When Does Human Life Begin?

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Accountable
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When Does Human Life Begin?

Post by Accountable »

I'm torn. I'm not certain if the sperm penetrating the egg actually establishes life, but it is certain where the first sign of life is evidenced. Life begins when the cell splits the first time. The human being is alive in that environment conducive to it's growth. The argument of viability is moot. Sure, taking him/her out of that environment would kill him/her, but taking an undeniably living fish out of water will kill the fish, too.



If US politicians listened to scientists and fact as closely as they listen to irrational arguments from voters, they would recognize that privileges and protections of citizenship, given at birth, ought to be given at life. Of course, these youngest of citizens won't be voters until these politicians are retired, so they don't count.



Let the fireworks begin.
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Post by Benjamin »

Is the moment life begins really the issue? We kill living things all the time for food and sometimes even sport and there's no religious uproar over that. There are some who say when God created man in his image some 6,000 years ago, what that meant was God gave man a soul at that point, even though man had already existed on earth for thousands of years. So the question is, when does a person develop a soul? I doubt when the cell splits for the first time it has a soul. The fetus has no soul. The soul only exists from the moment of birth.

Then again, if the Broncos don't win today, there is no god, so the whole point is moot. :wah:
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Post by Peg »

This is one of those topics where everyone has an opinion yet there is no right or wrong answer. Scientists can't even agree on an answer. My opinion? Life begins the moment the sperm penetrates the egg.
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Accountable
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Post by Accountable »

Benjamin wrote: Is the moment life begins really the issue? We kill living things all the time for food and sometimes even sport and there's no religious uproar over that. There are some who say when God created man in his image some 6,000 years ago, what that meant was God gave man a soul at that point, even though man had already existed on earth for thousands of years. So the question is, when does a person develop a soul? I doubt when the cell splits for the first time it has a soul. The fetus has no soul. The soul only exists from the moment of birth.



Then again, if the Broncos don't win today, there is no god, so the whole point is moot. :wah:
What makes you so sure the fetus has no soul? What is the moment of birth - first exposure to air or first breath?
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pina
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Post by pina »

For what its worth my opinion is:.......Life starts from when the baby can live outside the mothers body whether it can manage on its own or needs help.















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Post by Accountable »

pina wrote: For what its worth my opinion is:.......Life starts from when the baby can live outside the mothers body whether it can manage on its own or needs help.
How is living with the aid of machines more "alive" than living with the aid of embryonic fluid and umbilical cord?
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Post by chonsigirl »

Life begins at conception, when the sperm penetrates the eggs and unite to form the beginning of a new life.
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Post by Katy1 »

I would say at the point of consciousness. When the foetus becomes aware of it's surroundings.

An early embryo has no limbs; no head; no brain; no ability to see, hear, smell, taste or touch; no internal organs, no self-consciousness, no ability to think, reason, sense its environment, etc. Even at the age of one month, a human embryo cannot be distinguished from that of a cat or dog.

To be a person to me means to be able to think, have a moral sense, and to be physically different to our fellow humans.

I would say that 'personhood' occurs somewhere between 12 and 16 weeks when the foetus starts to develop individual features that make it stand apart from other foetus'. It is at about this point that 'flutterings' or limb movement can be detected.

This question is a philosophical one and also one of science, but I don't think there is, or ever will be a general concencus as some people and religions will deem life as from the time that the cell divides. If this were the case (and I strongly believe to the contrary) it would have serious moral implications for stem cell research for which I am an advocate (and have donated umbilical cord stem cells after the birth of both of my children)
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Post by Sheryl »

To me is when it's fetus's hearts starts beating. If I recall thats around 4 to 6 weeks.
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Post by SOJOURNER »

When sperm penetrates egg, life begins...........

You can ask any woman that has miscarried and she

will tell you this.
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Post by gmc »

In the distant but not so dim past religious philosophers used to argue that women had no soul but were merely the vessel to carry the seed of man.

In the not so distant past religious philosophers argued that women had no rights but were the property of their father and then their husbands as were their children-indeed in countries not so far away there are religious philosophers who still argue the same thing and will brook no dissension, being prepared to use all sanctions possible against those who dare to have a different opinion.

Closer to whom there are religious philosophers who argue that women should not have a choice as to whether they get pregnant or not and indeed getting pregnant is their sole function. To this end they campaign against sex education and the free availability of contraceptives for they will brook no dissension and don't see why anyone should have a different opinion. There are those that argue that the sole purpose of sex is to procreate and would stop anybody having fun if they could.



posted by Accountable

Life begins when the cell splits the first time.




posted by Benjamin

There are some who say when God created man in his image some 6,000 years ago, what that meant was God gave man a soul at that point, even though man had already existed on earth for thousands of years. So the question is, when does a person develop a soul? I doubt when the cell splits for the first time it has a soul. The fetus has no soul. The soul only exists from the moment of birth.




Does a single cell amoeba have a soul or is it dead? Does an animal have a soul? When does the soul become aware of its existence and where was it before? Is their a hierarchy of souls?

Do christians have a different soul from Muslims or Hindus and if you deny the existence of god does that mean your soul is doomed?

Do those who believe in a religon have the right to dictate to others what they should believe? As a freethinker am I forever doomed?
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Post by Benjamin »

Does an animal have a soul?
I don't think cats have soul. A cat will eat you if you die and it doesn't have any food.

Dogs do have a soul. But then... what is "dog" spelled backwards? Something to think about while you're drinking today. :wah:
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Post by Accountable »

gmc wrote: In the distant but not so dim past religious philosophers used to argue that women had no soul but were merely the vessel to carry the seed of man.



In the not so distant past religious philosophers argued that women had no rights but were the property of their father and then their husbands as were their children-indeed in countries not so far away there are religious philosophers who still argue the same thing and will brook no dissension, being prepared to use all sanctions possible against those who dare to have a different opinion.



Closer to whom there are religious philosophers who argue that women should not have a choice as to whether they get pregnant or not and indeed getting pregnant is their sole function. To this end they campaign against sex education and the free availability of contraceptives for they will brook no dissension and don't see why anyone should have a different opinion. There are those that argue that the sole purpose of sex is to procreate and would stop anybody having fun if they could.





posted by Accountable





posted by Benjamin





Does a single cell amoeba have a soul or is it dead? Does an animal have a soul? When does the soul become aware of its existence and where was it before? Is their a hierarchy of souls?



Do christians have a different soul from Muslims or Hindus and if you deny the existence of god does that mean your soul is doomed?



Do those who believe in a religon have the right to dictate to others what they should believe? As a freethinker am I forever doomed?
That's why I didn't ask about a soul. That's best left to religious people. But life ... now that's a question we can't avoid.

To use my and others' definition of when life begins, abortion is no less than murder. To use Katy1's definition, we're cool to do away with this blob of tissue even weeks after birth.



I think it's a pretty important distinction.
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Post by SOJOURNER »

I think only man has a soul,

because God breathed life into him

and we were made in his image.

The animals, trees, vegetation etc.

were just created.
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Post by Katy1 »

Accountable wrote: That's why I didn't ask about a soul. That's best left to religious people. But life ... now that's a question we can't avoid.

To use my and others' definition of when life begins, abortion is no less than murder. To use Katy1's definition, we're cool to do away with this blob of tissue even weeks after birth.



I think it's a pretty important distinction.


Once again, the mighty Accountable speaks for me. I'm assuming you mean conception as I don't advocate infanticide, but hey, I wouldn't want to put words into your mouth of course.
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Post by Uncle Kram »

This could be debated forever but for me "life" begins at the moment the cord is cut and the baby is biologically independant and viable in the outside world.


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Post by Accountable »

Katy1 wrote: Once again, the mighty Accountable speaks for me. I'm assuming you mean conception as I don't advocate infanticide, but hey, I wouldn't want to put words into your mouth of course.
Sorry. Just using logic. If the infant isn't alive, doing away with it makes no difference.
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Post by Peg »

Uncle Kram wrote: This could be debated forever but for me "life" begins at the moment the cord is cut and the baby is biologically independant and viable in the outside world.
So would it be okay with you then if your wife/girlfriend had an abotion and didn't tell you about it until afterwards?
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Post by Katy1 »

Accountable wrote: Sorry. Just using logic. If the infant isn't alive, doing away with it makes no difference.


Are you suggesting that I would advocate the killing of newborns? I really hope not because that would be a very foolish assumption, and may I say arrogant with it.

Accountable, I hope you are going to keep this thread civil and it's not going to become a personal attack on my character again because your offensive attitude is getting a little wearing.

Other than that, there's some thought provoking replies here.
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Post by Accountable »

Katy1 wrote: I would say at the point of consciousness. When the foetus becomes aware of it's surroundings.



An early embryo has no limbs; no head; no brain; no ability to see, hear, smell, taste or touch; no internal organs, no self-consciousness, no ability to think, reason, sense its environment, etc. Even at the age of one month, a human embryo cannot be distinguished from that of a cat or dog.



To be a person to me means to be able to think, have a moral sense, and to be physically different to our fellow humans.



I would say that 'personhood' occurs somewhere between 12 and 16 weeks when the foetus starts to develop individual features that make it stand apart from other foetus'. It is at about this point that 'flutterings' or limb movement can be detected.



This question is a philosophical one and also one of science, but I don't think there is, or ever will be a general concencus as some people and religions will deem life as from the time that the cell divides. If this were the case (and I strongly believe to the contrary) it would have serious moral implications for stem cell research for which I am an advocate (and have donated umbilical cord stem cells after the birth of both of my children)
Katy1, I was building up a case of your own words to use against you. Of course that means reading and re-reading the same quotes. I had originally mis-read your post in this thread, probably due to my preconceptions about you. I had originally thought you meant 12-16 weeks after birth. I now see it's 12-16 weeks of gestation.



My gibe was unfounded and unfair. I humbly offer my apologies. :yh_flower
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Post by gmc »

posted by katy1[

QUOTE]To be a person to me means to be able to think, have a moral sense, and to be physically different to our fellow humans.


So someone who is mentally retarded or with alzheimers is a non person? Maybe it's just someone with a different religon who is a non person, there is a long list of religons who argued just that point. In medeival times some christians believed that only non christians could be held as slaves so the way round that was to use non christians especially those of a different colour, but then if they became christian they couldn't be held as slaves. before you knew it black people were somehow inferior to whites lacking the same kind of mental acuity as white so converting to christianity was not real but a trick. and so as non persons they had no soul so it was OK to keep them as slaves. Before you knew it all men are created equal became all men except those ones we have decided are non human.

posted by accountable

That's why I didn't ask about a soul. That's best left to religious people. But life ... now that's a question we can't avoid.


Cobblers. If we start thinking only religious people are entitled to express an opinion we are in a world of trouble. Bigotry, sanctomoniousness, hypocrisy, sectarianism, most monotheistic religons start out believing they and only they are right and everyone else is in a world of pain and by god they will fix them and their evil ways or kill everybody else trying.

posted by katy1

Accountable, I hope you are going to keep this thread civil and it's not going to become a personal attack on my character again because your offensive attitude is getting a little wearing.




In defence of accountable I have seen many forceful opinions expressed and have great respect for his erudition and perpecacity even if he does talk a load of cobblers occasionally (don't we all) someone disagreeing with you is not a personal attack they are merely disagreeing with you. It's no fun if they don't. If they want to get personal let them. Who cares? As a multi talented mega being I'm sure you will get over it.
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Post by Katy1 »

gmc wrote: posted by katy1[

QUOTE]To be a person to me means to be able to think, have a moral sense, and to be physically different to our fellow humans.


So someone who is mentally retarded or with alzheimers is a non person? Maybe it's just someone with a different religon who is a non person, there is a long list of religons who argued just that point. In medeival times some christians believed that only non christians could be held as slaves so the way round that was to use non christians especially those of a different colour, but then if they became christian they couldn't be held as slaves. before you knew it black people were somehow inferior to whites lacking the same kind of mental acuity as white so converting to christianity was not real but a trick. and so as non persons they had no soul so it was OK to keep them as slaves. Before you knew it all men are created equal became all men except those ones we have decided are non human.

posted by accountable



Cobblers. If we start thinking only religious people are entitled to express an opinion we are in a world of trouble. Bigotry, sanctomoniousness, hypocrisy, sectarianism, most monotheistic religons start out believing they and only they are right and everyone else is in a world of pain and by god they will fix them and their evil ways or kill everybody else trying.

posted by katy1



In defence of accountable I have seen many forceful opinions expressed and have great respect for his erudition and perpecacity even if he does talk a load of cobblers occasionally (don't we all) someone disagreeing with you is not a personal attack they are merely disagreeing with you. It's no fun if they don't. If they want to get personal let them. Who cares? As a multi talented mega being I'm sure you will get over it.


Hey GMC, I've agreed with everything you've said so far on this thread!

I am certainly not a religious person (so I actually agree entirely with what you have written about the bigotry etc.... here, here!) when I stated the ideas of what made up a 'person', any one of those qualities, not necessarily the sum of the total makes an individual. Is a person with Alzheimers not able to think? Are they not physically different? I'm assuming that they understood right from wrong or if the disease is so advanced that it has destroyed the part of the mind that controls reason then I'm sure they were capable of rational though before the disease hit in. With regard to the mentally retarded question then given what I have said I hope you can second guess my reply.

Re: the Accountable comment, I had a debate with him on the 'When is a teenage mother...' thread and as I have had admitted to having an abortion I seemed to be a fair target for 'you are despicable' 'you are this and and a that' which I thought was perhaps going to raise it's ugly head again on this thread.

I am all for freedom of debate but think it not constructive when it comes to name calling.

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Post by Katy1 »

As a multi talented mega being I'm sure you will get over it.- Quote GMC

Although I am not entirely denying it and I do love a good sarcy comment, bearing in mind what I have said I do hope that it is now redundant ;)
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Post by Accountable »

gmc wrote:

posted by accountable

That's why I didn't ask about a soul. That's best left to religious people. But life ... now that's a question we can't avoid.


Cobblers. If we start thinking only religious people are entitled to express an opinion we are in a world of trouble. Bigotry, sanctomoniousness, hypocrisy, sectarianism, most monotheistic religons start out believing they and only they are right and everyone else is in a world of pain and by god they will fix them and their evil ways or kill everybody else trying.


I was really speaking for myself, meaning that deciding when a should enters a body is not something I personally have thought on.



I'm not sure why you're arguing on this point, anyway. Do you actually think the sould should be recognized legally, somehow?



I was asking about life, so that we could come a little closer to concensus about when a human should be legally given status as a person.
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Post by Accountable »

flopstock wrote: When life begins is like a jello mold.



Take your mold and add hot water and gelatin mix.

That doesn't make it a jello mold.

Put it in the refridgerator.

If left untouched on the shelf it becomes a jello mold.

Take it out before it is ready, it is still not a jello mold.



You can start thinking about it as a mold of jello.. when you place it in the refridgerator. You can anticipate how wonderful it will be. But until it jiggles and retains its shape, it's not a jello mold.
So a person who beats a pregnant woman and causes her to miscarry should only be charged with the attack against the woman, and not the murder of the child? This would be consistent with your statement, I think.



It's the inconsistency I can't abide - the inconsistency of charging an attacker as I described with killing the baby, when abortion uses different means to the same end.
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Post by Accountable »

flopstock wrote: I agree they should be charged with the attack on the woman only, until such time as had the birth been live and natural, the baby would have been viable on its own.



I don't see that as inconsistant at all. So far as I'm concerned, if a woman wants to abort in the third trimester, it should be by c-section. That way she has her right to decide.



The problem is, everybody wants it all or nothing. Each side feels that if they give a little, they lose. And you know that if one side gives a little the other side sees it as a victory and moves for more to be given.. if it has to be all or nothing, the choice needs to be with the woman.
All or nothing. Yup. That's about it. Either the baby is alive or it's not. It's too important. I can't see the sanity in defining two otherwise identical situations as different simply based on the whim of one person.
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Post by Accountable »

Forgot to add: it's not up to the woman to bring charges on an attacker or not. As I understand it, that is up to the prosecutor, who may not be of like mind as the mother.
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Post by Okie »

I feel the brain is the criteria for life. When brain activity begins then life begins. When a brain dies and there is no activity then it dont matter about the body. I am not sure how early they have detected brain activity but it seems I heard six weeks. I do not feel the fetus is alive until then. If a condom fails I feel one should be able to get a pill to stop unwanted pregnancy in the next few days. With this administration trying to stop the use of condoms there is going to be many more unwanted pregnancys as well as more spread of AIDs. The idea that you can get young people with raging hormones to "just say no" is ridiculous. It didnt work for drugs either. :-4
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Post by Kathy »

>

WOW! I wasn't going to respond to this post just because I thought I was the only one who had considered this point of view. Glad to see there is someone else out there that possibly thinks like I do on this issue.

If the sperm is alive, and the egg is alive, then what part of what they come together to form is not alive?

I guess the question to be considered, as some have already addresssed, is, "what is life?" This can be answered so many different ways and I for one am pleased to see such a civil conversation on this topic. Everyone is entitled to their own point of view and I really appreciate that I haven't seen anyone get nasty or take a "my opinion is more important than yours because I am smarter/more superior to you" attitude. Thank you!
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Post by Okie »

I do not agree.
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Post by Accountable »

Okie wrote: I feel the brain is the criteria for life. When brain activity begins then life begins. When a brain dies and there is no activity then it dont matter about the body. I am not sure how early they have detected brain activity but it seems I heard six weeks. I do not feel the fetus is alive until then. If a condom fails I feel one should be able to get a pill to stop unwanted pregnancy in the next few days. With this administration trying to stop the use of condoms there is going to be many more unwanted pregnancys as well as more spread of AIDs. The idea that you can get young people with raging hormones to "just say no" is ridiculous. It didnt work for drugs either. :-4
I've never heard of this. Is it a federal campaign or something?
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Post by Accountable »

Far Rider wrote: Religiously speaking each child to be born will be born, so long before we ever have two parts of a man and woman join we have that souls consiousness present. (purely my opinion).



From the first man and woman my DNA was interelated and I was developed and then subsuquently born.



I became alive in the flesh the nano-second my father and mothers parts joined. All the DNA from before, all the plan for my soul and body were present. From that second on it became up to God protecting me through handing me over to my parents to raise me in human form until I was prepared to give my life back to God willfully.



To destroy me at any point beyond the second my parents joined together to form me, by an act of willfull human decision is in my opinion murder.



If I should die of natural causes after that point, it is simply my time to go.



I think when life begins needs to be reconsidered to include the sum total of all life in our blood line before we're ever concieved. I was alive seperatly in my father and alive seperatly in my mother.
But how can the gov't handle that legally? We can't make an estimate of how many sperm or eggs we carry and claim live dependents. We can't realistically convict every killer of mass murder.



At the other end of your argument (each child to be born will be born), we just allow any and all abortion because, if the abortion is "successful" the child was never meant to be born.



Don't get me wrong. It's a beautiful way to view life, but not very practical in a secular society.
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Post by Slade1 »

[QUOTE=Kathy]>

WOW! I wasn't going to respond to this post just because I thought I was the only one who had considered this point of view. Glad to see there is someone else out there that possibly thinks like I do on this issue.

If the sperm is alive, and the egg is alive, then what part of what they come together to form is not alive?



We would have to build prisons to house all of the teenage boys that mass murder every few hours!
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Post by Okie »

I have a problem with the idea that two cells commbining makes a human life. I doubt anyone could even see them with naked eye. But I really feel the brain is the soul. Until the brain is functioning I dont feel there is life. If one were to really believe that the egg is alive before it is fertilized then they would need to have a funeral every month. When you eat eggs for breakfast does that mean you took a life?

I feel when the brain works there is life. When the brain stops then there is death. If you are connected to tubes but brain dead it is not right to keep the body alive. I hope no one does that to me.

I feel one is the sum total of their experiences. All locked in your brain. I was fascinated by the movie Total Recall. I have to agree that you could actually do that some day. I have heard people say they were "making memories" when they take a vacation. But everyday life does the same.
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Post by minks »

In my own way of thinking..... life begins with the first breath of air on it's own.
�You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.�

― Mae West
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Post by Katy1 »

Okie wrote: I have a problem with the idea that two cells commbining makes a human life. I doubt anyone could even see them with naked eye. But I really feel the brain is the soul. Until the brain is functioning I dont feel there is life. If one were to really believe that the egg is alive before it is fertilized then they would need to have a funeral every month. When you eat eggs for breakfast does that mean you took a life?

I feel when the brain works there is life. When the brain stops then there is death. If you are connected to tubes but brain dead it is not right to keep the body alive. I hope no one does that to me.

I feel one is the sum total of their experiences. All locked in your brain. I was fascinated by the movie Total Recall. I have to agree that you could actually do that some day. I have heard people say they were "making memories" when they take a vacation. But everyday life does the same.


Okie, I agree with everything you've written, very well said indeed. I agree, I hope someone has the decency to switch off my life support if i am in a permanent vegetative state.
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Post by Lulu2 »

My opinion? An embryo is as "alive" as a cancerous tumor....it can divide and grow, but it has no consciousness, feels no pain and cannot survive without its host. Once that embryo has developed into a fetus which can survive on its own, it's a child.

My opinion on the issue of abortion? Since none of us can agree as to the "morality" of terminating a pregnancy, the final decision can ONLY be made by the woman involved.

I've heard far too many condemnations of women who are "irresponsible," "sexually promiscuous," "use abortion as birth control," etc, etc, etc. And I know this...until you've walked in her shoes and lived her life, you can't determine the right thing for her to do.

If you can't trust a woman to make the right choice on continuing a pregnancy....how can you trust her to raise a child in a loving, nurturing home? If you don't believe in abortion, please don't have one! If you do believe it's the best choice for you, I'll support you in any way possible.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Post by koan »

This age old debate will never end. I think the question of when life ends is just as mysterious.

Practically, women have had abortions long before it was legal. Do we really think making it illegal will stop the practice?
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Lulu2
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:34 pm

When Does Human Life Begin?

Post by Lulu2 »

I don't think it's as much about "illegality" as it is control. Control of womens' bodies and control of their fates.
My candle's burning at both ends, it will not last the night. But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--It gives a lovely light!--Edna St. Vincent Millay

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