Sunday, July 24, 2022

Another possible application of the Bubble

I think it's possible to use my Bubble Theory to resolve another thorny situation where rights seem to conflict.

It may be a way to better address, or view, abortion. 

My view is that at conception the zygote isn't yet an individual person, but at some point between conception and birth-- at least by the time the fetus could survive, with help, outside the uterus-- it becomes one. At that point in time, whenever that is, a "bubble" of bodily autonomy-- individual rights-- enclosing the fetus comes into being inside the pregnant woman's equal and identical "bubble" of bodily autonomy. Inside her body; engulfed in her property, but not her property.

She can no longer claim ownership of what's inside the fetus' "bubble", even though it lies within her own body. She is responsible-- a steward, but not an owner.

After that point, ethically, only if the fetus/baby becomes a credible threat to her life, liberty, or property can she forcibly end the threat.

There would still be plenty of room for those who simply want to fight over the topic to quibble over exactly when the fetus' bodily autonomy "bubble" appears, to complain that this involves "mental constructs" (as does everything above concrete physical objects), to argue over what constitutes a credible threat to the woman's life, liberty, and property (and whether it matters), to keep them entertained.

My view that political government and legislation have no place in our lives remains unchanged either way.


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  1. Your "bubble" theory provides an interesting means by which individuals, private organizations and governments could debate and establish disparate rules regarding abortion.

    The "viability" threshold, point at which a fetus can survive has changed with improvement in our medical technology. Since the 1980's, cryo-preservation has been used to harvest and store and both eggs and embryos to be thawed for later growth into a live human in the original or different host-mother.

    I believe your proposal attempts to ignore two fundamental facts: the zygote is biologically alive and genetically human.

    At what point in gestation, the process of human development, do these facts change?

    Hans ... in the NC woods

    1. I don't consider "biologically alive and genetically human" to be the same as being an individual human being-- essential but not sufficient. But even if I'm wrong, the Bubble still works-- it just means the Bubble is created at the moment of conception, with all that entails.

      I look forward to the day there are artificial wombs so that an "abortion" is more like moving out.

    2. "I don't consider" is hardly a sufficient logical refutation of the facts.

      Explore this further ... how does the magical transfer of ownership occur?

      The embryo is initially "owned" by the originating mother. What event triggers the "title-transfer" of property Rights from mother to unborn child? What is the consequence of the mothers' refusal to relinquish ownership?

      The concept of one human holding property rights to another human has been problematic throughout the whole of human history. I would advise against using it to establish a moral threshold for abortion.

      Hans ... in the NC woods

    3. I discussed those issues and questions in the post- I thought.

      "What event"? I would say it is (probably) the emergence of a self-aware (even minimally) mind. (I realize this counts out most political people.) But I am open to other ideas.

      I still think the fight comes down to whether a person believes in "the soul" or not. If you do you're going to start from different assumptions than someone who doesn't.

      This illustrates why I dislike both sides- pro-abortion and anti-abortion- of the abortion war so intensely. Both sides have good arguments, but neither side is convincing to me. And neither side seems capable of seeing the other argument.

    4. I've attempted to keep the discussion entirely on your philosophical soil ... I did not appeal to the existence or absence of a soul.

      This will be my last attempt to persuade you there is a defect in your argument for use of the property rights bubble in an argument for abortion.

      Apply basic Libertarian philosophy: the Non-Aggression Principle. A clinically healthy zygote, unmolested, will normally develop and be born as a healthy human child ... unless it presents a threat to the life of its' host and the argument for self-defense can be invoked.

      Abortion is battery of an embryo, an unprovoked attack with the intention of terminating the existence of, that would otherwise evolve into a "complete" human (admitted in your argument).

      Can you really support this violation of the Non-Aggression Principle ???

      Hans ... in the NC woods ...