The scientific community continues to prove that human life begins at
In their latest edition of The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented
Embryology, professors Keith Moore, TVN Persaud, and Mark Torchia shed
significant light on the development of the human person – and they don’t
shy away from the reality of when life begins. Here are six revealing
Read the article to see the reasoning.
Thanks for the cite, David, but we don't need science to tell us something
When people speak of "human life", the implication is they are referring
to when the life becomes a person (personhood). The determination of the
criteria for when personhood begins isn't a scientific question. Thus,
your "obvious" conclusion, and David's scientific facts, have no bearing
on the question being debating.
Yes, I know that and you know that, but most of those here who argue
pro-choice don't and I enjoy watching them make asses of themselves. (I'm
Which proves that we're *not* sock puppets, because I'm not "pro-choice"
on the issue of abortion. I actually maintain that the "pro-choice"
side on that is not really in favor of choice at all, because they
*oppose* choice in so many other aspects of life.
Anyway, back to the question of personhood...there is no point *other*
than conception at which personhood might be acquired. Certainly
personhood is not determined by some mental capacity or anything like
that - when an adult person is in a coma or under general anesthesia for
surgery, we do not revoke his personhood while he is mentally
incapacitated. We don't impose some test of intelligence or other
mental ability on babies and very small children before declaring them
to be persons. It is obvious and beyond any possible dispute that there
is no difference in mental or moral capacity of a baby 10 minutes before
birth and 10 minutes after. Clearly and indisputably, personhood does
not and *cannot* depend on mental capacity. It's found in something else.
Here is an excellent piece that discusses the issue very well:
I don't claim that's the last word on it, but a pro-abortion advocate
with an open mind might find himself questioning his preconceptions as
to what constitutes a person, and when. The author, a secular humanist
named Jennifer Roth, talks about the ability to perform "personal acts",
specifically to think and act on moral principles, as the essence of
personhood. She correctly notes that, for the most part, adults in
comas or under anesthesia undoubtedly have performed personal acts in
the past, and will resume doing so in future if they regain
consciousness. They are persons - no doubt about it.
But what about infants? Ms. Roth puts this very eloquently, and the
logic obviously extends backward to cover whom she calls "prenates",
that is developing human babies at some stage of development prior to birth:
An infant, unlike a comatose person, has never performed a personal
act. Is the infant, then, a non-person? Only if a non-person can
become a person. However, if that is possible, then why do other
non-persons, such as trees and ladybugs, never become persons?
Presumably, there is something inherent in a human infant which
differentiates her from other creatures. It is in the nature of the
infant to develop into a being which can reason and make moral
choices -- barring catastrophe, of course. The ability to perform
personal acts is not added, by some outside force, to the developing
infant. In the process of her growth, she naturally builds the
mental structures necessary to function as a person. I would argue,
therefore, that personhood itself is inherent in the infant.
We are agreed that the question of personhood is not a scientific
question. It also cannot be a mere legal question, either, because the
law is entirely arbitrary. It's a *philosophical* and *moral* question,
and someone is going to have a very difficult time, philosophically,
explaining how a non-person can become a person.
It's worth noting that the person to whom you are responding above is an
exceptionally sleazy sophist who imagines, fatuously, that *everything*
can be reduced to a legal question, or more precisely, a legalism. He,
along with the vast majority of the pro-abortion mob, routinely commit
the egregious is-ought fallacy when the state of things is as they like
it to be, as with the current state of the law regarding abortion. They
believe that because the law at present in effect says that an unborn
baby isn't a person, i.e. possessed human rights, that is as it ought to
be. They believe that personhood is "conferred" or "granted" by live
birth. As I said, that reduces it to a mere legalism, and that cannot
possibly be right, because if it were, we could declare as a matter of
law that people lose their personhood every day when sleeping. Clearly
that is absurd.
There's another major problem with the notion that personhood is
"conferred" by live birth, and this problem goes directly to an issue on
which you have agreed with me in the past. Personhood is, most
essentially, about rights. This is obvious even in the debate about
abortion itself. The pro-abortion side maintain that it is morally
acceptable to kill the developing unborn baby precisely because it is
not a person and thus has no right. But if personhood is defined by
law, then one is agreeing that the law is what "confers" or "grants"
rights to us. I am quite certain you have agreed with me in the past
that our rights are *not* "granted" or "conferred" by the law (the
state), but rather are inherent in our existence as human beings. We
have rights *because* we are human beings, not because some other humans
have decided to give them to us.