The South Dakotans caused a similar comic twelve years ago.

Story here.

Discussion (68)¬

  1. Quine Duhem says:


  2. Morten says:

    Those brave principled men will never get pregnant – so true!

  3. A M Sulivan says:

    Mr Yan I will be sending you an invoice for the care costs of all those unwanted children with untraceable fathers who failed to keep their dick under control.

  4. Peter says:

    Mr Yan, while your comment is despicable, it does highlight the need for sex education, especially as it concerns itself with contraception and disease. It is startling how few Americans are getting a good one, and worse, that the situation is worsening.
    As a man, I can only imagine the anguish a woman, considering an abortion, faces. Once in that situation, it’s not a matter of finding a good solution, it’s a matter of finding the least bad one. I maintain that the role of government should never be to increase anguish and despair.

  5. M27Holts says:

    Mr yans comment perhaps the most ridiculous post I’ve seen..And if a woman wanted to abort as a form of contraception, why shouldn’t she? Answers please!

  6. Varan says:

    While the Alabama bill sounds appalling, is it not the case that the position in Northern Ireland is similar?
    If Arlene Foster is so concerned about introducing a divide between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, perhaps she could explain why the people of Northern Ireland should have inferior rights.

  7. Jim Baerg says:

    How close does current tech allow us to get to:
    Everyone gets a reversible sterilization at puberty, to be reversed when the persons concerned want a child?

  8. European says:

    @M27Holts: Allegedly (may well be a Cold War myth?), Soviet women did use abortion as a means of birth control. It’s a serious medical intervention with significant risks, so no, it should not be the means of choice for family planning.
    On the other hand, requiring a woman to carry a pregnancy to full term against her will smacks of criminal assault; the idea that “the community will take care of the products of rape” seems to be popular among certain folks (remember a Turkish government minister saying something to the same effect a few years back). Incest, on the other hand, is usually reserved for divinity, isn’t it? (Think of Egyptian pharaos marrying their sisters over many generations…).
    I think no one in their right mind will doubt that eventually it’s up to the pregnant woman, and only to her, to decide if she wants to go ahead – seems so obvious that I feel awkward even to say this, but Alabamalamas show that it’s not.

  9. martin_z says:

    @Jim Baerg – How close does current tech allow us to get to:
    Everyone gets a reversible sterilization at puberty, to be reversed when the persons concerned want a child?

    Well, a few years ago, I actually remember seeing a suggested form of male sterilization – instead of having a “snip”, the man had a tiny tap inserted, so it literally could be turned on and off. But, as always, it’s not the man who gets pregnant, so the demand just wasn’t there, I guess.

    PS – puzzling comments above re Mr Yan. Presumably our forum overlord has deleted his comment, but it makes the responses seem a little odd.

  10. jveeds says:

    yes @Jim Baerg, I was wondering what happened to the Yan comment too. I kinda figured it out after reading the first few responses.

  11. Mr Yan says:

    Yeah, my original comment has gone. The first point that 45.8 million abortions have been performed just in the USA alone since 1970 has not been commented on.

    Not many regimes that can claim that death count:

    Mao – 45m
    Stalin – 20m
    Hitler – 11m
    Pol Pot – 2m

    In most western country’s it’s around 22% of all pregnancies that end in abortion.

    So tell me, why so many?

  12. sosusk says:

    Dear Mr Yan,

    the female body is a miracle. Nevertheless part of this miracle is the fact, that 10% of all pregnancies end in abortion naturally…. But those are registered in your numbers, since diagnosing a pregnancy early has become the norm. So, the numbers are off.

    _on the other hand_ I *strongly* object to equal abortion with death count. An fetus is not a person, you compare the well-known apples and pears!

  13. Mr Yan says:

    From https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states:

    – Nineteen percent of pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) in 2014 ended in abortion.

    Note this *excludes* miscarriages or natural abortions.

    And to support my earlier (now deleted) post:

    – Just under half of these women (45%) reported having a previous abortion.

    Presumably it was so horrific a decision to make they wanted to try again.

  14. Laripu says:

    Mr. Yan : Why do you care whether someone had an abortion or 7 times 70 abortions? They’re not your fetuses, and it’s not your body.

    Imagine someone directing that you could not clip your toenails. Or cut your beard. Or get a tattoo. Or masturbate. Or forced you to face Mecca and pray 3.141596 times a day.

    It is not anyone’s place to tell any other sane adult what to do with their body fluids, tissues, earwax, snot, or fetuses. The contents of a woman’s womb are hers and hers alone.

    Furthermore, we are either at or near a time when an abortion could be safely induced by a reasonable drug that will be easily available for purchase. Will you advocate making it a crime to self-administer such a drug?

    Will you make it a crime for a woman to engage in otherwise legal behavior while pregnant, like drinking to excess, smoking cigarettes, power-lifting weights, full contact martial arts, and excessive dieting?

    Why not just ask god to do it for you. Then everyone is off the hook.

  15. Mr Yan says:

    @ Laripu

    Never said I care. All I’m doing is providing facts and statistics.

    We do have laws about what we can do with our own bodies. Not many countries allow paid organ transplants for example despite the opportunity to save lives.

    To turn the argument around – at what point should the abortion not take place? Heartbeat is the starting point in Alabama.

    Presumably if it’s the woman’s body to do as she pleases she could abort right up until just before birth.

  16. cjsm says:

    Dear Mr. Yan

    After discarding many disparaging comments, instead, I leave you with this thought. I have 3 grown sons. Fetuses are not people. Not even my own. They become babies when they were born and not one second before. I love them dearly, but that doesn’t change my opinion. My opinion is mine, yours is yours. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one.


  17. Mr Yan says:


    I’ll leave you with this thought – the way people justify doing very nasty things to others is to denigrate them as non-human.

    This is the way that people justify genocide, torture and slavery.

    I suggest this doesn’t look too different to making a demarcation between a viable fetus and a baby.

  18. ego says:

    man, that god sure loves him some fetuses. that’s why stillbirth never happens.

  19. raymondm says:

    “Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the U.S. state of Alabama. Alabama has the highest per capita death penalty rate in the country. In some years, its courts impose more death sentences than Texas, a state that has a population five times as large.”
    Capital punishment in Alabama – Wikipedia

    The hypocrisy is stunning.

  20. Mr Yan says:

    If there was an equality between a criminal who has committed a crime which attracts the death penalty, who has been tried and sentenced and s potential child who is exterminated because it does fit it’s mother’s lifestyle choice then I’d agree that’s it’s hypocrisy.

    Is that how many people would view it I wonder?

  21. raymondm says:

    Alabama governor (4 hours ago): “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God”

    Declaration of Independence (243 years ago): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

    Unalienable. Every life.

    If they were honest people, these senators, this governor, then before trying to overturn Roe V Wade the would abolish state killing of helpless human beings. They would stop the torture, and they would end forcing innocent citizens to be complicit in this.

    Then, we could argue about when “ensoulment” occurs.

    But they’re not honest.

    They are hypocrites.


  22. raymondm says:

    And even you, Mr Yan, know that what is aborted at, say, 24 weeks is a “potential child.”

    Not a tiny human being or baby but a POTENTIAL human.

  23. Laripu says:

    Mr. Yan, you wrote “Presumably if it’s the woman’s body to do as she pleases she could abort right up until just before birth.”

    You are correct. If she’s not insane, and if she’s making a decision to abort, she can do that at any time. If she doesn’t want the fetus inside her, it is a parasite feeding on her. She has the right to have it removed.

    If it can be removed alive, in a manner that is less dangerous to her (TO HER !!) than abortion, she can be made aware of that. But she should not be made to feel guilt, and the decision is completely hers, right up to just before the birth.

    No one should be compelled to feed a parasite inside their body with their own biological processes.

    People feel so strongly about that, that where abortion is illegal, that will risk death to obtain one, by butcher, by coat hanger, or by life threatening chemicals.

  24. MattR says:

    Good points by Mr Yan. I assume he’s a Christian who wishes to impose his own moral code on everyone else, but that does not void his arguments. Which come down to granting human ‘life’ a special status. The failure of his argument is deciding somewhat arbitrarily what human life is. For him it os an unexplored imaginary time when a sperm and an egg create a foetus. That is as arbitrary and inconsidered as me saying it is, oh, a child that is 2 years old. Actually, now I think of it that sounds about right. A 1 year old baby has no life experiences to talk of and no real personality (despite what the parents might think). So yes, abortion should be permissable up to the age of 1. Shocking? IMHO only because of the utter trauma I would cause

  25. M27Holts says:

    The blind watchmaker and its concealed ovulation in homo sapiens is causing a stink yet again. Another proof that hammers another nail into the coffin of I.D….

  26. Mr Yan says:


    No, not a Christian. Don’t believe in sky fairies of any persuasion although I might claim to be Pastafarian depending on whether I encounter some religious fundamentalist.
    I’m also not looking to impose my moral code on anyone. I’m exploring the argument from one side. This is how people understand issues and learn from each other.
    Of course, the Internet makes this difficult as people tend to congregate with others who share their views (safe spaces) and are challenged when these are questioned.

    @ Laripu

    I get the argument about backstreet abortions and how these might endanger the woman’s life. While I think it’s a slightly different argument I put it out there that the world now is different to 50 years ago – it’s generally much richer, social stigma for single mothers is very much reduced (bastard is not really an insult now) and contraception is more readily available. So I don’t think the choice is binary between legal abortion at any point in the gestation and risk to the woman.

    Societies are made up of people and the majority view is generally what is codified into laws. So what would the majority think about abortion and where to draw the line? Would they:

    1) Want it when a heartbeat is detected (see Alabama)?
    2) At some point when the fetus becomes viable?
    3) Up to the moment of birth (inside the woman)?
    4) While still parasitic (so while still attached to the umbilical but outside the woman’s body)?
    5) Up to 1-2 years after birth (no life experience).

    All the above have been mentioned in this thread. Society currently does not allow the last two options. Mostly late term abortions are only performed if their is a medical risk to the woman so 3 isn’t widely used.

    Which leaves 1 and 2 – so is it a case of me and the failure of his argument is deciding somewhat arbitrarily what human life is as outlined by MattR or is it society that’s making that judgement?

  27. Mr Yan says:

    @ raymondm

    As for death penalty vs abortion. Number executed in the US since 1976 is about 1,500 compared to 42,200,000 for abortion (from the same date).

  28. martin_z says:

    OK, let’s accept all your arguments, Mr Yan. I still say – so what?

    The problem is that women still will need abortions. And if they are desperate, they will go to back-street abortionists to get them. It happened in the sixties before the Abortion Act in 1967 in the UK. I’m sure it happened all over the US before Roe vs Wade.

    I actually happen to believe that abortion in general is something which should not be considered except as a last resort, and the right solution is to put in place better sex education as well as better abortion facilities (with realistic cut-off points).

    The issue is that, in Alabama, they have made it a purely moral decision. Abortion is wrong – end of. All that means is that, to get an abortion, rich women will travel to a state where abortion is legal, and poor women will either get an illegal abortion or bring a child into the world that they can’t afford to bring up.

  29. martin_z says:

    Basically, as always happens, it’s rich white men making decisions that don’t affect them personally, and it’s disadvantaged women who suffer the consequences.

    (Tell you what – I wouldn’t mind betting that somewhere in the families of those 25 republicans, there will be a girl who has slipped up and has had a discreet visit to an out-of-state clinic…)

  30. Mr Yan says:


    Your question is “so what?” and my answer is “so nothing”. I’m not in Alabama so don’t have a horse in the race.

    Society in Alabama (at least for now) has decided on a limit on abortion so low that it makes it practically unavailable. Maybe society is moralistic religious rich old white men who are impacting disadvantaged women but that’s where things stand.

    Nothing I do will change this. The debate is interesting none the less as it seems that even 46 years after Wade vs Roe there is still a lot of heat in the argument in the US.

    Some would like to further restrict availability like Alabama and others go further than Planned Parenthood v. Casey and the idea of fetal viability where federal law has currently placed the limit.

  31. Ed Speers says:

    Pro life and pro choice show no gender bias. If the legislators had all been women the result would be the same. The problem is that their arguments are completely different.

    Pro life believes life begins at conception, that they are human at conception and enjoy the rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Abortion is therefore murder.

    Those on the pro choice side agree that people have rights Pro choice believe that life begins some time after conception and therefore a fetus has no rights. It therefore becomes the women decision because a fetus is just part of the woman’s body. Those two opinions cannot be resolved.

    Neither side wants abortions. So the common ground should be, to at least reduce the number. Fiat does not work. It creates criminals and promote back alley abortions and high death rates for pregnant women. The number one cause of abortions is unwanted pregnancies. I have read that ensuring everyone had a living wage that we could cut the abortion rate in half and further reduced by 25% to 30% by comprehensive sex education. Regardless of whether or not these figures are correct the fact remains that we have to find a way of reducing unwanted pregnancies. Far and away most unwanted pregnancies occur from consensual sex.

    BTW during Jesus time on Earth he had plenty of time to speak out on abortion and homosexuality both of which were prevalent in his day. Yet he did not mention either topic.

  32. Laripu says:

    I want to reiterate one of my points for discussion.

    If society decides that you shouldn’t have an abortion, how far will society go to prevent other harm to those precious fetuses?

    Should it be a crime for a woman to engage in otherwise legal behavior while pregnant, behavior likely to damage the fetus, like drinking to excess, smoking cigarettes, power-lifting weights, full contact martial arts, and excessive dieting?

    If an adult discovers evidence in photos or writing that the mother engaged in such behavior, should they be allowed to sue for damages?

    I think that if we’re not willing to incarcerate women for excessive diet and exercise while pregnant, then abortion should be legal.

  33. Mr Yan says:


    There isn’t a single answer to your point.

    In some parts of the world there is an offence of Child Destruction where the mother take active steps to terminate a pregnancy (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_destruction).

    For something closer to the discussion, in Hillman vs State (of Georgia) the courts reversed an indictment charging her with a violation of Georgia’s criminal abortion statute for intentionally inflicting a gunshot wound to a near-term fetus in order to produce an abortion (see https://casetext.com/case/hillman-v-state-21).

    I propose the test would be intent – did the woman who was excessively dieting (for example) do that in order to terminate the pregnancy.

  34. walter p. kronkat says:

    All this talk about abortion is just A-OK. The big problem I have with the no abortions folks is—-after the unwanted child is born, where are they?
    I think every person who wants abortions to be criminal acts and long prison time for all involved, sure, BUT, the anti-abortion folks MUST take the new baby and care for, feed, clothe, house, and educate said child until said child reaches age 18-20. Almost forgot, they must never treat this new child badly, government inspectors WILL do monthly checks just to be sure.

  35. Mr Yan says:

    @walter p. kronkat

    Is there no such thing as adoptions? Sure, argue the numbers and whether the state properly cares for these children but it exists.

    In many western societies there is a negative replacement rate – populations are getting older and fewer children are being born. This is leading to a problem with the costs of the elderly failing more and more on fewer young people.

    Immigration is seen as one way of offsetting this trend. Another could be to not abort so many that could have become people.

  36. raymondm says:

    1 Philosophers & theologians have been arguing about when a human being is a human being for thousands of years. With trimesters Roe v Wade offers some clarity.

    2 There is a large segment of the population that insists on defining human life as beginning at conception. These people often affirm that human life is sacred. Many of them have no trouble killing helpless adults, though.

    3 Some of those people believe that killing 1500 human beings is acceptable compared to killing 42 million potential children. They eagerly torture human beings to death while weeping at the disposal of zygotes.

    4 We know what people believe not by what they say they believe, but by what they do. We know that someone who defends capital punishment is not committed to the concept of an unalienable right to life.

  37. M27Holts says:

    I have two children, I had a vasectomy at 40. If I was to split up with my wife of 31 years, I would be using a condom with any new partner until I knew their sexual history and in a stable relationship with them. If I was a woman, I would definately insist that new partners wear a condom and I would be taking care that I couldn’t get pregnant until I was ready and sure of the father etc…but that still does not give the government the right to force childbirth on any woman. End of….

  38. Donn says:

    If philosophers have been engaged on the question of when human life begins for a thousand years, they’ve been doing a spectacularly useless job of it, and Roe vs. Wade doesn’t even touch it.

    The problem is that for a valid answer, you have to understand the question, and that means you have to know why you’re asking. Why do we care, whether that’s a human life or not?

    MattP kind of gets to that question. And comes up with a terrible answer, but at least he’s thinking. Most of us aren’t ready to grapple with it, so we have no defense against the framework handed down to us by Christianity, and the question is practically a surrogate to “when does a fetus have a soul?”

  39. M27Holts says:

    Donn, as science has made massive advances in neuroscience the cartesian theatre model has been proven to be false. The multiple drafts theory has yet to be falsified and fits with modern Neuro scientific experimentation. The ignorant plebs of the fourth to eighth century CE didn’t know jack shit about anything pertaining to the brain so their useless holy books should be collected up and used as toilet paper. End of…

  40. Donn says:

    Could you elaborate on what these theories of cognition have to do with this? Just guessing at some implicit principle, it might be that we’re supposed to care if and only if the thing has cognitive faculties like ours? (Or has had, because I guess it wouldn’t matter a person is temporarily unconscious.)

  41. Chiefy says:

    The question is not when human life begins. Life began 4 billion years ago, as far as we know. A fetus is human, of course, and alive. So is my liver; that doesn’t make it a person.
    To the best of my knowledge, a baby achieves consciousness sometime after its birth, so should not be considered a person before that, biologically speaking. Legally, the moment of birth is the most reasonable time to set as the beginning of personhood, and that is also social convention.
    On that basis, abortion should be permissible up to the time of birth. Very late term abortions are rarely, if ever, done on a whim. Usually they are done because of serious medical concerns.
    That being said, the Supreme Court has rightly ruled that a woman has a right to autonomy, and cannot be forced to continue a pregnancy. States have deliberately created roadblocks to the rights of women. That is the injustice that should be addressed.

  42. M27Holts says:

    Donn. I was expressing the “soul” hypothesis (cartesian theatre model) which has been disproven by experimentation. Therefor humans have no soul no real ID, just a set of running algorithms which give us an illusion of being. This is so technically complicated that the new experimentation has to be scrutinised by experts and would be opaque to most people bit like the standard model in physics. Religious bullshit was created by 4th to 8th century ignoramuses. It has no place in deciding a correct defintion of when a human being qualifies as a “person”. I think the law in england at the moment has it about right…

  43. Laripu says:

    Mr. Yan, neither of the links you provided apply. In both cases, a third party is required for there to be a crime.

    More importantly, intent can be used to view an underlying crime as more severe, but cannot be used to criminalize an otherwise non-criminal act.

    Two examples of the first assertion:
    1. Killing someone by negligently driving into them may be homicide of one kind or another, but driving into them with the intent to kill is murder.
    2. Burning an object on your neighbour’s lawn may be arson, but burning a cross in front of a traditionally black church is intentional racial intimidation, and therefore a hate crime.

    But exercise and dieting are not underlying crimes, therefore intent plays no part in criminalizing such acts.

    One more thing. It is a apparently the case that stress hormones increase the probability of miscarriage. Shall a CEO of a high-tech company be guilty of child destruction if that CEO puts great job stress on the pregnant VP, who miscarries as a consequence? If the CEO is putting identical stress on all the company’s VPs? Is the woman guilty of self-induced miscarriage for working in such a job?

    See, for example, this, among many other such articles on stress during pregnancy:

    You can’t possible criminalize self-induced miscarriages caused by otherwise legal actions. If so, you will have to imprison pregnant women in a stress free environment with excellent nourishment, to prevent harm from coming to the fetus. Not one politician will ever value fetuses that much. In fact they don’t care about fetuses at all; they care about the votes of people who have been manipulated into feeling outrage.

    Outrage, it turns out, is a political weapon whose use can also not be criminalized.

  44. Mr Yan says:


    Your understanding of the two links is incorrect. For example, the first has references to the following:


    Which states “As the judge commented, she might also have been prosecuted for child destruction post-28 week gestation under section 1 of the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929.”.

    The second link was a woman who shot herself in the stomach.

    Neither require a 3rd party.

  45. Donn says:

    Religious bullshit … has no place in deciding a correct defintion of when a human being qualifies as a “person”

    I’ll buy that, and of course whatever factual basis science can help with, that’s to the good, but science doesn’t get to the heart of the question all by itself either.

    Science can give you some insight into the attributes of that thing, but to science it’s still a thing. You need to decide how much more than just a thing it is, and you can’t ask science “what about this thing is important to me?” I doubt it’s just cognitive faculty; what about a machine with the same? That’s up to you, but ideally it would be rooted in something you can account for, so you can discuss with mattR why it is or isn’t OK to dispose of children before the age of 2 years, in terms that might mean something to him.

  46. Deimos says:

    I do love the ideas and concepts enshrined in the US foundation documents. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a simple yet powerful basis for all other laws. The idea that any governing body must not only be based on this but can only govern by consent of the governed.
    It may be based on Christian principles but from the beginning US government was strictly secular.
    So the Yanks have a sound, principled approach to Government. The UK has one of the oldest parliaments and a continuous rule of law going back many centuries.
    So how come both countries are currently governed by absolute raging twunts ?

  47. Donn says:

    I dunno, but it couldn’t be the people’s fault … could it?

  48. Laripu says:

    Deimos, you wrote “how come both countries are currently governed by absolute raging twunts ?”

    First of all, great word, twunt. I’ll never use it (because: Americans) but I like it.

    Here’s an answer. In the past, information came to people via relatively intelligent sources. Some pol would say something, some newspaper would publish it, some commentator would evaluate it, and the low-IQ masses would consume it. Idiots got their information curated and packaged by a coterie if smarter people. Not geniuses, but smarter.

    The most intelligent if these groups were the upper echelons of the civil service, who made sure it all ran smoothly. (For those who know about Yes Minister, think Sir Humphrey Appleby.) Still not geniuses, but mostly competent.

    Now, since the internet, every idiot creates information, and idiots get their understanding from other idiots. Beyond that, mediocre above-average people (roughly 120 to 130 IQ) have learned that they can use that to dishonestly manipulate dull normals and normals (80 to 105 IQ) and gain power that had been previously held by smarter people (IQ > 140). That completely characterizes the last US federal election. Please take all the numbers as rough approximations, with error bars around them, for purposes of developing understanding only, not for precision.

    We have democracy. Those of mediocre intelligence have learned to manipulate the range of dull normals to normals. According to the table in the link below, people with IQ between 80 and 105 comprise 54% of the population. Democracy.


  49. Donn says:

    The decline of professional journalism is sure lamentable, and that alone could account for a good deal of the problem. I’m skeptical on that IQ caste system, though. Upper echelons of civil service as a high IQ group that makes things run smoothly? Is that how it was in your country?

    Where I am, I’m surrounded by young high IQ people – and as group they’re easy marks for political advocacy, because you can’t count on them to do any critical thinking at all. That has to be learned, it doesn’t come along with raw intelligence.

  50. Laripu says:

    Donn, you wrote “Upper echelons of civil service as a high IQ group that makes things run smoothly? Is that how it was in your country?”

    The problem with what I wrote us that I meant it as a tendency, a rough approximation, not a rule or a natural law. But to answer your question, yes. If you ignore purely political appointees, highly placed civil servants were smart people who were competent at organizing departments.

    Look what happened when Trump took over: smart people fired, and replaced by ignorant and corrupt hacks. It’s the revenge of the mediocre but above average, a revenge taken against the competent. The tool they wield for this is the gullibility of dull normals, and democracy.

    Smart people used to have an undemocratic advantage because they had the media. With the internet, everybody has the media.

    We are almost at mob rule.

  51. Donn says:

    So we can no longer afford to let others do our thinking for us.

  52. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Mr Yan. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be using some version of a slippery slope argument?
    The idea seems to be–any decision on when a foetus is a fully paid up human is arbitrary, thereofre they all are or none are. With all due respect, this argument is bogus. The law can draw any line it likes (e.g rights at 18) without committing itself metaphysically to saying that ‘at 11:59 on the night before your birthday you arent responsible, at 1 second later something magical happens.
    We need clear lines in law, with the knowledge that edge cases are there.
    More importantly–we’ve already made this determination in the case of embryos.
    50 million deaths? Pah. Try 500 million. There are 10X as many frozen embryos floating about in liquid nitrogen for every one that gets born (thats just the ways the numbers work out in the invitro fertilization tech).
    No-one thinks they are human.
    No-one treats them as human.
    No-one is lining up to get them implanted (will you when this can happen in men, its not too far away?)
    We all accept that lots of things go into making a wanted child–which is, frankly, what the rest of us need (and have an interest in).
    No more unwanted children, please god. And for every child born we have billions of potential other ones are pushed aside (it could easily have been another sperm that fertilized your egg, are you a murderer for having shoved them aside?)
    So–let’s be serious please, and stop playing word games. These particular word games have serious consequences.

    (Oh, and to whoever took off their reply last time, leaving my comments about Ayn Rand flowing weirdly free and contextless, you sir, are a coward. Even Ayn Rand would be ashamed of you. Please don’t do things like that, or go and find a less grown-up forum to converse on)

  53. M27Holts says:

    Am I missing something about Ayn Rand and her philosophy? I would have thought that her total rejection of metaphysical nonsense and apriori knowledge would be shared by most who post on here? No?

  54. Donn says:

    Rejecters of metaphysical nonsense could find better champions. (Same goes for Madalyn Murray O’Hair, by the way.) Unlike The Author, Rand went beyond poking holes in the absurd faiths, and tried to develop a moral rationale, I suppose to replace them. Maybe that’s guaranteed to fail on conception. She ended up with a hideous caricature of humanity that has served to inspire generations of puerile libertarians, that’s how I see it. The sort of thing that gives atheism a bad name, but Ayn Rand didn’t speak for atheists any more than Stalin did.

  55. Troubleshooter says:

    Yo, J! Any mention of how many kids your dad kicked out of the womb, whether by RH mismatch or failure to implant in the uterus or any one of a thousand other possible causations? You want to get bent out of shape because women decide to take control of their bodies and their pregnancies here and there when, from the beginning of Homo sapiens, your hotshot papa has been the biggest abortionist in history!

  56. M27Holts says:

    Aye. The pious are oblivious to self evident truths…Their ignorance is only equalled by their ridiculous faith…

  57. Someone says:

    The more I hear from conservatives and the pious about the “immorality” of abortion, while they line their pockets and try to set our societies back 1000 years, the more I think not only should abortion be legalized but all of these assholes should be sterilized immediately, be them male or female.
    Why be biased when the sexes are equal? Plus, it’s a great way to curb this planet’s overpopulation.

  58. M27Holts says:

    At least the stupid Islamaphobia bill was defeated in parliament, such attempts to get a blasphemy law on the books via the back door should be laughed out of the commons…

  59. jb says:

    I’m curious to know what Mr. Yan himself thinks the law should be. Should fertilized eggs be protected? If not, at what point should abortion be outlawed? If you are going to critique others you should be willing to offer your own solutions.

    For myself, I don’t care about human life. Nobody does! What we care about is people. A diseased organ is alive, but nobody cares about removing it. A little green man from Mars would be treated as a person, even though he wasn’t human. What matters is not life, but mind. A fertilized egg has no mind, so it cannot be a person, even though it is in fact human and alive, and therefore a “human life”. A baby at birth does have some sort of mind (although not much of a personality yet!), so does merit protection (although personally I would support euthanizing those that are seriously defective). And finally, a person who has had an accident and is brain dead no longer has a mind, and therefore is no longer a person. Even the religious generally acknowledge this, and most are eventually willing to pull the plug.

    Why does mind matter? Because a mind can say “I don’t want to die,” and other minds tend to respect that. What reason is there to forbid murder anyway, other than the fact that most persons object to being killed? But if you don’t have a mind, then you don’t care, so why should anyone else?

  60. Donn says:

    How solid do you feel about the idea that, say, a pig doesn’t have a very similar idea – “I don’t want to die!” Not expressed in English, of course. You have an out there, if you want to say your “seriously defective” human is in some way equivalent to a pig. That isn’t a really strong position – if we’re to measure intelligence in way that’s relevant here, we’d surely wouldn’t care about skill with numbers and language, and we might find that a pig’s mental faculties are as clear and sensitive as our own. But it’s a hell of a lot more philosophically consistent than someone who’d happily send a pig to the slaughterhouse but go bananas over the life of a blob of protoplasm.

  61. jb says:

    Donn — I can’t talk to a pig, and I’m not convinced they have any concept of “dying.” I’m pretty sure though that they, like most animals, have a concept of “pain” and want to avoid it, so I’m opposed to torturing them. (I’m not concerned if they briefly experience a little bit of fear and pain at the slaughterhouse. Who among us is guaranteed an easy and painless death? But lifelong suffering does bother me — it’s the one argument animal rights activists make that I think carries some weight. I still eat pork though).

    Interestingly, Lewis Carroll once made a similar argument. He argued that any human has an absolute right to kill any animal at any time for any reason (with the obvious caveat about the impact on other humans), but causing suffering was wrong unless there was a good reason.

  62. Anna O. Zacher says:

    What jb says resonates w/me.

    I want to die, as I’m an animal basically, and no one will help me. I’m 89 almost 90 and can’t DO anything and have no relatives of any kind to take me to death’s door… but no one is willing to let me or help me to die. I guess when I get the big A, I won’t care, but why wait that long? until I’m helpless? I suppose you can’t help, either…or want to…

  63. Donn says:

    I’m not sure I have a valid concept of dying, either, so am I fair game?

    A few minutes ago I just did my best to kill a rodent, without a great deal of regard for exactly how it felt about it. For me, that’s fair: that risk is part of its natural existence, and it puts that risk up against my commitment to rid my environs of rodents. The same kind of circumstances arise with humans, under the category of war and crime.

    Domestic animals in contrast are not engaged in a risky struggle with us, they’re simply our captives from the day they’re born. I think that’s degrading to whatever passes for moral nature in humans.

  64. M27Holts says:

    Donn, I have the image of Lee Evans from mouse hunt in my head..hahaha

  65. jb says:

    I’m not sure I have a valid concept of dying, either, so am I fair game?

    I’m pretty sure your concept is comparable to mine, and since I don’t want to die I respect your wish not to die as well. But I really don’t think pigs have much concept of the future or “dying.” As for domestic animals, we’ll just have to disagree. They are living the life they evolved (i.e., were bred) to live, and I don’t see any degradation in that for either them or us.

    M27Holts — Just watched to trailer; I think I’d be willing to extend honorary personhood to that mouse! 🙂

  66. Donn says:

    How much breeding do you think would it take, to produce acceptable meat humans?

  67. Dr John the Wipper says:

    The current sample of testers is a little bit small, but according to cannibals that is already the case!

  68. M27Holts says:

    “The cannibals” by Henrietta Mann….


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