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#897870 - 03/05/05 04:11 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
I believe the Taliban banned abortion, too. Good company for the anti-abortion types here.
[/b]
It seems to me there are two different issues that too often we link together.

The first is the issue of the extent, if any, one supports abortion or is against it.

The second is whether legally a women should maintain the right to choose.

Too often, I think, we fail to recognize that someone may be completely against abortion, or accept it in very limited circumstances, and still believe that abortion should remain a legal option for women.

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#897871 - 03/05/05 05:16 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Maybe abortion should be allowed legally. We should severely limit it's availability.
It seems however that as a race we could communicate life, nobility of purpose, kindness, forethought and responsibility to our young ones rather than the easy out.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#897872 - 03/05/05 05:24 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
KlavierBauer Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
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#897873 - 03/05/05 05:38 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
Maybe abortion should be allowed legally. We should severely limit it's availability.
It seems however that as a race we could communicate life, nobility of purpose, kindness, forethought and responsibility to our young ones rather than the easy out. [/b]
I fully agree, apple.

To me, however, this goes far beyond in utero development. If we are to be prolife, it must also include the quality of life from birth until death.

Too many feel being prolife is only for those before birth or during the very final stages of life. During the time in between, though, they see life as more dog eat dog, we're all on our own.

It also must include all human beings, including those in third world countries, those afflicted with disease or disabled in some way, and even those convicted of capital offenses.

To me, if one is to be prolife, it must entail ALL of life, not just two short periods of that life. It also must include every person's life with no exception.

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#897874 - 03/05/05 05:46 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
it's so simple to think to protect the weak.....
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#897875 - 03/05/05 05:57 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
it's so simple to think to protect the weak..... [/b]
But people can be weak in many ways.

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#897876 - 03/05/05 08:55 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
apple: "Maybe abortion should be allowed legally. We should severely limit it's availability.
It seems however that as a race we could communicate life, nobility of purpose, kindness, forethought and responsibility to our young ones rather than the easy out."

But then people who need abortions can't get them. Makes a mockery of abortion being legal. And fetus's are not "young ones," nor is abortion the "easy way out". It is a rational choice of a woman for whom it is not the right time to raise a child to the best of her abilities.

Again, the Taliban and the Nazi Party were both totally against abortion. Try to figure out why. (Hint: it had to do with the status of women in their societies.) It had nothing to do with their "culture of life."

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#897877 - 03/05/05 09:10 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
I believe the Taliban banned abortion, too. Good company for the anti-abortion types here.[/b]
Allow me to list the heinous regimes that have also outlawed murder and thievery. Are we in good company there, too, Jeffrey? You are too good for that idiotic argument.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
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#897878 - 03/05/05 09:38 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
Jeffrey Offline
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Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Gryphon - My point is that banning abortion usually goes with restricting women's social freedoms more generally. Perhaps I phrased my point to flippantly, just to make my post quick and short.

Fetuses are not people, but potential people. Women who have abortions are not anti-kid, they usually have the number of kids they want, just at a better time in their lives to provide for them. Even the Catholic church wasn't totally against abortion until very recently.

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#897879 - 03/05/05 09:46 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Gryphon - My point is that banning abortion usually goes with restricting women's social freedoms more generally. Perhaps I phrased my point to flippantly, just to make my post quick and short.

Fetuses are not people, but potential people. Women who have abortions are not anti-kid, they usually have the number of kids they want, just at a better time in their lives to provide for them. Even the Catholic church wasn't totally against abortion until very recently. [/b]
Jeffrey, is it your concern that some of us believe life begins at conception? Or is your concern about those who would deny a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy if she believes she is justified?

BTW, you are correct about the Catholic Church's shift in its view of the beginning of life. But I think it is more recent than you have said -- occuring in the 1920's, not the 1800's, as I understand it.

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#897880 - 03/05/05 10:55 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Gryphon - My point is that banning abortion usually goes with restricting women's social freedoms more generally. Perhaps I phrased my point to flippantly, just to make my post quick and short.

Fetuses are not people, but potential people. Women who have abortions are not anti-kid, they usually have the number of kids they want, just at a better time in their lives to provide for them. Even the Catholic church wasn't totally against abortion until very recently. [/b]
It is disingenuous to suggest that the Catholic Church only changed her position recently. Prior to the 19th century the mechanism of conception was not understood. Once it was, the Church stayed with the times and understanding now that life does begin at conception stated her ancient position even more clearly. Show me evidence to contradict this.

For your information, the Catholic Church has been opposed to abortion since the first century (Barnabas 19.5, Apocalypse of Peter 25; Didache, chap 2, etc.).

Athanagoras (Plea, 35), and Tertullian (Apologia 9.8) are two other important second century sources condemning abortion.

Throughout the late classical and early medieval periods many councils and popes (notably, Mainz in 874, Stephen V, and the Decretals of Gratian) positively taught that abortion was gravely sinful and murder. Thomas Aquinas also condemned abortion as a grave sin in Commentary on Sentences of Peter Lombard, 31,2,iii,Expositio.

As someone with advanced degrees in philosophy, you *should* know that Aquinas was following the Aristotelian understanding that the intellectual soul was only developed at "quickening" around 40 days, that prior the nutritive and sentient soul existed. This was based on the medicine of the day that thought that thesemen organized menstrual blood to create the human being -- part of the "male as actualizing principle" part of classical and medieval metaphysics. Regardless, Aquinas considered the foetus to be a human being (Summa Theologiae Ia, 118, 2,2)


 Quote:
Again, the Taliban and the Nazi Party were both totally[/b] against abortion
Wrong Jeff. You might also consider that your buddy Hitler only disallowed abortion for the Aryan Race, but encouraged and promoted it for inferiors. CF. "Trials of War Criminals," Nuremberg Military Tribunal, Washington, DC; USGPO, vol. IV, p. 610 for the Nazis indicted for abortion as "a crime against humanity".

Lastly, show me your argument as to why the foetus is not a human being (an animated being of human nature). The baby is clearly NOT a part of the mother -- after all it has his or her own genetic make up -- what other "part of the mother" has a separately identifiable DNA? The foetus has self animation -- it does not derive animation from the mother host as would her kidneys or heart which are governed by the mother's nervous system.

Your acorn parallel is just bad. The acorn is not yet germinated and can stay in stasis until it either germinates or decomposes. Neither the sperm nor egg nor zygote can do this. Furthermore, only about 1 in 10,000 acorns develop naturally into oak trees, whereas virtually all human embryos continue to mature into born babies unless tampered with.

Lastly, the fertilized egg has its own power of animation -- the very meaning of "life" -- had Augustine or Aquinas understood this they would have certainly concurred that it is a unique being of a human nature -- therefore what in common parlance is called a "human being".
_________________________
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Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#897881 - 03/05/05 10:57 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by RZ:
BTW, you are correct about the Catholic Church's shift in its view of the beginning of life. But I think it is more recent than you have said -- occuring in the 1920's, not the 1800's, as I understand it. [/QB]
I'd be interested to see your evidence for this claim, unless it simply has to do with the discovery of how conception actually occurs.
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#897882 - 03/05/05 11:02 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#897883 - 03/05/05 11:05 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
Oops.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#897884 - 03/05/05 11:10 PM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by gryphon:
Oops. [/b]
I caught that!!! :p
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#897885 - 03/06/05 01:50 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
EHpianist Offline
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Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
Ivory, you never replied to my post regarding both the unviable fetus and the morality behind endorsing back-alley abortions. I'm curious to know what you think.

Elena
http://www.pianofourhands.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#897886 - 03/06/05 05:52 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
Actually, I'm surprised that the pro-abortion position claims that the fetus isn't alive, or is part of the mother. Science and technology demonstrate exactly the opposite, thousands of times a day all over this country to expectant mothers.

Face it, the fetus is alive, and it is not part of the mother. But you know what, we can still continue to argue our "right" to abortion -- but we must say we're for retaining the right to rid ourselves of unwanted children, instead of stupidly claiming we're not killing anything by performing abortion.

Why is that so hard? We acknowledge it's alive, but we're for abortion anyway?

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#897887 - 03/06/05 06:03 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
None of us have said a fetus is not alive. At least I never claimed such a thing.

Explain how science and technology shows that a 6 week old embryo can survive outside the womb? As long as it needs the womb for survival I consider it part of the mother's body and encompassed within the rights of the mother.

If it is not in any way part of the mother then lets extricate all embryos and fetuses from the womb and see how they fare on their own...

And yes abortion does terminate future children, no one denies that either. Why don't you actually read what we are discussing instead of putting words in people's mouths?

sheesh!


Elena
http://www.pianofourhands.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#897888 - 03/06/05 06:08 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
So let me get this straight -- you think it's ok to abort as long as it can't survive outside the mother? So we're talking about a moving standard here, right? Years ago a baby needed to be practically full-term to survive on its own. Now the incubation technology is good enough for children to survive when they're what, less than half the full-term age? Soon technology will probably be capable of sustaining a fertilized egg all the way to 9 months. I guess I don't understand where you draw the line.

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#897889 - 03/06/05 06:20 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
Mothers who abort don't want their babies, don't want to be pregnant. It's that simple. If technology makes it so that these babies can be carried to full term outside the womb without needing the mother's bodies, I see no problem with that. I would even possibly consider illegalizing abortion completely if this were possible from the very early stages.

In fact I would think this would be the perfect solution as more babies would be given up for adoption and the mothers could carry on with their lives without the physical and emotional consequences of a pregnancy.

I have no problem moving the marker as our technology gets better. But we are still a ways from achieving that. In the mean time, if the embryo or fetus requires the womb to develop and survive then I think the mother has the prerogative, not the child.

Elena
http://www.pianofourhands.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#897890 - 03/06/05 06:47 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
RZ: "Jeffrey, is it your concern that some of us believe life begins at conception? Or is your concern about those who would deny a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy if she believes she is justified?

BTW, you are correct about the Catholic Church's shift in its view of the beginning of life. But I think it is more recent than you have said -- occuring in the 1920's, not the 1800's, as I understand it."

My primary concern is the social legislation that would take people's rights away, because of a sectarian religious position. I don't really care if someone believes a religion that teaches that abortion is wrong (late Catholicism), or that we were created by alien space beings (the Raelians) or that polygamy is ok (early Mormonism, some variants of Islam). In fact, I would defend the religious rights of Mormons to marry several wives, and don't think the goverment should have forced them to change their voluntary religious practices.

But I would object if the Mormons forced me to marry several wives, and I object if Catholics and others force others not to have abortions.

I thought the Church changed its mind on abortion in the late 1800's after it lost state power, and as the Church got more strident on its reactionary social agenda in compensation. I stand corrected. Can you please give me the citations?

ivory: "Lastly, the fertilized egg has its own power of animation -- the very meaning of "life" -- had Augustine or Aquinas understood this they would have certainly concurred that it is a unique being of a human nature -- therefore what in common parlance is called a "human being"."

Wow, every egg is a human being. Let's try to work out, philosophically now, the implications of this one. Charges of murder should go flying about real quick here. What is that Monty Python song: "Every sperm is sacred ..." I forget the rest.


"whereas virtually all human embryos continue to mature into born babies unless tampered with."

This is medically false. Less than one in 5 blastocytes actually attach sucessfully to the uterine wall. Most spontaneously abort and we never even know about it. Therefore on your view that there is a soul at conception, there are about 5 times as many "souls" of embryos that were "alive" for a few days, before failing to attach to the uterine wall. What is the Catholic position on these "souls" - I believe it is Purgatory, but surely you can enlighten me on this. Think about it - 5 times the number of actually living humans are now in Purgatory because a few bits of genetic material never quite made it to the uterine wall for a few days. The implications are staggering (and amusing).

I am sure, ivory, that you think this is a deep philosophical issue with many fraught ramifications and subtle and important philosophical points to be made about the dignity of human life. However, it is rather difficult for me to take such absurdities seriously with a straight face.

My view is a sliding scale one. A fetus is only a potential person, but this potentiality obviously becomes more significant as the fetus approaches birth. Early on, abortion is not a very serious matter, and any goal or value or even mere preference of the mother whatsovever seems to me more important than the "rights" of a small clump of cells, billions of which spontaneously abort anyway.

Later in pregnancy the potentiality is more likely and imminant, and the reasons for abortion, in my view, should be more serious (e.g. medical or deep social tragedy). This is in fact what generally happens - the vast majority of abortions occur in the first 4 months, the later ones are either medical emergencies, or truly sad social tragedies (raped teens unable to get medical help for abortion earlier, etc.) There might even be some theoretical examples of very late term abortions that I would not think morally correct or admirable. But in general, I would rather have the woman actually involved make these difficult choices, rather than a bunch of judges, and politicians, and sectarian theologians.

Abortion should be legal until birth, and free for those under 18.

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#897891 - 03/06/05 06:51 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by ivorythumper:
 Quote:
Originally posted by RZ:
BTW, you are correct about the Catholic Church's shift in its view of the beginning of life. But I think it is more recent than you have said -- occuring in the 1920's, not the 1800's, as I understand it. [/b]
I'd be interested to see your evidence for this claim, unless it simply has to do with the discovery of how conception actually occurs. [/QB]
You're correct, thumps. I was speaking of the timing of abortion, not abortion itself.

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#897892 - 03/06/05 07:10 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
My primary concern is the social legislation that would take people's rights away, because of a sectarian religious position. I don't really care if someone believes a religion that teaches that abortion is wrong (late Catholicism), or that we were created by alien space beings (the Raelians) or that polygamy is ok (early Mormonism, some variants of Islam). In fact, I would defend the religious rights of Mormons to marry several wives, and don't think the goverment should have forced them to change their voluntary religious practices.

But I would object if the Mormons forced me to marry several wives, and I object if Catholics and others force others not to have abortions.[/b]
I agree about the legislation.

However, given what we know about DNA, the separateness of the fetus from the mother, the development of the fetus and the early initiation of brainwaves, the activitation of the heart and other physical attributes of the fetus, I do not think we can categorically state that the fetus is not a separate human being.

Nor do I think that the argument that the fetus is not viable outside of the womb is legitimate because there are too many circumstances when a human being's life is not viable without life support, but will be in the future. No one would argue that a person needing life support is not human.

I think if a woman wants to have an abortion, she should have the right to. I also believe the society has an obligation to make sure it is a safe procedure. However, from her own personal standpoint, I think she needs to have a moral reason justifying the termination of life other than just that she has a right to do so. At the same time, I do not want legislation defining what that moral position must be. The decision is a personal one and can only be decided by her personal morality.

I also believe that this society (which includes more than the government), if we truly place a premium on human life and seek to reduce the number of abortions, must establish policies and programs that minimize the possibility of unwanted pregnancies and maximize a woman's willingness to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

The role of those of us who seek to minimize abortion must be a pursuasive and supportive one, not a legislative or regulatory one.

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#897893 - 03/06/05 07:20 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:


Wow, every egg is a human being. Let's try to work out, philosophically now, the implications of this one. Charges of murder should go flying about real quick here. What is that Monty Python song: "Every sperm is sacred ..." I forget the rest.

"whereas virtually all human embryos continue to mature into born babies unless tampered with."

This is medically false. Less than one in 5 blastocytes actually attach sucessfully to the uterine wall. Most spontaneously abort and we never even know about it. (And how in the world was that postulated?)[/b] Therefore on your view that there is a soul at conception, there are about 5 times as many "souls" of embryos that were "alive" for a few days, before failing to attach to the uterine wall. What is the Catholic position on these "souls" - I believe it is Purgatory, but surely you can enlighten me on this. Think about it - 5 times the number of actually living humans are now in Purgatory because a few bits of genetic material never quite made it to the uterine wall for a few days. The implications are staggering (and amusing). [/b]
Jeffrey - I think the point of our belief is that life itself is sacred and precious. If people want to define the parameters of life to suit their convenience, so be it. What good is arguing the particulars, especially when you intentionally (or maybe by accident) leave out key words?

The freedoms of one infringe the freedoms of another, particularly on the abortion issue, but many many issues that liberals embrace. There are repercussions to being the type of person who will grab all they can for themselves...

Sorry to be so 70s- but I think it is good to live with good karma.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#897894 - 03/06/05 07:27 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
Yes, but to restate Jefferey's point, the definition that a human life exists at conception is a religious one, not a scientific one. Therefore banning abortion on these grounds is forcing a very particular religious belief on everyone.

RZ made some good points.

Elena
http://www.pianofourhands.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#897895 - 03/06/05 07:35 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
Third time's the charm...

Scott Peterson has been convicted of the murder of his son, by a jury of his peers, presided over by a California judge.

This is legal precedent, anyway you cut it.

By the lights of many of our august members, Scott was erroneously convicted of his son's murder.

Or was he?
_________________________
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#897896 - 03/06/05 07:44 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
How many months pregnant was she?

Elena
http://www.pianofourhands.com
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#897897 - 03/06/05 07:46 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
RZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 515
Loc: Anaheim, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
Third time's the charm...

Scott Peterson has been convicted of the murder of his son, by a jury of his peers, presided over by a California judge.

This is legal precedent, anyway you cut it.

By the lights of many of our august members, Scott was erroneously convicted of his son's murder.

Or was he? [/b]
I do not accept a legal determination as a moral one. The courts can do what they want; but their decisions do not define morality.

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#897898 - 03/06/05 07:49 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
EHpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 1703
Loc: NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
Perhaps, but morality is an individual, personal, and at times religious issue. The courts determine the law of the country. So although what the courts may state may not reflect YOUR morality they do reflect the laws that will be applied. This ties in to my questions in Jolly's post in BIG SIN/little sin.

Elena
http://www.pianofourhands
_________________________
Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."

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#897899 - 03/06/05 08:12 AM Re: Just some pictures of "uterine contents"
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
One of the reasons I enjoy arguing with you Jeffboy, is that you continue to say silly things.
 Quote:

ivory: "Lastly, the fertilized egg has its own power of animation -- the very meaning of "life" -- had Augustine or Aquinas understood this they would have certainly concurred that it is a unique being of a human nature -- therefore what in common parlance is called a "human being"."

Wow, every egg is a human being. Let's try to work out, philosophically now, the implications of this one. Charges of murder should go flying about real quick here. What is that Monty Python song: "Every sperm is sacred ..." I forget the rest.[/b]
Yes, the egg is alive and ITS own being qua egg. It is NOT part of the mother, only produced by her. Yes, every spermatazoa is alive and ITS own being qua spermatazoa. No -- and here's where you are just arguing stupidly for someone who claims to have advanced degrees in philosophy-- no egg is a human being and no sperm is a human being -- they are simply (and wonderfully[/b] for those with a true philosophical or scientific sense of wonder) eggs and sperm. The philosophy and logic and reasoning are really not that difficult Jeffboy.

 Quote:
"whereas virtually all human embryos continue to mature into born babies unless tampered with."

This is medically false. Less than one in 5 blastocytes actually attach sucessfully to the uterine wall. Most spontaneously abort and we never even know about it. Therefore on your view that there is a soul at conception, there are about 5 times as many "souls" of embryos that were "alive" for a few days, before failing to attach to the uterine wall. [/b]
Again, Jeffboy, another fatuous argument from a famous philosopher. In embryology the (blastocyte??? I assume you mean blastocyst[/b]) is not considered an embryo (only after it had implanted in the uterine wall). After the single cell is formed from the fertilization of the egg (the zygote stage), the cell begins to divide. Once 32 cells exist it is called the morula. As the cells continue to divide and the shell forms from the morula the conceptus is considered a blastocyst. If the blastocyst implants it is considered an embryo. There is no moral problem if the blastocyst dies without implantation. This virtually always happens without human intervention (except in the case of RU 486).

By week 3 -- before most women even know they are pregnant -- the brain, heart, spinal cord and intestinal tract have already begun to develop.
 Quote:
What is the Catholic position on these "souls" - I believe it is Purgatory, but surely you can enlighten me on this. Think about it - 5 times the number of actually living humans are now in Purgatory because a few bits of genetic material never quite made it to the uterine wall for a few days. The implications are staggering (and amusing).
Yes, these blastocysts are alive and they are human beings and they die without further development. So, what's your point? Your erroneous and red herring nonsense about purgatory? I can understand your ignorance about Catholic teaching, but please show me any Catholic document that states that the miscarried conceptus is in "purgatory".

 Quote:
My view is a sliding scale one. A fetus is only a potential person, but this potentiality obviously becomes more significant as the fetus approaches birth.
Your language is so imprecise at times and so precise at other times, I wonder if you do so deliberately to set up false statements.

I can concur that the foetus is a person in potentia -- but is an actual human being. "Person" is a philosophical (and now legal) term. Do you deny that the foetus is anything but a unique and separate being of a human nature? This in common parlance is what is a "human being". I'd be happy to discuss the arguments that the foetus is or is not a "person", whether from philosophy or jurisprudence. It was the Nazis and the Slave Holders who argued that certain human beings were not "persons" in order to deprive them of rights.

 Quote:


But in general, I would rather have the woman actually involved make these difficult choices, rather than a bunch of judges, and politicians, and sectarian theologians.
I have not argued this from a religious point of view, only medically and philosophically. So your Platonic philosopher king and the scientist ought not speak into the issue?
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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