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Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


View Poll Results: When does life begin?
At conception (or slightly before). 16 47.06%
At birth, basically. 7 20.59%
Somewhere in between. 11 32.35%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 15th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #31

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasta View Post
Under the current definition of life, viruses are not technically alive, as they require a host (living cells) to multiply.

Using this definition of life, I would say that we can say a baby is alive when it is capable of surviving outside of it's mother.
So then no child is alive until it is old enough to multiply?
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Old November 16th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #32
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I voted "in between." It's difficult to argue that a baby is a person right after coming out of its mother, but a minute before is not. At the same time, the idea that immediately after a sperm and an egg unite, something exists which is a person in the sense that, say, Tom Cruise is is so ludicrous that is scarcely deserves a response.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 01:42 PM   #33

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Of course life begins at conception (although it really is a chicken and egg kind of thing). But I have a feeling (not least from reading the answers) that that is not what this thread is about: It is about abortion. Which is obviously a completely different thing.

The abortion question, regardless of the ridiculous misnomers that each group has been applied or taken, is not about life, it is about whether the fetus can be labelled as being a human being. If it was about whether it was life, the "pro-life" group would have just as many qualms about eating chicken, or just mowing their lawn. It's all life.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:03 PM   #34
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Life begins at conception, anyone even remotely familiar with biology should admit as much. Sperm meets egg; a zygote is formed. A zygote is an organism, and organisms are living things. The zygote is not just a clump of cells belonging to the mother, the zygote is a human in its earliest stage of development, it has completely unique DNA distinct from both mother and father, and it is a separate organism from the mother.

The zygote is also not a parasite, a parasite benefits at the expense of the host in a non-mutual relationship. This is simply not the case with child bearing. Numerous studies have shown that there are numerous substantial health benefits for women who become pregnant, a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers being one of them. With this in mind, the zygote which will grow into a fully formed infant by pregnancy's end can more rightly be described as being involved in a symbiotic relationship with the mother rather than parasitic which is so often used as a vulgar talking point in abortion debates.

So yes, life begins at conception, no respectable scientist will say differently. The issue as it relates to abortion is not when life begins but when a human life can appropriately be considered a person endowed with rights and protection under the law. I say that if we believe in natural rights, rights endowed from nature (or nature's God) itself then the only logical answer is for natural rights to be endowed upon us at the very beginning of our existence, and as I have demonstrated here, our life/existence begins at conception. And I believe the most basic natural right, the right to life is acquired in this moment for if a right is truly natural, granted by nature, then nature itself dictates the realities in which these rights are to be applied. A dead man has no right to life, a man not yet living has no right to life, only those living possess this right, and as I said above, life most certainly begins at conception.

Last edited by Liévre; November 17th, 2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #35

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Life begins at conception, obviously. There's no denying that.

But abortion should be legal up to birth, for there is no clearer barrier. Murder is justifiable in several cases (self-defense and in war: e.g. the greed of a nation) so I don't see why the termination of this so-called precious life is so frowned upon.

The free choice of individuals should be reasons enough to lead abortion as an acceptable choice. If the pro-life stance wants to throw emotional curve balls about "it's a life/every life is precious" I throw them out the window and ask "who cares?". My self interests are more important than the fetus'.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #36

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Since the first prokaryotes were lives, yes, technically, one cell is a life, and life begins at conception. What interpretation and conclusions people make out of it is, however, entirely up to them. Unfortunately, people tend to oversimplify, generalize, form far-fetched conclusions and make other people live by their conclusions.

Regarding abortions - by tying it up to the definition of life, we fall exactly into the same pit some really want us to fall. All these discussions start on a wrong note. The right of a woman, or a woman and a man, to freely decide what to do with the pregnancy, is about civil liberties. We should not be pulling the definition of "life" here.

This being said, if everyone gets the right to abort a normal, viable fetus at 32 weeks gestation, when the fetus is capable of independent life and feels the pain... he'd better have a very good medical reason for an abortion.

Last edited by arkteia; November 17th, 2012 at 10:05 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #37

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Not to offend anyone, but in scientific terms this is simply not any human life:
Click the image to open in full size.

Because it is a dolphin's embryo (circa 24 days gestation)

It is of course as much a living dolphin as any adult.

Of course as much as any viable human embryo is a living human being.

The issue is naturally not if these embryos might be just isolated living cells or tissues, analogous let say to any discarded placenta.

The issue is that there is no valid reason to believe any viable individual embryo might be any less a living human individual than he or she after having born.

IMHO the burden of proof would be in any scientific relevant hard evidence showing that such individuality might somehow suddenly appear after conception and before birth.

AFAIK there is simply not any such evidence.
L

Nice picture. And yes, an embryo is an embryo. Tell me, please, if you hear that a pregnant dolphin female was given an abortion (which happens), and saw this embryo, would you feel the same way as if it were a human embryo? Would you also say, he has the right to live? Because many opponents of abortions do not mind giving abortions to pregnant cats, for example. And when I ask, where is the difference, they say, "a cat does not have a soul". And this is what I have a problem with. Either all living beings do, and we should not eat meat, nor even corn, because it also contains living cells, and we can not kill life, or we have to read many scientific books and think harder than we are now...
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Old November 17th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkteia View Post
L

Nice picture. And yes, an embryo is an embryo. Tell me, please, if you hear that a pregnant dolphin female was given an abortion (which happens), and saw this embryo, would you feel the same way as if it were a human embryo? Would you also say, he has the right to live? Because many opponents of abortions do not mind giving abortions to pregnant cats, for example. And when I ask, where is the difference, they say, "a cat does not have a soul". And this is what I have a problem with. Either all living beings do, and we should not eat meat, nor even corn, because it also contains living cells, and we can not kill life, or we have to read many scientific books and think harder than we are now...
To begin with please remember I'm actually an enthusiastic supporter of the full legalization of abortion.

(Not any big secret if you are familiar with my previous posts on this issue all along Historum)

On your specific question, the inherent contradiction here is of course evident.
However, IMHO it would be hard (and even risky) to compare the ethics of domestic animals with that of humans, as some procedures that are often overtly allowed for the former would be largely forbidden for the latter (e.g. euthanasia)

For better or for worse (IMHO the former option) the life of non-human animals is simply not valued in the same scale as our life.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #39

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
To begin with please remember I'm actually an enthusiastic supporter of the full legalization of abortion.

(Not any big secret if you are familiar with my previous posts on this issue all along Historum)

On your specific question, the inherent contradiction here is of course evident.
However, IMHO it would be hard (and even risky) to compare the ethics of domestic animals with that of humans, as some procedures that are often overtly allowed for the former would be largely forbidden for the latter (e.g. euthanasia)

For better or for worse (IMHO the former option) the life of non-human animals is simply not valued in the same scale as our life.
I know that you are pro-choice, from your prior post in this thread. I have not yet been following anyone on this forum.

But wait here, dolphins are nr 3 in smartness of all living beings, some say, nr 2. We would not respond the same way to a chimp's abortion, and they are so much like us. There is double standard, and the life of non-humans is not valued in the same scale as our life. And worse, lives of poor tribesmen in Africa are not valued in the same scale as lives of people in civilized Western societies. And let us be honest, lives of people in inner cities may not be valued in the same scale as the lives of the affluent neighborhoods. At least quality of life, because very few care about good education or good public programs for inner city kids, yet so many are willing to donate time, money, TV time and energy to anti-abortion programs. The motivation for most of which is very selfish.

But the argument that is used, that life begins at conception, does not specify, human life. It says, one cell is a life, and life is sacred. But then it is not sacred, because the animal life is not valued in the same scale, and some human lives are apparently more important that the others ones... Bad argument, this is all what I wanted to say. It does not work.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #40

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasta View Post
Surely when you jack off you are not committing mass murder?
think of how many men would be in prison!
i believe life starts when the sperm penetrates the egg.
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