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Life begins at gametogenesis?

WriterDave
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3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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drafterman
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3/26/2012 11:30:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

I.e. contraception? As far as I know, many pro-life groups are also anti-contraception. And we all know Christianity's stance on EVIL EVIL masturbation.

I'M BLIND! (but it was worth it)
WriterDave
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3/26/2012 12:02:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 11:30:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

I.e. contraception? As far as I know, many pro-life groups are also anti-contraception. And we all know Christianity's stance on EVIL EVIL masturbation.


Granted, and we can infer from these positions that those particular groups DO believe that life begins at gametogenesis (unless they've explicitly stated their belief that sex and/or women are simply evil). I'll be discussing the moral implications of this position elsewhere.

What I'm looking for here is an argument that life begins at conception, whose principles cannot be extended to argue that life begins at gametogenesis.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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drafterman
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3/26/2012 12:24:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 12:02:41 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 11:30:47 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

I.e. contraception? As far as I know, many pro-life groups are also anti-contraception. And we all know Christianity's stance on EVIL EVIL masturbation.


Granted, and we can infer from these positions that those particular groups DO believe that life begins at gametogenesis (unless they've explicitly stated their belief that sex and/or women are simply evil). I'll be discussing the moral implications of this position elsewhere.

What I'm looking for here is an argument that life begins at conception, whose principles cannot be extended to argue that life begins at gametogenesis.

I find it interesting to see this subject brought up in proximity to another about the Sorites paradox. I'd be interested in any justification for the simple statement that "Life begins."
SuburbiaSurvivor
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3/26/2012 1:05:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

It's pretty simple. You argue that personhood comes with being a human being. A sperm is not a human being because a sperm is only part human. To argue that a sperm is morally equivalent to a human being would be to confuse parts with a whole. The same goes with arguing that skin cells are morally equivalent to zygotes. I personally like the Future Like Ours argument. Which argues that all human beings with a future like ours (that is, having a future where they are conscious, able to make decisions, enjoy life, etc.) have a right to life. Essentially it argues that your future is your possession. Murder is wrong not because it kills flesh but because it robs a human being of their future, however long or short that future is and to what quality that life is. The same goes with killing a zygote. You're robbing a human being of a future.

Now, one could argue that sperm cells have the same future, or so do skin cells. But this wouldn't be entirely accurate. A sperm cell, on its own, has no future other then to die. A sperm cell only has a FLO when it meets the egg at conception.

Basically, a sperm cell/skin cell etc. require unique intervention to gain a FLO, whereas a zygote requires unique intervention to lose its FLO.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
drafterman
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3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 1:05:39 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

It's pretty simple. You argue that personhood comes with being a human being. A sperm is not a human being because a sperm is only part human. To argue that a sperm is morally equivalent to a human being would be to confuse parts with a whole. The same goes with arguing that skin cells are morally equivalent to zygotes. I personally like the Future Like Ours argument. Which argues that all human beings with a future like ours (that is, having a future where they are conscious, able to make decisions, enjoy life, etc.) have a right to life. Essentially it argues that your future is your possession. Murder is wrong not because it kills flesh but because it robs a human being of their future, however long or short that future is and to what quality that life is. The same goes with killing a zygote. You're robbing a human being of a future.

Now, one could argue that sperm cells have the same future, or so do skin cells. But this wouldn't be entirely accurate. A sperm cell, on its own, has no future other then to die. A sperm cell only has a FLO when it meets the egg at conception.

Basically, a sperm cell/skin cell etc. require unique intervention to gain a FLO, whereas a zygote requires unique intervention to lose its FLO.

A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.
WriterDave
Posts: 934
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3/26/2012 3:19:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 1:05:39 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

It's pretty simple. You argue that personhood comes with being a human being. A sperm is not a human being because a sperm is only part human. To argue that a sperm is morally equivalent to a human being would be to confuse parts with a whole. The same goes with arguing that skin cells are morally equivalent to zygotes. I personally like the Future Like Ours argument. Which argues that all human beings with a future like ours (that is, having a future where they are conscious, able to make decisions, enjoy life, etc.) have a right to life. Essentially it argues that your future is your possession. Murder is wrong not because it kills flesh but because it robs a human being of their future, however long or short that future is and to what quality that life is. The same goes with killing a zygote. You're robbing a human being of a future.

Now, one could argue that sperm cells have the same future, or so do skin cells. But this wouldn't be entirely accurate. A sperm cell, on its own, has no future other then to die. A sperm cell only has a FLO when it meets the egg at conception.

Basically, a sperm cell/skin cell etc. require unique intervention to gain a FLO, whereas a zygote requires unique intervention to lose its FLO.

For clarification, I'm not suggesting that a spermatozoon, by itself, might be a human being. I'm suggesting that the set of two gametes, sperm and ovum, might be a single human being consisting, temporarily, of two organisms. A preborn bicorporeal human being.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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WriterDave
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3/26/2012 3:50:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
As for FLO: If the argument is taken non-fatalistically, then it seems to me that it reduces to the potentiality argument, which is easily destroyed. However, if it's taken fatalistically, then it would be true to say,

Zygote Z is possibly ontologically identical to a human adult in 2035.

But it would be equally true to say,

Gametic set (X,Y) is possibly ontologically identical to a human adult in 2035.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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SuburbiaSurvivor
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3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 1:05:39 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

It's pretty simple. You argue that personhood comes with being a human being. A sperm is not a human being because a sperm is only part human. To argue that a sperm is morally equivalent to a human being would be to confuse parts with a whole. The same goes with arguing that skin cells are morally equivalent to zygotes. I personally like the Future Like Ours argument. Which argues that all human beings with a future like ours (that is, having a future where they are conscious, able to make decisions, enjoy life, etc.) have a right to life. Essentially it argues that your future is your possession. Murder is wrong not because it kills flesh but because it robs a human being of their future, however long or short that future is and to what quality that life is. The same goes with killing a zygote. You're robbing a human being of a future.

Now, one could argue that sperm cells have the same future, or so do skin cells. But this wouldn't be entirely accurate. A sperm cell, on its own, has no future other then to die. A sperm cell only has a FLO when it meets the egg at conception.

Basically, a sperm cell/skin cell etc. require unique intervention to gain a FLO, whereas a zygote requires unique intervention to lose its FLO.

A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
Lordknukle
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3/26/2012 5:36:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's an objection to killing a life that has already been created rather than preventing to conceive a life which has not been created.
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WriterDave
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3/26/2012 6:22:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

You are talking about the ovum as an individual organism. But what it is, in fact, is one element of a gametic set, waiting for its counterpart. As such, it has as much right to expect a future as a zygote, does it not?
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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WriterDave
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3/26/2012 6:27:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 5:36:40 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
It's an objection to killing a life that has already been created rather than preventing to conceive a life which has not been created.

Once gametogenesis has taken place in both mother and father, then that human being has been created -- it simply happens to be bicorporeal until its constituent elements combine. Preventing that combination is every bit a moral choice as is abortion.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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Oryus
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3/26/2012 6:31:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Anyone who can come up with a succinct criticism of the FLO argument should message it to me because the person who came up with that argument is a professor at my university. I've always wanted to speak with him about it because it is, by far, the most convincing anti-abortion argument that I've ever seen. And it still doesn't even compel one to find abortion morally wrong in all cases no matter what.
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Ren
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3/26/2012 6:48:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

So, essentially, you're equivocating prevention and cancellation, and using that as an argument... er, correct me if I'm wrong, but for abortion?
SuburbiaSurvivor
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3/26/2012 6:49:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 6:22:32 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

You are talking about the ovum as an individual organism. But what it is, in fact, is one element of a gametic set, waiting for its counterpart. As such, it has as much right to expect a future as a zygote, does it not?

I'm actually not talking about an ovum as an individual organism. Because if it were an individual organism, then it could reproduce (split in half), take in food, etc.

The whole point is that human beings with a FLO deserve a right to life. Non-human beings (a gamete is not a human being, it is a part of a human being, but not a human being as a whole) do not necessarily deserve a right to life.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
drafterman
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3/26/2012 6:54:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 1:05:39 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

It's pretty simple. You argue that personhood comes with being a human being. A sperm is not a human being because a sperm is only part human. To argue that a sperm is morally equivalent to a human being would be to confuse parts with a whole. The same goes with arguing that skin cells are morally equivalent to zygotes. I personally like the Future Like Ours argument. Which argues that all human beings with a future like ours (that is, having a future where they are conscious, able to make decisions, enjoy life, etc.) have a right to life. Essentially it argues that your future is your possession. Murder is wrong not because it kills flesh but because it robs a human being of their future, however long or short that future is and to what quality that life is. The same goes with killing a zygote. You're robbing a human being of a future.

Now, one could argue that sperm cells have the same future, or so do skin cells. But this wouldn't be entirely accurate. A sperm cell, on its own, has no future other then to die. A sperm cell only has a FLO when it meets the egg at conception.

Basically, a sperm cell/skin cell etc. require unique intervention to gain a FLO, whereas a zygote requires unique intervention to lose its FLO.

A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean.

Hmm. Let me check. Nope, I said precisely what I mean.

Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

That depends. That depends on the decisions made be people. So, the question is, why are decisions regarding zygotes restricted but those regarding gametes not?
WriterDave
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3/26/2012 8:10:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 6:49:05 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:22:32 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

You are talking about the ovum as an individual organism. But what it is, in fact, is one element of a gametic set, waiting for its counterpart. As such, it has as much right to expect a future as a zygote, does it not?

I'm actually not talking about an ovum as an individual organism. Because if it were an individual organism, then it could reproduce (split in half), take in food, etc.

The whole point is that human beings with a FLO deserve a right to life. Non-human beings (a gamete is not a human being, it is a part of a human being, but not a human being as a whole) do not necessarily deserve a right to life.

Inasmuch as a set has a right to exist, its essential elements also have a right to exist. For example, if a hydrogen atom has a right to exist (for some reason), and you destroy the electron, you have violated the right of the atom to exist. Likewise, if you destroy one half of a bicorporeal human, you have violated that human's right to life.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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WriterDave
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3/26/2012 8:40:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 6:48:53 PM, Ren wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

So, essentially, you're equivocating prevention and cancellation, and using that as an argument... er, correct me if I'm wrong, but for abortion?

What is the morally relevant difference between prevention and cancellation?
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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SuburbiaSurvivor
Posts: 872
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3/27/2012 1:23:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 8:10:18 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:49:05 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:22:32 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

You are talking about the ovum as an individual organism. But what it is, in fact, is one element of a gametic set, waiting for its counterpart. As such, it has as much right to expect a future as a zygote, does it not?

I'm actually not talking about an ovum as an individual organism. Because if it were an individual organism, then it could reproduce (split in half), take in food, etc.

The whole point is that human beings with a FLO deserve a right to life. Non-human beings (a gamete is not a human being, it is a part of a human being, but not a human being as a whole) do not necessarily deserve a right to life.

Inasmuch as a set has a right to exist, its essential elements also have a right to exist.

Actually, no. That's an inverted fallacy of composition. It's like saying that because human beings are visible, the atoms that make up human beings are also visible.

For example, if a hydrogen atom has a right to exist (for some reason), and you destroy the electron, you have violated the right of the atom to exist. Likewise, if you destroy one half of a bicorporeal human, you have violated that human's right to life.

Yes, you violate the hydrogen atom if by destroying the electron you cause the hydrogen atom to cease to exist. But that does not mean that electrons have a right to life. Because while you may destroy electrons the act of destroying those electrons may not necessarily destroy hydrogen atoms.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
KeytarHero
Posts: 612
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3/27/2012 2:00:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

Actually, yes. Embryologists agree without significant controversy that a new living, unique human is created when the sperm merges with the ovum. This is not "anti-abortion belief," this is science. A human being does not exist before the sperm meets the egg.

If you try to claim that sperm and eggs should be respected because they're also human following the pro-life line of reasoning, then you are making the elementary mistake of confusing parts with wholes. Humans are not constructed in the womb like a car, they develop themselves from within. The baby that is born was that same zygote that was created from the union of the sperm and the egg. But it is not scientifically correct to say that baby was once a sperm or an ovum.

Now, only the Catholic church believes that contraceptives are immoral (and that's for religious reasons). That stance is not necessary to hold the pro-life perspective. The thing is that preventing someone from coming into existence is not morally problematic because there is nothing in exist to cause harm to. However, once the unborn child has been conceived, then you are killing a human being, intrinsically valuable with the inherent capacity as a rational moral agent.
WriterDave
Posts: 934
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3/27/2012 2:50:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/27/2012 1:23:38 AM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 8:10:18 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:49:05 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:22:32 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

You are talking about the ovum as an individual organism. But what it is, in fact, is one element of a gametic set, waiting for its counterpart. As such, it has as much right to expect a future as a zygote, does it not?

I'm actually not talking about an ovum as an individual organism. Because if it were an individual organism, then it could reproduce (split in half), take in food, etc.

The whole point is that human beings with a FLO deserve a right to life. Non-human beings (a gamete is not a human being, it is a part of a human being, but not a human being as a whole) do not necessarily deserve a right to life.

Inasmuch as a set has a right to exist, its essential elements also have a right to exist.

Actually, no. That's an inverted fallacy of composition. It's like saying that because human beings are visible, the atoms that make up human beings are also visible.

Hence the phrase essential elements.

For example, if a hydrogen atom has a right to exist (for some reason), and you destroy the electron, you have violated the right of the atom to exist. Likewise, if you destroy one half of a bicorporeal human, you have violated that human's right to life.

Yes, you violate the hydrogen atom if by destroying the electron you cause the hydrogen atom to cease to exist. But that does not mean that electrons have a right to life. Because while you may destroy electrons the act of destroying those electrons may not necessarily destroy hydrogen atoms.

Ohfercryinoutloud. I was NOT arguing that hydrogen atoms or electrons have a right to life. I was making a point. You take an electron from a hydrogen atom, it ceases to exist as a hydrogen atom. Unless you want to argue that protons are hydrogen atoms.

Bottom line, there is no good reason to give right of life to zygotes but deny it to gametic sets.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

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WriterDave
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3/27/2012 3:11:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/27/2012 2:00:32 AM, KeytarHero wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

Actually, yes. Embryologists agree without significant controversy that a new living, unique human is created when the sperm merges with the ovum. This is not "anti-abortion belief," this is science. A human being does not exist before the sperm meets the egg.

If you try to claim that sperm and eggs should be respected because they're also human following the pro-life line of reasoning, then you are making the elementary mistake of confusing parts with wholes. Humans are not constructed in the womb like a car, they develop themselves from within. The baby that is born was that same zygote that was created from the union of the sperm and the egg. But it is not scientifically correct to say that baby was once a sperm or an ovum.


It was once a sperm AND an ovum. A gametic pair.

Embryology is a physical science, not a moral science; it tells us about the physical world, not the moral implications thereof. The question of personhood is a question of moral rights and obligations, and while we can draw information from physical sciences to discuss such questions, we cannot simply throw down a scientific paper and assert, "Therefore, moral fact X is true." We have to make a moral argument.

In any case, what embryology teaches is that at fertilization a human being ceases to be bicorporeal and becomes a single organism. However, the zygote just after conception is ontologically identical to the two gametes that it was a few seconds earlier, and there is no moral reason not to treat it as such. If a zygote has the right to live, so do the essential constituent elements of a gametic pair. There's simply no way of getting around it.
Writer. Liberal atheist. Official "Official of the FREEDO Bureaucracy" of the FREEDO Bureaucracy.

Edit To Civilize, with FAQs: http://bit.ly...
Insult Ownership: http://bit.ly...
Haters: http://bit.ly...

"I said you are a fake, a phony, and a fraud, but that doesn't mean I think you're putting on an act." --Innomen
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/27/2012 7:24:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 6:31:21 PM, Oryus wrote:
Anyone who can come up with a succinct criticism of the FLO argument should message it to me because the person who came up with that argument is a professor at my university. I've always wanted to speak with him about it because it is, by far, the most convincing anti-abortion argument that I've ever seen. And it still doesn't even compel one to find abortion morally wrong in all cases no matter what.

http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...
SuburbiaSurvivor
Posts: 872
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3/27/2012 11:17:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/27/2012 7:24:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:31:21 PM, Oryus wrote:
Anyone who can come up with a succinct criticism of the FLO argument should message it to me because the person who came up with that argument is a professor at my university. I've always wanted to speak with him about it because it is, by far, the most convincing anti-abortion argument that I've ever seen. And it still doesn't even compel one to find abortion morally wrong in all cases no matter what.

http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

Not a new analogy, bro.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
SuburbiaSurvivor
Posts: 872
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3/27/2012 11:26:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/27/2012 2:50:58 AM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/27/2012 1:23:38 AM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 8:10:18 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:49:05 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:22:32 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 5:13:52 PM, SuburbiaSurvivor wrote:
At 3/26/2012 2:01:22 PM, drafterman wrote:
A zygote, on its own, has no future other than to die.

Inhibited, you mean. Because a person, on its own (without food or water) has no future other then to die. In fact, it takes more intervention for a person to die naturally then for a zygote to die.

The point is: Put a single sperm or ovum inside in one womb and put a zygote in another womb and then see which grows into a baby and gets born. One has a future, the other does not.

You are talking about the ovum as an individual organism. But what it is, in fact, is one element of a gametic set, waiting for its counterpart. As such, it has as much right to expect a future as a zygote, does it not?

I'm actually not talking about an ovum as an individual organism. Because if it were an individual organism, then it could reproduce (split in half), take in food, etc.

The whole point is that human beings with a FLO deserve a right to life. Non-human beings (a gamete is not a human being, it is a part of a human being, but not a human being as a whole) do not necessarily deserve a right to life.

Inasmuch as a set has a right to exist, its essential elements also have a right to exist.

Actually, no. That's an inverted fallacy of composition. It's like saying that because human beings are visible, the atoms that make up human beings are also visible.

Hence the phrase essential elements.


For example, if a hydrogen atom has a right to exist (for some reason), and you destroy the electron, you have violated the right of the atom to exist. Likewise, if you destroy one half of a bicorporeal human, you have violated that human's right to life.

Yes, you violate the hydrogen atom if by destroying the electron you cause the hydrogen atom to cease to exist. But that does not mean that electrons have a right to life. Because while you may destroy electrons the act of destroying those electrons may not necessarily destroy hydrogen atoms.

Ohfercryinoutloud. I was NOT arguing that hydrogen atoms or electrons have a right to life. I was making a point. You take an electron from a hydrogen atom, it ceases to exist as a hydrogen atom. Unless you want to argue that protons are hydrogen atoms.

Bottom line, there is no good reason to give right of life to zygotes but deny it to gametic sets.

I know you were making a point. I used your scenario to make my point. If you take an electron from an already existing hydrogen atom then yes, you'd be violating that hydrogen atoms right to life. But that does not mean electrons have a right to life. There are electrons in many many other atoms. Destroying electrons does not always destroy a hydrogen atom. That's the point. Human beings have a right to life. A gamete is not a human being. Therefore the gamete does not have a right to life.
"I'm going to tell you something that you're never going to forget, SuburbiaSurvivor. Women... Are just human beings"
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,313
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3/27/2012 11:35:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/27/2012 7:24:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:31:21 PM, Oryus wrote:
Anyone who can come up with a succinct criticism of the FLO argument should message it to me because the person who came up with that argument is a professor at my university. I've always wanted to speak with him about it because it is, by far, the most convincing anti-abortion argument that I've ever seen. And it still doesn't even compel one to find abortion morally wrong in all cases no matter what.

http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

Interesting site! I got:

"Your responses during this activity indicate that you should be morally opposed to abortion, allowing for only very rare exceptions, but at the same time support a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy if she so chooses. This is consistent with your stated position on abortion, which is that it is only very rarely morally justified, but possibly not in the way you expected! It is certainly true that your responses are consistent with the view that abortion has moral costs associated with it. However, your responses also indicate that you think a woman has the right to exercize sovereign control over her own body even if it means allowing her to act in a way that you take to be immoral."
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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3/27/2012 11:41:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/27/2012 11:35:58 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 3/27/2012 7:24:12 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:31:21 PM, Oryus wrote:
Anyone who can come up with a succinct criticism of the FLO argument should message it to me because the person who came up with that argument is a professor at my university. I've always wanted to speak with him about it because it is, by far, the most convincing anti-abortion argument that I've ever seen. And it still doesn't even compel one to find abortion morally wrong in all cases no matter what.

http://www.philosophyexperiments.com...

Interesting site! I got:

Indeed. I used it heavily in one of my "I won't contradict myself" debates as Con. There's a book based off of it (Do you think what you think you think?) Very reveal as far as highlighting inconsistencies in beliefs.


"Your responses during this activity indicate that you should be morally opposed to abortion, allowing for only very rare exceptions, but at the same time support a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy if she so chooses. This is consistent with your stated position on abortion, which is that it is only very rarely morally justified, but possibly not in the way you expected! It is certainly true that your responses are consistent with the view that abortion has moral costs associated with it. However, your responses also indicate that you think a woman has the right to exercize sovereign control over her own body even if it means allowing her to act in a way that you take to be immoral."
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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3/27/2012 11:48:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Rights of any sort are man made conceptions at best. They don't have any more reality then common shared conceptual existence. We all share concepts of Unicorns. But they don't exist any more then that. Regard if we define the as existing unicorns. or Natural Unicorns. Or necessary Unicorns. We can't define them into existence. No matter who are or how much we declare it so. The fact remains the same.

Life is always continious. Life goes from one living thing to another. As far as we know. I don't believe in creationsm, but I don't believe in random happings either. I think we just haven't figures it out. Both are cope outs, which a hasty generalization in a rush to an easy explanation rather then waiting in time to figure out the actual explanations.

So the question here is in what form of life are we considering as most sacerd. We define what counts as part of the moral community as sentient being. aka trees are alive, but they are not sentient. So we may cut them down for wood. That is, the prolife pro choice are both bullsh!t positions. Pro choice is just a dogmatic selfish position, which often relies on the Rights. But the question at hand is whether we should change the Rights, so it comes up as nothing but an apeal to tradition. Prolife is often faith based. Which is subjectitive at best.

So the real question is when we consider the fetus as Sentient or not. And what we gather at scientifically is that there is while after conception when there is not sentience. That is, the brain shows certain patterns when we feel pain. These pattern don't show up for a while after conception. Thus we should play on the side of caution, and set the standerd of abortion some time before such a pattern is Normally Recognized.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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3/27/2012 12:06:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/26/2012 8:40:54 PM, WriterDave wrote:
At 3/26/2012 6:48:53 PM, Ren wrote:
At 3/26/2012 10:55:53 AM, WriterDave wrote:
Is there any widely-accepted (among the anti abortion rights community) argument for the proposition that personhood begins at conception, whose principles cannot be adapted to argue that personhood begins prior to conception, when the constituent gametes of the zygote begin to exist?

To put it another way: if a spermatozoon and an ovum will combine with one another and become a zygote unless prevented from doing so, then why is it moral to make a decision that results in their not combining, but immoral to abort the zygote?

So, essentially, you're equivocating prevention and cancellation, and using that as an argument... er, correct me if I'm wrong, but for abortion?

What is the morally relevant difference between prevention and cancellation?

O

Really?

One is ensuring that something which may or may not happen does happen -- in effect, it is not actually applied to anything, but instead, prevents it.

The other is actually canceling something. It directly affects something, and negatively.

You know, like talking you out of doing something stupid rather than blowing your head off while I watch you do it.