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When does life begin?

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Arch, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    the question is not completely coherent, as both eggs and sperm are 'alive'. a more plausible discussion is 'at what point do we call it human' but even that has big problems, in the same way as 'at what point is someone bald?'. the problem with considering the questions properly, from a pro-life standpoint, is you no longer have the simplistic emotive black and white statements, but have to ask the more honest questions like 'at what point is it distasteful to terminate the development of what could one day be considered a person?'
     
  2. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

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    Simply has to be legal and performed by professionals.

    The rest of the argument is rather tired and, frankly, boring. Almost every stance comes down to one prejudice or another.
     
  3. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    An embryo has no rights. Rights do not apply to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?
    To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals.

    and if any among you are confused or taken in by the argument that the cells of an embryo are living human cells, remember that so are all the cells of your body, including the cells of your skin, your tonsils, or your ruptured appendix and that cutting them is murder, according to the notions of that proposed law. Remember also that a potentiality is not the equivalent of an actuality—and that a human being’s life begins at birth.
     
  4. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Oh, and you're an idiot.
     
  5. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

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    Ad hom: the last resort of an idiot. Funnily enough it's often used to call people idiots.

    Irony, huh?
     
  6. mtlfrm

    mtlfrm New Metal Member

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    Women need to make up their minds on this one. Everyone is different but if the child isn't going to have a nice life then the day after conception it is merely a couple of cells you would lose more cells if you scraped your knee. It doesn't have a heart brain etc. the day after conception. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble.
     
  7. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    Well if he had a point I'd answer his argument. I'm attacking his character because he has no clue.

    As for you, claiming that "Almost every stance comes down to one prejudice or another" is nonsense. There is a right and wrong here. This is not based on random choice or personal whim, you own your body, end of story.
     
  8. Vimana

    Vimana Member

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    And that's why you can't get an abortion when you're eight months pregnant.
     
  9. Jimmy... Dead.

    Jimmy... Dead. contemplative curmudgeon

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    If you're in your 6-8 month and considering getting an abortion you're basically retarded.
     
  10. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

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    According to you he has no clue. I happen to disagree with him too, but you get nowhere by attacking the man and not the argument. It's indicative of weak thinking.

    As for asserting that some objective right or wrong exists in this case, you're opening an enormous can of worms which I don't think you can adequately explain away.

    Further to that these phrases such as "end of story" are not helping your cause very much.

    That aside, I do hold to my opinion that abortion is such a massively emotional subject, that rational thinking on it is nigh on impossible, and I truly mean that. Almost every quarter has some emotional standpoint on it, and prejudice before the fact can never lead to the best case scenario.
     
  11. Vimana

    Vimana Member

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    I disagree with this. While eggs and sperm are biological, they are merely pieces involved in the creation of life, rather than living organisms themselves. They do not meet all of the standards agreed upon by most scientists that define a living thing. Simply being biological does not make something alive. My ham and cheese sandwich is biological, but is not a living thing.

    These are the five life processes (taken from wikipedia):

    1 Food intake/ nutrition
    2 Respiration
    3 Excretion
    4 Growth & Repair
    5 Reproduction
     
  12. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    Well, you're wrong, and you either mangled poor wiki or didn't find the more useful version.

    even anti abortion sites agree!
    http://www.abort73.com/abortion/are_sperm_and_egg_cells_alive/




    "Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive, where life is a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following phenomena:[15][17]

    Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
    Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
    Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
    Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.
    Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
    Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism) and by chemotaxis.
    Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.

    Proposed

    To reflect the minimum phenomena required, some have proposed other biological definitions of life:

    A network of inferior negative feedbacks (regulatory mechanisms) subordinated to a superior positive feedback (potential of expansion, reproduction).[18]
    A systemic definition of life is that living things are self-organizing and autopoietic (self-producing). Variations of this definition include Stuart Kauffman's definition as an autonomous agent or a multi-agent system capable of reproducing itself or themselves, and of completing at least one thermodynamic work cycle.[19]
    Living beings are thermodynamic systems that have an organized molecular structure.[20]
    Things with the capacity for metabolism and motion.[15]
    Life is a delay of the spontaneous diffusion or dispersion of the internal energy of the biomolecules towards more potential microstates.[20]
    Life is a way to "hydrogenate carbon dioxide", at least at its very beginnings, according to physicist Sean Carroll.[21]
    Life is a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution.[22]
    Life is matter that can reproduce itself and evolve as survival dictates.[23][24]"
     
  13. NikeGoddess

    NikeGoddess New Metal Member

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    It begins at conception and becomes viable upon implantation.
    I read articles written by Paul Singer and his stands are truly controversial, though he contradicts himself sometimes.
    I'm Catholic but I'm in for abortion. The type one gets when her health is in peril or if she is a victim of heinous crime.I agree with it, with the premise that it should be selective.
     
  14. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    this^^^ should have been in the first post
     
  15. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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  16. TesticleMilkshake

    TesticleMilkshake pewpewlazrz

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    I agree 100% with your statement
    Biologically speaking, life begins at conception (sperm and egg) but that isn't exactly "being alive." Life begins at different times, spiritually and philosophically speaking: I know that URJ's Torah commentary states that the soul does not enter the baby till crowning, therefore abortion is considered fine. Some sects of Orthodoxy are also okay with abortion in situations where the balance of existing life may be threatened.

    I am personally fine with abortion, as long as you aren't using it as a primary method of birth control; fucking with your hormones and scrapping out the inside of your uterus on a regular basis will do serious damage to your body and reproductive organs. However, I understand the opposite side of this argument as well. If I were to become pregnant by someone I was close with now, I would probably opt to have it, maybe possibly putting it up for adoption depending on my financial situation
     
  17. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    but what if you because pregnant as the result of a forcefull rape??? what if you were drugged, became pregnant, and the act of conception is an event you don't even remember??? what if conception happens durring a drunken-one-night-stand while on vacation and you have no way of letting the father know he's got a kid??? what if the father of the baby is married to someone else??? would you consider an abortion in these situations???
     
  18. TesticleMilkshake

    TesticleMilkshake pewpewlazrz

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    I like how you are playing Devil's Advocate :) Best way to debate and get somewhere with a thread, hahahaa.

    In the majority of these situations, I would most likely get an abortion. Personally speaking, forceful rape, I would get an abortion. Not only thinking about the psychological impact of raising a child that conceived out of an sexual assault, I would worry about the genetics factor. I don't know the father, I don't know his medical history, what if by some crazy coincidence we both carried recessive genes for Tay Sachs or some other rare/fatal condition? Being drugged or date rape also would fall here for me, personally.

    Drunken one-night stand, I would probably try to track down the guy if it was early enough in the pregnancy to let him know the circumstances (i.e., "Hey, I got knocked up, I'm probably going to get an abortion, how do you feel about this?") I believe in any relationship, it's important to consider the other party's perspective. Because I'm a relatively diplomatic person, I would want to hear the man's perspective. As it takes two people "to tango" per say, I would want to know the biological father's opinion and I would take that into careful consideration. If putting the child up for adoption was brought-up as an option (medical fees paid for by the adoptive parents) I would be fine with that. What my financial situation dictates, maybe I would raise the child myself, even as a single parent. Ultimately, though, I would probably have final say whether or not the get the abortion, put the child up for adoption, etc.

    I think, when abortion comes up, it's sort of a "use your best judgement call." It's a personal matter, everyone's situation is different. If you want a child, and have the financial as well as emotional means to raise one, then awesome! Or if you think you can handle an adoption (closed or open) congratulations! You may not need an abortion!

    At this stage in my life though (I'm 24, have my BA, working on my MA, some money saved up) if I did become pregnant and it was by someone I love and felt stable with, I would probably elect not to have an abortion, because I have the means to raise a child. Again, though life is complicated, every circumstance, every situation is different.
     
  19. monoxide_child

    monoxide_child New Metal Member

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    i still stand by my statement that
    there are occasionally (extreme) situations where an abortion should be mandatory instead of merely "an option"
     
  20. TesticleMilkshake

    TesticleMilkshake pewpewlazrz

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    monoxide_child, I totally agree and understand where you are coming from. Having studied extremism within traditionalist societies, like the Amish, the Hasidim and the FLDS. Here are some of the illnesses that are associated with incest and/or marrying within the community, the majority of them are metabolic:

    Also, found a Wiki topic on Jewish views on contraception: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_contraception
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_incest
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_marriage


    Amish:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinic_for_Special_Children


    Jewish community:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_genetics_of_Jews

    - Ashkenazi:
    Lipid transport diseases are one of the most common inherited illnesses among the Jewish community, basically fats are deposited in places where they shouldn't be. This includes illnesses like Tay-Sachs (fatty deposits on the brain) Gaucher's disease (rarely fatal) and Niemann-Pick (fatty deposits on liver, spleen, pancreas, etc.) To give you an idea of how common this disease is, 1 in 25 Ashkenazi Jews carry the gene for Tay-Sachs. During courtship or when considering a partner for marriage, Haredi and Orthodox Jews frequently receive genetic testing. If both partners are carriers for certain illness, courtship will cease.

    Metabolic disorders are also common, like congenital diabetes and hypoglycemia. Celiac's disease and gluten intolerances are also fairly common, especially among Hasidic Jews of Southern European descent. Blood and clotting disorders are also major issues (Hemophilia, sickle cell disease). Certain cancers (breast, ovarian, pancreatic, stomach) have also been genetically linked to the Ashkenazi. Sephardic Jews also tend to have higher rates of albinism, kidney stones, Mediterranean fever (linked with malaria) and Tay Sachs (about 1/110).


    Related to the genetics topics:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_intelligence (crazy controversial topic)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_studies_on_Jews
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron
    (Very interesting, about how Y-Chromosome Aaron and how Kohenim can trace their ancestry back to the Temple in Jerusalem, Levites can also do the same)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_sachs

    FLDS:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumarase_deficiency (Basically, Mormon Down Syndrome)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon

    (Cities with the highest rates of Fumarase deficiency)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildale,_Utah
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_City,_Arizona



    Sorry! Hope this relates to the discussion!! :D
     

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