The strange contradiction of abortion and capital punishment

Why is it that the same group of people that are so against abortion, citing the preciousness of life, are also so in favor of the death penalty?  And why is it that the same people that are pro-choice are so against the death penalty, often claiming that we become as bad as the killers by killing them?  Well, what is it, then?  If life is so precious why are we willing to kill people when nothing can be accomplished by it?  On the other side, why is it so awful to kill someone that stole someone else’s life, but okay to destroy a completely innocent person that happens to be in a womb?

In a previous post, Scott commented that the beginning of life has to be determined to know when you’re killing a person and not just an unfeeling, unknowing fetus.  Well, that’s pretty easy to determine.  A person is medically considered dead when brain wave activity ceases.  So, it’s simple: life begins when brain activity begins.

PS – Legally, doctors cannot perform abortions on a viable fetus aka a fetus that could live if ripped from the uterus and given proper care/treatment.  That’s nice, but the doctors that assess the viability are the same that will perform the potential abortion, a clear ethical conflict of interest.



One response to “The strange contradiction of abortion and capital punishment

  1. This is a pretty loaded question, but STILL a pretty good one. I think you’re liable to get nothing but emotional, non-didactic “answers” to this, though, as philosophical/theosophical rhetoric inform MOST persons’ responses to this topic (i.e. people, in conjecture to their personal “moral” beliefs, have different conceptions of what “life” is and when it develops, with or without evidence, and will “argue” as such).

    Be that as it may, this type of modifying exemption only REALLY pertains to HALF of your question—the “Why do people who support the practice of abortion oftentimes contest the death penalty?” portion. The “answer” to the OTHER portion—“Why do people who seek to criminalize abortion oftentimes support the death penalty?”—is fairly simple and obvious: hypocrisy. Plain and simple. It IS, after all, MOST of those philosophical bent of persons’ that, as you said, constantly sloganeer something along the lines of “All life is precious”. If they DO, in fact, consider a fetus “life,” they would, logically, HAVE to consider a fully developed human as such, as well, yeah? REGARDLESS of said human’s acts? After all, people are not GODS, right? If they were, abortion doctors wouldn’t get so much shit. Nevertheless! Hypocrisy. There is NO other explanation. I’m certain not everyone who believes abortion “murder,” on the other hand, is also so wild about the death penalty. But it DOES, generally, seem to be the case.

    Concerning the LESS obvious portion of your question: I don’t think Scott’s PERSONAL beliefs about when abortion is or is NOT acceptable should be leveled at EVERYONE who is pro-choice (e.g. myself). But let’s take it for sated that such WOULD be my position. You say: “a person is medically considered dead when brain wave activity ceases.” Even THAT is over-simplifying the matter (comas oftentimes induce similar temporary stoppage of electrical activity), as prolonged periods of observation are usually necessary by hospitals to avoid legal disputes (e.g. stoppages have been known to fluctuate intermittently and/or REVERSE entirely; thus, the differentiation between “persistent” and “NON-persistent” vegetative states). But let’s ALSO take that measure for sated, shall we? Just for the sake of argument? Let’s ALSO rule out that different portions of the brain control different life functions, and a common occurrence is the electrical failure of the intellectualizing (“thinking”) portions of the brain, which the involuntary systems are left intact (i.e. a non-life-supported vegetable). Deal? Deal! So, thus far, we have brain death as a qualifier for termination, and we have when a fetus is brain ACTIVE as the grounds for considering it “valuable life,” yeah? Here we go!

    Well, by non-legal but generally PRACTICALLY agreed-upon standards, “consciousness” in a being is the ability to experience and mentally-interpret stimuli. ANY activity, whether it be sleeping, eating, opening your eyes, feeling pain, thinking, etc. is a conglomeration of stimulus response and neural transmissions. By THAT token, the brain activity that is necessary—by your and Scott’s predetermined qualifications, mind you—is that of the thalamus, where all sensory input is received and transmitted to the OTHER portions of the brain that, in turn, control certain life functions. The connections of the brain that PROVIDE these stimuli TO the thalamus don’t develop in utero until, generally, the 30th week of development. That’s about a month and a half before your usual birth.

    Pretty ridiculous standard by ANYONE’S estimation for the cut-off time for an abortion, don’t you think? THAT’S when life begins? Do you see how this is sort of an un-answerable question, even WITH the benefit of scientifically observed evidence?

    Even if you were to FUTHER generalize that “brain activity” should be the consensus watermark for consideration of “life,” the brain ITSELF as a non-differentiated organ begins development quite early on. But this doesn’t invoke “consciousness” or anything of that standard, mind you. I mean, if you were going to judge when a brain begins to grow—even if it cannot, at the time, impart “human” faculties to the “being” within which it develops—you might as well ALSO question if you’d have any problem “aborting” a tadpole, ‘cuz they’re AWFULLY similar, physiologically, at that point. Have YOU, perceived opponent of the practice of abortion, ever gone FISHING? I hope not. Otherwise, you’re pretty much a murderer, by such standards…

    Having answered as best I could the ACADEMIC substance of your question, it’s still pretty obvious that the PERSONAL quality of the matter is the only thing that seems to truly matter to anyone, irrespective of position (pro- or anti-choice). So, just as an example, I’ll use myself.

    I have actually HAD an abortion with a girlfriend in the past. I also don’t GENERALLY support the death penalty. Usually, where I draw the line on the latter is if the murderer has been deemed to be systematically “rehabilitated” and recidivates REGARDLESS, murdering a second time. Generally, I think they’ve been given opportunity enough. I don’t believe my thoughts on this type of execution “make [me] as bad as the killer.” I just know human nature is scattershot and fucked up; that the FIRST time could have just been a mistake, a flurry of emotions at an inopportune juncture of circumstances, whatever. The second murder would, pretty much, be pushing that theorem, as far as I’M concerned. I would never mandate this belief upon anyone ELSE, however, just I would never mandate the ability to have or NOT to have an abortion.

    I CAN say for certain, however, that our abortion—though done early in the gestation of the former girlfriend—was STILL *REALLY* hard to go through with, from an emotional standpoint. I don’t think, generally, people take it as flippantly as anti-choice advocates would so eagerly wish to paint it. In fact, up until I moved to Oregon, the woman-in-question and I still had an honorary “birthday” observance together for “her” every year at a set time after the event. Social conservatives paint it as similar to getting one’s tired replaced after driving over broken glass. Fucking retards. I have YET to ever speak to ANYONE who has undergone an abortion surgery who WASN’T at least SOMEWHAT traumatized, emotionally-speaking (if not also PHYSICALLY, as in the case of my ex).

    But I just put this out there to illustrate the ill-conforming aspect of the two beliefs. There isn’t any ONE set pattern. I think the reason you—and most OTHER people—have this perspective on the paralleling belief structures is due the fact that the people you see who epitomize the PURPORTED pattern just have a much easier time of making a public spectacle of themselves.

    I have a question for YOU, though: since when did you become so “moralistic” in the Judeo-Christian sense about abortion? You speak-type as though it was, at some point, PROVEN to be “murder”. A fairly conservative stance, in that you’re the unwashed Philistine heathen we all know you to be. Has this transpired since hooking up with a Catholic, or have you ALWAYS been like this, and I just didn’t realize it? Do tell. Do.

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