Notice that if you ask "When does life begin?" you get a definition, not a fact. What does this mean for the debate between pro-choicers and pro-lifers, one side defining life to begin at birth, the other at conception? Doesn't it mean that it's a problem without a solution?

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I like those terms.

I'd also propose pro-woman and anti-woman.

You have no idea how much sulking my girlfriend gave me when I told her I don't ever want kids. She loves children, and I kept mumbling on about how annoying children are and when I turned my head to her (I was watching something) I saw her with that "What the hell, no kids??" look on her face. Now she slowly started to accept it and I hope she'll be over it soon.

Damn, hearing "I'm pregnant" would probably scare my heart into a skip. Children are cute as long as they belong to other people and you're exposed to them for very short periods of time, like 5 or 10 minutes max. But being a father myself would be a nightmare! Imagine the pregnancy.. urgh..

Doctors use a definition. It is merely a stipulation which is needed in order to have a procedure to follow. It doesn't really mean anything cosmic. We define marriage in much the same way: for legal purposes, a marriage begins when a certain legal procedure happens. There are other definitions of marriage, however, perhaps equally or even more valid.

Of course, the ovum and the sperm are alive and potential people before they ever get together but when I suggest anti-choice people carry this to its logical conclusion by making abstinence a sin they tell me I have missed the point. I have raised many questions about what this point is? The most emotive arguments against abortion say things like 'This would have been a photo of my child had its mother decided not to murder him' or 'Aren't you glad your mother did not abort you?' Both of the endings to this could be replaced with 'not abstain from pre-marital sex.' However I cannot get anyone to explain why preventing a potential child from being born by abstaining from sex is a better consequence for the potential child than aborting it whilst an embryo would be so it is nothing to do with the potential person's rights at all.

It is, as you say, all about when 'life' is said to start and by this the religious mean when the child has a soul as they are quite happy to eat meat and vegetables which are all alive - it is when that foetus becomes a PERSON. Medical science tells us a foetus is 'viable' at 24 weeks and that the central nervous system is not up and running until 27 weeks so no pain and no awareness until then. Given the complete lack of evidence for a soul I think it is only reasonable to go with the scientific version of when 'life' begins. In fact there is plenty of evidence that 'personhood', the 'self' that spark of individuality often called a soul lives in the brain as it is seen to be badly damaged or even gone entirely when the brain is damaged by injury or dementia.

In short, pro-choicers declare life to begin at 24 weeks and pro-lifers at conception. 'Life' actually began many years before either of those and sentience and awareness is known to begin at 27 weeks when the brain starts to lay down pathways. This makes pro-choicers right and is the reason abortion is legal.

The pro-life vs pro-choice does not deal with the question "when does life begin?" it deals with the question "At what point do we consider the fetus a person?".... The universe does not distinguish between the life of a bacteria, or a human. Ergo, if your positions is about the sanctity  of life. Then you better be a vegan, against the death penalty, and you better walk with a broom to make sure you don't step on any bugs by mistake. Also, be careful when you scratch your face since you might be killing hundreds of cells that have exactly the same genetic material of when you were a zygote. If you fail to comply with those guidelines then that is a big sign of your hypocrisy.   

Misanthrope, it is entirely relevant to animals when you are comparing them to infants.  You are trying to apply personhood of humans to pre-person humans.  An infant does not develop the capacity for rational thought or imagination until well after birth.  This is completely measurable as infants lack the capacity to even remember things that are removed from sight as I mentioned before for the first three months after birth or longer.  Imagination, reasoning, those aren't even on the horizon for infants.

Infants do not problem-solve.  Later on-as the brain and personhood develops, this capacity develops too.  But you are using mature humans in an abortion debate which isn't really making sense.  I am at least working with a 2.5 month old newborn here.  You are right, it has to do with intelligence.  A baby is pretty lacking in that department even months after birth.  This is proven using recognition testing, which is getting more and more precise since Piaget first started this study of human intelligence development so long ago.

Hey Brandon, thanks for the compliment, but the argument is just a summary of Peter Singer and Michael Tooley.  They really make the most astounding arguments concerning the issue of abortion and infanticide.

I was a conservative Christian at the time that I was introduced to Peter Singer.  It totally killed my belief that life happens at conception. Singer mentions that if life happens at conception, then the person splits into two different people if twinning occurs.

here is the full debate.

You should see what happens to "feral" children. We take our brains/states of mind for granted. Our "advanced" brains are not that way by default, but by exposure to animals that are already advanced (i.e. its parents/family) and society.

I'd Google it and post a YouTube vid about feral children, but I have a feeling it'll be a futile endeavor.

The answer is simple. If a woman is just one day pregnant in  any given year, declare the "child" on her income taxes as a dependent and let Uncle Sam tell her whether it is viable or not.


Just something to lighten up the mood:

hahaha this always makes me feel better :D


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