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Hitchens: Humanism and abortion.

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Published on Oct 22, 2008

Q&A part III of the Hitchens vs. Turek debate at VCU, VA.
Full debate:
http://www.vimeo.com/1904911

Hitchens says here that religion only poisons the debate about abortion and that Humanist values help to decide difficult moral issues concerning the life of the unborn child.

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Comments • 4,075

Tom Forge
He does answer the question. His answer is that all fetuses have a presumption of life that can be overridden by he mother's right to life. He sees this as balancing the moral rights of multiple humans. This is a valid difference. 
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Nerve
For me, coming from the perspective of a humanist in the making, the question is simple but the answer much harder: When should the rights of the unborn supercede the rights of the mother? Put another way, at what point does pro-choice become pro-infanticide? As Hitchens mentioned, we're discovering the remarkable ability for mid-term babies to survive outside the womb. I think humanists and scientists need to have lengthy ethical discussions over the coming years, but the screaming voices of fundamentalist Christians and third-wave feminists threaten to drown out such discussion and endanger our ability to decide anything substantial or useful concerning the ethical dilemma of abortion.
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since 92
Oh shit! I've been handjobing genocides all these years and i thought i couldnt harm a fly.
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MyMusiclover28
This tool asking the question (repeatedly) cannot get a satisfactory answer because he is leading the person who's supposed to answer. He will not be satisfied with anything until he gets something that aligns with his beliefs. Hitchens answered his question, but he continues digging for more on the god plane, when Hitchens has clearly said he doesn't believe he was "created". Hitchens is appalled, as we all should be, that people believe in a merciful god when reading the Bible. Especially the Old Testament. It is appalling.
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StephenHMarco
The reply should have been in the form of a question, "why are you worshiping a god that kills people". I don't care about Hitchens views on abortion in this debate. He is not on trial. The fact that we're arguing over a murderous god in the first place is insane.
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Tomasz Kantoch
Isn't that interesting.We have 21 century. So many great achievements in science. We consider ourselves as a inteligent creatures and yet we have discussions like this - about religious dogma and morality. Just saying.
dontchastop
I'm a Hitchens fan, but I think he cleverly avoided answering the question. Turek would have done better if he asked Hitchens to answer the second part of the question.
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StanJan1958
Its murder. So lets agree that every human on earth has a right to do what they choose to. Good or bad. However, if you kill your dog, you go to jail. if you kill your cat, you go to jail. if you kill a family member, you go to jail. All things you as a human totally have the right to decide to do or not to do. Woman 100% have the right to choose to kill their babies. In then or out of them. Either way, they should be tried for murder and put in jail for either. Stop jerking us off. Murder is murder
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Wowo Mah
Wooooo! I go to VCU! Wish I had been old enough to know about Hitchens when he was alive and well. Could have gone to see him speak here...
Eric van Bezooijen
I believe what Christopher Hitchens was trying to articulate here is a concept that so many Americans have difficulty with because abortion is such a polarizing subject. At some point between conception and birth a human being is created that deserves the full protection of the law. That point can't be right after conception and it can't be right before birth. The pro-life side wants to always push that point back, and the pro-choice side wants to push that point forward. But scientists know relatively well where in a pregnancy fetal brain development is to the point where we could consider a living thing "human."
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