Joined: Oct. 2005
|Quote (avocationist @ April 08 2006,19:31)|
|Eric I think you contrdict yourself. You agree that some milestones are more important than others, but not very much so. Yet in that case it is hard not to back off from the idea that one's 18th birthday is as important as the one moment in which the genes that are required to form the unique individual that you are came together so that the process of forming your body could start. I also disagree with giving birth an equal status. Or perhaps it is just a very different status.|
I'm not sure how arguing that some milestones are more important than others contradicts a statement that some milestones are more important than others…but regardless. I think I've established, at this point, that there are many essentially arbitrary points where one can say a human life begins, conception being one of them (and probably the hardest one to pintpoint).
But I think even arguing that conception is the most important one isn't so easy. At the moment of conception, I was indistinguishable from billions of other zygotes using anything other than DNA analysis. At birth, I probably looked and behaved like millions of other babies. In my own life, I can point to innumerable occurrences that are vastly more significant to who I am now than anything that happened at the moment of conception.
You could argue that none of that could have happened without my conception. Sure, but I could argue that my conception couldn't have happened unless a) my parents met in the first place (which in my case was a pretty unlikely occurrence); b) they decided they liked each other (which didn't look likely at first); c) they decided to get married, and d) they decided to have children. All of those things had to happen (and what were the odds?) before conception could even happen. So what makes the conception so significant? I frankly don't see it. In my own life, virtually everything has been more important.
As usual, Thordaddy is asking for a digital solution to an analog problem. He seems to believe that there is one instant in time, from the beginning of life on earth until an individual's death, that is so much more important than all the others that he can draw a line in the sand (or, more literally, in a woman's womb) on one side of which everything changes. Everything changes all the time. There's probably more difference in who I am between now and ten years ago than there was between conception and birth. As a person, as opposed to some meaningless abstraction, there's simply no comparison.
| The question Thor is asking is, what is the most important event in the causal chain that allowed your unique self to be manufactured? It is difficult not to answer, conception. At your birth, you were already formed|
What Thordaddy is asking is way less important than why he's asking it. The answer to Thordaddy's question is essentially irrelevant, except that if he can make it as long before birth as possible, he can make the case that any abortion, for whatever reason (even to save the life of the mother) is wrong (you should have heard him expressing admiration for the woman who gives her own life to save the life of her unborn child, heedless of the very real possibility that the death of the mother will cause the death of the fetus).
Why do you think Thordaddy has been beating this issue to death over four threads? Do you think he's really that interested in hearing our opinions about when human life begins? He wants to get science to prove for him that any abortion, for any reason, is tantamount to murder, and should therefore be forbidden. Given that Thordaddy will never be pregnant, will never have to carry a fetus to term, will never be forced to have a child he neither wants nor can care for, I think his opinion on the issue is pretty irrelevant (his apparent belief that women who have abortions don't think it's any more significant than, say, taking a couple of aspirin, gives you some idea of what his opinion on the subject is worth).
If Thordaddy doesn't like abortions, he can not get one. How difficult do you think that will be for him?
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity
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