The Great Abortion Debate

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Grigoris
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:51 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:01 pm
as if on cue
You are the one that made the positive claim, thus the onus is on you to support your claim, not on me to counter your unsupported thesis. ;)
On a very sincere note nice to see you back Grigoris :anjali:
Thank you. Nice to be back!
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:41 pm

Otherwise, it is just a precursor of an ordinary human birth, such as birth as a Christian, Muslim, Jew,Hindu, Atheist, etc., since those eighteen conditions are missing.
Nobody is born as a follower of any religion
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:22 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:53 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:41 pm

Otherwise, it is just a precursor of an ordinary human birth, such as birth as a Christian, Muslim, Jew,Hindu, Atheist, etc., since those eighteen conditions are missing.
Nobody is born as a follower of any religion
People are born into families. Those families live in countries. Those countries tend to have dominant religions.

In any case, my point still stands, if someone is born lacking the eighteen freedoms and endowments, they do not have a precious human birth. In case anyone does not know the eight lack of freedoms, they are described by Nāgājruna:

Birth as one holding wrong views, as animals, pretas, and hell beings,
as one without the teaching of the victor, or in a border country,
birth as a barbarian, as one stupid and dumb,
or birth as any of the long-lived gods
are the eight faults of lacking freedom.


The ten endowments are divided into five personal endowments, and five external endowments. The personal endowments are:

A human born in the central country, complete sense organs,
not engaging in wrong livelihood, faith in the object.


The external endowments are:

The Buddha has arrived, he has taught the Dharma,
the doctrine exists, there are followers of that,
and there is kindheartedness towards others.

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Grigoris
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:27 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:32 pm
Down throttling the potential of human birth as represented by a group of cells in the womb because science and policy add to the complexity of the issue doesn't seem to honor the potential for precious human birth.
How far down do we want to reduce this apparent potential?

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:33 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:25 pm
I would be indebted to you to read a citation that says the precursor to precious human birth is absolutely meaningless. Putting the carrier of those cells ahead of the cells themselves is one thing. Treating that collection of cells as something other than the precursor to precious human birth is a denial of reality. I don't believe that is a feature of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism but perhaps you will enlightenment me here.
Did you miss this post on page 1? viewtopic.php?f=111&t=33236#p524638
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tkp67 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:54 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:33 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:25 pm
I would be indebted to you to read a citation that says the precursor to precious human birth is absolutely meaningless. Putting the carrier of those cells ahead of the cells themselves is one thing. Treating that collection of cells as something other than the precursor to precious human birth is a denial of reality. I don't believe that is a feature of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism but perhaps you will enlightenment me here.
Did you miss this post on page 1? viewtopic.php?f=111&t=33236#p524638
That isn't a Indo-Tibetan reference which is the proper context of the request.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tkp67 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:00 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:27 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:32 pm
Down throttling the potential of human birth as represented by a group of cells in the womb because science and policy add to the complexity of the issue doesn't seem to honor the potential for precious human birth.
How far down do we want to reduce this apparent potential?

Respecting women's rights and respecting the conditions that contribute to human life need not be in contest with one another.

Making this a binary absolute seems a samsaric endeavor and denies the complexity of the issue.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:07 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:00 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:27 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:32 pm
Down throttling the potential of human birth as represented by a group of cells in the womb because science and policy add to the complexity of the issue doesn't seem to honor the potential for precious human birth.
How far down do we want to reduce this apparent potential?

Respecting women's rights and respecting the conditions that contribute to human life need not be in contest with one another.

Making this a binary absolute seems a samsaric endeavor and denies the complexity of the issue.
It is not a binary, women's rights should come first. It's their bodies, after all.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tkp67 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:14 pm

It is not a binary, women's rights should come first. It's their bodies, after all.
Yes but I still the middle way is for women to have the right to choose which is based on conditions, capacities and causes.

Determining life valueless before it forms the criteria for being according to any metric is binary and extreme. The real value of the precursor of life is only fairly determined by the person carrying it IN ACCORD TO THEIR conditions, capacities and causes. NOT OURS.

Dependent origin would have that precursor to life more than nothing. Does this need imply it is greater than the host? No but I don't think valueless is a right view either.

This is why I clearly state my position isn't about rights, that is not contestable. I simply don't think the potential value of life need be rationalized as nothing because of those rights. Ergo they are not mutually exclusive except in the minds that insist they are.

I understand there is a way of the world but I believe deviation from the norm is really beneficial in regards to shedding associative perceptions.

:anjali:

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:07 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:54 pm
That isn't a Indo-Tibetan reference which is the proper context of the request.
That is a piss poor attempt to fob off the fact that 40-70% of embryos abort spontaneously, a fact that means that an embryo is actually a seriously insignificant precursor to precious human birth.
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:00 pm
Respecting women's rights and respecting the conditions that contribute to human life need not be in contest with one another.

Making this a binary absolute seems a samsaric endeavor and denies the complexity of the issue.
What I am contesting is your apparent attempt to equate the right of women's control of their body, with the right of a bunch of cells to continued existence, a bunch of cells that in 40-70% of cases will abort spontaneously anyway.
Last edited by Grigoris on Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tkp67 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:45 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:07 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:54 pm
That isn't a Indo-Tibetan reference which is the proper context of the request.
That is a piss poor attempt to fob off the fact that 40-70% of embryos abort spontaneously, a fact that means that an embryo is actually a seriously insignificant precursor to precious human birth.
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:00 pm
Respecting women's rights and respecting the conditions that contribute to human life need not be in contest with one another.

Making this a binary absolute seems a samsaric endeavor and denies the complexity of the issue.
What I am contesting is your apparent attempt to equate the right of women's control of their body, with the right of a bunch of cells to continued existence, a bunch of cells that in 40-70% of cases will abort spontaneously anyway.
There is no apparent attempt on my behalf to conflate those things because I am not the one whose mind conflates them.

I don't need to reduce the value of life on percentages in a discourse on rights. I don't have to reduce it to a sole choice or decision. A right is not an evocation it is simply a freedom to choose. The right to abortion is not a guarantee to one and that outcome alone should not be attached to that right.

Before my wife was an ER nurse she worked at planned parenthood. Believe it or not, not every woman wants to choose an abortion and it shouldn't be seen as the sole purpose of women's rights. They should be supported equally regardless of choice with reasonable resource to do so.

Seems a bit more empty, pure. compassionate and equitable don't you think?

There is no prize to win here but there might be understanding to be had.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:36 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:45 pm
I don't need to reduce the value of life on percentages in a discourse on rights. I don't have to reduce it to a sole choice or decision. A right is not an evocation it is simply a freedom to choose. The right to abortion is not a guarantee to one and that outcome alone should not be attached to that right.

Before my wife was an ER nurse she worked at planned parenthood. Believe it or not, not every woman wants to choose an abortion and it shouldn't be seen as the sole purpose of women's rights. They should be supported equally regardless of choice with reasonable resource to do so.
Nice straw men, but I am not taking the bait.

Like I said earlier: Facts vs Sentimentality and verbose posturing (posing as philosophy).

Facts say one thing, opinions say another.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:03 am

As far as I know, Dharma teachings never posit an absolutist position about anything phenomenal.
All situations arise conditionally, and so, must be addressed conditionally.
The purpose of the teachings is perfect liberation from suffering. That covers a lot of territory.
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tkp67 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:15 am

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:36 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:45 pm
I don't need to reduce the value of life on percentages in a discourse on rights. I don't have to reduce it to a sole choice or decision. A right is not an evocation it is simply a freedom to choose. The right to abortion is not a guarantee to one and that outcome alone should not be attached to that right.

Before my wife was an ER nurse she worked at planned parenthood. Believe it or not, not every woman wants to choose an abortion and it shouldn't be seen as the sole purpose of women's rights. They should be supported equally regardless of choice with reasonable resource to do so.
Nice straw men, but I am not taking the bait.

Like I said earlier: Facts vs Sentimentality and verbose posturing (posing as philosophy).

Facts say one thing, opinions say another.
Not a straw man Greg my wife talked to me about the nature of women's problems at her job and it is relevant since we have a daughter together. Educating our daughter with equanimity was the objective. Not everyone abides to the narratives that exist in your mind.

Strawman is answering topics out of context and keeping the basis subjective.

:anjali:

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tobes » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:55 am

Add the context of bardo-rebirth, and the moral value depends in part upon where the next rebirth is.

i.e. if the aborted fetus goes to a very bad destination, then action is morally bad - because even an ordinary human rebirth is far better than say a preta rebirth. But, if it goes to a pure land or precious human rebirth, then it is actually morally good. One needs to consider this before arriving at some absolutist position on the question.

Karma is extraordinarily complex; context is everything, moral value takes place in this complexity. Absolutist positions are contrary to Dharma.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Malcolm » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:54 am

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:14 pm
It is not a binary, women's rights should come first. It's their bodies, after all.
Yes but I still the middle way is for women to have the right to choose...
I am glad you agree.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Grigoris » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:45 am

Let's take the debate back to the issue of karma. As PadmaVonSamba pointed out: It may well be karma vipaka for the fetus to be aborted. The workings of karma do not just act on the woman.

But I am going to bring a slightly different angle to the discussion.

In Mahayana we know that vipaka is based on four components: 1. Motivation. 2. Extent of the action. 3. Object of the action. 4. Feeling about having committed the action.

So if we are going to weigh up the consequences of the rights afforded to a woman and affording rights to an embryo; we have to seriously consider factor 3.

In one case we are considering affording rights to a bunch of cells that are 100% dependent on the woman's body (ie they are a part of the woman's body and not an independently functioning entity) and in the other case an actual independently functioning human entity.

"Potential precious human life" does not play into the equation. Why? Because the potential that the cells will develop into a precious human existence (as defined by doctrine) is actually really tiny. Chances are that the cells will spontaneously abort or they will have a basically miserable common human existence.

So. As Buddhists, shouldn't the focus be on helping the woman develop the means to liberation, rather than trying to guilt trip her, via spurious reasoning and mistaken applications of doctrine, into making a decision that will probably, given existing eternal circumstances (and unless one is living in a highly developed socialist welfare state like Norway or Denmark) lead to misery for her and possibly another being?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by tkp67 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:56 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:45 am
Let's take the debate back to the issue of karma. As PadmaVonSamba pointed out: It may well be karma vipaka for the fetus to be aborted. The workings of karma do not just act on the woman.

But I am going to bring a slightly different angle to the discussion.

In Mahayana we know that vipaka is based on four components: 1. Motivation. 2. Extent of the action. 3. Object of the action. 4. Feeling about having committed the action.

So if we are going to weigh up the consequences of the rights afforded to a woman and affording rights to an embryo; we have to seriously consider factor 3.

In one case we are considering affording rights to a bunch of cells that are 100% dependent on the woman's body (ie they are a part of the woman's body and not an independently functioning entity) and in the other case an actual independently functioning human entity.

"Potential precious human life" does not play into the equation. Why? Because the potential that the cells will develop into a precious human existence (as defined by doctrine) is actually really tiny. Chances are that the cells will spontaneously abort or they will have a basically miserable common human existence.

So. As Buddhists, shouldn't the focus be on helping the woman develop the means to liberation, rather than trying to guilt trip her, via spurious reasoning and mistaken applications of doctrine, into making a decision that will probably, given existing eternal circumstances (and unless one is living in a highly developed socialist welfare state like Norway or Denmark) lead to misery for her and possibly another being?
The only thing I question is the surety life's misery isn't a bet not worth making.

Suffering is the ultimate cause. I ask myself would there have been a cause for the world honored one to transcend the god realm if it was not for suffering? Would there have been sufficient cause?

Of course we must then accept suffering and keep from creating/perpetuating it. I don't doubt our natural inclination is to try to remove suffering from the equation.

In this regards avoiding a life a suffering and potential liberation is life giving a man a fish where in accepting a life of suffering for the potential of liberation is teaching a man to fish.

In summation does avoiding life really eliminate suffering and facilitation of liberation?

:anjali:

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Malcolm » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:17 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:56 pm

In summation does avoiding life really eliminate suffering and facilitation of liberation?
Generally, speaking, women who have abortions are not that concerned with liberation, in this life or any other. One of the problems here is that we keep framing this issue through Buddhist abstractions such as "liberation," which are completely meaningless to the 93 percent of the world population who are not Buddhists.

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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by Queequeg » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:49 pm

At Hasedera in Kamakura, there are hosts of Jizo statues. Google it and you'll see the pictures. The first impression people have is how cute it is. But these statues are dedicated by parents who have lost children, many of them due to abortion. You see the statues clothed in winter with hoods and bibs. When the meaning of this is known, it can be heart breaking - a testament to the tragedies.

As far as I can tell, there are a range of views among women who have abortions, from thinking of it like a visit to the dermatologist to have a mole removed, to heart wrenching decisions full of doubt and long tails of regret.

All the arguments about the subject are well worn. So then what is most striking, I think, is the lack of sensitivity in this thread.

:soapbox:
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Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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