ronnewmexico wrote:What I find hard to fathom is this, if this is meant in reference to this discussion.....
"I really can't fathom why the point that abortion is always a negative karma is up for debate for some Buddhists"
I have not noticed that anyone here has taken that view. Where are these peoples, or are they but straw men ripe for knocking down, so we may then simplify a very complex issue.
Ron, maybe I misunderstood many of your posts, but at some points you seemed to me to be questioning the idea of unambiguously asserting that the Buddha's teachings say that abortion is unequivocally non-virtuous. If I've misunderstood you and you in fact feel that it is always negative karma, no matter the circumstance, then I guess it was just my misinterpretation.
And as an aside, yes, I do also take issue with the death penalty, war, factory farming, you name it. Wish I could stop those, but unfortunately not enough people in the country or world feel the same way as I do about these things, so they continue. I say prayers for all the beings I undoubtedly kill accidentally as I'm driving, riding my bike, walking, etc. Same for those killed in the process of farming the vegetables I eat, and all the killing that takes place at every step from there to the food arriving in my possession. I try to avoid killing as best I can, try to save life whenever I can, and never engage in intentional killing.
I have to say though, your assertion that many different kinds of killing are so much more negative than fetal killing because the fetus has less developed mental consciousness and sense organs, etc, does not hold water to me. It's undoubtedly true that at the time of having its life taken, during that moment, that experience is less vivid and painful for a fetus than a fully cognitively developed adult human. But we can never know what state of existence a being has just left when they've been conceived as a human, or where they're headed when their present life ends. The fetus might have spent an incalculable span of time in the avici hell and/or some other horribly miserable state of agony or suffering and then finally had the fortune to be reborn in the human realm but then it's life is snuffed out. Who knows where it's going from there and who knows how vivid it's experience is in the intermediate state between death and rebirth? Who knows what emotional states arise for it and where they catapult it to at that time? Hardly seems to make sense to try to categorize whose suffering is greater from that POV, or which killing or harm is more negative.