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smac97

Is "When Does Life Begin?" a Scientific or Moral Question? Both?

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think it's a hard choice, but an understandable one.  You choose that which you feel has more value.  For you, that is the baby.

But what about the choice between the life of the baby and the "privacy" and convenience of the mother?  Like you, I think "this is sad, but not a hard choice."  I'd choose the baby who has their whole live in front of him/her.

Thanks,

-Smac

Since you again completely dodged the question (newborn vs fridge full of X blastocysts), I have a hard time taking you seriously. It’s not a tough question. I’ve yet to see someone who professes the idea that personhood begins with conception answer it, so you are just the latest. Just hard to really believe that you actually believe it when a simple question gives you so much trouble. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Personhood is the debate.  When, in the Zygote-to-fetus-to-newborn-to-toddler-to-child-to-teen-to-adult process does personhood spring into existence?

If personhood requires both independence and individuality, then I would say it arises as the living offspring separates from the mother / parents and independent from them. Hence offspring at any stage of development that becomes separated from the mother and reliant upon others for survival (living fetus, lost toddler) should be treated as a person. Sometimes we may be in a situation to choose to sacrifice other persons.

Edited by CV75

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, the narrator said:

A one day old child has intelligence, ability to communicate, and potential for independence.

So does a baby in utero.  

Quote

Have you never seen a newborn before?

I'm a father of six, so yes.

Quote

A comatose person has intelligence, can sometime communicate, and has potential for independence. It's basically a long nap.

Again, so does a baby in utero.

Quote

Family members very often choose to end the life of persons on life support.

Yes.  But the considerations are quite different.  End-of-live decisions are predicated on an acknowledgment of the patient's personhood.  Abortion is not.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Well, that's the point of this debate, right?  I think life has begun.  At conception.

I don't know.  It's not really relevant to the legal issue at hand.

The title of this thread is:  "When Does Life Begin?" a Scientific or Moral Question? Both?"

I think asking when you believe the spirit enters the body is relevant to this conversation....just so we can determine what your opinions and beliefs are regarding life.

Or do you believe that life begins before the spirit enters the body?

6 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Why not?  Why not err on the side of caution?

I am not a supporter of abortion.  But the question you've asked is "When Does Life Begin?"  I believe it's when the spirit enters the body and I believe that is at birth.

 

Edited by ALarson
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3 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Since you again completely dodged the question (newborn vs fridge full of X blastocysts),

I'm not really persuaded that it's a legitimate question.  But yes, I would save the newborn.

And if I had to choose between saving the life of my own child versus the life of a total stranger, I would save my child.  However, that speaks to my subjectivity and emotions.  It does not mean I deny the humanity/personhood of the stranger.

3 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I have a hard time taking you seriously. It’s not a tough question.

I agree. It's just not a very good question.

3 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’ve yet to see someone who professes the idea that personhood begins with conception answer it, so you are just the latest.

Well, your wait is over.  See above.

3 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Just hard to really believe that you actually believe it when a simple question gives you so much trouble. 

Again, it's not a troubling question.  It's just not a very good one.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 minutes ago, ALarson said:

The title of this thread is:  "When Does Life Begin?" a Scientific or Moral Question? Both?"

I think asking when you believe the spirit enters the body is relevant to this conversation....just so we can determine what your opinions and beliefs are regarding life.

But not for discussing the legal aspects of abortion.

2 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Or do you believe that life begins before the spirit enters the body?

Yes, I believe that.

2 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I am not a supporter of abortion.  But the question you've asked is "When Does Life Begin?"  I believe it's when the spirit enters the body and I believe that is at birth.

Okay.  I disagree with that, but I'm open to differing opinions about it.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 hours ago, california boy said:

And when that religious belief becomes scientific fact then hand me the protest sign and count me in.  

This cannot in principle happen

Religious / moral beliefs are about what should be, while science purports to be about "what is", free of moral implications.

The world described by science doesn't care if mankind exists or not, or if this planet becomes a cloud of dust, much less worrying about the fetuses of one species over another.

When does a canine fetus become a "dog"? When does it take on "puppiness"?

This is a totally arbitrary subjective human decision in which science becomes irrelevant.

As a moral decision, a consensus covering all of humanity will never be found, and belief that it can be based on scientific evidence is a logical category mistake

 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_mistake

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5 minutes ago, smac97 said:
19 minutes ago, the narrator said:

smac97 has experience holding and cooing embryos.

I was speaking from a legal perspective.

No you weren't. You were disagreeing with the statement "That said an embryo is nothing like a baby.

7 minutes ago, smac97 said:
Quote

Comatose persons have thoughts and feelings, and may have occasional or partial consciousness.

So do babies in utero.

Ok, so now you at least agree that your description of comatose persons was wrong.

As far as late-stage fetuses go, I agree that they have thoughts, feelings, and consciousness (which embryos and fetuses at least through the first half of pregnancy do not.) And I think those things should be considered by the woman when making her decision.

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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

But not for discussing the legal aspects of abortion.

If that is all you want discussed on this thread, then it will most likely become a political discussion.  

We'll see....maybe it can not devolve into that.

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1 minute ago, the narrator said:
Quote

I was speaking from a legal perspective.

No you weren't.

Yes, I was.

Tell you what, I will tell you what I think and why, and I will not presume to tell you what you are thinking, and why.  And I'll ask you to reciprocate those accommodations.  Sound good?

I'm not a shy person.  I am happy tell you what I think.  

1 minute ago, the narrator said:

You were disagreeing with the statement "That said an embryo is nothing like a baby.

And my disagreement was "from a legal perspective."

1 minute ago, the narrator said:
Quote
Quote

Comatose persons have thoughts and feelings, and may have occasional or partial consciousness.

So do babies in utero.

Ok, so now you at least agree that your description of comatose persons was wrong.

Not sure what you mean here.

1 minute ago, the narrator said:

As far as late-stage fetuses go, I agree that they have thoughts, feelings, and consciousness (which embryos and fetuses at least through the first half of pregnancy do not.) And I think those things should be considered by the woman when making her decision.

A one-day-old baby also has "thoughts, feelings, and consciousness," and yet we do not let mothers kill them.

Slaves had "thoughts, feelings, and consciousness," and yet we shouldn't have let slaveholders keep them as chattel.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 minute ago, ALarson said:
Quote

But not for discussing the legal aspects of abortion.

If that is all you want discussed on this thread, then it will most likely become a political discussion.  

That's not all that I want discussed.  You will note that I am not objecting to people discussing it.  It's just that I am not interested in discussing it.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

But not for discussing the legal aspects of abortion.

Yes, I believe that.

Okay.  I disagree with that, but I'm open to differing opinions about it.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Since this is a question which cannot be resolved, and is a matter of moral opinion, that attitude is about the best hope that can be expected for any kind of consensus, but we will always have this issue between us.

There is simply no basis for a resolution upon which we can all agree, because it is a moral issue, and therefore based on subjective feelings.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm not really persuaded that it's a legitimate question.  But yes, I would save the newborn.

And if I had to choose between saving the life of my own child versus the life of a total stranger, I would save my child.  However, that speaks to my subjectivity and emotions.  It does not mean I deny the humanity/personhood of the stranger.

I agree. It's just not a very good question.

Well, your wait is over.  See above.

Again, it's not a troubling question.  It's just not a very good one.

Thanks,

-Smac

So you’d leave 1,000s of persons with their whole life in front of them to their death to save the life of just one? How can you justify such a position? On what basis did you decide? Is it possible that it’s because the two are in no way comparable?

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding

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14 minutes ago, smac97 said:

 

Okay.  I disagree with that, but I'm open to differing opinions about it.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Except you want to legislate your opinion. So not really that open are you. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:
Quote

Okay.  I disagree with that, but I'm open to differing opinions about it.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Except you want to legislate your opinion. So not really that open are you. 

I don't understand.  I can "want to legislate {my} opinion" and be "open to differing opinions about it."

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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9 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

When does a canine fetus become a "dog"? When does it take on "puppiness"?

This is a totally arbitrary subjective human decision in which science becomes irrelevant.

As a moral decision, a consensus covering all of humanity will never be found, and belief that it can be based on scientific evidence is a logical category mistake

Exactly!

All judgments about when canine embryos achieve "puppiness" (puppihood?) rest on unproven and unprovable moral calls. 

Same goes for when humans acquire (or ought to acquire) certain rights. 

Now, of course, these judgments may be informed by medical observations -- for instance, when the brain develops to a certain level, or when something will end up naturally growing into a born human without any further intervention -- or by pragmatic considerations, gut feel, opinion polls, tradition, views about how precise and clear legal lines should be, or whatever else. But ultimately these judgments rest not on the scientific or social facts as such, but on moral judgment calls about how one evaluates these facts.

All of us draw lines in this field, whether at conception, viability, birth, or whenever else. None of us can prove the validity of those lines through science or through abstract logic.

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

So you’d leave 1,000s of persons with their whole life in front of them to their death to save the life of just one?

Yes.

Now please answer this question: Take your scenario and replace the "baby or the embryos" with "your newborn son or a total stranger."  You would save your newborn son, I assume?  Does that mean that in so doing you deny the humanity/personhood of the stranger?

Quote

How can you justify such a position? 

Subjectively.

Quote

On what basis did you decide?

Raw, in-the-heat-of-the-moment emotion.  It's a Sophie's Choice, so not much room for contemplation of my "basis."

You created the hypothetical, remember?

Quote

Is it possible that it’s because the two are in no way comparable?

No.  The two are in many ways comparable.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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If all things are created spiritually before they are created physically, then it reasonably follows that each fertilized egg has a spirit person.  I recognize that there is disagreement as to when that spirit person enters the body, but morally speaking, does it really matter?  Whether the abortion takes place before or after the spirit enters the body, one is denying life to that spirit person either way.  

From a moral standpoint, I don’t see why it matters when the spirit enters the body.  Why is taking a persons life 1 minute after it is created morally worse than preventing it all together.  In both scenarios there are real consequences for a real spiritual being.

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9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

If that is all you want discussed on this thread, then it will most likely become a political discussion.  

We'll see....maybe it can not devolve into that.

It is already a discussion about subjective opinions, so what's the difference? 

It "devolved" into that the instant it came into existence and should have been "aborted" instantly ;)

There is no possible resolution.

We might as well be discussing whether or not the church is  "TRUE", there is at least that much ambiguity here to slosh around in. Hope we all are wearing hip boots.

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1 minute ago, Amulek said:

Exactly!

All judgments about when canine embryos achieve "puppiness" (puppihood?) rest on unproven and unprovable moral calls. 

Same goes for when humans acquire (or ought to acquire) certain rights. 

And yet we still agree on those "moral calls," even if they are not "unproven and unprovable."

We agree that a one-day-old baby is a "person," yes?  And that it is immoral to kill that baby?

Just because morality cannot be defined with mathematical precision does not mean it cannot be defined at all.

1 minute ago, Amulek said:

Now, of course, these judgments may be informed by medical observations -- for instance, when the brain develops to a certain level, or when something will end up naturally growing into a born human without any further intervention -- or by pragmatic considerations, gut feel, opinion polls, tradition, views about how precise and clear legal lines should be, or whatever else. But ultimately these judgments rest not on the scientific or social facts as such, but on moral judgment calls about how one evaluates these facts.

Iwouldn't differentiate the basis for "these judgments" as you do.  I think these judgments rest on both "the scientific or social facts as such" and "on moral judgment calls about how one evaluates these facts."

1 minute ago, Amulek said:

All of us draw lines in this field, whether at conception, viability, birth, or whenever else.

I agree.

1 minute ago, Amulek said:

None of us can prove the validity of those lines through science or through abstract logic.

"Prove?"  No.  Persuade and reach a consensus?  Possibly.

Thanks,

-Smac

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11 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Since this is a question which cannot be resolved,

I think it can be resolved.

11 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

and is a matter of moral opinion,

But not purely a matter of moral opinion.

11 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

that attitude is about the best hope that can be expected for any kind of consensus, but we will always have this issue between us.

Yes.

11 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

There is simply no basis for a resolution upon which we can all agree, because it is a moral issue, and therefore based on subjective feelings.

I agree.  I'm not looking for a 100% consensus.  That's not realistic.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Exactly!

All judgments about when canine embryos achieve "puppiness" (puppihood?) rest on unproven and unprovable moral calls. 

Same goes for when humans acquire (or ought to acquire) certain rights. 

Now, of course, these judgments may be informed by medical observations -- for instance, when the brain develops to a certain level, or when something will end up naturally growing into a born human without any further intervention -- or by pragmatic considerations, gut feel, opinion polls, tradition, views about how precise and clear legal lines should be, or whatever else. But ultimately these judgments rest not on the scientific or social facts as such, but on moral judgment calls about how one evaluates these facts.

All of us draw lines in this field, whether at conception, viability, birth, or whenever else. None of us can prove the validity of those lines through science or through abstract logic.

 

Agree, except there are no moral "facts" even upon which to base anything.

We would just then argue if whatever criteria we chose for brain maturation etc was morally "right"

It just moves the subjective decision up or down a notch, but the answer still remains debatable. ;)

 

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10 minutes ago, smac97 said:

And yet we still agree on those "moral calls," even if they are not "unproven and unprovable."

We agree that a one-day-old baby is a "person," yes?  And that it is immoral to kill that baby?

Just because morality cannot be defined with mathematical precision does not mean it cannot be defined at all.

Well what has been recently debated as I have heard it even blurs these lines but the seriously debated issue so far has not included infanticide, so that issue has not really been on the table and so becomes a strawman

 

 

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19 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

It is already a discussion about subjective opinions, so what's the difference? 

Yes, but smac repeatedly responds with other's attempts to discuss with things like this: 

Quote

It's not really relevant to the legal issue at hand.

And that's fine (his thread), but it shuts down a part of what is definitely relevant to the OP and title, IMO.

 

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6 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:
Quote

And yet we still agree on those "moral calls," even if they are not "unproven and unprovable."

We agree that a one-day-old baby is a "person," yes?  And that it is immoral to kill that baby?

Just because morality cannot be defined with mathematical precision does not mean it cannot be defined at all.

Well what has been recently debated as I have heard it even blurs these lines but the seriously debated issue so far has not included infanticide, so that issue has not really been on the table and so becomes a strawman

With respect, I disagree.  Infanticide is designated as such because we as a society acknowledge the personhood of the baby.

We as a society freed the slaves because we (eventually) acknowledged the personhood of slaves.

We as a society predicate a number of things on acknowledged personhood.  

Abortion is predicated on ignoring or denying the personhood of unborn babies.  I am proposing that we change this.

Thanks,

-Smac

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