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Are unborn humans more deserving of legal personhood than corporations?

 
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 03:02 am
My answer is: Yes, unborn humans are more deserving of legal personhood than corporations. Anyone with me? If so, try to spread this meme around.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,397 • Replies: 52
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amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 04:43 am
@Deckard,
I agree with the qualification that corporations aren't at all deserving of legal person-hood, and there is no such thing as an unborn person until about the third trimester.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 05:23 am
@amist,
amist;126051 wrote:
I agree with the qualification that corporations aren't at all deserving of legal person-hood, and there is no such thing as an unborn person until about the third trimester.


Does legal personhood slowly accumulate in the 1st and 2nd trimesters or is the fetus completely without any degree of legal personhood until the beginning of the third?
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 05:25 am
@Deckard,
Before the later second and third trimester there is nowhere near enough brain matter for an unconscious consciousness to form. No consciousness means no person.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 05:32 am
@amist,
amist;126061 wrote:
Before the later second and third trimester there is nowhere near enough brain matter for an unconscious consciousness to form. No consciousness means no person.


Corporations have a sort of collective consciousness. Does this qualify them for personhood?
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 05:38 am
@Deckard,
What are you talking about? Corporations do not have a collective consciousness. There is no observer at the core of the being of a corporation. In any sense personhood is obviously and universally understood as being inseparable with a human individual.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 05:49 am
@amist,
amist;126065 wrote:
What are you talking about? Corporations do not have a collective consciousness. There is no observer at the core of the being of a corporation. In any sense personhood is obviously and universally understood as being inseparable with a human individual.


I'm talking about personhood. What are you talking about?

Corporations don't have collective consciousnesses? It's a collective, why wouldn't it have a collective consciousness? I mean if any collective does why wouldn't a corporation?

Is there really an observer at the core of the being of a human? Where is this observer located? Somewhere in the brain? Always the same observer or does the observer change? Is the observer present when a person is asleep? Are sleeping people still persons? Is it okay to kill sleeping people?

Obviously? Universally understood? Saying "everyone knows" is not an argument. I can say the same sort of thing: everyone knows that unborn children are persons. It's obvious.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:02 am
@Deckard,
Personhood, human life, being. How so very bogged down we can get in semantics and language to the point nothing makes sense. Perhaps if you would elaborate more on what you mean by personhood of corporations, it might help. I am failing to see how you can compare the two. Thanks,

William

P.S. Collective consciousness? What do you think that means?
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:07 am
@Deckard,
Just a moment Will, I am about to answer that in my next post.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:08 am
@Deckard,
Is this a reaction to the recent rulings in the US suggesting that corporations count as people for the purposes of campaign contributions?

I think it's mad myself.
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:17 am
@Deckard,
@ Dave Allen, Corporations have had personhood since Dartmouth v. Woodward

Quote:
Corporations don't have collective consciousnesses? It's a collective, why wouldn't it have a collective consciousness? I mean if any collective does why wouldn't a corporation?


This type of consciousness is not interchangable with the consciousness of an individual person. When I think of the term 'collective consciousness' I generally think of it as being synonymous with the term 'zeitgeist'. It is not meant by this term that there is some kind of metaphysical consciousness which exercises a will over or consciously experiences a collective. A zeitgeist merely being a kind of general direction of a collective of independent wills, I don't see why a zeitgeist is deserving of the same protections as an autonomous, rational being, such as an individual person.

Quote:
Is there really an observer at the core of the being of a human?


Are you perceiving yourself in any way participating in this debate or in the world right now? If not seeing the computer screen then feeling your fingers typing on the keyboard or hearing some noises in the background or tasting the saliva in your mouth? If you answered in the affirmative, bravo, you've answered your own question. If you answered in the negative, then I would suggest calling a doctor as soon as enough of your faculties have returned to you to allow you to do so.

Quote:
Where is this observer located? Somewhere in the brain?


The observer is the totality of your subjective experience and your will, which all happen to be located in the sensory and cognitive processing centers in your brain.

Quote:
Always the same observer or does the observer change?


I don't know about you but I seem to have experienced the totality of my existence sequentially. So I don't believe that the observer has changed in me at all, no. I would find it very odd if anybodies had.

Quote:
Is the observer present when a person is asleep?


This is an unconscious consciousness and is to be just as respected as a conscious consciousness.

Quote:
Obviously? Universally understood? Saying "everyone knows" is not an argument.


I said obviously because any coherent definition of personhood must regard a person as an individual. Person is the name we have assigned to human individuals, it is singular. That's why you always use it when referring to specific individuals or individuals in general as opposed to groups of individuals. I'd certainly hope that things such as grammar were obvious in any case.

Well, now at least we've established that a corporation has in it nothing deserving of any more respect than a zeitgeist and the definition of 'person' we've demonstrated that they aren't deserving of any rights at all, and by definition personhood.

Now onto the ethically meaty abortion debate...
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:23 am
@William,
William;126072 wrote:
Personhood, human life, being. How so very bogged down we can get in semantics and language to the point nothing makes sense. Perhaps if you would elaborate more on what you mean by personhood of corporations, it might help. I am failing to see how you can compare the two. Thanks,

William

P.S. Collective consciousness? What do you think that means?


Maybe I should have said

Unborn humans are more deserving of natural personhood than corporations are of legal personhood.

But both are legal terms and in the US legal persons have been granted equal protection under the law as natural persons with reference to the 14th ammendment which was an amendment that was written for natural persons so I am not the first to fail to make this distinction.

For further info wikipedia will suffice:

Legal person - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

hNatural person - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
In The Division of Labour, Durkheim argued that in "traditional" or "simpler" societies (those based around clan, family or tribal relationships), religion played an important role in uniting members through the creation of a common consciousness (conscience collective in the original French). In societies of this type, the contents of an individual's consciousness are largely shared in common with all other members of their society, creating a mechanical solidarity through mutual likeness. -wiki


---------- Post added 02-08-2010 at 06:38 AM ----------

amist;126078 wrote:


This is an unconscious consciousness and is to be just as respected as a conscious consciousness.



Is the unconscious still conscious without being conscious?
Or maybe the consciousness that dreams but we don't dream all the time we sleep?
Or maybe you are talking about the potential for consciousness?

Unborn children are basically asleep/unconscious for nine months.
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:42 am
@Deckard,
Quote:
Is the unconscious still conscious without being conscious?


There is still a consciousness, it is just unconscious of itself.

Quote:
Unborn children are basically asleep/unconscious for nine months.


No they aren't, I have addressed this, for about half of that time they haven't developed enough gray matter to produce a consciousness. Surely it is patently absurd to say that a zygote has a consciousness.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:54 am
@Deckard,
Gray matter? Nothing like existing in the gray area? No need to take a stand on anything. Just waffle! The way we are going before long a three year old could be considered a zygote and aborted.

william
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:01 am
@Deckard,
Quote:
Gray matter? Nothing like existing in the gray area? No need to take a stand on anything. Just waffle!


What in the name of all that is good are you talking about? I thought it was common knowledge that 'gray matter' is brain tissue. And I'm pretty ******* sure the definition of zygote is, at least to people who are conversant in this topic.
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:11 am
@William,
William;126090 wrote:
Gray matter? Nothing like existing in the gray area? No need to take a stand on anything. Just waffle! The way we are going before long a three year old could be considered a zygote and aborted.

william


Or we could look to Sartre and set the bar when the human achieves reflective consciousness. Any human that has achieved only pre-reflective consciousness does not qualify as a person. You're not a person until you are conscious of your consciousness. That should add a couple years at least.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:18 am
@William,
William;126072 wrote:
Personhood, human life, being. How so very bogged down we can get in semantics and language to the point nothing makes sense. Perhaps if you would elaborate more on what you mean by personhood of corporations, it might help. I am failing to see how you can compare the two. Thanks,

William

P.S. Collective consciousness? What do you think that means?


According to the law, corporations are legal persons. That is not "semantics". That is just a fact.
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:24 am
@Deckard,
Quote:
Any human that has achieved only pre-reflective consciousness does not qualify as a person.


IMO, that rules out at least...say...half the planet? Any sort of consciousness suffices for me. While we're on Sartre, existence surely precedes essence in at least, practically, some to most instances. At the same time, nothingness precedes existence. At the early stages of development, there is not even an existence which can be identified as an 'Other' and does not receive the same ethical treatment as an 'Other'.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:46 am
@amist,
amist;126109 wrote:
IMO, that rules out at least...say...half the planet? Any sort of consciousness suffices for me. While we're on Sartre, existence surely precedes essence in at least, practically, some to most instances. At the same time, nothingness precedes existence. At the early stages of development, there is not even an existence which can be identified as an 'Other' and does not receive the same ethical treatment as an 'Other'.


I'm not sure what if there is any consensus among existentialists on the abortion issue. I know Karl Jaspers was against it. I'll see if I can dig up his reasons for this when I have more time.

The Other is often so Other that one is not sure if it is conscious or not, or even real for that matter. Furthermore, Otherness is not something that is restricted to other persons. Zygotes have existence and can be identified as an Other.

Sartre said that "Existence precedes Essence" but I don't remember him saying that nothingness precedes existence. Actually, Sartre equates human consciousness with nothingness as opposed to being. He could have called his book Being and Consciousness. Consciousness sort of injects nothingness into being thus making room for free will.
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:51 am
@Deckard,
If Sartre didn't say it then I'll quote Heidegger on it. We come from nothingness, are thrown into the world, exist in the world for a time, and then return to nothingness.

Quote:
The Other is often so Other that one is not sure if it is conscious or not, or even real for that matter. Furthermore, Otherness is not something that is restricted to other persons. Zygotes have existence and can be identified as an Other.


Irrelevant, see 'categorical imperative'

Please tell me why I should treat a zygote the same as a person.
 

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