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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Biology would help if it were a matter of fact, but it's really a matter of definition, which is done by stipulation, not research.

Biology does give us facts, it just doesn't give us the facts we need to resolve the question.  The little bugger is alive and it has human DNA different from either of its parents' DNA because it is a combo of parts of each, a pastiche.

The real question is, at what point do we think the little bugger has legal rights not to be killed?

The real question is, at what point do we think the little bugger has legal rights not to be killed?

For sure, and at that point opinion and inclination sneaks in because you need a definition in the form of DEFINING (to your satisfaction) when the bugger has legal rights. And that (the defining) is an act, not a fact.

And again, that's where morality and logic come in, which John K. just explained rather clearly.

"Furthermore, morals are seen as relative.  They aren't really.  The best decision is not relative.  Moral reasoning is based on logical best decisions.  Logic is not relative, and eventually the more rational decisions become clear as humans evolve.  Even before this level is reached, the best decisions and best courses of action are still there."

Gametes are alive, the fertilized egg is alive.  The question is not when does life begin, it is a political question, at what point do we no longer allow a woman to abort a pregnancy.  Certainly, there is a huge difference of opinion here and rightfully so, but it is all opinion, not science.

I suppose one question one seldom hears asked is "What makes when a woman terminates a pregnancy the state's business at all?"

IF it is a murder it is indeed the state's business.

The proposition that abortion is murder follows from the proposition that "the fetus is a person."  Which is why I think countering both statements should be the "pro choice" side's first order of business, rather than arguing about choice.  It doesn't and cannot become a matter of choice unless it is not a murder.

"'The fetus is a person" is a definition, a stipulation, not a fact. I'm just sayin'.

And I wasn't disagreeing with that, Unseen.  I was addressing, specifically, your question about why it would be the state's business.  Under some possible definitions, it's the the state's business--and under those circumstances it would be legitimately so, under others, it wouldn't be legitimate and is not.

Yes, debating when life begins is a waste of time. What I consider more valid is when life is undeniable. The courts in most civilized nations now define that as ex utero viability. If the fetus is viable outside the womb, it's right to life is legally recognized. I'm fine with that.

Cara, you just really reminded me of a discussion that my boyfriend and I had a couple of months ago. And this may seem a bit strange or twisted to some.

We have a few exotic pets that we absolutely love and take the best care of as we possibly can. We also have a former roommate that we both care about and see him as a brother.

Anyway, we got to talking one day about his opinion when it comes to the degree of importance in a life, any life. He went on to say that if he were to ever come home to either our roommate being unconscious, possibly even dead, or all of our animals starved and on the verge of dying, he would rather come home to our roommate being dead or unconscious.

His reasoning for this being that the roommate is a fully grown man who was raised throughout his childhood to know how to care for himself as an adult... Whereas, our sugar gliders, ball python, and tarantula all depend on us to survive each and every day. They depend on us to feed them, water them, play with them, keep their enclosures clean, and, when the gliders have joeys, raise them ourselves if the parents reject them.

"The real question is, at what point do we think the little bugger has legal rights not to be killed?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unborn_Victims_of_Violence_Act

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