under any subjective definition of "life".

1. Government exists to protect objectively defined "life".
2. "Life" is a subjective terms that cannot be defined regarding the beginning of it.
3. Government can't protect life based on a subjective definition.

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if we aren't going to intervene

when saddam gases kurds then i don't see why we should intervene when a woman we don't know wants to have an abortion.

uumm, strange reasoning, you see

the US government supplied the gas that killed the kurds, and turned a blind eye to it until it suited them not to. Exactly the same as abortion. They know it goes on, but use it when it suits.
I strongly feel that abortion is not a liberation issue, it is a moral dilemma

Moral = Personal Belief < Liberty for all in fairest terms.

It being a moral dilemma means that all of our beliefs are different.

We need to find the fairest policy that protects our OWN property, life, and pursuit of happiness... not the policy that protects your happiness regarding whether you like someone else's choices or not with what may or may not be "life".

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I meant we as libertarians.

i.e. we wouldn't get involved in one, so why get involved in the other.

I'm with you on this,

I would never abort a child myself and I feel strongly that it is taking a life. But that being said, I do not believe in telling others how to live or what they must do with their bodies.(or judging them for doing something I would not do) Like Dr. Paul said, it is a moral problem. You cannot legislate morality. It is a very tough issue, this abortion topic.

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-Thomas Paine

One thing that I do find

One thing that I do find frustrating about many (not all) pro-choicers is that they very often use the term "a woman's right to her own body" or some other equivalent, but ONLY talk about this in the context of abortions.

For example, they don't say "a woman should be able to drink raw milk if she wants because, gosh darnit, it's her own body!"

The Democrat/Polarized liberal contradiction

Abortion! Woohoo!
Drugs! BAAAAD!

Contradictions are rampant on both sides of the aisle and those that they pander to.

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The right to your Life and to exist is the Ultimate Libertarian

cause. It goes above all other Libertarian issues, without the right to exist you have no right to be free, smoke pot, own property or any other SECondary right.

It's the ultimate right

The only problem is...

...you, a religion, or any government... are capable of objectively defining when "life" begins.

In that regard it's a subjective term that has many possible definitions based on people's personal beliefs.

To claim it's at conception because of subjective beliefs A, B, and C... and then force those on someone else is the very opposite of libertarian... especially when they have subjective beliefs D, E, and F.

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I think you're right about life as the primary right

and other secondary, good way of putting it.

As I said in my post we libertarians agree in all other areas liberty stops when it harms others...

We have the right to the opportunity to own property.

We don't get given some to ensure its coming about, unless you voted Obama you'll agree...

I also believe the opportunity to our life is a right, for all potential individuals. Life can never be ensured at any stage in development, pre or postnatal. It is literally in-consequential when life begins in terms of results. As the timing of a life being taken or being prevented from existing bears zero difference on the outcome. A future human being that was granted a path to existence by nature has been wiped from existence by human interference.

I understand where libertarians on the other side come from, I also am not at comfortable with the state telling an individual what to do with their bodies. Our disagreement is a life or liberty question. Life to me is the source of our liberty, we agree in all other areas liberty stops when it harms others thus I hold my position. I empathise less with the non-libertarian so called pro-choicers who are in fact opposed to choice, those who would force me to pay for "choice". Such people are only pro-abortion, not pro-choice. I think only society or the market can solve this moral issue, not the state.

As to weather the position you hold is un-biased OP or more or less libertarian. it's no less an imposition your personal subjective beliefs and definitions as any other position, when you think about it...