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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, 12:12 PM   #1

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Does life begin at conception?


What do you think? Can you back your statement with a scientific argument?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:19 PM   #2

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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.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #3

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I'd have to say that obviously a life begins at conception. I think the more pertinent question though is how are you defining "life" here? And to what end..?

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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.
All life on Earth requires a host to survive and multiply... i.e., the Earth itself. Well, nearly all - there are some entities that can in theory survive unprotected in space, albeit without multiplying.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #4

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It is silly to think that a sperm cell and egg cell combined immediately form a thinking human being.

I agree with the vast majority of the doctors who mostly say that it takes at least 20 weeks to at least form a foetus.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:32 PM   #5

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How come nobody is using science in their definition?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by Sick Nero
All life on Earth requires a host to survive and multiply... i.e., the Earth itself. Well, nearly all - there are some entities that can in theory survive unprotected in space, albeit without multiplying.
So if you were to give us your best guess as to why science does not classify a virus as life but do classify algae as life what would your guess be?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:41 PM   #7

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I really have no idea :-) I was just suggesting that if the definition of life is the ability to survive and multiply without some kind of host (cells for viruses, the planet for pretty much everything else) then I think science is being a bit narrow-minded there.

Obviously a cell and egg don't immediately make a thinking human being ... my point was that I think a good question is what are we calling "life" here?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Sicknero View Post
I really have no idea :-) I was just suggesting that if the definition of life is the ability to survive and multiply without some kind of host (cells for viruses, the planet for pretty much everything else) then I think science is being a bit narrow-minded there.

Obviously a cell and egg don't immediately make a thinking human being ... my point was that I think a good question is what are we calling "life" here?
Or maybe because the planet is not a living thing . . .
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chancellor View Post
What do you think? Can you back your statement with a scientific argument?
it's in between. if parents argue too much baby gets some of that distress, too. because it is inside a fluid then later on it might develop fear of swimming [citation needed ]
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Old November 15th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #10

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Or maybe because the planet is not a living thing . . .
If we're talking about what science defines as life, then maybe not. (I'm not familiar with the scientific definition though so will have to do a bit of homework.) Personally I'd say it is a living thing ... it was born, it has cycles, it responds to influences, it ages and will die. A single cell is also a living thing I think.
It's all about definitions wouldn't you agree? Are we debating the age at which a foetus becomes a human being and entitled to the same theoretical rights as the rest of us?
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