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Old 12-22-2018, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
19,883 posts, read 13,086,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
I think there is more to being a human being than just being alive.
For me, humanity involves interacting with other people in a positive way.

So I don't see infants as human beings. A brain dead person is no longer a human being. A psychopath is not a human being.

But despite the OP's strictures, this thread is clearly about abortion, which doesn't apply to any of those. Though I knew someone who used to threaten his teenager with "post-natal birth control."
Infants and brain dead people are human. They are Homo sapiens, with the necessary genes that say so.

If you have ever cared for an infant, you know it interacts with others from its earliest days.

We might despise the psychopath, but we cannot deny that he posseses all of the requisite genes to be classified as a human.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:05 AM
 
344 posts, read 86,388 times
Reputation: 1152
One thing that bothers me about this topic is the way the law looks at it: If a pregnant woman wishes, she can receive an abortion on demand up until the 24th week of pregnancy (at least in Illinois). However, if a third party were to cause the death of a fetus at any time after fertilization, they can be charged with voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, etc., depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances of the incident. Seems a little schizophrenic, doesn't it? In the first example, the unborn child is considered a "zygote", "embryo", "fetus", whatever - but in the second, it becomes a "human life", and one can be sent to prison for ending it, at a much earlier point in the pregnancy. Seems like the Pro Choice folks need to pick a lane on this - how is this discrepancy typically justified?
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Old 12-23-2018, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NYUSA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way.
7,044 posts, read 2,093,554 times
Reputation: 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly Q. Bobalink View Post
One thing that bothers me about this topic is the way the law looks at it: If a pregnant woman wishes, she can receive an abortion on demand up until the 24th week of pregnancy (at least in Illinois). However, if a third party were to cause the death of a fetus at any time after fertilization, they can be charged with voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, etc., depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances of the incident. Seems a little schizophrenic, doesn't it? In the first example, the unborn child is considered a "zygote", "embryo", "fetus", whatever - but in the second, it becomes a "human life", and one can be sent to prison for ending it, at a much earlier point in the pregnancy. Seems like the Pro Choice folks need to pick a lane on this - how is this discrepancy typically justified?
Can agree with much of this although it sortof dovetails with the meaning conveyed by the earlier post by LesLucid, these issues & their practical meanings & impacts "will shift depending on the values of the time."

At another earlier time, & re: a different issue:

Dr. Martin Luther King on the Emancipation Proclamation

Dr. King presented the following speech at the New York Civil War Centennial Commission’s Emancipation Proclamation Observance, New York City, September 12, 1962

Emancipation Proclamation Centennial Address by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Quote:
...The Declaration of Independence proclaimed to a world, organized politically and spiritually around the concept of the inequality of man, that the dignity of human personality was inherent in man as a living being. The Emancipation Proclamation was the offspring of the Declaration of Independence. It was a constructive use of the force of law to uproot a social order which sought to separate liberty from a segment of humanity.

Our pride and progress could be unqualified if the story might end here. But history reveals that America has been a schizophrenic personality where these two documents are concerned. On the one hand she has proudly professed the basic principles inherent in both documents. On the other hand she has sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles. ...
https://www.nps.gov/anti/learn/histo...ure/mlk-ep.htm

Humanity is a 'work in progress'.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,114 posts, read 331,507 times
Reputation: 2503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly Q. Bobalink View Post
One thing that bothers me about this topic is the way the law looks at it: If a pregnant woman wishes, she can receive an abortion on demand up until the 24th week of pregnancy (at least in Illinois). However, if a third party were to cause the death of a fetus at any time after fertilization, they can be charged with voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, etc., depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances of the incident. Seems a little schizophrenic, doesn't it? In the first example, the unborn child is considered a "zygote", "embryo", "fetus", whatever - but in the second, it becomes a "human life", and one can be sent to prison for ending it, at a much earlier point in the pregnancy. Seems like the Pro Choice folks need to pick a lane on this - how is this discrepancy typically justified?
I suspect the law is inconsistent in several aspects and I think that’s not a desirable situation. One issue to me is whether the same criteria are used at life’s end to judge when a person is no longer enetitled to protection under the law because they are brain dead (.e.g. injury, stroke, etc.) vs what criteria are used at the opposite end of the spectrum when life is developing in the womb. As I said earlier, I don’t have any real iron in the fire one way or the other, we have to have boundaries somewhere, but consistency in the law is desirable it seems to me.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:47 PM
 
2 posts, read 291 times
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If you're a Homo Sapiens, then you're definetly an human being.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:59 PM
 
910 posts, read 461,252 times
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A featherless biped.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:25 AM
 
738 posts, read 251,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
I read a piece on Foxnews.com yesterday by Judge Napolitano, a guy I highly respect. He's obviously very intelligent-- he agrees with me on so many topics.


In this piece, he categorically states that a human life becomes a "person" at conception because that's when it becomes a "potential person." No corroborating evidence was included to support that statement.


Without turning this into an argument about abortion, let's discuss the question of when does a human life start, ie- become a "person." Please give your opinion and any facts or observations you may have to defend your opinion (legal precedents don't count as valid arguments). And very importantly, if your position is based on some theological teaching, please have the intellectual integrity to so state.


If we can eventually come to an agreement based on science &/or logic, the answer to the question of the legality of abortion will naturally follow. I've neglected to include religion as a component of the conclusion here, because, as we all should know-- laws in the USA are not to be based on religious teachings, although it's fine if they happen to agree with religious teaching.


Let the games begin!
When the brain is formed or no longer functions. Definitely not the heart, those can be grown in petri dish.

Personhood, however is after a birth never before. That is fact, complete with social security number and taxes.

Reasoning: medical professional
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Haiku
3,299 posts, read 2,275,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
I read a piece on Foxnews.com yesterday by Judge Napolitano, a guy I highly respect. He's obviously very intelligent-- he agrees with me on so many topics.


In this piece, he categorically states that a human life becomes a "person" at conception because that's when it becomes a "potential person." No corroborating evidence was included to support that statement.

This discussion, like so many in "great debates", is largely an argument of semantics. Take the above quote from Fox - the assertion being made is a definition, and as such no corroborating evidence is needed. Where the real argument exists is if the definition conflicts with other uses of the same word.

Take the word "life" for instance. Biologists have a hard time even defining what life is (is a virus alive?), but details aside biological life and human life are somewhat different. A human life is biological life but it is also our cognitive functions. When someone wishes you a "wonderful life" they are directing that at your cognitive functions since your biological life is indifferent to anything but existing and reproducing. The latter is an important point since biologically, our only reason for existence is to propagate our DNA.

So when "human life" is discussed, there really is a conflation between the biological and the cognitive aspects of life. Biological life begins at conception, since that is when the mixture of genes has happened that defines a new organism. It is not viable life, but it is unique at that point. But that is different from cognitive life which in point of fact is a continuum - cognition grows as the neural core (brain) grows and it also grows as experiences build up. This is where things become definitional - where exactly on that continuum of cognitive development does one say that that now constitutes human life? It is arbitrary.

To illustrate the arbitrariness of the above, I will point out that in ancient Rome, babies were not thought to meet the definition of cognitive life and it was not uncommon to throw out unwanted babies. As appalling as that may sound, it is not unreasonable since a newborn child has almost zero cognitive abilities.

My point here is that there is no "right" answer any more than there is a universal morality. It is all arbitrary. My feeling is since we live in a democracy, just vote on it.
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:52 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,102 posts, read 753,900 times
Reputation: 4358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Middletwin View Post

Personhood, however is after a birth never before. That is fact, complete with social security number and taxes.

That's exactly how the status of Kris Kringle was decided in court in Miracle on 34th St-- he must be Santa because the Post Office delivered the mail for Santa to him. Maybe you missed my earlier post where I asked at what point after conception must a SS# be applied for if "at birth" isn't the answer to our question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post

My point here is that there is no "right" answer any more than there is a universal morality. It is all arbitrary. My feeling is since we live in a democracy, just vote on it.

I think you're right about morality & the arbitrary nature of most laws, BUT--


--- if we can muster enough votes, we could bring back slavery?
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Old 12-25-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Haiku
3,299 posts, read 2,275,687 times
Reputation: 4967
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
I think you're right about morality & the arbitrary nature of most laws, BUT--


--- if we can muster enough votes, we could bring back slavery?
Yes.

But I am not proposing anything new, that is the current situation which we have here in the US. Slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment, but that can also be retracted by another amendment which would require a super-majority of both the House and the Senate. That is how our democracy works.
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