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Awesomelyglorious
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01 Jul 2010, 3:25 pm

Ok, this came to mind, and because we are still struggling with rabid fundamentalism, I might as well bring up a different topic, because nobody cares how much 'keet loves creationism.

When does life begin?

This is a difficult topic, but I think that we should all be clear that it does not begin at conception. This is for three reasons:

1) The number of fertilized eggs that dies after fertilization is rather large. http://publish.uwo.ca/~kennedyt/t108.pdf "In humans, it has been estimated that between 30% and 70% of conceptuses are lost before or at the time of implantation" In fact, it is large enough that it makes procreative acts very likely to result in the death of a person if we hold to life beginning at conception. As such, such a reality makes it such that either we would have to mourn the non-implanted given that the number of deaths from this likely is greater than the Holocaust, and that based upon this knowledge, any person holding this view must think and rethink the sexual act quite carefully due to the likelihood of it resulting in a death. The issue is that such conclusions are absurd, and few people think this way about conception period, and as such it seems that such a position is so demanding that no person can be consistent in holding it.

2) Fertilized eggs don't hold to a rule 1 egg = 1 person, a rule that seems implicit with saying that life begins at conception. But rather, eggs can end up resulting in multiple people as noted with identical twins, or two eggs can end up becoming one person, such as with chimeras, which do occur in rare circumstances with humans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics) Either of these variations ultimately bring question to the basic rule, as we have one human being split, which human beings cannot do, or we have two human beings becoming one human being, which is also similarly impossible for humans. Both circumstances bring into heavy question the basic rule used in the idea that life begins at conception.

3) Finally, personhood generally isn't a trait we assign simply based upon genetic facts, or anything else, but rather when we talk about something being human a human being, we mean something significantly more substantive. Something which includes psychological traits, and perhaps even other things. Because of this, it is very difficult to see how a person really begins at conception, when the entity involved lacks the traits that we tend to consider important, even implicitly, in determining whether something is a person or not.

As such, life beginning at conception does not match our intuitions about human beings, it does not make sense in our overall view of reality, and it doesn't even seem to be coherent. Because of that, it is assuredly wrong.



Orwell
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01 Jul 2010, 4:00 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
3) Finally, personhood generally isn't a trait we assign simply based upon genetic facts, or anything else, but rather when we talk about something being human a human being, we mean something significantly more substantive. Something which includes psychological traits, and perhaps even other things. Because of this, it is very difficult to see how a person really begins at conception, when the entity involved lacks the traits that we tend to consider important, even implicitly, in determining whether something is a person or not.

Persons do not exist, therefore embryos and fetuses (at any stage of development) are not persons. Also, you are not a person.


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01 Jul 2010, 4:05 pm

Being Alive topic

In my opinion, life begins when the life is out of the womb, the cord is cut and the life can breathe on its own, that is, born alive. In humans, viability is something like 22 weeks. If a woman wants the abortion to be dead, she is advised to abort before viability. If not, the chance that it will be born alive and breathing on its own and then steps can be taken to maintain the life by medical personnel, etc.


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Awesomelyglorious
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01 Jul 2010, 4:08 pm

Orwell wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
3) Finally, personhood generally isn't a trait we assign simply based upon genetic facts, or anything else, but rather when we talk about something being human a human being, we mean something significantly more substantive. Something which includes psychological traits, and perhaps even other things. Because of this, it is very difficult to see how a person really begins at conception, when the entity involved lacks the traits that we tend to consider important, even implicitly, in determining whether something is a person or not.

Persons do not exist, therefore embryos and fetuses (at any stage of development) are not persons. Also, you are not a person.

A valid argument, however, I don't think it has much use in assessing the idea of life at conception, simply because most of those people believe in persons.



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01 Jul 2010, 4:10 pm

No. Life begins at birth.


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Orwell
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01 Jul 2010, 4:11 pm

That was purely sarcasm, I hope you realize.

Anyways, I think that either hard-liner view is pretty hard to justify (life begins at conception vs life begins when the baby starts crying). The problem then becomes where you draw an arbitrary line somewhere during pregnancy. I think most people would probably feel uncomfortable with abortions after the fetus is viable (except when obviously medically necessary) and I also think most people really don't think an abortion is as big a deal two weeks into the pregnancy.


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Awesomelyglorious
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01 Jul 2010, 4:14 pm

Orwell wrote:
That was purely sarcasm, I hope you realize.

I am aspie. I am psychologically incapable of understanding sarcasm, ever.



jmnixon95
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01 Jul 2010, 4:32 pm

I believe it begins at birth.



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01 Jul 2010, 4:57 pm

Life begins at conception



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01 Jul 2010, 4:59 pm

There is no clear distinction between life and non-life. However, when a fetus starts to have the rights of a living human is another question.



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01 Jul 2010, 5:07 pm

jmnixon95 wrote:
I believe it begins at birth.

I believe it begins near death.



Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Orwell wrote:
That was purely sarcasm, I hope you realize.

I am aspie. I am psychologically incapable of understanding sarcasm, ever.

You aren't capable of a high level thought such as understanding sarcasm, therefore you are not a person.


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greenblue
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01 Jul 2010, 5:29 pm

Quote:
2) Fertilized eggs don't hold to a rule 1 egg = 1 person, a rule that seems implicit with saying that life begins at conception. But rather, eggs can end up resulting in multiple people as noted with identical twins, or two eggs can end up becoming one person, such as with chimeras, which do occur in rare circumstances with humans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics) Either of these variations ultimately bring question to the basic rule, as we have one human being split, which human beings cannot do, or we have two human beings becoming one human being, which is also similarly impossible for humans. Both circumstances bring into heavy question the basic rule used in the idea that life begins at conception.

That seems a pretty good point, is a new being created just right after conception? if not, then life doesn't start at conception. The issue about eggs spliting to make twins, triplets, etc, seems to indicate that those multiple beings didn't exist right after conception but a time later.

Quote:
3) Finally, personhood generally isn't a trait we assign simply based upon genetic facts, or anything else, but rather when we talk about something being human a human being, we mean something significantly more substantive. Something which includes psychological traits, and perhaps even other things. Because of this, it is very difficult to see how a person really begins at conception, when the entity involved lacks the traits that we tend to consider important, even implicitly, in determining whether something is a person or not.

I'm not sure how pro-lifers make their case about this, I assume somehow that they probably don't care about where personhood begins, rather life.


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01 Jul 2010, 5:54 pm

Gametes are not alive.
Life begins at conception.
Sentience begins much later.

Pro-lifers refuse to acknowledge the difference between the two, which is akin to murdering flies or the pizzacide I am currently committing.



Awesomelyglorious
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01 Jul 2010, 5:58 pm

greenblue wrote:
I'm not sure how pro-lifers make their case about this, I assume somehow that they probably don't care about where personhood begins, rather life.

"Life" doesn't work though because we kill living things all the time. Just bruise yourself and watch some life die. That being said, the SLED acronym tends to presume personhood.



skafather84
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01 Jul 2010, 6:07 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Orwell wrote:
That was purely sarcasm, I hope you realize.

I am aspie. I am psychologically incapable of understanding sarcasm, ever.


I don't think ever ever. I mean if you work at it for decades on end then maybe one day you'll be able to start to sense sarcastic statements. But it'll be hard work. Like the kind that needs a montage.


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Awesomelyglorious
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01 Jul 2010, 6:07 pm

skafather84 wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Orwell wrote:
That was purely sarcasm, I hope you realize.

I am aspie. I am psychologically incapable of understanding sarcasm, ever.


I don't think ever ever. I mean if you work at it for decades on end then maybe one day you'll be able to start to sense sarcastic statements. But it'll be hard work. Like the kind that needs a montage.

I like montages.