When does a baby count as a living being?

wil

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So does that mean the the physical vehicle is unimportant and thus expendable? And so abortion no real sin?
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.
 

DrFree

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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.
 

bob x

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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.
 

Quahom1

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I said:
I've seen this issue raised - when does a baby count as a living being? - for discussion elsewhere, and usually the answer can vary to anywhere between the moment of conception to the moment of birth.

However, recent experience has me re-evaluating this issue.

We have two young children already - Hannah Rhiannon, who's 4, and Skye Caitlin, who's 18 months. Personally, I really wanted a vasectomy (even on the NHS!), but my girlfriend wasn't keen.

Then, for the past three months, I've had a feeling that another one was on its way. I even had a name decided: Maya. During this time I remember distinctly waking from a dream, and thinking that there was someone missing from our family.

And now my long-term partner, Julie, is pregnant. Maya is coming!

Or is she? There's always the possibility that the coming child is a boy - and we're both agreed that Torrin is a good boy's name. :)

OMG - hope it's not twins!

So on the issue of when does a baby count a living being I have to say that I still couldn't say to a date. But if you ask me when does a baby have a "soul" - I'm now left thinking: three months before conception!

Oh - and I'm allowed a vasectomy now! :)

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...;)

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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:)
 

Quahom1

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Bandit said:
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:)

Brian...
So on the issue of when does a baby count a living being I have to say that I still couldn't say to a date. But if you ask me when does a baby have a "soul" - I'm now left thinking: three months before conception!



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


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Quahom1

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bob x said:
What Jeremiah 1:5 says is that God knew him before he was conceived.

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

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juantoo3

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Kindest Regards, wil!
wil said:
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.

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.
 

Quahom1

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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

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truthseeker

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Quahom1 said:
Murder is the taking of human life, without consent. There is no doubt about it.

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.
 

juantoo3

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Kindest Regards, Truthseeker!
truthseeker said:
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.
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.
 

lunamoth

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juantoo3 said:
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.

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

peace,
lunamoth
 

Quahom1

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truthseeker said:
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.

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:

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truthseeker

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Quahom1 said:
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:

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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.
 

Quahom1

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truthseeker said:
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.

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:

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seattlegal

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now, if what you are asking is "when does a child aquire human rights" that would be a different answer altogether that answer, it seems to me, would be more of a political one than a spiritual one. i think the answer to this question would be very dependent on one's politicial climate and so forth. i tend to feel that children are given lesser rights within a society until they reach an age of maturity (whatever that might be) and can then assume additional responsiblities.

[tangent] that seems to be one of the strangest logical disconnects that i've been a witness too.. the severing of responsilbility from rights. if you have a right to vote, for instance, it is conversely your responsibility to exercise that right. [/tangent]

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

bob x

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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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