When does a baby count as a living being?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by iBrian, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I think that is really the interesting part. If most of those that believe that are pro life believe that our souls are headed to a better place and this is a lesser place...than what is the issue? Seems it may just be a short cut.

    Of course that would include murder of all kinds not to be 'evil' meerly sending one to ones God. 'Course that is a 'nother thread.
     
  2. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Cool new avatar Wil :)
     
  3. DrFree

    DrFree In Pluribus Unum

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    The biological process that leads to a human being goes through many stages that might be appealed to in defining a legal person with moral or legal rights:
    1. Formation of the egg in the mother's ovaries when the mother herself is in her own mother's womb. At this point it is a living individual that can in principle be tracked to the person it might become.
    2. Fertilization by the father's sperm (i.e., conception).
    3. Formation of enough of the nervous system to enable sensation.
    4. Viability, i.e., sufficient development to enable survival outside the mother's womb.
    5. Birth.
    6. Acceptance by parents.
    7. Acceptance by society.
    Modern civilizations accord personhood no later than birth. Ancient civilizations allowed the infant to be killed if the parents or the tribe were not satisfied.

    After conception, the normal process will product a living person. Right-to-life advocates believe that this should confer a right to be born. Right-to-choose advocates claim that at conception, the blastula is just a collection of cells.

    It seems to me that the difference between a fertilized and unfertilized egg is morally arbitrary. A fertilized egg will become a person through normal processes without further intervention on the parent's part; it takes action to terminate the pregnancy. An unfertilized egg requires an action to be put on course. However, if it is morally wrong to commit an act that will keep an individual fertilized egg from becoming a person, is it not also morally wrong to omit an act that will enable an individual unfertilized egg to become a person? In other words, if it's wrong to abort a fetus, is it not also wrong not to fertilize the egg? To put it another way, there is no moral difference between abortion and birth control!!!

    I suspect that the consequences of this reasoning for both family and world populations will cause us to resist this reasoning. But that introduces the question of economic trade-offs into the equation, and most right-to-life advocates resist such reasoning.

    My own inclination is that it is the existence of an integrated nervous system that brings sensation and awareness into being. So I would draw the line of personhood at that point.
     
  4. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    It used to be taken for granted that it was a woman's duty to become pregnant as often as possible.Of course, in those days most children died young, and population barely kept even from one generation to the next.
     
  5. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    When my wife conceived we both knew it, both times. I said the first one was blond with steel blue eyes and his name was Blake James. When the second one was conceived she told me he was red haired with hazel/green eyes and we named him Ryan Daniel.

    While the kids were in the womb, I would put my stereo ear phones up to her abdomen and softly play Eidleweis as a lulaby.

    Well they were both born exactly as we pictured them, but here is the kicker. Once when they were teens they heard Eidleweis, they both kind of stared off into somewhere else, like they are in another world. Almost trance like. Then one of them turned and asked "Didn't you use to sing that when I was a baby?"

    Yeah, I guess you could say I did...;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  6. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    To Quahom & Brian-

    i enjoyed both of your stories a lot. you both gave interesting thoughts to ponder that i never really considered & thanks for that:)
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Psa. 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."


    Psa. 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
    Psa. 139:15 "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,"
    Psa. 139:16 "your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

    Jeramiah 1:5 "Before I stitched you together in the womb, I knew you."


    I think Brian, we are in good company...:D


    v/r

    Q
     
  8. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    What Jeremiah 1:5 says is that God knew him before he was conceived.
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Yes, and a repeat (re-inforcement) of what Psalms say on the same issue...can't have one verse without the others...;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, wil!
    True. Could we call the new thread simply "War"?

    Murder, in my humble opinion, is the taking of a human life without consent. Sure, the victim may indeed return to his / her Maker, but that return is premature. And the perp? S/he has to deal with the karma or sin of prematurely ending a life. I do not say this in judgement, any person with a touch of morality left would feel some remorse in making such an awesome and aweful decision, that of taking another human life. Even soldiers.
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Murder is the taking of human life, without consent. There is no doubt about it.

    When does a baby count as a living being? The instant the potential blueprints are made real, put into effect. When zygote meets egg, and they agree to become one...kind of like marriage...you have no say over that, the z and the e do. LOL :D

    v/r

    Q
     
  12. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

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    So when does it become a human being? The sperm and the egg are a human byproduct. of human. The zygote appears to be a metamorphisis of the byproduct. At what precise point does this thing become a human being? You see, if it is not yet a human being, abortion should not be considered murder.
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    What the heck is taking human life with consent? I'm with you though, capitol punishment, war, etc. is murder.
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Truthseeker!
    I guess one way to look at it, is when the potential mother can lose the zygote without feeling remorse. Presuming an otherwise normal, healthy, mentally stable, caring, considerate and morally inclined individual. Easy enough, I suppose, while the zygote is inactive. Once the zygote starts kicking around inside the womb on its own, once it is quickened, it is considered (legally) to be a human being.

    If women want to go to war, really, then they command a battlefield no man can enter. And their opponents are completely at their mercy.
     
  15. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Wow, that's a can of worms Jt3. 'Course this whole topic is.

    peace,
    lunamoth
     
  16. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    The egg is the sum total of the DNA of the mother. The sperm is the sum total of the DNA of the father. What do you mean they are byproducts? :eek:

    v/r

    Q
     
  17. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

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    The eggs that you eat for breakfast are the sum total of the DNA of a chicken. But you are still frying eggs, which is an animal (chicken) byproduct.
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    It is also unfertilized, hence the potential has not be realized. The "spark" if you will, has not been added to the equation.

    Funny thing you mention chicken eggs. I have no problem eating eggs, but once I opened one that had the tell tale "red" dot attached to the yolk, and my appetite waned quite quickly. :rolleyes:

    v/r

    Q
     
  19. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    When is justice extended to a child? [/tangent] It brings to mind the phrase, "miscarriage of justice" [/tangent]
     
  20. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Again, the term "human life" is somewhat misleading. If you bleed, all the blood cells are "human" (certainly not canine, or elephantine), and "alive" (and could be kept alive in a Petri dish), but no-one thinks wiping up a bloodstain is "murder". We are asking when the embryo becomes "personal", not when it "becomes" human, or alive (even before conception, the cells were never anything other than human, and alive). Certainly "personality" does not start at fertilization. But equally certainly, there is something "personal" well before birth. We would prefer black/white lines, but life has a lot of grey in it.
     

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