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Author Topic:   When does human life begin?
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 301 of 327 (651343)
02-06-2012 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by shadow71
02-06-2012 2:23 PM


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

In re sentience, I agree with James A. Shapiro a prof at the Univ. of Chicago in the dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who has stated single cells have some degree of sentience.

Do you think bacteria are sentient?

Wiki on bacteria writes:

Bacteria, despite their simplicity, contain a well-developed cell structure which is responsible for many of their unique biological properties.

Link


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 Message 300 by shadow71, posted 02-06-2012 2:23 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 309 by shadow71, posted 02-07-2012 12:06 PM Straggler has responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 302 of 327 (651347)
02-06-2012 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by shadow71
02-06-2012 2:23 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
I base my opposition to abortion on my opinion that it takes the life of a human being, and I consider a zygote to be a human being and thus it has a soul.

That is my moral and religious belief.

Your belief is inconsistent, else you would be screaming about the moral imperative to find ways to save the 60% of pregnancies that fail prior to even being detected.

Ef every zygote is a human being with this "soul" thing you imagine might exist, then every human zygote carries equal moral weight to a fully grown human being.

If every zygote carries equal moral weight to a fully grown human being, then the same moral imperative to save the life of an adult (curing diseases, performing heart surgery, performing CPR, etc) applies to those zygotes who fail to implant on the uterine wall or otherwise fail to develop further.

If the same moral imperative to save life exists, then you should be advocating for new laws and medical technologies to help those poor human zygotes implant and develop properly, to the same degree that you advocate cancer research; more so, because the number of "children" who die because zygotes fail to implant in a given year would dwarf most other causes of death.

If the same moral imperative exists, then just as a drunk driver is held morally accountable for anyone he kills while driving, so too would a mother be morally accountable for miscarrying due to alcohol or tobacco use.

If the same moral imperative exists, then every woman who aborts a child and every doctor who performs an abortion is a murderer, and the rest of us are all accessories. You should think that everyone who supports a woman's right to choose is a supporter of baby murder.

The lunatic fringe of the pro-life side is actually the only pro-life stance that is remotely logically consistent with their professed beliefs. If a zygote is a human being the same as a toddler, your moral imperative would be to overturn Roe v Wade at all costs and make abortion a capitol offense exactly the same as murder, including in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother.

If this is not the case, then your "belief" is a sham. You believe that it is good to believe that a zygote is a full human being with a "soul" and that abortion is murder, but you do not actually believe that those things are really true. You believe in being pro-life, but you don't actually carry those beliefs to their logical conclusions. Your beliefs are inconsistent, meaning you don't really believe that human life begins at conception in a morally relevant sense.

"Human life" began in the distant past, and we are all just continuations of the species. I don't get upset over nocturnal emissions or menstrual discharges even though every sperm and egg are potential people. I don't get upset in the least over abortions prior to the second trimester. I sympathize with mothers who have miscarriages when they desired the baby (for their loss, even though the embryo may not yet have developed to the point that I would be sad for it) or when the miscarriage happened after the second trimester (when I would be sad for the loss of a developing person that ould have had at least the beginning of a brain capable of sentience), but couldn't care less when some human cells die; it makes no difference to me if a clump of brainless human cells die in a womb or when I stub my toe.

And I certainly don't buy into the "soul" bullshit. There is no such thing as a soul. Nobody has one. They don't exist. If a "soul" is your personality and essence and can exist independently of the brain, then damage or chemical changes to the brain could never cause personality changes, all of psychiatry and most of neurology would fail utterly to function the way we actually observe in reality. You don't have a soul, my sperm don't magically get a soul when they merge with an egg, I don't have a soul, an aborted fetus didn't have a soul, the doctor who aborted it never had a soul, they are fiction, an imagined bit of wishful thinking that allows irrational people to avoid the scariness of death and the cessation of existence by imagining some intangible immortal component that will allow them to bypass the fact that your consciousness, personality, memories, and everything else that defines you and makes your life have more meaning than that of a bacterium resides entirely in the physical and chemical interconnection of neurons in your brain, and not at all in some mystical woo-woo bullshit fairytale "soul."

That's not opinion, that's fact There is no more such a thing as a "soul" than the Earth is flat. The idea of some nonphysical mechanism for personality is completely and utterly mutually exclusive with the observed facts that brain damage and psychoactive medications alter personality as if a car had gotten a new driver entirely, and not at all in the same way that damaging the steering column of a car alters driving habits. The idea of the "soul" and the actual, real-world, objective, reproducible empirical evidence are incompatible; it's one or the other. And evidence from nature always trumps faith for anyone who actually gives two shits about the truth as opposed to how nice a lie can make you feel.


“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 300 by shadow71, posted 02-06-2012 2:23 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1526 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


(1)
Message 303 of 327 (651356)
02-06-2012 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 299 by shadow71
02-06-2012 2:06 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
A zygote has all the information necessary for the full growth of the organism.
A stem cell in your bone marrow will make only stem cells for your marrow.

Um, not really. For one thing, the genetic information in my stem cells are exactly the same as the genetic information in every other cell in my body.

Secondly, the stem cells in your bone marrow make blood cells and lymphocytes. They have also been used, occassionally, to grow other organs, like the liver and muscles.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 299 by shadow71, posted 02-06-2012 2:06 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
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JonF
Member
Posts: 5527
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 304 of 327 (651359)
02-06-2012 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by shadow71
02-06-2012 2:23 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
I have stated in this thread that I believe the zygote is a human being and I cited the paper by Dr. Maureen L Condic for the scientific basis for this opinion.

And you have not responded to the criticisms of that paper.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 305 of 327 (651365)
02-06-2012 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by shadow71
02-06-2012 2:23 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
have stated in this thread that I believe the zygote is a human being and I cited the paper by Dr. Maureen L Condic for the scientific basis for this opinion.
In re sentience, I agree with James A. Shapiro a prof at the Univ. of Chicago in the dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who has stated single cells have some degree of sentience.

Still using your same inimitable style, I see. Citing papers and dissing the heck out of them.

In fact Dr. Maureen did not provide a scientific basis for her conclusion. The scientific research she did discuss stops well short of her ultimate conclusion, for which only an exceedingly questionable line of reasoning is given; namely that because a zygote can become a human, then it is a human. Surely even you are capable of seeing the holes in this reasoning. In fact, you don't even try to defend the reasoning, thinking it is sufficient that a credentialed scientists uses it.

Then you equivocate on the term sentience. You know full well that Shapiro defines sentience in such a way that all living cells have it. Sentience as used by Shapiro, simply means being able to react to external stimuli in some way. For example, plants which respond to gravity by changing their direction of growth are expressing sentience in the Shapiro sense. Since human hair can continue to grow after death, presumably these changes might indicate signs of sentience in a dead person.

What is missing of course is any reason why Shapiro's definition of sentience has any relevance to this discussion or any defense of Dr. Maureen's reasoning. You simply won't engage posters who attempt to discuss these things, and if we push hard enough, I'm sure we'll hear the excuse again that you are not a scientist.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1526 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 306 of 327 (651367)
02-06-2012 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 305 by NoNukes
02-06-2012 4:24 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
Since human hair can continue to grow after death, presumably these changes might indicate signs of sentience in a dead person.

To be pedantic, human hair doesn't grow after death, nor do finger nails. It only appears so because the skin in whcih they are embedded dessicates and shrivels, revealing more of the hair and nail than could be seen before death.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 31497
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 307 of 327 (651368)
02-06-2012 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by shadow71
02-06-2012 2:23 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
You may well believe that cells are sentient, but that is irrelevant to the actually issue of "When does human life begin?"

There are people that believe the dead talk to people through a Ouija board and folk that believe in ghosts and gremlins, but such beliefs are not relevant to issues of law.

If you think human life begins at conception, then by all means, don't have an abortion. However to imagine that you should be allowed to impose your beliefs on others is simply a position of extreme hubris.


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

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 308 of 327 (651376)
02-06-2012 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 306 by Perdition
02-06-2012 4:32 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
"nails and hair don't grow after death"

Thanks.

I should have looked that stuff up.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1222 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 309 of 327 (651409)
02-07-2012 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 301 by Straggler
02-06-2012 3:04 PM


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


Do you think bacteria are sentient?

Yes I do. A good example is the CRISPR system that prevents virus replication in some bacteria.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 301 by Straggler, posted 02-06-2012 3:04 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 310 of 327 (651414)
02-07-2012 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 309 by shadow71
02-07-2012 12:06 PM


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

Do you think bacteria are sentient?

Shad writes:

Yes I do.

Do you consider it an act of mass murder of these sentient beings every time you clean your teeth?


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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1222 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 311 of 327 (651415)
02-07-2012 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 302 by Rahvin
02-06-2012 3:40 PM


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


Your belief is inconsistent, else you would be screaming about the moral imperative to find ways to save the 60% of pregnancies that fail prior to even being detected.

Ef every zygote is a human being with this "soul" thing you imagine might exist, then every human zygote carries equal moral weight to a fully grown human being.

If every zygote carries equal moral weight to a fully grown human being, then the same moral imperative to save the life of an adult (curing diseases, performing heart surgery, performing CPR, etc) applies to those zygotes who fail to implant on the uterine wall or otherwise fail to develop further.

If the same moral imperative to save life exists, then you should be advocating for new laws and medical technologies to help those poor human zygotes implant and develop properly, to the same degree that you advocate cancer research; more so, because the number of "children" who die because zygotes fail to implant in a given year would dwarf most other causes of death.

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.
Rahvin writes:

If the same moral imperative exists, then just as a drunk driver is held morally accountable for anyone he kills while driving, so too would a mother be morally accountable for miscarrying due to alcohol or tobacco use.

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.
Rahvin writes:

If the same moral imperative exists, then every woman who aborts a child and every doctor who performs an abortion is a murderer, and the rest of us are all accessories. You should think that everyone who supports a woman's right to choose is a supporter of baby murder.

I advocate the legal banning of abortion.

Rahvin writes:


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?

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 312 of 327 (651420)
02-07-2012 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 311 by shadow71
02-07-2012 12:21 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
Shad on natural abortions writes:

I already expressed my hope that science would do research in this area.

Shad writes:

I advocate the legal banning of abortion.

Far far far far far more zygotes are lost naturally than could ever be intentionally aborted. By your definition 60% of all humans never get beyond the zygote stage. In comparison the number of intentionally aborted conceptuses is tiny to the point of vanishingly small.

If you are going to advocate one thing and merely hope for the other shouldn't you be ardently advocating the scientific research issue and simply hoping on the abortion issue?

Have you ever taken any steps at all to promote scientific research into the issue of naturally aborted conceptuses?

If you truly believe every zygote is a human why aren't you concentrating on that which will save the most human lives?


This message is a reply to:
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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1222 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 313 of 327 (651421)
02-07-2012 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 303 by Perdition
02-06-2012 3:59 PM


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


A stem cell in your bone marrow will make only stem cells for your marrow.

Um, not really. For one thing, the genetic information in my stem cells are exactly the same as the genetic information in every other cell in my body.

Secondly, the stem cells in your bone marrow make blood cells and lymphocytes. They have also been used, occassionally, to grow other organs, like the liver and muscles

A human being is is composed of cells, proteins, RNA etc. that make up the characteritic human parts. Collections of human cells carrying on the activities of life, but do not establish the complex interellated cellular structures such as tissues, organs, ext. that exist in a whole human being.
That is the difference between a zygote and a collection of cells.
The zygote is organized to complete the full human structure.


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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1222 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 314 of 327 (651423)
02-07-2012 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 304 by JonF
02-06-2012 4:00 PM


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


And you have not responded to the criticisms of that paper.

The criticism of the paper has been basically that's her philosphy and it's not science. How do I respond to that?
If they would point where she is wrong in her science I would respond.

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 304 by JonF, posted 02-06-2012 4:00 PM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1526 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 315 of 327 (651428)
02-07-2012 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 313 by shadow71
02-07-2012 12:35 PM


Re: So what was the point of this thread?
The zygote is organized to complete the full human structure.

A zygote is a collection of stem cells that can potentially become any cell in a fully funtioning human being. Any clump of pluripotent stem cells would seem to match that description. So there are "human beings" in the discarded umbilical cord, in adult bone marrow, in adult adipose tissue, and even in the blood.

There is even more and more research being done into inducing pluripotency in non-pluripotent cells, meaning that any cell in your body could potentially become the tissues of any organ or tissue.

Basically, what science is showing is that anything you can point to in a zygote or blastocyst to show that it is a "human being" can be pointed to in things you don't want to call a human being. So what you're going to have to come to a decision on is whether you want to be consistent or not. If you do, you'll be forced to decide whether you need to expand your definition of "human being" to include just about any collection of human cells, or whether you'll shrink your definition to only include things that separate us from clumps of cells and other animals...namely the human brain, or at least the actual existence of human organs and tissues not just the potential for them.


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