The anti-science pro-abortion lobby visits MSNBC

Via MSNBC Talking Head Calls Babies “Things That Might Turn Into Humans” — a pro-abortion “expert” made the following anti-science claims:

Oh, no. That might be bad. I seemed to have popped open the fertilized egg. We’ll put that back together. But the very idea that this would constitute a person, right? And that some set of constitutional rights should come to this.  Look, I get that that is a particular kind of faith claim. It’s not associated with science. But the reality is that if this turns into a person, right, there are economic consequences, right? The cost to raise a child, $10,000 a year up to $20,000 a year. When you’re talking about what it actually costs to have this thing turn into a human, why not allow women to make the best choices that we can with as many resources and options instead of trying to come in and regulate this process?

The video didn’t show the response of the MSNBC hosts, but I doubt they told her how spectacularly she wrong she was on the scientific facts.

Pro-life reasoning is simple and accurate: It is a scientific fact (and basic common sense) that a new human being is created at fertilization.  It is simple moral reasoning that it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being without proper justification, and that is what happens during 99% of abortions.  The situations surrounding abortions are psychologically complex (pressures on the mother to abort, economic concerns, etc.) but morally simple (you don’t kill unwanted humans outside the womb for those reasons, so you shouldn’t kill them inside the womb for those reasons).  Their size, level of development, location and degree of dependency are not reasons to ignore their right to life.

“Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

Note that we didn’t use religious reasoning there, though I’d be glad to share with her what God has to say in his revealed word!

She plays the typical pro-abortion word games of de-humanizing the unborn by claiming they aren’t persons, as if there was a meaningful distinction between human beings and persons and the distninction meant that the mother could have one killed but not the other.

per·son  [pur-suhn] noun

1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.

2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

My guess is that if you asked her if “people of faith” were anti-science she’d probably agree.  But who is really opposed to basic science and logic?

14 thoughts on “The anti-science pro-abortion lobby visits MSNBC

  1. This real issue that is the source of stupidity like this is the alleged life-promoting aspects of sexual activity…not that sex has anything to do with promoting life short of procreation. If one can establish the “non-humanness” of the unborn, then abortion is no different than wearing a rubber (not to be confused with one half of a pair of foul weather boots). We must protect our “right” to engage in sexual activity without consequence regardless of the cost, even if that cost means treating some people as “not yet human”.

  2. The personhood distinction is crucial. It’s isn’t just DNA, or metabolic function that reifies a person, but the capabilities we associate with personhood; sentience, consciousness, the ability to feel pain, or to suffer, etc. The crucial nature of this distinction is easily show at the other end of the life cycle; when a human person loses all brain activity, loses the capacity for brain activity, that person is dead. This is not a distinction seized on by clear-eyed secularists, only. This is the criterion used by the Catholic Church, for example.

    Without those features that reify a person as a person you have human DNA, and (assuming it’s happening), metabolism in an organism with human DNA. Fully human, in other words, but not a human person. So the MSNBC commenter, as you’ve related her words, isn’t de-humanizing a zygote; it’s uncontroversially and demonstrably human. The zygote is de-personified, because it is not a person, but human material with the potential to become a person.

    The science, then, is not under any dispute. A zygote is as human as human gets if our criterion is DNA and metabolism, from fertilization until (possibly) the wasting decomposition of that animal body after death. We accord rights and legal status to persons and wisely NOT on the basis of DNA or metabolism (or both), but on the features in place that “personify” a human person: consciousness, sentience, sensory capabilities in the nervous system, etc.

    The case is rather the opposite from what you suggest, then. The more we know about biology and physiology, the less basis we have for according legal personhood to, say, a one week old fertilized egg, and the more basis we have for according protections at later points — say, at 18 weeks, or maybe 14 weeks just to give the fetus the benefit of the doubt, when the cerebral cortex fires up and cognition as a human person commences.

    • The personhood distinction is crucial.

      No, it is irrelevant. It is used by morally depraved people to rationalize away the humanity of anyone they want to subject or kill — blacks, Jews, those with Down Syndrome or any other unwanted human being. It justifies infanticide and more. It took Satan a few thousand years to convince even the average pagan that the personhood argument was believable. Congratulations on being one of his useful idiots.

      It’s isn’t just DNA, or metabolic function that reifies a person, but the capabilities we associate with personhood; sentience, consciousness, the ability to feel pain, or to suffer, etc.

      Those are arbitrary and difficult to measure. The burden of proof to determine EXACTLY when personhood begins is on those claiming that on one side of the line it is completely moral and even good to kill the human being but it is capital murder on the other side.

      And oddly enough, you moral freaks always err on the side of death. Go figure!

      The crucial nature of this distinction is easily show at the other end of the life cycle; when a human person loses all brain activity, loses the capacity for brain activity, that person is dead. This is not a distinction seized on by clear-eyed secularists, only. This is the criterion used by the Catholic Church, for example.

      You tipped your hand: It is at the OTHER END of the life cycle. The death part. Not the alive part!

      So the MSNBC commenter, as you’ve related her words, isn’t de-humanizing a zygote; it’s uncontroversially and demonstrably human. The zygote is de-personified, because it is not a person, but human material with the potential to become a person.

      If it is a potential person then have a potential abortion.

      per·son [pur-suhn]
      noun
      1.
      a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
      2.
      a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

      Pro-life reasoning is simple and accurate: It is a scientific fact — http://tinyurl.com/yfje8lq — (and basic common sense) that a new human being is reproduced at fertilization (check out any mainstream embryology textbook). It is simple moral reasoning that it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being without proper justification, and that is what happens during 99% of abortions. The situations surrounding abortions are psychologically complex (pressures on the mother to abort, economic concerns, etc.) but morally simple (you don’t kill unwanted humans outside the womb for those reasons, so you shouldn’t kill them inside the womb for those reasons). Their size, level of development, location and degree of dependency are not reasons to ignore their right to life.

      An example:

      “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”
      “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”
      Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
      per·son [pur-suhn] noun

      1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.

      2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
      Some people try to say that the unborn are humans but not persons, so it is OK to crush and dismember the unwanted “human non-person.”

      But they fail on the primary definitions of the words.

      And they fail because their new artificial philosophical criteria for death is completely fluid. “Ethicists” like Peter Singer at Princeton arbitrarily defines personhood at three months outside the womb. Even most pro-aborts would balk at that. Yet their very reasoning (that the unborn are small, less developed, more dependent, etc.) makes him the consistent one. Their “personhood” argument proves too much and justifies infanticide.

      Everyone must draw a line somewhere. On one side is a legal, morally neutral or even morally positive procedure. On the other side is murder. We draw the line at fertilization, when the new human being is reproduced.

      • The example I cited on brain death was offered because it was both substantive to the properties of personhood, and also a discrete, objectively verifiable state, scientifically. When brain has ceased electrical function — a discrete, detectable-with-scientific-instruments physical state — the minimum requirements for personhood are not fulfilled, and the human being is not a person in the legal sense in question here (afforded rights and protections under the law as a human person).

        Drawing the line at a zygote is scientifically indefensible and and morally problematic — “oppressive’ is a more accurate word, I think. A zygote does not nearly fulfill the requirements we value and seek to protect in a human person under the law; there is no cognition, no consciousness, no capacity for pain, emotions, or any awareness of anything at all. There is no nervous system at that point, even. By protecting the zygote as a human person with the rights we accord to human persons, we are not protecting what we isolate as essential to personhood, for the zygote does not possess them, AND we necessarily burden females with a responsibility for a human person’s care when no person exists. This is grossly unjust and cruel to women, gratuitously asymmetric and oppressive, all in the name of superstition.

        In the Christian view, a zygote has a spiritual dimension, and this is the fundamental problem, the animating idea that underwrites the callous position “pro-lifers” take toward women. If the soul is endowed at conception, and this is nearly universally believed in modern, Western Christianity in my experience, then scientific assertions are either irrelevant or disingenuously offered. The science could be starkly clear in opposing the Christian’s understanding in terms of fetal development. It would not matter a whit, because that zygote has a “soul” in the Christian view, and thus is inviolate, the province of God’s choices, not man’s (er, not the the scared, intimidated, not-yet-educated, poor teenage girl who is two weeks pregnant and in no position to care or provide for herself at that point, let alone a baby).

      • The example I cited on brain death was offered because it was both substantive to the properties of personhood

        But you’ve begged the question on your elusive and arbitrary criterion of personhood. That’s cheating.

        the human being is not a person in the legal sense in question here (afforded rights and protections under the law as a human person).

        More question begging. The debate is whether it should be legal, and your argument is that it is legal. Duh. Using that logic it would have always stayed illegal.

        Drawing the line at a zygote is scientifically indefensible and and morally problematic — “oppressive’ is a more accurate word, I think.

        No, it is perfectly logical: There is no morally justifiable reason for 99% of abortions. You think crushing and dismembering an unwanted human being is the opposite of oppressive. I think it is a spectacularly clear example of oppression.

        A zygote does not nearly fulfill the requirements we value and seek to protect in a human person under the law; there is no cognition, no consciousness, no capacity for pain, emotions, or any awareness of anything at all.

        Hey champ, I guarantee that people could find many ways to kill you painlessly. It would still be immoral, even though you give indications of being a sociopath.

        There is no nervous system at that point, even. By protecting the zygote as a human person with the rights we accord to human persons, we are not protecting what we isolate as essential to personhood, for the zygote does not possess them, AND we necessarily burden females with a responsibility for a human person’s care when no person exists. This is grossly unjust and cruel to women, gratuitously asymmetric and oppressive, all in the name of superstition.

        Still begging the question. The entire personhood argument is a logical fallacy-fest.

        In the Christian view, a zygote has a spiritual dimension, and this is the fundamental problem, the animating idea that underwrites the callous position “pro-lifers” take toward women.

        But I’m not using Christian theology here. All my arguments have been secular. If you want to know what Jesus, the author of life, has to say, I’d be glad to share that. You need him desperately.

        If the soul is endowed at conception, and this is nearly universally believed in modern, Western Christianity in my experience, then scientific assertions are either irrelevant or disingenuously offered.

        It is amusing that I’m the one using bulletproof scientific arguments and you are dragging in fallacious and poorly thought out philosophy. And then you have the nerve to pretend I’m the one ignoring science!

        The science could be starkly clear in opposing the Christian’s understanding in terms of fetal development. It would not matter a whit, because that zygote has a “soul” in the Christian view, and thus is inviolate, the province of God’s choices, not man’s (er, not the the scared, intimidated, not-yet-educated, poor teenage girl who is two weeks pregnant and in no position to care or provide for herself at that point, let alone a baby).

        More fallacies. And you can give the child up for adoption.

      • The differentiation between “human” and “person” is an artificial construct by those who look for an excuse to justify the murder of the unborn. These same people will assign “personhood” to animals!

        There is no difference, and never in history has there been a difference. Can a “person” be other than human? Yes – Spiritual beings are persons also. But no one loses their “personhood” just because they are not cognizant of their own lives.

    • Note the irony of this statement:

      “…when a human person loses all brain activity, loses the capacity for brain activity, that person is dead.”

      Yeah. It’s now a dead person, but strangely still a person.

  3. [quote] AND we necessarily burden females with a responsibility for a human person’s care when no person exists. [/quote]

    Did the woman not have a choice in this matter? We all know where babies come from.

    An abortion will burden that woman way more than taking care of the child will. Children are a blessing, even if they were conceived in terrible circumstances.

  4. The differentiation between “human” and “person” is not an artificial construct. Even the word “human” itself is often used as a descriptive adjective instead of a noun. Person is always a noun.

    To claim that because a single cell is human (due to having human DNA) and because this entity has cellular metabolism that this entity is “a human” (noun) is clearly flawed reasoning

    A human heart cell has both of the above characteristics and yet this cell is clearly not a human.

    A heart begins with a single heart cell and yet this cell is clearly not a human heart. The beginning of the creation of a human is not a human on the basis that a single cell had begun the process of creating a human.

    Biology, the domain science (as opposed to embryology or medicine and nor do they claim to be), has taxonomic rules for classification of various species. The single cell at conception does not have sufficient traits for membership in the club Homo sapiens.

    If the zygote is not a member of the club Homo sapiens then on a strict biological basis, it is not “a human” as all humans are members of the club Homo sapiens.

    Serious debate on abortion in the early stages is then restricted to philosophy (the value potential for creation of a human relative to the value of the rights of the woman), or religion. IMO- it would be very difficult to make an argument showing that the value of the potential for a human to be created overrides the value of liberty and freedom of a woman. Belief in freedom of religion entails respecting the religious beliefs of others which means that religion is not a valid argument for good law.

    In later stages when the fetus has most if not all of the traits required for membership in the club (viability) so while I am stanchly against any laws prohibiting abortion in the early stages (due to lack of ever hearing a valid argument which supports such laws), I do question abortion in the later stages.

    • The differentiation between “human” and “person” is not an artificial construct. Even the word “human” itself is often used as a descriptive adjective instead of a noun. Person is always a noun.

      I recommend not playing word games when human lives are at stake. The primary definitions of “person” support my argument, not yours:

      per·son [pur-suhn] noun
      1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
      2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

      More importantly, it is a scientific fact (http://tinyurl.com/yfje8lq) is that a new human being is reproduced at fertilization. So your view is anti-science.

      And what else would two human beings create but another human being, instead of a living “thing” that later becomes human? Your view is anti-logic.

      To claim that because a single cell is human (due to having human DNA) and because this entity has cellular metabolism that this entity is “a human” (noun) is clearly flawed reasoning

      A human heart cell has both of the above characteristics and yet this cell is clearly not a human.

      A heart begins with a single heart cell and yet this cell is clearly not a human heart. The beginning of the creation of a human is not a human on the basis that a single cell had begun the process of creating a human.

      That is all wrong. The human zygote, human embryo, human fetus, human baby, etc. are all human beings at particular stages of development. They are distinct humans with unique DNA.

      If the zygote is not a member of the club Homo sapiens then on a strict biological basis, it is not “a human” as all humans are members of the club Homo sapiens.

      You should re-examine your anti-scientific sources. I’m not sure where you get these sound bites.

      Serious debate on abortion in the early stages is then restricted to philosophy (the value potential for creation of a human relative to the value of the rights of the woman), or religion. IMO- it would be very difficult to make an argument showing that the value of the potential for a human to be created overrides the value of liberty and freedom of a woman. Belief in freedom of religion entails respecting the religious beliefs of others which means that religion is not a valid argument for good law.

      Hmmm. . . so I imagine you to lots of theologically Liberal “Christian” blogs to tell them to keep their pro-abortion beliefs out of the public square? Or are you just another fake who only tries to shut down religious speech he disagrees with?

      The 1st Amendment protects, not prohibits, our right to have our religious views inform our political views. And until now I haven’t even used religious arguments.

      But there is a God, and Jesus is the author of life. If you were a real man you’d want to protect innocent but unwanted human beings.

      In later stages when the fetus has most if not all of the traits required for membership in the club (viability) so while I am stanchly against any laws prohibiting abortion in the early stages (due to lack of ever hearing a valid argument which supports such laws), I do question abortion in the later stages.

      Oh, you do question it then? Wow, that’s swell. So you get to sit in God’s seat? Indeed. Can you see how bad things just might happen if some human beings get to decide who is in their club and who isn’t? Using your viability argument, infants wouldn’t qualify. And why limit it to your preferred viability argument? Who made you president of the club?

      And how do you know for sure who is and isn’t viable if you kill them first?

      Here’s the valid argument against all abortions except those to save the life of the mother: It is a scientific fact — http://tinyurl.com/yfje8lq — (and basic common sense) that a new human being is reproduced at fertilization (check out any mainstream embryology textbook). It is simple moral reasoning that it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being without proper justification, and that is what happens during 99% of abortions. The situations surrounding abortions are psychologically complex (pressures on the mother to abort, economic concerns, etc.) but morally simple (you don’t kill unwanted humans outside the womb for those reasons, so you shouldn’t kill them inside the womb for those reasons). Their size, level of development, location and degree of dependency are not reasons to ignore their right to life.

  5. 1) You are the one trying to play word games which is why I suggest using a non ambiguous term such as living human.

    As per your dictionary definition of person, it is true that all persons are human beings. What is not true is that a human beings are persons. For example: being can mean “something that exists” such that anything that both exists and is human can be called a human being. A heart cell could be correctly termed a human being and yet a heart cell is not a living human.

    Using non ambiguous terminology is not an attempt to “play word games”. Avoiding the use of such terminology is.

    2) http://tinyurl.com/yfje8lq

    That you would give this url and claim “scientific fact” based on it is an insult to human intelligence.

    This url consists of nothing but unsupported opinion and often this opinion is coming from no subject matter experts. Even the person giving an opinion is a subject matter expert they still have to qualify it.

    An argument consists of a claim or premise, followed by the rational that leads to that conclusion.

    There are many claims on this site but no rational backing up those claims.

    3) You claim “the zygote is a human being” (stage of development matters not to the question of whether something is a living human or not) , but then give no rational that supports this conclusion . Restating a premise (The “zygote is a living human” because the “zygote is a living human” at a particular stage of development) is logical fallacy. Restating a premise does not constitute support for that premise and so it is not an argument.

    4) Ad hom attacks (if you were a real man, or woman) and fallacy and so on are not valid arguments and none of us knows for sure what God thinks on the issue.

    If you think that the single human cell at conception is a living human you are welcome to your belief. What I am asking is whether or not you have an argument that backs up that belief.

    Once again – Argument = 1) your premise or statement of claim followed by 2) evidence or rational that supports that conclusion.

    I will do the first part for you. All you have to do is give #2)

    The single cell at conception is a living human because, … 2) Your turn

    • 1) You are the one trying to play word games which is why I suggest using a non ambiguous term such as living human.

      As per your dictionary definition of person, it is true that all persons are human beings. What is not true is that a human beings are persons. For example: being can mean “something that exists” such that anything that both exists and is human can be called a human being. A heart cell could be correctly termed a human being and yet a heart cell is not a living human.

      Using non ambiguous terminology is not an attempt to “play word games”. Avoiding the use of such terminology is.

      You can’t be serious. Appealing to the most popular dictionary definitions of words is not a word game. You are the one playing games. The unborn meet every definition of human being and are therefore persons.

      2) http://tinyurl.com/yfje8lq

      That you would give this url and claim “scientific fact” based on it is an insult to human intelligence.

      This url consists of nothing but unsupported opinion and often this opinion is coming from no subject matter experts. Even the person giving an opinion is a subject matter expert they still have to qualify it.

      An argument consists of a claim or premise, followed by the rational that leads to that conclusion.

      There are many claims on this site but no rational backing up those claims.

      LOL. Yeah, who would want to consult what all the mainstream embryology textbooks say.

      3) You claim “the zygote is a human being” (stage of development matters not to the question of whether something is a living human or not) , but then give no rational that supports this conclusion . Restating a premise (The “zygote is a living human” because the “zygote is a living human” at a particular stage of development) is logical fallacy. Restating a premise does not constitute support for that premise and so it is not an argument.

      That wasn’t the argument I made. I was simply stating a fact: A zygote is a living human being at a particular stage of development. Check any embryology textbook, or just use some common sense: What else would two human beings create — a canine? A bovine?

      And of course she is living, or you wouldn’t want to kill her.

      And please note that you have the pro-abortion script backwards: You are supposed to concede that the unborn is a human being (you look pretty stupid otherwise) but not a person (still a stupid and evil argument, but that is their preferred script).

      I have already made my case. You, in your moral blindness and rebellion against God, can’t accept the most simple scientific fact or logical point. So you will probably want to save your keystrokes. I don’t have the time to keep stating the obvious.

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