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Other than 4-6, what you list aren't really "positions." They are almost universally held positions among the entire field of philosophy and science.

Forgive me for still being confused by your terminology. When you try to draw a line between positions and "positions," my BS detector goes crazy.

 

Asking me to defend them or offer evidence is akin to asking me to provide proof that other minds exist; what I'm saying is properly basic.

Well that's where we disagree. It goes beyond the fact that you haven't presented any citation in support of those claims; at this point I don't believe that (1) through (3) are even accurate. That is, I believe you are wrong about those claims. Under even basic challenge, there are serious questions to be raised about (1)-(3). In several examples above, I and others have presented examples or critical questions that seem to belie the universality of your claimed definition (body parts, corpses, what is "life" and why does it matter, etc.) There are plenty more examples, hypothetical questions, and other challenges to the definition you raise that I would be happy to discuss, but you haven't even responded to the simple ones that have been thrown out so far because, you claim, the debate is settled.

 

I do not take your word for it that there is a universal definition of "human" for science or philosophical purposes (and if there is, it's not the definition you named), I also do not accept your personal assertion that there is no debate on that definition. If this were a "properly basic" issue, then you would be able to find some authority (perhaps a respected scientist, science textbook, science newspaper or magazine?) that agrees with your claim. For such a simple issue, over which there was a debate but it became "settled," this should take you a matter of minutes to find and shut up all your critics.

 

Instead, you have wasted far more time trying to claim, without any justification whatsoever, other than your own personal vouching, that these things are true. This complete evasion of requests for evidence--that even you claim is easily found--is among the several reasons that I doubt your claims and I think you are being deliberately disingenuous and unethical in this discussion.

 

Even (3) I've stated multiple times; if a fetus isn't a human being, then the philosophical debate wouldn't even come into the picture. No one debates the killing of skin cells or pulling of hair because these alone aren't human beings. But if a fetus is a human being, that is where the philosophical debate begins to take place. I don't see what's so hard to get about that.

I completely understand that. What I take issue with is your claim that "human," for purposes of that philosophical discussion, can only be defined by science (or even primarily defined by science), without input from other fields of study, like philosophy. Also, if your (1) and (2) claims are incorrect, then (3) is irrelevant.

 

On 4-6, the matter-of-fact statements really do stand on their own. For instance, on (4) there is a universally applicable answer, but our knowledge of it might be fuzzy.

Fine, you've made the claim that there is a universally-applicable answer. But HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS? Unicorns might be real, but I'm not going to affirmatively state "unicorns are real, but our knowledge of them might be fuzzy" unless I have some articulable reason to believe they are real.

 

How many moons does Jupiter have? There is an absolute answer to that, but without telescopes or satellites we wouldn't be able to know that answer.

We don't need to know the exact number in order to know there is an exact number though because we have some observations and logic to apply to them. Follow along: (A) from observations we know that Jupiter has at least one moon, (B) but we have also observed that Jupiter does not have infinite moons, (C) we also know that moons are in generally stable orbits, so moons don't appear or disappear (absent rare collisions) for millions of years. (D) Therefore, Jupiter has some discrete number of moons.

 

You have not even presented that kind of basic argument in favor of your claims. You have presented zero argument, citation, or other statement in support of number (4) besides your barebones personal assurance that it is accurate. That is not sufficient. I don't believe that you can prove that there is such a universal answer to this philosophical question, but since you haven't tried, perhaps you can show me wrong yet...

 

Off (5), you should look up hierarchal ethics, because that's what I'm referring to.

Thanks for providing a helpful link or explaining this concept further. If you're going to criticize me for using argumentative terminology like "moving target" to describe your shifting positions in an argument, then I (and others) get to call you pretentious for dropping philosophy terms-of-art with no explanation or application...

 

In this case, the life of the mother is an "exception" because it's an entirely different ethical calculus. If the fetus is a human being and if human beings have intrinsic value, and life is the highest of all values, then nothing can trump that. But if the mother's life is in danger then we have a life v. life situation, which is uniquely different. Thus, it's not an exception, but a different ethical situation.

Oh wow, this is actually a logically-valid analysis! Granted, it requires three "if" conditions (and the big part is that you haven't explained why life is the highest of all values--which would get to the heart of many of the alternatives I offered), but at least you're on the right track. It also doesn't address the questions I posed about certainty of the mother's death; the mother dying later, but sooner than otherwise; or the fetus dying before birth.

 

Finally, off (6) how am I wrong? Unless we argue for extreme individualism, everyone pretty much assumes that harming someone else is wrong. Well, if doing something to my body inherently harms someone else in an active way, then it would be wrong (think: Second hand smoking). Likewise, as I pointed out, Philippa Foot has produced multiple essays dealing with the act of taking an active part in killing someone as opposed to just letting a person die (silly as it is, the movie "Batman Begins" has the line, "I won't kill you, but I don't have to let you live." That's actually a very watered-down version of her theory).

What you're arguing here is different from what you claimed, which is the same thing you did earlier when I said you were a moving target. Here you're not arguing that "bodily autonomy ... simply isn't a [viable] philosophy." Instead you're arguing that bodily autonomy is lower-ranking on the hierarchy of rights than the right of the fetus to exist. This is what I was talking about with the clash of rights. That a right is lower-ranking than another right does not mean it is not a valid right or a "viable philosophy" in the abstract.

 

I know, you'll use your debate term, "MOVING TARGET!" but in the end, you'll accomplish nothing. Simply providing further explanations to something that you're not understanding isn't a moving target; it's called learning.

Well, if we assume that I'm wrong, and you're not changing your argument as we go, and we also assume that you are indeed explaining things that I do not understand, then my hypothesis as to why I'm not "learning" is that you are not a very good teacher.

 

You'll also learn that in the real world policy debate tactics really don't account for anything.

Well, that's certainly true if your profession does not require logic...

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Explain this part of the argument please. I understand the claim, but what's the warrant? How can you prove that anything exists external to perception?

 

This is a trick question. You've asked philosophers to use knowledge to prove something is outside the limits of knowledge. This is both the problem of all philosophy and the problem of OOO in particular.

I could do a bit about you obscuring an object from vision and having a 3rd subject view it, but it's not a complete proof.

 

Unless your argument is that everything that you can't observe doesn't exist there's no need to prove that things exist external to perception. Intelligence is just a resonance or cultural and social objects/artifacts that produce certain systematic interactions. The proof is that even given perception there are things we can't know about objects because of the Principle of Difference. This is what I was talking about when I discussed the withdrawn object - its existence as part of a larger ontic presence (a network of objects and their being-in-the-world) is fundamentally unknowable, but we know that it's there. It's a haunting presence of absence that we feel but can't describe: it's an affect. Its nature as a withdrawn object makes it indescribable, it escapes signification, only able to be felt.

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This is a trick question. You've asked philosophers to use knowledge to prove something is outside the limits of knowledge. This is both the problem of all philosophy and the problem of OOO in particular.

I could do a bit about you obscuring an object from vision and having a 3rd subject view it, but it's not a complete proof.

 

Unless your argument is that everything that you can't observe doesn't exist there's no need to prove that things exist external to perception. Intelligence is just a resonance or cultural and social objects/artifacts that produce certain systematic interactions. The proof is that even given perception there are things we can't know about objects because of the Principle of Difference. This is what I was talking about when I discussed the withdrawn object - its existence as part of a larger ontic presence (a network of objects and their being-in-the-world) is fundamentally unknowable, but we know that it's there. It's a haunting presence of absence that we feel but can't describe: it's an affect. Its nature as a withdrawn object makes it indescribable, it escapes signification, only able to be felt.

Are you saying that we don't have a reason that our current perceptions are valid which justifies abandoning them?

 

It seems like an assumption, otherwise. I'm assuming that it's NOT an assumption, but I don't understand what you're saying if it isn't an assumption or the above.

 

Just to make sure I don't get sucked into an argument, I don't really want to debate the theory, I just want to understand it.

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Are you saying that we don't have a reason that our current perceptions are valid which justifies abandoning them?

 

It seems like an assumption, otherwise. I'm assuming that it's NOT an assumption, but I don't understand what you're saying if it isn't an assumption or the above.

 

No kid, I'm not a nihilist. There's a difference between recognizing the problem of subjectivity (limitations of knowledge) and then going a step further and saying because knowledge is limited that we should abandon thought (nihilism). However, I am saying that the way we perceive the world is subjective (i.e., stemming from a subject, a particular way of knowing knowledge), and that because there are other objects that those objects experience the world differently (the Principle of Difference), which produces different knowledges. All of knowledge is not stable and that's not debatable. If there were such a thing as concrete knowledge philosophy wouldn't have a "problem" to tackle. The point is that there are objects which are withdrawn, having a nature that is not knowable to us. They are so alien to us that they are not just the Other, they are the strange stranger. Rumsfeld called it an unknown unknown.

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No kid, I'm not a nihilist. There's a difference between recognizing the problem of subjectivity (limitations of knowledge) and then going a step further and saying because knowledge is limited that we should abandon thought (nihilism). However, I am saying that the way we perceive the world is subjective (i.e., stemming from a subject, a particular way of knowing knowledge), and that because there are other objects that those objects experience the world differently (the Principle of Difference), which produces different knowledges. All of knowledge is not stable and that's not debatable. If there were such a thing as concrete knowledge philosophy wouldn't have a "problem" to tackle. The point is that there are objects which are withdrawn, having a nature that is not knowable to us. They are so alien to us that they are not just the Other, they are the strange stranger. Rumsfeld called it an unknown unknown.

So you're saying that alternative forms of perception exist for other entities, such as dead things, and that our subjective knowledge now can't be compared to the subjective knowledge we'd have if we were in a different form?

 

How does one perception proof the existence of other perceptions to itself?

 

Also, I wasn't trying to imply nihilism. I was trying to say that you think our current perceptions can't be compared to the perceptions of others, and I think I was accurate in saying so.

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So you're saying that alternative forms of perception exist for other entities, such as dead things, and that our subjective knowledge now can't be compared to the subjective knowledge we'd have if we were in a different form?

 

How does one perception proof the existence of other perceptions to itself?

 

Also, I wasn't trying to imply nihilism. I was trying to say that you think our current perceptions can't be compared to the perceptions of others, and I think I was accurate in saying so.

 

You don't even realize that you're talking yourself into a circle. Everything you've said so far can be condensed into "so knowledge can't know things outside of knowledge?"

Yes. That is exactly what I'm telling you. That is the nature of objects being withdrawn. That is the nature of an Other that is haunting.

 

Additionally, what do you mean by "prove" (i assume you meant this over proof)? Prove what? How?

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Everything you've said so far can be condensed into "so knowledge can't know things outside of knowledge?"

Yes. That is exactly what I'm telling you.

This is all I wanted to know. When you started referencing withdrawn objects that can't be felt, and unknown unknowns, and other such things, it unnecessarily complicated your claims.

 

Additionally, what do you mean by "prove" (i assume you meant this over proof)? Prove what? How?

I meant 'prove', yes. I was asking you what basis one perspective had for the assumption that other perspectives exist. I was literally asking you how this was supposed to be proven. How do we know that there are unknown unknowns?

 

I feel like you're getting POed at me for asking questions, and that doesn't seem justified at all.

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This is all I wanted to know. When you started referencing withdrawn objects that can't be felt, and unknown unknowns, and other such things, it unnecessarily complicated your claims.

 

False, you're oversimplifying the claim. I'm saying those things because the basis of this theory is object orientation, which requires a discussion of everything as part of the same ontic field. You're trying to create an arbitrary distinction between subjects and objects that you refuse to abandon in your line of questioning.

 

I meant 'prove', yes. I was asking you what basis one perspective had for the assumption that other perspectives exist. I was literally asking you how this was supposed to be proven.

 

I feel like you're getting POed at me for asking questions, and that doesn't seem justified at all.

 

I'm just getting frustrated because your questions are all the same. The problem is that you're looking for proof to begin with. My entire point is that this proof is a search for objectivity which is outside the limitations of knowledge because of the nature of objects. The fact that more than one object exists in the universe means there is more than one perspective.

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False, you're oversimplifying the claim. I'm saying those things because the basis of this theory is object orientation, which requires a discussion of everything as part of the same ontic field. You're trying to create an arbitrary distinction between subjects and objects that you refuse to abandon in your line of questioning.

Is it the concept of perception itself which you take issue with?

 

Because I don't believe that the concept links into a subject/object binary at the point where my interpretation of perception allowed for "objects" (your words not mine) to have perceptions which were equally valid to the perceptions of "subjects", thus functionally collapsing the binary. Unless you think that the difference between subjects and objects is something else?

 

I believe that you misinterpreted my questions as attempting to refute your theory, which they were not. This would have led you to perceive my questions as presupposing this subject/object distinction.

 

The fact that more than one object exists in the universe means there is more than one perspective.

How does one perspective prove to itself that other objects exist? How does one perspective even prove its own existence?

 

You aren't really answering this question. If you don't know yet, please say so. If I'm incapable of accessing some higher plane of knowledge that only you can realize, please say that too. If you don't want to have this conversation anymore, then say nothing at all.

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Is it the concept of perception itself which you take issue with?

 

No.

 

Because I don't believe that the concept links into a subject/object binary at the point where my interpretation of perception allowed for "objects" (your words not mine) to have perceptions which were equally valid to the perceptions of "subjects", thus functionally collapsing the binary. Unless you think that the difference between subjects and objects is something else?

 

I'm not saying the binary exists at all. OOOists believe that the subject is an illusion as a result of resonance in a system of objects. You're literally just babbling at this point, nothing you said above is productive. The only reason you would say that the way I discuss objects is "overcomplicating" my claims is if you were still attached to a subject/object binary or if you just didn't understand the vocabulary. I assumed the second because I didn't want to just jump to the conclusion that you're too simple to understand speculative realism.

 

How does one perspective prove to itself that other objects exist? How does one perspective even prove its own existence?

 

Now you're being silly. I predict that this line of questioning devolves into nihilism on your part as soon as I answer it again.

Objects exist because we interact with them. Objects exist because perception exists.

 

You aren't really answering this question.

 

Yes, I am. you just don't like my answers, which have previously been:

 

My entire point is that this proof is a search for objectivity which is outside the limitations of knowledge because of the nature of objects. The fact that more than one object exists in the universe means there is more than one perspective.

 

Everything you've said so far can be condensed into "so knowledge can't know things outside of knowledge?"

Yes. That is exactly what I'm telling you. That is the nature of objects being withdrawn. That is the nature of an Other that is haunting.

 

Unless your argument is that everything that you can't observe doesn't exist there's no need to prove that things exist external to perception. Intelligence is just a resonance or cultural and social objects/artifacts that produce certain systematic interactions. The proof is that even given perception there are things we can't know about objects because of the Principle of Difference.

 

The Principle of Difference is one of the fundamental proofs of Otherness. If you're not familiar with this part of the Speculative Turn, you should read it.

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I know that object oriented ontology is the new watchword for philosophical debates, but this isn't a logical kind of issue. I hate to be the guy who always makes things uncomfortably personal, but abortion (like many divisive issues) is simply a debate about fundamental views on life and selfhood. Any logical arguments you can make about abortion will simply be framed by what you already inherently believe. These beliefs are shaped by life experiences and as a result, there can't be much of a debate about it.

 

To give some context to what I am talking about, here is my story. My mom found out she was pregnant with me in 1988 when she was 42 years old. She already had three other sons and at that point in her life had no health insurance. My parents would pay for my birth entirely out of their own paychecks. On top of that, 1988 was by far one of the worst years for real estate (my dad is a real estate agent) in history with Austin home values plummeting by 10% in that year alone. At 42 and living in near poverty with three children, my mom risked her health and financial future by allowing me to be born. I was a surprise baby, and if ever there was a reason to have an abortion, my parents surely had it. I am five years younger than my closest brother and my parents thought they were done having children- the family inheritance from my grandparents had already been divided and partially distributed (to avoid the estate tax) before I was even born. I was surely one of the babies that if a couple decided to have an abortion, they would have done it.

 

I've been given the gift of existence, I'm a mass of matter that has been graced with the ability to recognize itself. I morbidly realized this at a young age and for that reason I can't ever support abortion for my own situation. I understand that it is okay for women in certain situations that were even worse than mine to have an abortion, and I think that they should have that right. But, I know that if I were to ever knock a lady up I couldn't tell them to have an abortion. If they chose to terminate the pregnancy, I would respect their decision, if I were to be asked I would tell them to keep it. As an accident baby who was born into unfortunate circumstances I'll always live feeling like I am on borrowed time. If my mother couldn't deny me the right to exist, I could never let myself deny that to another.

 

Of course, everyone has their story and their own circumstances. These circumstances are where the debate lies. Abortion isn't about biology or even life, it is about how the individual has come to understand themselves. Because of this I think that abortion should be available to anyone who may want it. I feel this way because I know that I can't fully understand someone else's situation. However, I know my situation well. As a result I could never let myself tell my girlfriend that I wanted her to have an abortion.

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abortion is wrong.

If you think that abortion is wrong, by all means don't abort, but that isn't what the abortion debate is about. The question we need to look at is who decides whether or not a person has the right to abort. I personally think that you very well may have a valid opinion, but I also believe that your opinion should not determine whether or not someone else has the right to abort. There are a few scenarios I'd like to bring up. 1: Say somebody gets raped and as a result pregnant, getting pregrant wasn't their fault, and they very well may not be ready to have a child. 2: Say the baby has a high risk of harming the mother (and likely killing). Shouldn't the mother be able to save her own life? What if the baby would also die if the mother did? That's 2 deaths versus 1.

I'm not saying that being against abortion is wrong, I just believe that you don't have the right to make another person's choice for them, especially one that could be the difference between life and death.

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If you think that abortion is wrong, by all means don't abort, but that isn't what the abortion debate is about. The question we need to look at is who decides whether or not a person has the right to abort. I personally think that you very well may have a valid opinion, but I also believe that your opinion should not determine whether or not someone else has the right to abort. There are a few scenarios I'd like to bring up. 1: Say somebody gets raped and as a result pregnant, getting pregrant wasn't their fault, and they very well may not be ready to have a child. 2: Say the baby has a high risk of harming the mother (and likely killing). Shouldn't the mother be able to save her own life? What if the baby would also die if the mother did? That's 2 deaths versus 1.

I'm not saying that being against abortion is wrong, I just believe that you don't have the right to make another person's choice for them, especially one that could be the difference between life and death.

I have a genuine question: why you do this? It's a thread from 2011 buddy. 

Edited by MartyP
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It's an interesting topic, why not try to revive it?

 

 

I have a genuine question: why you do this? It's a thread from 2011 buddy. 

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A lot of the argumentation for me on this debate usually goes along the likes of "what does it me to be human? When does a person become and stop becoming human? What is special about coming out of the womb that makes a human what they are?"

 

I also think it's very contradictory that one person can decide when a human stop beings a human during the months in the womb, but getting killed while being pregnant is a double-homicide. My opinion may be biased being a catholic, but I don't see how this can be reconciled.

 

EDIT: I blame someone else for being the original necromancer

Edited by Smitty
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