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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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Your own words...

"for all POTENTIAL individuals."

If you're not an individual... you don't have the right.
When someone becomes an individual is considered the beginning of "life"... and neither of those can be defined with an objective definition as we all have subjective beliefs.

Even scientific reasoning as to the beginning of life is subjective... "new DNA strand created (conception)", "Brain activity", "heartbeat", etc etc.

I myself am pro-life and if capable of being pregnant myself... wouldn't take the risk of ending the possible "life" that may exist at conception or afterwords... BUT I can acknowledge that my own subjective definition of "life" might not be "the right one" regardless of how much I believe it... because there's no CONCLUSIVE evidence to say that it is. Therefore... me trying to force my subjective personal belief on someone else is the very opposite of libertarian.

The fact that many people here can't understand that... shows that many people here claim that they're being libertarian when they're being the opposite. They belong in the constitution party where they feel they have a right to interpret the constitution in a religiously biased fashion and enforce that on others.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
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Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

I don't need to claim to be a libertarian, I don't need a label.

Or want one, but even if I did I never asked for you to ordain me with such a label.

But one could say there's no conclusive evidence about the non-aggression principle doesn't mean I can't be believe in it.

I believe in up holding the things nature granted us Life liberty and property. I see that the fetus is on a path set by nature to become an independent human being. I see that it has the right to do so uninhibited by human intervention.

Well you might deem the constitution party a good choice for me but I wouldn't I'm not even American for starters. Also I want to dramatically reduce the army's size and encourage militias.

You're right it is enforcing a personal believe no less so than any other defensive use of the law or force. Be it preventing theft fraud or act of violence. But who said I wanted to change the law? It's a moral issue and I've given up on UK society completely...

Pro v Anti

Dems are PRO choice

Repubs are PRO-life

If libertarians want to define themselves maybe they should be

Anti - judgmental


Not all dems are pro choice and not all republicans are pro-life. That over-generalization puts your credibility regarding judgement at all on the topic into question heavily.

Libertarians SHOULD believe in allowing the fairest policies that protect THEIR OWN life, property, and pursuit of happiness. All I'm seeing by the theists here are that they think their subjective and personal definition of life is the only one and that it should be enforced on others... the very opposite of being libertarian.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

It sounds like you're mistaking Libertarians for Anarchists;

Libertarian does not mean Libertine.

I judge peoples actions all the time, and I'm more than happy to serve justice through force, and justice begins by defending liberty.

Make no mistake, I am pro-life.

everyone has the right to be

the purpose of government is threefold: to protect life, liberty, and property. notice that life is number one of the three. Everyone has the right to become who they were meant to become. If there is even the remote possibility that aborting a fetus is really murder don't you think that we should take the side of the fetus? This topic is why most of us that like Gary Johnson could not vote libertarian. When i saw the libertarian get up and speak at the Ron Paul rally in Tampa in August it became apparent when he called the fetus a "trespasser" in the womb that I could never vote for a libertarian. Most in the audience felt the same way. It was good that he left the stage when he did before things got ugly.

Your own words...

"right to become who they were meant to become."

1. You admit they they haven't become an individual yet... basing your position on potential of something deserving the right as though it's already met its potential.
2. You bring in the subjective belief of fate or destiny... perhaps even "God's plan". None of which you have a right to enforce on anyone else as a supposed libertarian.
3. "Life" can only protected in it's objective definition of the word. The only word "life" is subjective regarding the beginning of life because no one person, government, or religion has the authoritarian right to define it above all other subjective beliefs... regardless of how much you believe your beliefs are the "right/moral one".

Till viability is the fairest libertarian policy there is, because we cannot use one of many subjective versions of "the beginning of life" to define it. We must use viability as without being viable... the potential would never be met for life as an individual anyway.

"Fair" doesn't mean that everyone will be happy, because they believe that others' choices in their own life would violate their personal beliefs.

A Christian observing an atheist have an abortion is the equivalent of a Muslim watching anyone else eat pork. Your personal beliefs do not have the authority to reign over all others... your supposed facts about the world might be fiction.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

You talk about the purpose of

You talk about the purpose of government, but I think you forget the purpose of the constitution

"The Constitution was written explicitly for one purpose -- to restrain the federal government," Rep. Ron Paul

maybe we can agree on both? The govt has a purpose to protect us AND the Constitution has the purpose to protect us from said government.

I feel that the constitution has the purpose of protecting me from you using the government to impose rules on my life, even when your cause is morally just.

The govenrment can make rules

The govenrment can make rules that we can't kill each other right? That is not unconstitutional.

Actually, that is part of the

Actually, that is part of the general police power, which (should, at least) reside with the states. The only federal crimes should be the ones permitted by the constitution (e.g., treason).

my two cents

IMHO there is divide between Libertarians and those, like myself who see it useful, politically for this country but not as an all explaining philosophy. All humans are dependent on each other so the "lack of viability" of an infant ("fetus" is either latin or greek for infant) is no justification for killing him or her. I couldn't kill my aunt if she was in a wheel chair and had to move in with me for financial reasons. I used to be pro-choice. My mom worked for Planned Parenthood. But one I realized that yes they are little babies being killed I felt an obligation do what I can to stop it. You are correct in that the legal aspect is only one part of this.


I never said that viability =

I never said that viability = life. I said that regarding the beginning of being an "individual"... you should have been viable at least once.

Would be like eating an egg and telling yourself you ate a baby chick instead. No, you ate an egg.

You need to be able to survive, even briefly, on your own before you can "survive" in the sense of needing something to maintain and sustain your individual life.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

Thought the etymology interesting. it's closer to offspring


late 14c., "the young while in the womb or egg," from L. fetus "the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young," from Latin base *fe- "to generate, bear," also "to suck, suckle" (see fecund). In Latin, fetus sometimes was transferred figuratively to the newborn creature itself, or used in a sense of "offspring, brood", but this was not the basic meaning.

The spelling foetus is sometimes attempted as a learned Latinism, but it is not historic. Foetus is also the official spelling in the Britain and the British common wealth,(hence google is trying to correct fetus for me) though fetus is used in the medical world here...

My view

My view is that you don't use the govt to force people.

Trying to legislate morality right now would be an act of force on the people.

If the morality of the people demanded more govt intervention, then it wouldn't be force.

Partial birth abortion is an absolute travesty and I would say murder, but you could consider it all murder if you believe life begins at conception. But just like I am not going to force the govt to take from my neighbor and give to me as I wished. I cant force the govt to give me what I wish here as well, because it would be a use of force against the (incorrect) morality of the people.

Stick with blocking late term , but there is so much more to the pro life movement.

Positive examples we should enforce for pro-life is support for orphanages, and adoption. Strong vocal support that there are other options, and put the time in to support this, lessen the burden on the kids and the institutions that support them, and make people actually consider this.

Pro life is also keeping our men and women in the military out of harms way, out of war. And to be there for our troops when they come home.

No force, no war, support orphans, support adoptions, support big brothers & sisters, support our troops.

Get away form choice and intra-vaginal exams, sonograms, "legitimate exceptions" to rape, ect.

Move moral issues to state and local if it will go that way... but don't try to "force" the issue.

abortion is not a "moral" issue

Our government was designed to protect life, liberty, and property. Protection of life is not a moral issue like restricting people from drinking or smoking. Everyone has the right to exist.

You can only protect life

You can only protect life when it's "life" regarding its objective definition... You can't protect "life" by it's subjective definition regarding when it begins... as there are too many subjective definitions.

A true libertarian respects the fact that their own belief about when life begins may not be the right one... no matter how much they believe it is... and such... they have no authority to enforce that belief on others.

The liberty movement is saturated with those that claim what they do or support is libertarian... when it's the very opposite.

They belong in the Constitution party where enforcing a religious/moral interpretation of the constitution and enforcing it on others is allowed.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

I think that you and I are in

I think that you and I are in agreement when life begins, but not everyone agrees.

I agree on protecting life, but what comes down to the morals issue is when that life begins.

Life is not a moral issue. The agreement by a diverse nation of when life begins is the moral issue. and thus abortion becomes a moral issue

Libertarianism and Abortion

This argument just won't hold water. We hear women demanding their putative "reproductive rights", but never considering their reproductive responsibilities.

Taking the position that "I am personally opposed to abortion, but I can't force my opinion on someone else" is just like saying, I would never seek to exterminate Jews, but if the Nazis decide to, who am I to intervene?

When the rights of any of us are up for grabs, the rights of all of us are in jeopardy. Millions of Americans during World War Two didn't have a problem with the incarceration of American citizens who's families were Japanese - because THEIR families weren't Japanese. It really didn't inconvenience them.

Today, we see criminal politicians in Washington using torture, indefinite detention without charges, and even assassination of American citizens - and millions of American cheer. What the hell? We are speaking of "terrorists". The Constitution doesn't apply to them. They are "illegal combatants". That begs the question, what is a LEGAL combatant? Presumably a person in uniform who is acting in behalf of a government that has DECLARED WAR. But that's not my point.

If our politicians can do this to people they decide are "terrorists", what if they decide that WE are terrorists? You know, people who support RON PAUL. Or people who are willing to surrender their firearms. Maybe even people wh0o criticize our politicians.

Our Number One Terrorist, Janet Napolitano said that returning Iraqi veterans were "potential terrorists". Add that to Ron Paul supporters and gun owners and I'm a three-time loser!

If the unborn can be considered non-persons, what about slaves? Can we brand certain people "non-persons" based on their skin color?

If EVERYONE'S rights are not protected, then we are ALL at risk. We are all at risk because of the prevalence of the Culture of Death. In the Culture of Death, human life is cheap. The Just War Theory has been repudiated by our politicians. And with it comes assassinations, torture and the destruction of personal freedoms in deference to the security of the state - and those who control the state.

Notice the extraordinary measure taken to protect these politicians. Automatic weapons and even surface to air missiles protect these same politicians who would like to disarm the American people, leaving them helpless.

We, you and me, don't matter. We are not high-level politicians, and we are not spotted owls. We are expendable. Millions of Americans now believe that the life of the president is more valuable than their own!

The bottom line is, we can't enjoy our rights if we don't accept our responsibilities. Otherwise, we are little different than the lazy, ne'er do well who shakes his fist at us demanding the same benefits and possessions we have worked for.

This abortion issue is dividing us. And that division is predicated on a refusal by some people to accept their responsibilities rather than to seek license - and call it their right.

Your Jew example is Flawed

The Jews in your example met the objective definition of life... but regarding abortion there is only subjective definitions of when that life begins in the first place.

They can't be compared regardless of how much you believe life starts at conception... because it's a subjective belief trying to objectively define.

Forcing a personal belief on others is the very opposite of being libertarian.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

Abortion is one of the wedge-issues that will keep Repubs

out of the White House -- FOREVERRRR.

The Abortion Issue could be solved keeping Abortion "legal"

Subsidize women who get pregnant and keep their babies or give them up for adoption.

That will get Liberal Support, it will Save the Babies (if that's truly what Republicans want -- which I don't think it is), and get Repubs back in the fight.

I don't think saving Babies is what the Pro-Life movement is about.

These are the same folks that say "don't tax the rich"

They want people -- in a down economy, with dollar destruction and mass inflation, to "pull themselves up by the bootstrap" -- Meaning: They want abortion to stop and don't want to pay one penny toward it for it.

Wow -- combine that with an overall anti-mexican stance and you folks wonder why Ron Paul (or any of the other 2 or 3 "good republicans" can't turn the tide?).

Many of you were voting for non-RP republicans going back for 10 to 20 years -- most RPers are "new" to this type of world view and are only on the RP-tip because of what happened to housing and dollar destruction.

What does it take to prop-up gov't -- the #1 thing?

Voting and Lobbying

Eliminate those two things and gov't begins to fade.
---Well you have to combine it with LOTS of localism

I know you are against voting

I know you are against voting and lobbying, but what about governing? Have you considered running for office? Doesn't matter the party. You have some pretty good advice for republicans.

Just thinking about that has me "compromising" my breakfast

agenda -- The individualist at times does not compromise; a politician, who is non-compromising never gets on a ballot save the 14th District of Texas.

Keeping abortion "legal" is

Keeping abortion "legal" is not different than terminating the lives of the retarded, or those to old and feeble to work. It's the same attitude: who needs them?

Politicians have lobbied for decades, and made Court decisions in order to make human life expendable - unless of course, it's THEIR lives. The tell us that the planet is overpopulated. They produce charts showing how the population of the earth must be reduced in order to guarantee "sustainability" But they never offer to do the honorable thing. They never offer to end their own miserable lives.

Advocates of abortion have a similar outlook. They have survived birth. They have no intention of checking out any sooner than necessary. But as to the unborn, kill them if they are inconvenient.

And you people call yourselves Libertarians? I think Libertines would be more appropriate.

I'm not an advocate for abortion -- I said there's a solution

to reduce the number of abortions using free-market means BEGINNING TODAY.

But no one will have a serious discussion about, sooooooo, I believe pro-lifers do not really want a solution, they just want it to be over (by gov't force).

In a Free-Society YOU CANNOT stop abortion:

#1 All medical records in a free-society are PRIVATE
#2 There is no Gov't Certification and thus PERFECT competition in the medical industry
---Meaning you cannot tell a doctor how to treat his patients
#3 There is NO gov't census regarding medical treatments in a free-society (as all medical information is TRULY private) -- thus you will not know how many are taking place....PERIOD.

That's it -- there are other reasons why you can't stop it in a free-society.

Now in a Corporatist Society we've had abortion for nearly 40 years. Never once were we even close to eliminating it. Not even close.

We are more likely to end the War on Drugs then abortion.

And it's for the same reason no one will have an adult conversation with me about the OBVIOUS solution -- instead I get down voted.

People like platitudes and homilies -- they do not like pragmatic discussion that will require more effort and patients then the simplicity of popping a pill (voting - a "one off" low-effort solution).

We had a free society in the

We had a free society in the garden of Eden. I like your pragmatic discussion and I generally agree that the only way to solve abortion is at the local level and some churches rightly offer counseling and other services to young women considering abortion or post-abortion. Those who really are serious about solving most issues will not go voting and lobbying to government but rather start a non-profit service and do something about it. Of course, we can talk about pragmatic government solutions as to which policies reduce the number of abortions. Your ideas of subsidizing families sounds like wealth redistribution, but since our current form of government responds to this kind of politics not a bad idea to consider.

You're both wrong... as the

You're both wrong... as the topic here is the fact that there is no objective definition of the "beginning of life" to even use in the first place to decide when to start "protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" with.

Something aside from your subjective beliefs about when "life" starts need to be used in order to come up with a fair law that protects the woman's rights while as carefully as possible protecting the POSSIBLE individual inside of her. You need to be able to survive on your own at least once in order to be an individual outside of any other person. If a premature baby is born and survived long enough to make it to special care... it has gauranteed rights... just like an elderly person who requires medication and help from others to survive.

...but until they're viable... they've never been... and in never being viable... they aren't an individual.

"Fair" doesn't mean that you with your personal beliefs will like it.

The only way to see how it's fair is to remove the idea of religion or subjective belief from your mind and look at it in only an objective light.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

if you run into that woman

carrying "possible life" with your car and kill her that's two charges.

"The two weakest arguments for any issue on the House floor are moral and constitutional"
Ron Paul

Phxarcher87's picture

I bet its hard....

to have a firm stance on anything in life if you cannot start with the smallest form of it....

James Madison

So tell me...

What makes your subjective belief about when "life" starts among the hundreds if not thousands of different beliefs out there... the right one enough to enforce it on others?

I've come to the conclusion laid out in the post because I'm looking for a firm stance that isn't tainted by my own personal beliefs. That's the only way to make sure you're not enforcing them on others... it's the only true way to be libertarian.

I am pro-life... but I'm wise enough to know that my beliefs don't supersede anyone else's when all I have is supporting, not conclusive, evidence.

The problem about the abortion issue is that the majority of you take your definition of when "life" begins... and run with it... when neither side has the right to define it as though it were fact.

When "life" begins is an opinion only... and arguing opinion you WANT to BELIEVE is true (not proven fact)... let alone enforcing it on others is both pointless, unproductive, and anti-libertarian.

Critical Thinking > Emotional Thinking > Pseudo-Intellectuals that Saturate DP
Utilitarianism > Consequentialism > Deontology > Egocentrism
Making people feel "troll'd" with the truth > being an intentional troll > acting like one naturally

Hey ... xRegardsx

I see that you responded to my post in which I disagreed with you. The post is down a ways, so I will respond here. I know there are a lot of pro-lifers around here and I am not interested in debating multiple people all making multiple points. So, I will respond to yours, since you started the thread.

I will start my responses to your points with "***".


1. Something that doesn't have "life"... a subjective term... can't have rights. That being the case, it's a valid question to determine whether something has rights or not.

*** I do not agree that "life" is a subjective term. Life is a biological reality and, therefore, can be objectively quantified. Why do you say the term is subjective?

2. "Life begins at conception", regardless of how hard you believe it's true, is your subjective personal belief. I've already explained how you, as a supposed libertarian, cannot force your subjective belief on others.

*** Again, I disagree that it is subjective. Why do you think it is anything other than objectively true or false?

3. Observation of what happens consequently in scientific terms doesn't conclusively define when life begins... as it's a subjective term.

*** Again, same disagreement. You will have to explain why you think life is subjective or we will never agree.

4. You're using circular logic.
-When do rights begin? When life begins!

*** No, that is not my position. You are using a straw man here.

-When does life begin? At conception!
-What protects the fetus at conception? Its rights!

Seeing as you cannot use a subjective personal belief or consequential observation about something that hasn't happened yet to define a subjective term, because we all can have different subjective personal beliefs that attempt to define the subjective term... "At conception!" is removed from your circular logic and therefore makes it illogical.

*** You are engaging in logical fallacy (straw man) and failing to define your terms (why would "life" or "conception" be subjective terms?).

5. You're right, it's a state issue. At the state level though, if unbiased (not including your subjective personal beliefs) logic is found and it doesn't violate libertarian principle based on (unbiased) science alone... then it becomes the responsibility to adhere to it.

*** We agree it is a state issue. The rest of your statement is incoherent.

6. "Constitution/State Rights" doesn't change the fact that forcing a subjective personal belief on someone else is being "libertarian". This stance is built on sound logic and reasoning, not on "it's a gray issue so let's chalk it up to compromise" as you're implying.

*** This point can only be discussed after you show how "life" and "conception" are subjective terms.

7. You're then backwards on the "life inside" issue. If there is something with rights inside of you... whether you put it there or not... that gives you the right to violate those rights?

*** I disagree with your premise here that "rights are inside of you." Rights are an abstract concept, not a real world physical thing. They are the intellectual conclusion reached when one considers how people should live with one another within a society. They are a description of actions people take with regard to other people, and they are either honored by others or they are not. The discussion then turns to whether a particular "right" (i.e. human action) should be honored as a right or not; and if so, what to do (i.e. what subsequent action to take) if said right is not honored (i.e. when "rights are violated").

This begs the question about cases of rape. A responsible person that was raped, not only should tell someone, but should also have a pregnancy test. The person feeling in such a way where they choose to not do the responsible things doesn't excuse them from the risk involved in not doing it... as not doing the responsible thing is choosing to take the risk whether knowledgeable or not. They chose to not be careful after the fact. Being naive doesn't excuse it either. Viability would work in cases of rape/incest.

*** This is irrelevant to the primary discussion. Having said that, I am not completely sure what you are saying here, but I suspect I will disagree with you again. My position is that an act of rape is a violation of rights (i.e. the rapist violates the right of the victim to not have their person violated). This is a distinctly separate and irrelevant issue with regard to whether or not that woman, now impregnated, has a right to abort (and whether or not the fertilized egg has a right to not be aborted). They are two separate sets of rights and two separate discussions.