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?
This whole species equality mindset is ridiculous to me. It supposedly represents some Darwinian recognition that all animals are evolved from some common source. It also appears to want to distance itself from the religious doctrine of man's dominion over all the animals of the world.
First of all, homo sapiens are clearly not your average animal. Yes, we are a product of evolution just as all other animals are but being a product of evolution is a commonality NOT a value judgement (equality). Nature doesn't make value judgements. Species are clearly NOT equal in nature: less than 1% of species have managed to survive. This whole species equality push is bogus from the get-go.
Cara Colleen pointed out, convincingly, how in actual practice in the real world, humans are valued above other animals. This is a fact of life in jurisprudence and in global food production.
And that's the way it should be. Humans are more valuable to us because WE are humans! It's simple self-interest. And we're special for our ability to control all other life on Earth. We're special for our technology and our achievements. Nature, Earth, the universe: they don't care about us . . . they don't make value judgements. But we do. And we know we are special in myriad ways. This doesn't mean we're better . . . just different.
We need each other to survive and prosper. We ARE special.
And species equality is bunk.
The fact that we are not all equal actually supports my argument. We don't give equal consideration to blacks, Chinese, men, women based on them being equal becUse clearly they are not. Some are cleverer, stronger, have more emotional,depth etc. To treat humans differently on any such arbitrary basis would be wrong. Our interest come from our capacity to suffer and feel pain.
Okay, so you're saying thing like that the Chinese are cleverer, blacks are stronger, women are more emotionally deep, or what? And whatever differences we find justify discrimination in our treatment of them?
I have to admit, I struggled to see where you were going with it myself. Racial and gender divides was probably a really bad way to break it up.
Unethical to discriminate on the basis of species? Ever? In ANY regard? Or just in terms of pain and suffering?
You've played the vegetarian card for too long. "All species are equal" but "all species should have an equal consideration of their interests". Have you considered the possibility that WE are the only animal who knows what "interests" means? You're anthropomorphizing like a caveman. Religion is based on caveman thinking and I think you're a closet caveman.
I paused to delete that last sentence. I went and made myself a coffee. Now that I'm back, I let it stand. Get rid of your vestiges of religion. It's NOT a cumbayah paradise here. It's Earth.
Start another discussion on this and you can tell me all about how wrong I am.
Come on, MikeyMike1, give it up.
I've already quoted you in the very post you challenge with your reply. They're the italicized words contained in quotes.. The quotes are lifted directly from this post of yours:
There's no getting past pixels.
And by the way, Ash. Do you even have children? Or been through the process of a pregnancy?
Actually, no. My boyfriend and I both have children of our own. I have a beautiful little daughter and he has a wonderful, handsome son. Both are healthy and happy as well.
The reason I asked is because some of your reactions and comments to other people's posts or on certain matters seem rather out there and lacking in any sort of evidentiary support.
I think it is a problem without a solution for more than one reason.
Most atheists have an epiphany at some point that, because there's no god and there's nothing "special" about being human, that human life is not actually more important than animal life. In fact, it may not even be more important than plant life, or bacterial life. Of course, practically speaking, we must assign ourselves as having a higher priority (I guess) and choose to swerve to avoid hitting the child and subsequently hit the squirrel. But, really, life is life is life. Plants are alive. Animals are alive. Insects are alive. The fact that these organisms possess life does not prevent us from killing and/or eating them.
What Christians (and most theists) believe is that human life is sacred. We know a fetus is alive, but it's the quality of life we (atheists and others) are most concerned with. In some stages, its quality of life isn't better than that of a plant. It's unconscious and unaware. It isn't a person yet, but rather potentially a person. It has the building-blocks to be a person. We do choose an arbitrary point to decide not to abort, it's true. We have to, just like we have to choose an arbitrary age that adulthood officially begins (18 in the U.S.). Do we really magically turn into adults at 18? Obviously not. We're probably being really premature in saying an individual is an adult at 18, but I think choosing a point prematurely is far better than choosing late (at least in the case of a fetus). 20 weeks is the point of no-return, and I'm okay with that... assuming there isn't something wrong.
Christians/theists don't care when life begins, they care when human life begins. Human life begins at conception. "Life" really does begin at conception, yet we end the life of animals and plants all the time, in all stages of development (please don't assume I'm saying we shouldn't eat plants). We end life all the time! The question, as I said, is more about a value judgment on the quality of life; the level of intelligence and experience. We hesitate to take the life of something we see as having advanced intelligence, for instance a dog. We are able to relate to them on some level, so we refrain from eating them (in our country... totally cultural).
Abrahimic religions, however, have never cared about the quality of life of an individual, otherwise they wouldn't be so ready to sacrifice the life of a mother to pregnancy that will result in the death of both mother and fetus; they would consider the children and husband the woman might be leaving behind. They are more concerned about how people behave than they are about their suffering, or their potential to suffer. They'd rather let a child be born with a degenerative, terminal disease that will ultimately (and inevitably) take its life, rather than mercifully abort it so it does not have to suffer. It's God's will, after all, that the child be born to suffer and die; who are they to interfere with God's will?
We don't have to play word-games to win this argument. Yes, life begins at conception. And? What I'd like to know is what is the quality of life? What is the experience? Is it conscious? Can it suffer?