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Author Topic:   When does human life begin?
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1162 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 316 of 327 (651430)
02-07-2012 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 311 by shadow71
02-07-2012 12:21 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
I already expressed my hope that science would do research in this area. I also note that the loss of zygotes you are discussing are natural not an intentional act by a person.

Which betrays the inconsistency of your beliefs. We tend to be sad over the perfectly natural or accidental deaths of human beings, yet we shed no tears over the fact that by far the majority of "people" (under your definition) who have ever lived have been flushed unknowingly out with the rest of the vaginal discharge during a menstrual cycle.

Murder causes outrage in addition to sadness over the loss of life...but you feel only the outrage at abortion, you apply none of the emotional or moral significance to the "poor souls" who never even grow a heart.

I agree, women who abuse the human being in their womb should be warned about the dangers, but I don't see how that can be policed, but morally they should be aware of their actions.

If a method of policing miscarriages in attempts to prosecute "negligent or abusive" pregnant women were available, would you support such prosecutions?

I advocate the legal banning of abortion.

We knew that. But do you support making abortion a capital offense on the same level as murder? That's the question I actually asked. Because you're saying that abortion is the willful taking of a human life, just like if a mother killed a toddler, correct? So shouldn't they have the same penalties? Shouldn't women who abort fetuses go to life in prison or possibly even be sentenced to lethal injection, just like with any other premeditated murder? If not, your beliefs are inconsistent.

And I certainly don't buy into the "soul" bullshit. There is no such thing as a soul. Nobody has one

I assume that conclusion is based upon rational proof, or is it just "your" belief? Are we now required to accept your beliefs as "the sine qua none" of our existence?

I detailed the evidence below, you simply ignored it. Allow me to reiterate.

If personality resides in a nonphysical "soul," then brain damage and chemistry cannot possibly affect personality. Yet we know from consistent, repeated observation that brain damage and alterations in brain chemistry via psychiatric medication do affect personality. Antidepressants lessen or remove depression. Anti-anxiety medications reduce or remove anxiety. Mood stabilizers stop bipolar sifts between manic and depressive episodes. Anti-psychotics stop paranoid delusions and hallucinations. A blow to the head can alter a person's likes and dislikes and general personality. Electroshock therapy can cure severe depression. Alcohol, marijuana, LSD, and other substances can cause temporary extreme changes in personality.

If personality and consciousness actually resided in a "soul" rather than in the brain, altering the chemistry or structure of the brain should have no effect on personality. Alcohol might blur your vision and mess up your balance, but it wouldn't make you more sociable or less inhibited. We observe that it does, and therefore the "soul" hypothesis is disproven. It is inconsistent with observations in reality.

You don't have a soul, and never did. And neither do zygotes.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.”
- Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers


This message is a reply to:
 Message 311 by shadow71, posted 02-07-2012 12:21 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 319 by shadow71, posted 02-07-2012 7:19 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 4284
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 317 of 327 (651443)
02-07-2012 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by shadow71
02-07-2012 12:38 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
If they would point where she is wrong in her science I would respond.

So, no questioning to see what they are getting at? Just ignore it?

Fact is, several people have pointed out exactly how her conclusions are not supported by her facts. I"m not going to bother to dig up the messages, because you obviously aren't interested in or capable of discussing trhe paper.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by shadow71, posted 02-07-2012 12:38 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 318 by shadow71, posted 02-07-2012 7:10 PM JonF has not yet responded

  
shadow71
Member (Idle past 909 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 318 of 327 (651506)
02-07-2012 7:10 PM
Reply to: Message 317 by JonF
02-07-2012 2:43 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
JonF writes:


Fact is, several people have pointed out exactly how her conclusions are not supported by her facts. I"m not going to bother to dig up the messages, because you obviously aren't interested in or capable of discussing trhe paper.

I have just read through all the post in this thread and there no post ascerting scientifically how her science was wrong. Just post saying her philosphy was wrong.

As jar would say, a bunch of "word salad".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This message is a reply to:
 Message 317 by JonF, posted 02-07-2012 2:43 PM JonF has not yet responded

    
shadow71
Member (Idle past 909 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 319 of 327 (651508)
02-07-2012 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 316 by Rahvin
02-07-2012 1:00 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
Rahvin writes:


If personality resides in a nonphysical "soul," then brain damage and chemistry cannot possibly affect personality. Yet we know from consistent, repeated observation that brain damage and alterations in brain chemistry via psychiatric medication do affect personality. Antidepressants lessen or remove depression. Anti-anxiety medications reduce or remove anxiety. Mood stabilizers stop bipolar sifts between manic and depressive episodes. Anti-psychotics stop paranoid delusions and hallucinations. A blow to the head can alter a person's likes and dislikes and general personality. Electroshock therapy can cure severe depression. Alcohol, marijuana, LSD, and other substances can cause temporary extreme changes in personality.

Your problem is that you think you know where the soul resides. Well the soul is not physical, it is a gift from God.
So your silly ramblings above are some sort of speculation that the soul must have a physical effect on man. Where do you get this conclusion?

What facts do you have to support these silly thoughts?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 316 by Rahvin, posted 02-07-2012 1:00 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 320 of 327 (651510)
02-07-2012 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 319 by shadow71
02-07-2012 7:19 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
There are no facts relating to "soul" other than Big Momma Thorton, Bessie Smith and Aretha Franklin.

Any talk about soul is totally irrelevant and inappropriate in the Science sub-forums.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 319 by shadow71, posted 02-07-2012 7:19 PM shadow71 has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 321 of 327 (651511)
02-07-2012 7:28 PM


Summation
So far there has been no evidence presented that might establish when a human life begins.

Several posts have tried to introduce totally irrelevant stuff like "Soul" as though that had any bearing on the question.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5584
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


(2)
Message 322 of 327 (651514)
02-07-2012 7:56 PM


Playing definition games
From Genesis 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

We could define dust as the beginning of human life. But that would not stop people from using vacuum cleaners to dispose of dust. This thread was an attempt to play a definition game for rhetorical purposes. It was pointless.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1266 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 323 of 327 (651538)
02-08-2012 3:32 AM


Summation.

I am an atheist and I am absolutely convinced human life begins at the point of conception. The resulting zygote and fetus should be given all the rights and responsibilities of a recognized human being. And as such, the fetus has absolutely no right to use the woman's organs without her permission.


  
Kairyu
Member
Posts: 162
From: netherlands
Joined: 06-23-2010


(1)
Message 324 of 327 (651540)
02-08-2012 4:04 AM


summary
Oh, summation mode.. (one side nudge, isn't it better if the mods activate it, then the topic being forced to end?)

Um.. If I am going to summarize, let's repeat my main contribution again.

Even if it's not a ''scientific'' idea to include the soul in the abortion debate, it often is by the pro-life stance, in the manner even a zygote has a soul, and so it's a human.
There are numerous problems with this stance. The huge death rate of zygotes, and in extension, the general way nature operates in pregnancy, do not mix well with the general pro-life way of arguing.
This was acknowledged by Shadow, but he has not found a solution of the problem.

Because of the argument going into circles around the existence of the soul, this topic has not reached a definitive conclusion, and it may never reached one. However,personally, the arguments against the soul seem to hold ground, and the only counterargument used is that ''the soul'' is not physical, which for me, doesn't dismantle the counterarguments that well.


  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10267
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


(3)
Message 325 of 327 (651552)
02-08-2012 8:38 AM


Summary
Those who insist that single cells are sentient and qualify as human beings find that the logic of their position leads to some pretty daft results. Firstly there is the rather bizarre notion that the majority of human beings never actually existed as anything other than a cell or few. And secondly there is this:

Straggler writes:

Do you think bacteria are sentient?


Shad writes:

Yes I do.


It’s difficult to know how to respond to someone who honestly believes that bleaching the toilet is an act of mass murder of sentient beings.

But the question I think this thread raises is – Just how genuine are those that claim to consider zygotes human beings? Based on deeds rather than words I would say not very genuine at all. The emphasis seems to be on forcing religious views down the throats of others rather than on anything that would constructively “save souls”.

If one really believes that zygotes are humans and that their demise is a tragic loss of human life one should obviously focus ones efforts on the 60% of all humanity that never gets past that stage. Natural abortions are a bigger killer than all diseases, all wars, all accidents combined. So where are the “zygotes are humans too” crowd when it comes to spreading the facts about this abominable loss of human life? Why are they not out there championing the cause of these helpless zygotes and fundraising for research into this dire situation? Where are the appeals? The passionate calls for urgent action on behalf of these forsaken zygotes?

Is the reason such things are so lacking because even pro-lifers don’t really equate a zygote with a genuine human being at all?


  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1213 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


(1)
Message 326 of 327 (651592)
02-08-2012 12:11 PM


Summary
Human life is an unbroken chain leading back through time to the point where the first human was conceived. That, however, is not the real point of the question asked in the OP. The question really had to do with wondering when a new, individual person begins to exist as a way to get into the abortion debate.

The scientific and intuitional position would seem to be that a person begins to exist at the point that something unique to people exists. Cells, organs, tissues are all part of what makes an animal, but again, we're talking about a "person."

What makes people different from animals is their mind. The self-awareness, the ability to learn, to speak, to reason. This is the thing that, once lost, is when we decide that a person is no longer alive, despite the body perhaps being kept alive artificially. It only makes sense that a person begins when this ability begins. It has a certain logical symmetry to it.

Now, since we cannot pinpoint the exact moment a fetus or baby becomes aware, gains the ability to reason, we can decide to err on the side of caution. We know that these abilities can not exist without the brain, so the creation of a functioning brain is a prerequisite for any of the abilities that are used as a determinant for personhood. Before a brain: no person. After a brain: perhaps a person.

Now, some people, mainly religious ones, will talk about a soul. Firstly, there is no evidence for such a thing, but even if we assume one exists, the attributes given to it are the same as the ones I listed as necessary for personhood, ability to reason (especially morally), self-awareness, etc. If this soul is an immaterial aspect of the human person, we have to ask, how does it interact with the physical such that it has any bearing on when a person has been created and should not be killed. If it doesn't interact with the physical, then it has no bearing on when a person can or cannot be killed as it would seem to make little to no difference to the soul.

If the soul interacts with the physical, and has the attributes listed above, the only logical conclusion is that it, too, requires a brain. Alterations to the brain are the only things that affect the attributes given to a soul, and so the brian must be the conduit through which the soul works. Again, no brain: no soul: no person.

And all of this combined, has no bearing on whether abortion can be performed after a brain is present because even then, we are talking about two persons, both with rights. The mother's rights do not magically disappear just because a new person gains them.

So, in summary of my summary, no matter how you slice it, a brain seems to be necessary to personhood. After a brain is formed, you have a person, but that still doesn't necessitate the position that abortion is immoral in all cases.


    
shadow71
Member (Idle past 909 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 327 of 327 (651600)
02-08-2012 12:35 PM


The OP asked a question as to whether there was a medical-scientific position as to when a human life begins.

The only scientific support for that position was a paper by a Prof. from the University of Utah School of Medicine, in the Neurobiology and Anatomy dept.

She states her scientific opinion is that life begins at Conception.

After reviewing the science I am convinced by that scientific-medical opinion.


    
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