Re: Arguments from Nonexistence. Was: Extropians and animal rights

joe dees (
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 15:16:57 -0500

At Mon, 18 Jan 1999 09:14:32 -0000, you wrote:
>-----Original Message-----
>From: joe dees <>
>>A professor of mine once asserted that he would be willing to grant full
>rights of personhood to fetuses the moment they petitioned for same - his
>point being that it is an act of bad faith to assign personhood rights to
>organisms that do not and never have possessed the subjectivity essential to
>the exercise of freedom and choice, and cannot assume any responsibility
>correlative to such rights.
>Unfortunately the same applies to month old babies. Unless you count the
>pain response as a petition for the right not to be poked - in which case
>feotuses show that.
>Are you arguing that it would be alright to kill one month old babies?
True enough - which is why birth (and more recently fetal viability), when the progeny's rights can be separated from those of the woman's, has traditionally been the legal, logical and for most people the emotional demarcation line. Roe vs. Wade was, in this light, an extremely farseeing document, fitting the gradually increasing restrictions on abortion to fetal development, measured in trimesters. Are you arguing that a woman should be imprisoned or executed because she chooses to undergo a first trimester abortion?

Joe E. Dees
Poet, Pagan, Philosopher

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