Starhawk said, "From what you have posted, I am led to believe that you believe potential life has no value. If that is the case, I will have a hard time "getting" you". Life must have some sort of intrinsic value Starhawk, a topic, and being questioned on a topic, like this is a great opportunity to really gather your thoughts on things. I hope you didn't take my comments as having a go directly at you. The "getting" bit didn't mean anything other than I wasn't sure whether you were equating murder with abortion with the way you made that argument is all. The little ditty from Monty Python was actually aimed at globs "before conception" rubbish.
Having said that I still stand by what I have said and I do not believe that there is any intrinsic value to life whatsoever...I do believe life has value but it is strictly an extrinsic value. I believe life grows in value with the person.
Starhawk said, "I do not have children; I would very much like to someday. I know I am not financially or emotionally ready to have kids. No matter how much a part of me wishes to be a parent, it would not be good for them or for me right now. If I did unintentionally get a woman pregnant in the near future (which would be a feat given my lack of dating lately) I would wish to see the child to term. Right or wrong, it would put me too close to fatherhood for me to turn away from the opportunity. I'd just try to get my act together as well as I could."
Starhawk, I have been doing what Fiery has accused Richard of and that is arguing from deeply thought about philosophical standpoints especially re the use of words such as intrinsic and extrinsic but when it comes down to real life I am like you and I think most rational people are. It's ridiculous to me to think that if you legalize something like abortion then all of a sudden abortion will become "hip" and everyone will want one, same goes for euthanasia.
I have been in exactly the situation you have just described Starhawk and did exactly what you said you would do. It put me too close to fatherhood for me to turn away the opportunity and really there was no reason for us not to have our child, we both value life as most normal human beings do. Now I have a wonderful rational beautiful 11 year old whose life I now value more than my own.
It raises an interesting point too, as far as value goes. Intrinsically means that the life itself is valuable for no other reason than it being life (I believe the only intrinsic value that might be attributed to life is that it is a more perfect state to exist than to not exist I don't think that has anything to do with value though).
We talk about potential in life but potential can swing both ways people have the potential to be good yes but what about the potential for bad...was Hitler's life "valuable" or would the world have been better if he was terminated before birth? Is a doctors life more valuable than a bum's life? Is the life of someone suffering from an incurable disease that causes great stress and pain to that someone more valuable than ending the suffering?