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Perpetuation of the species is pretty huge and I am not sure how many dogs and cats get morning sickness or feel particularly traumatized. Humans are not the only mammals.

In that aspect, I've got to disagree. Unlike other mammals, humans are bipedal, and as such we have way more complications during birth than quadrupedal animals.

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Wait... one baby is the difference between the human race dying out and surviving?  I don't understand how perpetuation of the human race is any kind of argument against abortion, when the human race is not in danger of going extinct.

I was not arguing against abortion.

 

In that aspect, I've got to disagree. Unlike other mammals, humans are bipedal, and as such we have way more complications during birth than quadrupedal animals.

 

If fetuses are parasites, they are parasites in all mammals. It is not a uniquely human phenomenon. That is why I suggested that 'perpetuation of the species' is a huge benefit to the host and wondered if it was considered, and why I suggested that perhaps dogs and cats did not experience morning sickness, etc., as a rebuttal to Layn, since I was not saying "human fetuses are not parasites" but "do mammals spend part of their life cycle as a parasite? Does that take into account the biological benefits of carrying a fetus to term?"

Edited by Princess Artemis

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I was not arguing against abortion.

 

In that aspect, I've got to disagree. Unlike other mammals, humans are bipedal, and as such we have way more complications during birth than quadrupedal animals.

 

If fetuses are parasites, they are parasites in all mammals. It is not a uniquely human phenomenon. That is why I suggested that 'perpetuation of the species' is a huge benefit to the host and wondered if it was considered, and why I suggested that perhaps dogs and cats did not experience morning sickness, etc., as a rebuttal to Layn, since I was not saying "human fetuses are not parasites" but "do mammals spend part of their life cycle as a parasite? Does that take into account the biological benefits of carrying a fetus to term?"

Sorry, didn't realize that's what you were saying. Well in that case...

 

Animals are quadrupeds. They don't experience nearly as many of the complications humans do. It's hard to compare animals to humans because they just don't experience as many harmful side effects of pregnancy as humans do.

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If fetuses are parasites, they are parasites in all mammals. It is not a uniquely human phenomenon. That is why I suggested that 'perpetuation of the species' is a huge benefit to the host and wondered if it was considered, and why I suggested that perhaps dogs and cats did not experience morning sickness, etc., as a rebuttal to Layn, since I was not saying "human fetuses are not parasites" but "do mammals spend part of their life cycle as a parasite? Does that take into account the biological benefits of carrying a fetus to term?"

Impeding your movement so that you're more vulnerable to predators is a common result of pregnancy in all mammals. I've yet to know more about diseases in other mammals, but what I'm saying is, humans suffer more from a pregnancy than any other species as they're bipedal and thus have more complications.

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Parasites don't benefit their hosts. That's really all it comes down to, and why I wondered if perpetuation of the species was not considered a biological benefit in defining the fetuses of mammals as parasites.

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Parasites don't benefit their hosts.  That's really all it comes down to, and why I wondered if perpetuation of the species was not considered a biological benefit in defining the fetuses of mammals as parasites.

It would appear that you're referencing my using the term 'parasite', so I thought I'd chime in:

 

Although perpetuation of the species is beneficial to the species, it is not beneficial to the specific individual carrying the baby/fetus/zygote/whatever you'd like to call the bundle of cells that will one day develop into a human.

 

Technically, a parasite in the traditional sense could be benefiting the species if it's feeding on an animal with a weaker immune system, or a weaker constitution and therefore culling the herd (or whatever the specific group would be called). It could also be considered a benefit to the ecosystem in general because by killing the individual it is lessening the burden on the ecosystem and making it easier for those of the species that remain to survive because, due to a smaller population, the individuals can be better supported.

 

I chose the term "parasite" because, by definition, that's what it is. Whether the scientific community has come out and said that a human being spends part of it's lifecycle as a parasite or not, it still uses the term parasite in reference to the traditional parasites (re: ringworms, fleas, mites, etc.), which match the traditional dictionary definition of a parasite. I find it highly unlikely that the scientific community would use a term in a manner contradictory to the definition of said term, regardless of which (presumably legitimate, as in Webster's, Oxford, etc. dictionary...not just wikipedia) source is defining it.

 

http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/merial/i...ion/intro_1.htm

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4769

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Parasite

 

the second and third links do not include in the definition that a parasite "does not benefit the host" and regardless of the benefit or lack thereof, a human or any other mammal's initial state of biological existence are still relevant to those definitions. If you'd like me to continue looking for medically/scientifically relevant definitions let me know.

 

I would also like to note, I do not use the term 'parasite' in a negative or derogatory manner; merely as a descriptor. Some choose to say baby, some choose fetus, some choose lump of cells; they are all relevant descriptors. For someone who has opted to have an abortion, especially if the conception was under traumatic circumstances, it probably is more therapeutic to distance herself from the idea of a 'baby'. For some, the idea of the fetus being a baby could constitute the idea of an endless reminder of the previous trauma that led to the conception and subsequent abortion.

As I stated in my previous post, an abortion is something that I don't know that I would personally be able to experience. My point was merely that I have no right to tell someone else that they can't, regardless of their reasons. Do I think that some people use an abortion as an a way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions? Yes. Do I think that the individuals who have a legitimate medical or psychological circumstance dictating their decision should be forced into a full-term pregnancy just because someone else is doing it for (what I consider to be) the wrong reasons? No. That is why I am pro-choice. I do not appreciate my choices being limited based on someone else's beliefs or actions.

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It would appear that you're referencing my using the term 'parasite', so I thought I'd chime in:

 

Although perpetuation of the species is beneficial to the species, it is not beneficial to the specific individual carrying the baby/fetus/zygote/whatever you'd like to call the bundle of cells that will one day develop into a human.

 

Technically, a parasite in the traditional sense could be benefiting the species if it's feeding on an animal with a weaker immune system, or a weaker constitution and therefore culling the herd (or whatever the specific group would be called). It could also be considered a benefit to the ecosystem in general because by killing the individual it is lessening the burden on the ecosystem and making it easier for those of the species that remain to survive because, due to a smaller population, the individuals can be better supported.

 

I chose the term "parasite" because, by definition, that's what it is. Whether the scientific community has come out and said that a human being spends part of it's lifecycle as a parasite or not, it still uses the term parasite in reference to the traditional parasites (re: ringworms, fleas, mites, etc.), which match the traditional dictionary definition of a parasite. I find it highly unlikely that the scientific community would use a term in a manner contradictory to the definition of said term, regardless of which (presumably legitimate, as in Webster's, Oxford, etc. dictionary...not just wikipedia) source is defining it.

 

http://cal.vet.upenn.edu/projects/merial/i...ion/intro_1.htm

http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4769

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Parasite

 

the second and third links do not include in the definition that a parasite "does not benefit the host" and regardless of the benefit or lack thereof, a human or any other mammal's initial state of biological existence are still relevant to those definitions. If you'd like me to continue looking for medically/scientifically relevant definitions let me know.

 

I would also like to note, I do not use the term 'parasite' in a negative or derogatory manner; merely as a descriptor. Some choose to say baby, some choose fetus, some choose lump of cells; they are all relevant descriptors. For someone who has opted to have an abortion, especially if the conception was under traumatic circumstances, it probably is more therapeutic to distance herself from the idea of a 'baby'. For some, the idea of the fetus being a baby could constitute the idea of an endless reminder of the previous trauma that led to the conception and subsequent abortion.

As I stated in my previous post, an abortion is something that I don't know that I would personally be able to experience. My point was merely that I have no right to tell someone else that they can't, regardless of their reasons. Do I think that some people use an abortion as an a way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions? Yes. Do I think that the individuals who have a legitimate medical or psychological circumstance dictating their decision should be forced into a full-term pregnancy just because someone else is doing it for (what I consider to be) the wrong reasons? No. That is why I am pro-choice. I do not appreciate my choices being limited based on someone else's beliefs or actions.

auria, it wasn't you I was referencing. It wasn't anyone here, actually, it's just it comes up a lot here so I thought that the people who use it would be able to back themselves up with more than the dictionary, and as such would be able to answer my honest question (which is entirely relevant to the subject!). Thanks for taking the time to back up your use of the descriptor. I appreciate that you did.

 

I am not so sure perpetuation of the species only benefits the species and is of no benefit to the individual. If it were of no benefit to the individual, we wouldn't do it : ) Biologically, we aren't that selfless.

 

I need to track sources down, but I think it would be fair to say most people have heard anecdotal evidence of human women feeling healthier and in many ways becoming healthier. Granted it isn't the fetus that causes this but the hosting, but there is, of course, a reason: unlike hosting tapeworms, humans were designed to host teeny humans. And, of course, there are the women for which pregnancy is the best thing that has ever happened to them, that have never wanted anything so much as to bear children, who really, really enjoy it. These things are benefits. I don't know if dogs and cats, etc., have the same. If they are not considered for defining mammals as spending part of their life-cycle as parasites, OK. Just, please, Abortion thread at large, don't forget that being pregnant isn't all negatives.

 

As far as using the description as framing, I agree with you, in those cases, it likely is very helpful to create some distance. Just as it is meaningful for some to say 'baby', and others to reject 'parasite' when it wounds them.

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Pregnancy is often cited as being good for woman's health; the additional hormones in fact bolster the woman's immune system and the additional hormones created post-pregnancy work to help reduce certain types of cancer.

 

Scientifically, if I remember my lectures right, the fetus does *not* count as a parasite because of it's unique status. Whilst on the surface of the definition it does count as a parasite - and I often refer to it as such - in fact because it *is* offspring it scientifically counts as (funnily enough) a fetus.

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Its actually both, scientifically. A lot of people don't like calling it a parasite however because of moral issues.

 

In essence though, it's a parasite in nature and a fetus in essence.

Edited by skinst

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Impeding your movement so that you're more vulnerable to predators is a common result of pregnancy in all mammals. I've yet to know more about diseases in other mammals, but what I'm saying is, humans suffer more from a pregnancy than any other species as they're bipedal and thus have more complications.

Except hyenas :U

 

 

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Pregnancy is often cited as being good for woman's health; the additional hormones in fact bolster the woman's immune system and the additional hormones created post-pregnancy work to help reduce certain types of cancer.

On the other hand...

 

Normal, frequent or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

 

exhaustion (weariness common from first weeks)

altered appetite and senses of taste and smell

nausea and vomiting (50% of women, first trimester)

heartburn and indigestion

constipation

weight gain

dizziness and light-headedness

bloating, swelling, fluid retention

hemmorhoids

abdominal cramps

yeast infections

congested, bloody nose

acne and mild skin disorders

skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen)

mild to severe backache and strain

increased headaches

difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping

increased urination and incontinence

bleeding gums

pica

breast pain and discharge

swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain

difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy

inability to take regular medications

shortness of breath

higher blood pressure

hair loss

tendency to anemia

curtailment of ability to participate in some sports and activities

infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease

(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and

are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)

extreme pain on delivery

hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression

continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section -- major surgery -- is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to fully recover)

 

Normal, expectable, or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

 

stretch marks (worse in younger women)

loose skin

permanent weight gain or redistribution

abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness

pelvic floor disorder (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life)

changes to breasts

varicose veins

scarring from episiotomy or c-section

other permanent aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)

increased proclivity for hemmorhoids

loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

 

Occasional complications and side effects:

 

spousal/partner abuse

hyperemesis gravidarum

temporary and permanent injury to back

severe scarring requiring later surgery (especially after additional pregnancies)

dropped (prolapsed) uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other pelvic floor weaknesses -- 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele, and enterocele)

pre-eclampsia (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated with eclampsia, and affecting 7 - 10% of pregnancies)

eclampsia (convulsions, coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)

gestational diabetes

placenta previa

anemia (which can be life-threatening)

thrombocytopenic purpura

severe cramping

embolism (blood clots)

medical disability requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother or baby)

diastasis recti, also torn abdominal muscles

mitral valve stenosis (most common cardiac complication)

serious infection and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)

hormonal imbalance

ectopic pregnancy (risk of death)

broken bones (ribcage, "tail bone")

hemorrhage and

numerous other complications of delivery

refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease

aggravation of pre-pregnancy diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5% of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)

severe post-partum depression and psychosis

research now indicates a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments, including "egg harvesting" from infertile women and donors

research also now indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy

research also indicates a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary and cardiovascular disease

 

Less common (but serious) complications:

 

peripartum cardiomyopathy

cardiopulmonary arrest

magnesium toxicity

severe hypoxemia/acidosis

massive embolism

increased intracranial pressure, brainstem infarction

molar pregnancy, gestational trophoblastic disease (like a pregnancy-induced cancer)

malignant arrhythmia

circulatory collapse

placental abruption

obstetric fistula

 

More permanent side effects:

 

future infertility

permanent disability

death.

 

So there are some pros and an awful lot of cons.

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Indeed, lots of cons. One of my points was it's not all cons. And, for a huge number of women and female creatures, and the species as a whole, neonate at the end of it is not only firmly in the pro category but overwhelmingly so. Given that there are benefits, real ones, it seems a bit iffy to call it a parasite which is, at least by connotation, a word that gives the impression that there are no benefits and is all harmful. A 'parasite' which causes beneficial effects is called a symbiont (yes, I know, not all symbionts cause beneficial effects but if they do, they aren't parasites).

 

I suspect that this is why it is used by a number of people, as a framing device. skinst, yes, some people refuse to use it as it is a moral issue to them. Some refuse as they are unconvinced it is correct. Some refuse because they know, consciously or not, that the people who are using it do so in order to alter the debate so as to make it easier to convince them their morals are wrong.

Edited by Princess Artemis

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That isn't true, scientifically speaking. A parasite can have a symbiotic relationship with it's host, but it is still a parasite and still classed as one[

 

A 'parasite' which causes beneficial effects is called a symbiont (yes, I know, not all symbionts cause beneficial effects but if they do, they aren't parasites.

 

Yes they are. Scientifically speaking. Symbiont is a new word which is not largely accepted by any science. A parasite may live symbiotically -- such as voluntary tapeworm infestations, but it is still a parasite. People use symbiont to make themselves more comfortable, that doesn't make it scientifically accepted.

Edited by NobleOwl

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I am aware that all parasites are symbionts (or, if you prefer, have a symbiotic relationship with their host) but not all symbionts (or creatures with a symbiotic relationship with their host) are parasites. Parasites are a subset, this is not in dispute and that is why I attempted to clarify that I did not mean that fetuses didn't have a symbiotic relationship with their mother by suggesting that 'parasite' might be incorrect due to the real benefits females gain.

 

Such a consideration, I feel, ought not have its lines blurred by people doing what is against their biological nature with a tapeworm. Note I do not say immoral or pass judgment, just that it is not in a humans' set-up to host tapeworms. (I will not say mammals' because for all I know, there is a mammal out there that has a natural symbiotic relationship with tapeworms.) Female mammals, on the other hand, are well equipped to bear offspring and it is a prime directive.

 

Of course, if any science largely accepts that a fetus is a parasite, hey. It's just a thing which lacks nuance in debates like this.

Edited by Princess Artemis

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I am aware that all parasites are symbionts (or, if you prefer, have a symbiotic relationship with their host) but not all symbionts (or creatures with a symbiotic relationship with their host) are parasites. Parasites are a subset, this is not in dispute and that is why I attempted to clarify that I did not mean that fetuses didn't have a symbiotic relationship with their mother by suggesting that 'parasite' might be incorrect due to the real benefits females gain.

 

Such a consideration, I feel, ought not have its lines blurred by people doing what is against their biological nature with a tapeworm. Note I do not say immoral or pass judgment, just that it is not in a humans' set-up to host tapeworms. (I will not say mammals' because for all I know, there is a mammal out there that has a natural symbiotic relationship with tapeworms.) Female mammals, on the other hand, are well equipped to bear offspring and it is a prime directive.

 

Of course, if any science largely accepts that a fetus is a parasite, hey. It's just a thing which lacks nuance in debates like this.

I've had the "what is a parasite" debate with two biologists, a zoologist and three chemists, all of whom agreed that a fetus is by definition a parasite, and symbiont is not a term which should be given any scientific credence.

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I've had the "what is a parasite" debate with two biologists, a zoologist and three chemists, all of whom agreed that a fetus is by definition a parasite, and symbiont is not a term which should be given any scientific credence.

I am not saying I disbelieve you and I am not rejecting what you have to say. I'm hardly married to the term symbiont, I was using it, apparently incorrectly, to refer to a creature with a symbiotic relationship with its host. A lot less words for it.

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I think you got it mixed up back there. Not all parasites are symbionts, but all symbionts are parasites.

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edit: I understand where you're misunderstanding that.

Symbionts are the ones with mutualism. Parasites are any relationship where one of the species has a positive effect in its relationship with the other. So all symbionts are parasites, but since symbionts have a positive benefit for both creatures in the relationship, not all parasites are symbionts.

Edited by Layn

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Should he be able to force her to give their child up for adoption? Should he be able to force her to abort a fetus she wishes to carry to term?

I said the spouse should have a say, not the final decision. I'm totally against that. The father can not have final say whatsoever. It's ultimately the mother's decision. I believe I made that clear. It's not his choice, it's the mothers. But he should be able to have some input as well, as it his child too.

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I said the spouse should have a say, not the final decision. I'm totally against that. The father can not have final say whatsoever. It's ultimately the mother's decision. I believe I made that clear. It's not his choice, it's the mothers. But he should be able to have some input as well, as it his child too.

Fair enough. I was primarily responding to your suggestion the father get full custody. The man should get a say, so long as it's safe for the woman to discuss it with him.

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edit: I understand where you're misunderstanding that.

Symbionts are the ones with mutualism.  Parasites are any relationship where one of the species has a positive effect in its relationship with the other.  So all symbionts are parasites, but since symbionts have a positive benefit for both creatures in the relationship, not all parasites are symbionts.

No, I was using the term 'symbiont' as shorthand for 'critter with a symbiotic relationship', which covers parasites, mutualists, comensalists, etc.. All parasites have a symbiotic relationship. Not all symbiotic relationships are parasitic, some are comensal, mutual, etc.

 

It amuses me to think that, since a biologist has agreed that a fetus is a parasite, and it grows into a neonate, which must still be a parasite, that humans are in a symbiotic relationship with humans and therefore they probably are parasites until they get a job or start doing chores : )

Edited by Princess Artemis

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It amuses me to think that, since a biologist has agreed that a fetus is a parasite, and it grows into a neonate, which must still be a parasite, that humans are in a symbiotic relationship with humans and therefore they probably are parasites until they get a job or start doing chores : )

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Ask any parents that have teens in the household.

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Formerly pro-life, now pro-choice, because I don't and cannot assume that I know more than G-d about when life and humanity begin.

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