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The Hypocrisy Within The Personhood Argument


TheBluegrassSkeptic

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blog-0046548001335806749.jpgSo, over the last few weeks, there have been some hot button topics on the forums lately. I had started one in regards to how/what/why does/doesn't one see human life as sacred.

 

The debate came back around to a lot of "personhood" arguments, as the debates did in another forum as far as good reason for abortion.

 

Here' my thing. I am very much a pro-choicer. I don't think life begins until birth, but that is just my belief system. Still, it brings about an even bigger question for me. I think that it is rather hypocritical to demand that abortion be considered murder and have to carry a child to delivery, but at the same time you can cut off a child's foreskin, pierce their ears and everything else without their permission. Isn't that kind of going against the whole notion of personhood? Aren't these people essentially trampling all over this child's rights? I won't even go into the whole religious abuse. I really feel it is wrong to force a child to follow YOUR belief systems. Still, that's a whole nother discussion.

 

So what say you people?

 

Definition of personhood in a nutshell,and believe me there are many, is that it is the cultural and legal recognition of the equal and unalienable rights of human beings.

 

What are these rights? To be a person is to be protected by a series of what some would say are God-given rights along with constitutional guarantees such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

So, if these prolifers insist a fetus is a person. Then why aren't they being prosecuted for mutilating children's genitals without child's permission? If one wants to argue that parents have the right to act on their child's behalf, and then this child grows up and is angry about the mutilation, can said child sue parents for bodily injury since the parent made the decision on personal grounds and not the actual views of the child? What about piercing of baby's ears? I can't stand that practice. I find it abhorrent and unfair. It's body modification for fuck's sake! What if this kid grows up with ketoid issues or has a belief system where it isn't okay to be pierced? You've ruined that child!

 

I don't know. I think the whole personhood argument is very hypocritical on a lot of levels.

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Sorry zomb, you directed me here, but I don't see that it's related to what we were talking about.

 

I also don't see how it's hypocritical to assert that fetuses have a basic right to live and at the same time assert that parent's have a broad range of authority to make decisions for their own children. Clearly, they don't think that parent's have the right to kill their children, but that they do have authority to do a hell of a lot without the child's consent. And in most cases, that's exactly how we all want things to be. For instance, giving a kid a polio vaccination could be viewed as medical assault in the sense that the child is too young to consent to anything and yet you're vaccinating her? But, no, that is perfectly acceptable. As you would know, being a mother and all, it's just part of the parent-child relationship to make decisions for your kids until they're old enough to decide for themselves. Circumcision should not be within parental authority because it's barbaric mutilation as you've said elsewhere. But even though it currently is within parental authority, it doesn't logically conflict with that kid's right to live.

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Oh, I'm sorry. I really misunderstood where you were coming from on that earlier thread. I still feel there is a line to be drawn on decision making on behalf of the child. Medically speaking, I think we SHOULD have more lee way. Religiously? Meh, not so much. Especially when it involves body modification.

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Zomberina, the question of parenting and the child's consent is an interesting question. I know that some men today are upset about decisions their parents made to circumcise them as infants, for example. Still, it's very common for parents to make decisions like these for their children and I just don't think that will change anytime soon... especially on things which have deep meaning religiously and culturally (such as circumcision in Judaism).

 

With respect to personhood and fetuses: fetuses are human and they are alive, but they are not "people." Being a "person" is more than just being "alive"... it includes at the very least the ability to be conscious, and some include things beyond this such as the ability to make decisions and communicate. all of which fetuses don't have.

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Germany, I feel, is on the right track. Just because this is something that has been done for 1ks of years doesn't mean it is right. The foreskin has so many nerve endings for pleasure, why would you damage that? To me, it's the equivalent of cutting off a clitoris. If it were THAT bad having it, more men would be having issues, and the majority of the world is not circed. I don't see 75% of the uncirced men in this planet experiencing problems.

 

Hygeine and safe sex education is key. Circed or not.

 

As far as personhood and fetuses, I agree completely. Problem is that when you speak of being a person as more than just being alive, coma patients would fall under the not living aspect as well, and no one denies that a coma patient isn't a person. I think the whole thing is a semantics game. Pro-lifers can show me a way to save all the dying children that are already born.

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