Thread: Abortion
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:21 PM   #213
Stephen Kahn
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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I am not only an atheist, I am a nihilist. The universe seems to exist. I exist in it. I am an empiricist. I know the universe through my senses. I change the universe though what we call science and technology. The universe follows "laws" of cause and effect. I bang a nail; it goes into a board.

Human beings are animals with complex brains. We are a product of evolution. We are the only animals (on planet earth) with full self awareness and full awareness of our mortality. There are other "intelligent animals" such as primates, elephants, whales, crows, octopuses, but none of them have full self awareness and realization of mortality.

I live in the woods on an island; I see clever animals such as raccoons, constantly trying to get into our chicken run and eat our chickens. But they don't wake up (as I do at 71 years of age) and say, "One of these days I am going to die."

As animals are chief drives are to survive and pass on our genes. As the excellent book DENIAL argues, only humans developed full intelligence because we are so good at lying. We lie to each other and to ourselves all the time. Our chief lie is, "I won't die." As clever liars we invented religion. Several of the chief lies include "I have a soul that will exist after my physical body dies, either through reincarnation (Karmic religions) or through Abrahmic Heaven/Hell. Life is not fair, so lie #2 is "good" will be rewarded and "evil" will be punished.

Good and evil have no objective existence like laws of physics and gravity. They are inventions of humans. We have empathy through our evolution as social (pack) animals. As we formed civilizations we developed laws to regulate ourselves because we got to the top of the food chain though being such clever and vicious omnivores and we are very, very dangerous to everything around us and to each other.

I am not a sociopath/psychopath (about 1% of humans lack empathy) but I am very close to it. Because I have some empathy I don't break the basic "rules" of my culture; also I am too dumb and too old to act like a nihilist psychopath and benefit from it.

As far as abortion goes, words such as "pro-life" and "pro-choice" have little meaning and little usefulness. It's a difficult practical matter. Society sensibly prohibits "murder" of adult human beings; Society also sensibly allows killing in self defense.

In my opinion, which I think is widely shared here, birth control (pills, condoms, etc.), including "day after pill" and so on is not murder. On the other hand, killing a fetus a day before it is born IS murder, so it's rightly prohibited. So laws having to do with terminating fetuses are difficult and complicated.

Also, we have pretty much overpopulated the earth (though this is very subjective). Some cultures, -- particularly Communist China and to some extent Japan -- have used abortion as a method of "birth control." In my mind, it's not really "wrong," but I think it's not a very practical and sensible method of birth control, and I think contemporary China has backed away from the practice. As with most things, the general principles are fairly easy (in my opinion) to figure out, but (forgive me for a silly religious phrase) the "devil is in the details."
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