So I was having an online discussion with my younger brother a little more than a week ago about abortion. Being a devout and pro-life Catholic he held the opinion that life starts at conception, that it a fertilized egg is human and should be treated as human because it is a unique life different than the host parent. I have also been reading bio-ethics and many different places on the debate and they all seem to revolve around trying to justify scientifically what I can best describe as trying to answer the question, "when is an embryo tantamount to a human being?" 

     Of course, that one question gave way to the larger question, "What makes us human?" Where do we define the limits of humanity? Is it strictly in a biological sense as in form, shape, and structure? Is it in potential in the case of infants? Is it in behavior; could someone act in a way that they are no longer considered, if even for a moment, a human? Is it in ability whether physical or mental? Is humanity a transitive property; in other words, is it a label that can be taken away or does it last regardless once it has been gained? Are their varying degrees of humanity where a person could be considered "more human" than someone else?

I am very curious to hear all of your thoughts and ideas!

Tags: humanity

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I didn't type LIST. It was an artifact either picked up in or added by mistake to my block copy. I know not where it came from.

Actually, the Australian program wasn't designed to prevent the continuation of the race (which would be genocide), but to force integration into the majority of Australian society, with the loss of their culture, which is not genocide (not that it's a great thing, though).

I believe you when you say that - still, you can understand why I believed that to have been the case.

RE the rest, my Australian friend might have a different point of view.



@archaeopteryx

RE: "If so, why not throw men in prison who have sex without condoms?" and, "Why shouldn't the state vasectomize men who go around fathering children willy nilly?"

In line with continuing to compare oranges with oranges and apples with apples, please produce a list of women who have been jailed for having sex without birth control and those who have been subjected to tubal ligations for going around and bearing children willy, millie van, or any other nilly --

Oh, and don't try to kid a kidder - you LOVE repeating yourself, ad nauseam

Can you give up your evasive obsession with produce for a little while in order to tell me whether the state (local or national) has the right to interfere with a man's AND woman's reproductive life, or just the ladies?

I'm just thinking that, considering that constipation tends to produce an extremely negative attitude on the part of those who suffer from it, that possibly if YOU were to become a little more obsessed with fruit - at least to the point of being able to distinguish apples from oranges - and even went so far as to actually eat some from time to time - well, let's just say, I've heard that eating fruit alleviates constipation. I'm just sayin' --

OK --

We have Unseen saying this:

"Life begins at conception (which is my position) or it begins at birth."

And Unseen saying this:

"The question is whether the government should be able to forbid her from terminating a pregnancy.
As far as I'm concerned, if a woman wants to have abortions as a form of entertainment, I don't give a flying sh**."

So what can one gather from your two positions? The only thing I can discern is that you have no problem at all with contending that Human life begins at conception, but your concern with having any governmental interference in the matter is so strong, that it entirely overrides any concern you may have had about the prospect of protecting that unique, little human life.

Or that, though admitting that even at conception, the embryo is in fact a Human life, your indifference is such that - how did you so eloquently phrase it again? Oh yes, "I don't give a flying sh**."

I'll just bet that that's that Philosophy degree at work again, isn't it?

Does that pretty much sum it up? Or would you like to elaborate on any of your finer points?

China implemented its one-child policy around thirty years ago.  At a glance it appears as if it should work, but realistically, the major complications with such a policy will echo through generations.

I understand that they don't enforce 1-child so much in the rural areas, as the rural areas already lose a lot of young people to the urban areas. (I'm worried about their policy succeeding, with practically an unending supply of cheap labor.)

 

I was living in China about 25 years ago. The one child thing was definitely more an urban thing. And at the time, about 80 percent of the population was rural.

Sounds more like China than Japan. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to confuse the two.

But Michael, wouldn't that be like telling women like Octo-mom what she can and can'd do with her body? Unseen wouldn't like that --

Dennis Miller: "Hey, it's a vagina, not a clown car."

Seriously, something is amiss up there in that skull of hers. She is some sort of obsessive/compulsive with a strong tinge of exhibitionism.

Dear Folks:

What do you mean by a 'value'?

Is it economic value?

Emotional/spirtual value?

Environment impact value? What damage pro/con to the environment could 'it' make if it becomes absent or in excess?

My family has dogs, land, art, books, friends, threatened plants and animals, timber, etc. I love my wife, giving her a dollar value would be deeply insulting to her and to my compassion and love for her! I love our puppies, only sometimes do I wish they were not here! The puppies give us joy, companionship, exercise, and another good reason to get up in the morning! I think you get my drift...

 

"Value" means many different things. I was in a psychology of personality class where "personality" was defined as a "social stimulus value."

I would say a human is human when it has the ability to think. I dont think an embryo is a human being I think an embryo is in the stages of becoming a human being.  For instance lets say you want to make bread, you take flour, water, aromatics, salt, yeast and put it in a bowl. You pound it, knead it, let it rise, and then pound it down again. You put it in a bread pan.....is it bread? No not yet....it has to cook. All the enzymes, glucose molecules, yeast bacterias that make bread bread have to fully come together. The outcome is bread. The outcome of nine-ten months is a new-born.So is a fetus a human being? No in my opinion from a scientific view point it is not.

I think back during the tie of our early stages of evolution being pregnant was viewed as a burden.  You couldnt run from predators, you couldnt contribute to hunting, you couldnt walk long distances and follow food, as a woman you were pretty much useless. And when the baby came if you didnt already miscarry or die in child birth you know had this thing that you didnt have before to focus all your attention on, you needed more food because of it, it wasnt able to do anything but cry which was a call to any predators lurking around for a snack. Now people spend thousand to get pregnant. The only thing that has changed is societies view. Abortion is wrong because we say it is, because having a child is looked at as a good thing, something that fulfills us as women. From the moment of conception people have this misconception that a fetus is a human being. It's sad when someone miscarries because we have already identified that fetus as a human being when in reality it can be replaced. If it came down to me dying or aborting my fetus I would abort in a second. There can never be another me but I can create with my hubby another fetus.

I know its a very touchy subject but thats only because society has made it that way.  Your brain is what makes you you. I think we react so harshly to abortion or the "murder" of a new born because we have already given them human perception,intelligent thought, reasoning, etc....When the stark reality is they dont have any of those things.

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