11 June 2009

The Absolute Tyranny of Autonomy

I finished a conversation with a female (from Ireland) on youtube (in my personal mailbox). It's below (my comments are in parentheses).


"Your essential question/holdings:
(1)"Why is being human so special?"
(2)"A human is a person when they are sentient and capable of consciousness."
(3)"my [sic] issue is with your attitude that a fetus has the 'right' to use a woman's body against her will- that's it, plain and simple."

Re. (3), the US Supreme Court: "If the suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth Amendment]." Therefore, your opinion (3) has no value if the woman carries a "person", according to US law. (This is apart from my or your opinions; The rule of law is what counts ultimately, apart from appeals/dictates from "Nature's God".)"

Thats quite laughable. NOBODY has the right to use anothers body without their consent- how is establishing personhood in a fetus going against this? What is unclear here?

"(1) begs to question, "Why is being a person is so special?" (To me, they are the same question.) What value does life have? Who is entitled to bestow value on someone else? [I should've asked "Who
is entitled to negate the value of someone else?"] If you respect animals so much, why not respect all humans (subset of animals in your view)? Do animal mothers have the right to eject their offspring at any point (no, this is not a joke)?"

No, human is not synonymous with person. A dead human being is not longer a person, a human permanently in a vegetative state has no qualities of a person. Simply having a human body does not give you a unique right to life. I do respect humans, equally with non-humans, I just place more weight on the right to autonomy of an existing person than the non-existant rights of a potential person.
You clearly think you have the right to bestow value. Of course animal mothers do, all females do.
Believe it or not, we are thinking, autonomous beings that can make individual decisions and require no input from you.

"(2) is still not a clear definition of personhood (terms not focused; my response is on my understanding of (2)). A person in the zygotic stage reacts naturally to external stimuli. A 7 week old baby has tiny active nerves. Any human before or after viability is sentient. When an adult sleeps, they are not conscious. Are we a person one moment and not the next (vis sleep)? It takes some finite time to become conscious. It just takes a zygotic (embryonic and fetal) person a longer time to become conscious. See (and other writings by Francis J. Beckwith) for more info."

Yes, it is. What are your specific problems with it? Why is it that you dont call a tree a person? I imagine it has something to do with the existence of a brain/self awareness/consciousness.

"Are (1) and (2) just a red-herring for (3)?"

No, they are equally valid reasons for my stance.

"At the end of the day, I have a question: If personhood is established for a non-viable human that is found to be inside a woman's body, does the woman still have a right to kill the non-viable human in your view?"

Yes, no one has the right to use anothers body without their permission, fetus or rapist.

"At the end of the day, this is my business since you and others insist on killing my neighbor, preborn female and male persons."

No, it really isnt. You risk absolutely nothing by taking your stance, you dont even have a concept of the barbaric nature of what you suggest. As a male your view is entirely negligible from the point of ignorance. I notice you didnt answer a lot of my questions and did not even address the autonomy point.


It was very enlightening, really.

Is it self-contradictory if she says:
(A) "(1) and (2) [are not] a red-herring for (3)" but "equally valid reasons for my stance".
(B)"If personhood is established for a non-viable human that is found to be inside a woman's body, [] the woman still [has] a right to kill the non-viable human []."

I didn't "address the autonomy point" because I wanted to first find out if personhood really mattered to her. Since in reality it didn't, autonomy is the absolute tyrant.

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