Author Topic: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong  (Read 5333 times)

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For quite awhile now, I'd been seeing the abortion debate as a fight that shouldn't involve me. I was under the understanding that abortion was simply not a topic a male should be able to comment on. Any time the topic was brought up, I opted out because I thought that I had no right to talk about it because I couldn't carry a baby inside me.

Nowadays, I'm very pro abortion. But only because I developed a better understanding of the arguments made by people who aren't. I've recently realized that the "Abortion is the killing of babies" argument is a valid argument that should be confronted. That does not mean, in any way, that I think that that argument is correct. I just think it's something that shouldn't be blown off as a non-argument.

I think one of the reasons why the left fails in many aspects is due to laziness in the development and presentation of their arguments and I see this specifically in the abortion debate. And I want you to let me know if you all see the problem I see here:

>Women have legal, early term abortions for valid reasons.
>Conservatives accuse these women of having their babies killed.
>Women claim that it is their body, and their right to have an abortion, and it doesn't involve anyone else.

This argument is an automatic loss for the women. Not because they're incorrect, but because they've made the wrong argument. This sounds like women are defending the killing of babies because it's their body that the pregnancy is affecting. The problem is that they've not made the argument that it's not a baby that's being removed. I mean, last I checked, "Muh women's rights" is not a valid reason to kill babies. So, before you can make the argument that it's a women's rights issue, you must first make the argument that babies aren't being killed. And yet, in every single abortion debate that I see, that fact is completely skipped. We'll get into the science of why a fetus is not a baby, later. It seems like most of the people that explain do so lazily, and leave out a considerable amount of important, and religiously convincing information.

Not only is the debate being fought wrong, but the debate is blown off completely quite often. We have to consider the importance that a rather large portion of the population thinks that the left is committing mass genocide of infants. And if I thought that people were killing massive numbers of infants, I would be up in arms, too. That's not an immoral position to be in, simply an uneducated one. And yet, because the left often jumps to the "Rights" argument, it often paints that position as immoral. This is another reason why the left constantly loses in these fights.



One of the other things that made me jump into the debate was the complete understanding of why a fetus is not considered living. This understanding was developed in part due to my recent study of Autocatalysis. Now, I understand that when all you have in your hand is a hammer at the time, everything else starts to look like a nail. But it just so happens that Autocatalysis has been connected to the basis of life in previous scientific literature.

A chemical reaction is considered autocatalytic when one or more of the chemical reaction's products, make up one or more of that same reaction's reactants. In a sense, the reaction "Catalyses" itself. This chemical property and possibility is what makes life possible.

All life forms are what you'd call "collectively autocatalytic systems." This means that as long as food molecules, in the form of required reactants, and energy are provided to the life form, it can sustain itself by sustaining its complexly intertwined autocatalytic reactions. Autocatalytic systems, in order to reach the equilibrium that all systems pursue, require very orderly transportation and communication. If you were religious, you could say that autocatalysis is method by which God created us. Everything in our bodies, from our digestive system, to our DNA replication is somehow autocatalytic.

Here is where we define the difference between a baby, and a fetus. A baby, being a living organism, is collectively autocatalytic. Even if one is realistically, prematurely born, its internal systems are still developed enough to maintain the autocatalytic equilibrium that extends its growth and development. Before that point (And this is why we have the legal cutoff for late term abortions) of internal system development, we have a fetus. Its systems are incapable of maintaining themselves with food molecules and energy because not all of the organs and systems that make up the fetus are developed enough to be autocatalytic. They are very complex, and require a lot of time to be built.

During the time that the fetus is still developing, information in the form of chemical triggers and nutrients necessary for that infrastructure of autocatalysis is being transferred directly by the mother. During this time, the fetus is simply a project, a creation, an extension of the mother's body.

At this, one may argue that the increase in order inside of the fetus is exemplary of the autocatalysis that makes life. And it is, in a way. But not in the way that makes it living.

Technically, each of the organs, or sections of tissue within the body are autocatalytic. Each of them may require different amounts of energy and different types of food molecules, but as long as those food molecules and energy are provided, even if they are removed from the body and given some other vessel from which to retrieve that energy and in which to maintain its chemical equilibrium, they can still survive for a time (Hence, we grow ass tissue for burn victims, or liver chunks for liver transplants). What needs to be understood here, however, is that all life forms are autocatalytic, whereas not all autocatalytic systems are living. A living system is made up of many autocatalytic systems. You can't call one single autocatalytic system living unless it fits with all the other aspects of a living organism.

In other words, a fetus is like an organ, since it cannot sustain its autocatalytic subsystems with energy and food on its own. It requires a vessel.

Now that we've scientifically described why legal, early term abortions are not killing babies, we can make the argument that it's a women's rights issue, since the fetus is an extension of the mother.

I understand that most of you knew part or all of this information already. I understand that you guys in particular are pro abortion for the right reasons. But I think this was mostly aimed at those who ignore the importance and instability of this issue, and who are not pro abortion for the right reasons. I think we need to focus on the arguments we're making and who we're making them to if we want to win in the end. This topic is not necessarily the most pressing, by any means, but it is a good starting point for reconciliation with the other half of the population. I understand that there will be those that will reject abortion regardless, and that's expected. But I feel like many people are anti-abortion now that weren't before, and that many people who would normally be pro abortion are against it due to witnessing only awful arguments in its support.

We can't win by making sure only the best, most morally upstanding people are on our side. That's not how Democracy/Republic works. We do need the support of people we don't like. And the only way to gain that support sometimes is to make sure our arguments make sense to us, and them.
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tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 08:05:05 pm »
Well... no.

The argument that fetuses are not babies is of course made all the time. The "life begins at conception" and such ridiculousness is the anti-choice camp's counter to this argument. There will never be any successful attempt to convince them that fetuses are not babies, because anything that is sure to become a thing is as good as having become it already, at least whenever a person is inclined to believe that, which they are in this case. As far as any anti-choice person's ability to reason, there is no meaningful distinction between a fertilized egg and a baby. Even if physically they are as different as an elephant is from a ant, there is no difference morally, and that's all that matters.

Focusing the argument on the bodily autonomy of women, logically, is all that is left to the pro-choice arguer. It's unfortunate that this is one of the many, many exceptions to the conservative's crusade for "less government interference", but it is what it is. We are effectively faced with a situation where half of the country wants to rob women of their own bodily autonomy. Making it a question of bodily autonomy may not be the most effective way to settle the argument, but it's better than trying to drive some impossible wedge between "baby" and "fetus", which has been tried and proven to be completely useless.

Of course, the debate over abortion is not actually a debate over abortion. If saving lives was really the aim of anti-choice "activists", they wouldn't condemn all manner of not-fetuses to death at the slightest provocation in other areas. Their wailing over "dead babies" is just a charade they use because people are easily swayed by the idea of violence against defenseless children. There are many proven ways to materially decrease the rates of both abortion and of unwanted or underage pregnancy in general -- and if these people actually cared about eliminating abortion, they would champion these methods instead of simply calling for prohibition and punishment of abortion. But they don't like those methods, because while they are effective, they strike at the real motives behind the anti-choice crusade: they empower women, rather than constrain them to obedience and "modesty".

So I have to disagree with your assessment that the reason the abortion debate rages on is because the defenders of women's choice are doing it wrong. It rages on because there are theocratic monsters among us who are allowed to push their oppressive agenda as some kind of antidote to all the evils of the modern, liberated world. And as long as they exist, they will find ways to hate anyone who is too free for their liking, no matter what arguments are used against them.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 09:42:03 pm by tyrannosaurus vex »
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 08:51:42 pm »
Everything Vex said.
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PoFP

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 09:56:23 pm »
Well... no.

The argument that said fetuses are not babies is of course made all the time. The "life begins at conception" and such ridiculousness is the anti-choice camp's counter to this argument. There will never be any successful attempt to convince them that fetuses are not babies, because anything that is sure to become a thing is as good as having become it already, at least whenever a person is inclined to believe that, which they are in this case. As far as any anti-choice person's ability to reason, there is no meaningful distinction between a fertilized egg and a baby. Even if physically they are as different as an elephant is from a ant, there is no difference morally, and that's all that matters.

Focusing the argument on the bodily autonomy of women, logically, all that is left to the argument. It's unfortunate that this is one of the many, many exceptions to the conservative's crusade for "less government interference", but it is what it is. We are effectively faced with a situation where half of the country wants to rob women of their own bodily autonomy. Making it a question of bodily autonomy may not be the most effective way to settle the argument, but it's better than trying to drive some impossible wedge between "baby" and "fetus", which has been tried and proven to be completely useless.

Of course, the debate over abortion is not actually a debate over abortion. If saving lives was really the aim of anti-choice "activists", they wouldn't condemn all manner of not-fetuses to death at the slightest provocation in other areas. Their wailing over "dead babies" is just a charade they use because people are easily swayed by the idea of violence against defenseless children. There are many proven ways to materially decrease the rates of both abortion and of unwanted or underage pregnancy in general -- and if these people actually cared about eliminating abortion, they would champion these methods instead of simply calling for prohibition and punishment of abortion. But they don't like those methods, because while they are effective, they strike at the real motives behind the anti-choice crusade: they empower women, rather than constrain them to obedience and "modesty".

So I have to disagree with your assessment that the reason the abortion rages on is because the defenders of women's choice are doing it wrong. It rages on because there are theocratic monsters among us who are allowed to push their oppressive agenda as some kind of antidote to all the evils of the modern, liberated world. And as long as they exist, they will find ways to hate anyone who is too free for their liking, no matter what arguments are used against them.

These people were covered in my post, and don't represent the majority of the people making these arguments. At least, not in my experience.

Re:Focusing the argument...:

My point, as well as the conservatives'  point is that bodily autonomy is irrelevant in this debate until "a wedge is driven between fetus and baby." Again, having a vagina doesn't give someone the right to kill babies. Making only the "Muh women's rights" argument is like justifying the killing of toddlers because picking them up hurts your back. The fetus is a part of the female body. That's where the autonomy argument came from in the first place.

Re: Of course...:

I'm not referring to the few people who are actively trying to squash Women's rights. These are the type of people you referred to earlier that were covered early on in my post. There are few of these types of people.

Then there are the others, that are simply ignorant and will never change their mind. These people are usually irrelevant because they're not even getting in these debates in the first place. They would just tell you their side if you asked them. Inactive, non-debaters are meaningless in the scope of things because they don't affect anything.

I'm referring to the people who argue at the dinner table, or over a Facebook post, who are in college or going to be, or whom are actively involved in politics (As much as someone would be in this age, AKA votes and talks shit about the other side.) and arguing against abortion. Being someone who lives in Ohio, even in the liberal college areas there are still a large number of actual, real debates going on between people who want to learn more, but don't want to just trust what someone says because "Muh scientists." The whole point of the post was to point out that where the left would normally get these people right out of the gate, they are losing them to the religious nuts instead. I remember like 5 years ago when most people who were even Christian were either undecided and or indifferent to abortion, and were generally moderate about social issues. But since the poor development of the arguments of the left, and the increase in activity of the extreme conservatives, the left has lost the social advocacy of the general population. Now everyone's either pro abortion or thinks people who support abortion are genocidal maniacs. Radicalism is the new fad.

Also, it's not valid to blanket label an entire group as sexist for being against abortion for a non-sexist reason. Your entire argument is based on the assumption that what they say is not what they mean, and that a large percentage of the population is practically conspiring against women. Which is simply not true. If you hold people accountable for what they say individually, and critique people on what they say, you will get to the bottom of what they think. And as someone who's been doing this for awhile now, it appears to me that most people support women's rights, life, choice, and everything good in between. And those who see the fetus as a baby, simply don't have the scientific background, and need a mix of science and religion to convince them.

Autocatalysis as God's method of creation of life is the best argument you could have to gain support from religious people. You give these people a bit more information, and a bit more room for their own faith to expand in the direction we want it to.
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tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 10:28:54 pm »
You seem to be missing many of my points.

First of all, the thought leaders you dismiss as irrelevant or meaningless are the sources of the slogans slung back and forth at dinner tables. People who engage in this debate draw their conclusions by the shorthand of "Person X believes this way, and I like person X, so therefore I believe this way." They are not active participants in the formation of their own beliefs. They did not arrive at the conclusion that abortion is wrong for any reason other than because they have been conditioned to adopt that conclusion by some external force. The people who have something to say about it at the dinner table are, nearly invariable, just spitting out what they heard on Fox News or at church last Sunday.

In order to change such minds, it is pointless to rely on a competing ideology on the opposite side of the debate. You will not convince someone who believes fetuses are babies that fetuses are not actually babies no matter how airtight your argument is. Because every ironclad dogmatic religious pillar of identity includes a trigger to protect against undermining it, every attempt to directly confront the religious proclamation that "Fetuses are children" will not only fail, but it will have the ultimate effect of strengthening that proclamation in the mind of its believer. Besides, trying to argue a moral point -- even if you see it as a scientific one, they see it as a moral one -- against someone self-assured of their own moral righteousness is utterly futile.

The way past this argument is not through insisting that they draw a distinction between baby and fetus. Like I said: they're not going to. They just aren't. Drop it. Give up. That way lies madness, etc.

The way forward is in bringing their attention to the fact that if you want to actually decrease abortion, rather than just whinging about it forever while it goes on all the same whether legal or illegal, then put your investment in effective sex education, ubiquitously available birth control for everyone, and set serious penalties for rape - both social and criminal.

This line of reasoning has the benefit of removing the opponent's insistence on the stupid "crime and punishment" approach to abortion AND removing your own need to alter your opponent's moral framework. Let them go on believing that fetuses are babies. Let them think abortion is some kind of abomination before God. Who cares what they think? The point is they're no longer out for the blood of people who end up needing abortions for whatever reason, and as much as they might hate and spit and curse, they lose their momentum toward prohibition.
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 11:48:02 pm »
"Abortion is killing babies"

And if you are pro-choice and also believe that you are willfully ending a life, then what?

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 12:37:20 am »
If every fertilized egg is already a fully-formed human, then every human life has also already become death.  Therefore, every human is already an abortion.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 02:10:09 am »
to help push the argument along:

1) abortion should be allowed until the fetus has achieved 18 yrs of age

2) fathers should be allowed to request an abortion - if the mother chooses to have the child anyway, the father should not have to pay child support

3) black fetuses are aborted at 3 to 5 times* the rate as white fetuses.

*sources vary
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 02:12:37 am »

2) fathers should be allowed to request an abortion - if the mother chooses to have the child anyway, the father should not have to pay child support


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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 07:01:37 am »
I clicked on this thread expecting it to immediately turn into a barrel of ridiculous stupidity.

I was not even remotely disappointed.
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 10:32:48 am »
Life starts at conception like death at fertilization.





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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 12:56:56 pm »

2) fathers should be allowed to request an abortion - if the mother chooses to have the child anyway, the father should not have to pay child support


Your trilby is crooked.

Thank you for referencing the correct style of hat.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 01:02:39 pm »
And, for FoFP, I offer this hypothetical example:

READY

10 PRINT "Abortion is murder."

20 PRINT "All abortion?"

30 PRINT "Yes.  Because life begins at conception."

40 PRINT "Ah!  But [scientific jargon], so the fetus should be considered a part of the mother's body until X weeks of pregnancy."

50 PRINT "No."

60 GOTO 40

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 01:35:38 pm »

2) fathers should be allowed to request an abortion - if the mother chooses to have the child anyway, the father should not have to pay child support


Your trilby is crooked.

Thank you for referencing the correct style of hat.

Are you both sure? It sounds more like this kind of headwear:

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 01:41:24 pm »
I clicked on this thread expecting it to immediately turn into a barrel of ridiculous stupidity.

I was not even remotely disappointed.

Read it all in the Gumby voice and it's actually quite good.

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